With the popularity of cloud storage, and the rise of streaming video, many modern computers are starting to omit optical drives. But it’s not a desired solution for everyone. Professionals still want a secure, controlled way to store data that isn’t subject to hacking or third-party control. In the realm of entertainment, a consumer might wish to listen to a favorite album, or watch a high-definition movie, without having to be online. Many titles are not available for streaming; or will be here today, gone tomorrow thanks to licensing issues. If your computer is lacking a Blu-Ray drive, check out our picks and advice below. We have reviewed the best external DVD drives that we could find.

Top 10 External Blu-ray Drives

PictureNameRatingPriceReviews
Pioneer External Blu Ray Writer4.2$$440
ASUS External 12X Blu-Ray Burner3.9$$$365
ASUS External Blu-ray Drive4.2$$97
Pioneer External Blu Ray Drive4.2$$440
Pioneer BDR-XS06 Blu-Ray Burner4.1$$132
VicTsing USB 3.0 External Burner4$209
LG 6x WP50NB40 Portable Blu-ray Writer4$$5
Firstcom USB 3.0 Blu-Ray Writer3.3$$91
Buffalo MediaStation Blu-Ray Writer3.2$$$51
External Blu-Ray Burner3.2$45

Firstcom USB 3.0 BD-XL Blu-Ray Writer/Burner

Firstcom USB 3.0 BD-XL Blu-Ray Writer/Burner External Slim Portable Drive BD/DVD/CD burning and reading for Mac/Macbook & PC/Laptop 100GB Triple-Layer - Black

This Firstcom Blu-Ray Writer is a solid, basic model. It delivers everything you would want in convenience and reliability.  It is not too expensive but you will get excellent value for the cost.

Media Supported Blu-Ray, DVD, CD, BD-XL
Functions Read, Write
Operating Systems Windows 7 and up, Mac OSX 10.5 and up
Speed 6x for Blu-Ray

Functionality

The Firstcom Blu-Ray Writer is super lightweight at only 6 ounces, so you can take it along with you with no problems. It has a classic sliding tray design. No need to hunt for additional drivers because this writer is plug & play. However, one minor drawback is that there is no playback software installed. That is no problem because your computer probably has some. If not there are plenty of cheap or free options out there.

Data and Power

The Firstcom Blu-Ray Writer is connected with USB 3.0 for the latest and fastest data transfer protocols. It is also downwards compatible so it will work with USB 2.0 and 1.0 as well. The USB 3.0 cable is included, as is a USB power cable.

BDXL Support

The Firstcom Blu-Ray Writer supports BD-XL triple-layer recordable disks. BD-XL disks are exceptionally high density, and you can save up to 100GB on a single disk.

Buffalo MediaStation 12x Portable BDXL Blu-Ray Writer

Buffalo MediaStation 16x Desktop BDXL Blu-Ray Writer (BRXL-16U3)

The MediaStation 12x Blu-Ray Writer delivers premium engineering and cutting-edge technology. It offers some of the most advanced and high-tech features you will want in a Bu-Ray writer.

Media Supported Blu-Ray, DVD, CD, BDXL, M-Disc
Functions Read, Write, Playback
Operating Systems Windows (all versions)
Speed 6x for Blu-Ray

Functionality

The MediaStation 12x Blu-Ray Writer is equipped with the industry standard CyberLink™ Media Suite for Windows. This software offers a variety of burning and playback tools for Blu-Ray and DVDs. DVD upscaling allows standard DVDs to be played in superior high-definition quality. The Cyberlink Suite also enables Blu-Ray 3D playback.

Portability

The Buffalo MediaStation is designed for an on-the-go lifestyle, with its slim and portable design. Besides you won’t have to worry about carrying around an AC adapter.

Disk Support

The MediaStation 12x Blu-Ray Writer supports both BDXL and M-DISC media formats. BDXL are amazing high-capacity disks thanks to triple layer and quad layer engineering. M-DISC recordings are highly durable and long-lasting, because they are resistant to the damaging effects of temperature, humidity, and light. Protect your data with this state of the art long-lasting storage option.

Data and Power

The Buffalo MediaStation comes with two USB cables. Usually one will be plenty for your needs. But in case you need extra power to the player, a second cable can boost the power level.

LG 6x WP50NB40 Ultra Slim Portable Blu-ray Writer Bundle

LG 6x WP50NB40 Ultra Slim Portable Blu-ray Writer Bundle with 1 BDXL 100GB Disc - Supports M-DISC and BDXL Discs, Mac OS X Compatible (Black, Retail)

The LG 6x Ultra Slim Blu-Ray Writer won’t set you back too much, and it’s a solid and well-performing Blu-Ray player and burner. This LG 6x Blu-Ray Writer is being sold in a bundle, together with a pack of BDXL 100GB disks.

Media Supported Blu-Ray, DVD, CD, BDXL, M-Disc
Functions Read, Write
Operating Systems Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8/8.1; Mac OSX 10.7.5 or higher
Speed 6x for Blu-Ray

Functionality

The LG 6x Blu-Ray Writer is optimized for smooth and satisfactory performance. It features a buffer size of 4MB, with buffer under-run prevention. Therefore you won’t have to deal with pauses and delays due to buffering problems.

It operates by means of a classic disk tray. It is somewhat bulkier and heavier than some of the other drives listed here. It weighs 15 oz and some people may find that it is not as portable.

Data and Power

The LG 6x Blu-Ray Writer connects via a USB 2.0 cord for both power and data transfer.

Disk Support

The LG 6x Blu-Ray Writer supports BDXL, so you can store four times the content on a single BDXL disk. It also can write to state-of-the-art M-Disc technology. M-Discs are made of a non-volatile data layer that is highly resistant to damage caused by temperature and humidity fluctuations. Therefore this type of disk is extremely long-lasting and resilient for superior data storage and protection.

VicTsing USB 3.0 External BD/DVD/CD Burner Drive

VicTsing USB 3.0 Ultra Portable External CD DVD RW DVD ROM Drive Writer Burner for Mac, Macbook Pro Air iMAC , Laptops, Desktops, Notebooks(Black)

The VicTsing External Player is a great economical choice if you’re on a budget. It offers basic, reliable functions with few bells and whistles. But it will perform just as you need for watching videos and burning and storing files.

Media Supported Blu-Ray, DVD, CD
Functions Read, Write
Operating Systems Windows (except Windows 10), Mac OS
Speed 6x for Blu-Ray

 Functionality

The VicTsing external player is equipped with intelligent burning technology, to pause or interrupt burning in the middle of the process. It is very user-friendly and simple to operate. To set it up, just boot from the included CD-ROM which has all necessary drivers and software.

Portability

At under 5 ounces, the VicTsing external player is quite portable and easy to carry along with you. Bring it along on a road trip or plane ride, wherever you will want to use the read/write capabilities of this versatile player. Its hairline finish is scratchproof, so you won’t have any misgivings about toting it around.

Data and Power

The VicTsing comes with a USB 3.0 cord for improved data transfer speeds. In addition, this cord is actually embedded in the external drive, so you will never have to worry about losing it or spending precious minutes digging through drawers to find it. It is also backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.0.

ASUS External 12X Blu-Ray Burner

ASUS External 12X Blu-Ray Burner with USB 3.0 BW-12D1S-U/BLK/G/AS, Black

The ASUS External 12x Blu-Ray Burner has premium engineering and best-in-class components for a superior burning and playback experience. The ASUS brand is synonymous with reliable performance and cutting-edge innovation.

Media Supported Blu-Ray, DVD, CD
Functions Read, Write, Playback
Operating Systems Windows XP/Vista/7
Speed 12X for Blu-Ray

 Functionality

The ASUS External 12x Blu-Ray Player is hands-down the fastest burner on the market. High-end OTS Technology will ensure fast, reliable, and high-quality performance.  Built-in security features like E-Hammer and Disc Encryption II will help protect your sensitive data.

Portability

The ASUS External 12x Blu-Ray Player is designed with a stylish diamond shape. It has the ability to operate horizontally or vertically, so there is no limit to the places you can use it. However, it is much heavier than some of the other options on our list. Because of that, combined with the need for a separate power supply, we recommend this player more for home or office use than for travel.

Software Capabilities

The ASUS External 12x Blu-Ray Player is equipped with Cyberlink Software. Combined with Magic Cinema technology, it is simply packed with super-advanced features to enhance your watching experience. It supports realtime 2D to 3D conversion as well as DVD upscaling, so you can view standard DVDs in 1080p HD output. The player supports 3D video viewing and even comes with 3D glasses.

Data and Power

The ASUS External 12x Blu-Ray Player comes with USB 3.0, offering double the data transfer speed of USB 2.0. It also has a separate power adapter.

STW High Quality External Blu-Ray BD-R BD-ROM

High Quality External Blu-Ray BD-R BD-ROM- USB 3.0 External CD-RW Burner DVD-R Combo - Sleek Black Design, Compatible with Apple Mac, Windows 2000/ME/XP/Vista/Windows7 - Automatic Installation

The STW Blu-Ray External BD-ROM from Sunshine-tipway is an affordable USB optical drive for the cost-conscious shopper. It will provide the service you need for reading data and files from CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs.

Media Supported Blu-Ray, DVD, CD
Functions Read
Operating Systems Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7; Mac OS X all versions
Speed 6X for Blu-Ray

 

Functionality

The STW Blu-Ray External BD-ROM easily reads existing data from disks for your convenience. It is plug and play, so it automatically installs as soon as your computer detects it. It is very handy to have if you need to access files on a disk, but don’t have a built-in optical drive in your laptop or desktop. It is not capable of writing data to new disks. And if you want to playback video files, you will need to have your own third-party player software.

Portability

The STW Blu-Ray External BD-ROM is designed to be durable and long-lasting. Its surface is coated with rubber oil technology, and dirt-slip and anti-fingerprint finish. So your drive will look newer longer. It is not the smallest drive on the market, but it only weighs half a pound, so it is still very convenient for traveling.

Data and Power

The STW Blu-Ray external cd drive is compatible with USB 3.0 for super fast data transfers. It is also backwards compatible to 2.0 and 1.0 protocols. The STW Blu-Ray External Player also comes with a power supply cable.

Pioneer Slim External Blu Ray Writer BDR-XD05B

Pioneer Slim External Blu Ray Writer BDR-XD05B (Black)

The Pioneer External Blu-Ray Writer is a solid and reliable piece of technology from one of the top brands in consumer electronics. Whether you want to use it for work or entertainment, you will be quite satisfied with the performance and capabilities of this writer.

Media Supported Blu-Ray, DVD, CD, BDXL
Functions Read, Write, Playback
Operating Systems Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10
Speed 6X for Blu-Ray

 

Functionality

The Pioneer External Blu-Ray Writer is equipped with premium features to enhance your media enjoyment. PowerRead and PureRead are proprietary features that will deliver smoother playback of DVDs or CDs, helping to compensate for small scratches or blemishes on the disk. Another neat feature is Auto Quiet mode. The disk rotation speed is adjusted automatically to reduce noise.  Switch between Auto Quiet mode and Performance mode depending on your needs.

Software

The Pioneer External Blu-Ray Writer includes the well-known CyberLink suite for most versions of Windows. Use CyberLink software for playback, and it can upscale your standard video content for high definition viewing. PowerDirector aids in video editing and uploading to social media.

Note that this player is only compatible with Windows systems. If you are an Apple user but a fan of Pioneer products, you should check out the Pioneer BDR-XS06 elsewhere on this list.

Data and Power

The Pioneer External blu ray drive mac uses USB 3.0 for faster data transfer. No AC adapter is required, just plug in the USB connection to your desktop or laptop.

BDXL Support

The Pioneer External Blu-Ray Writer is compatible with high-capacity BDXL disks, both in triple layer and quad layer versions. Now you can store more data than ever on a single disk. One quad layer BDXL disk can store data equivalent to 27 DVDs.

Archgon USB 3.0 Aluminum External Blu-ray Burner MD-3102G-U3-K

Archgon USB 3.0 Slot-loading Aluminum External Blu-ray Burner Model MD-3102G-U3-K w/Cyberlink BD solution

The Archgon Aluminum External Blu-Ray Player is designed with the most durable construction and high-performance features. It delivers best-in-class quality and reliability.

Media Supported Blu-Ray, DVD, CD, BDXL
Functions Read, Write, Playback
Operating Systems Windows 7/8/8.1/10, Mac OS 10.8.5
Speed 6X for Blu-Ray

 

Functionality

The Archgon Aluminum External Blu-Ray Burner is engineered with top-shelf components, including the reliable Panasonic UJ-265 drive.  It is a slot-loading drive, which means you simply insert the disk about three quarters of the way in, then it autofeeds into the drive.

The Archgon Aluminum External Blu-Ray Burner is quite tough and sturdy thanks to premium aluminum construction. It can stand up to very tough conditions and still weighs under a pound.

The Archgon Aluminum External Blu-Ray Burner comes with Cyberlink Media Suite OEM version. It supports 3D viewing.

Data and Power

The Archgon Aluminum External Blu-Ray Burner delivers speedy transfer speeds thanks to its use of USB 3.0 technology.

BDXL Support

The Archgon Aluminum External Blu-Ray Burner offers the latest disk support including BDXL compatibility. This allows you to store massive amounts of data on disks that take up less space.

FastSnail USB 3.0 Aluminum External ODD

FastSnail USB 3.0 Aluminum External ODD (3D Blu-ray Disc Player & DVD/CD-RW Burner), Ultra Slim Portable HDD Device, Drive Combo for PC Apple Mac Laptop Desktops etc Blue

The FastSnail USB 3.0 Aluminum External USB DVD Drive offers excellent stability and reliable performance. It gives a very good value for money, getting a lot of good features without having to spend much.

Media Supported Blu-Ray, DVD, CD
Functions Read, Write
Operating Systems Windows XP/Vista/7/8, Mac OS X
Speed 6X for Blu-Ray

 

Functionality

The FastSnail Aluminum External Drive is engineered with a pure copper braid data cable. It delivers more stable data transmission with less interference or signal noise. It is plug and play, so just connect it to your computer and start it up.

This drive will play Blu-Rays, DVDs, and CDs. However it can only write to DVD formats, it cannot write to Blu-Ray disks. Also you will need third-party playback software.

The drive is quite sturdy and weighs 12 ounces, so it will be very easy to transport around between home, work, or traveling.

Data and Power

The FastSnail Aluminum external Blu Ray player is powered through the USB cable. It supports USB 3.0 data transfer, so you can read and write faster than USB 2.0 protocols. However it is still compatible with USB 2.0 if that is all that your computer supports.

Pioneer BDR-XS06 Blu-Ray 6X/DVD/CD USB 3.0 Slim External Slot Burner

Pioneer BDR-XS06 Blu-Ray 6X/DVD/CD USB 3.0 Slim External Slot Burner

The Pioneer BDR-XS06 delivers reliable and satisfactory performance. Save data or playback video files, this external drive can do it all with no fuss. It plugs directly into your laptop or desktop Apple system. Users find it very simple and intuitive to operate.

Media Supported Blu-Ray, DVD, CD, BDXL
Functions Read, Write
Operating Systems Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8
Speed 6X for Blu-Ray

 

Functionality

The Pioneer BDR-XS06 External Slot Burner comes with several extra functions so you can have a premium experience using this drive. Pioneer has patented the PowerRead and PureRead features. A drive equipped with these functions will not be fazed by scratches or smudges on the disk. Instead the drive does its best to work around these blemishes without skipping, to produce smoother playback.

The Pioneer BDR-XS06 also includes proprietary Auto Quiet mode. The drive intelligently adjusts the disk rotation speed: faster for data transfer, and slower (and quieter) for playback of video and music.

The Pioneer BDR-XS06 External Slot Burner is equipped with Corel Toast Lite for burning data onto DVDs, CDs, Blu-Ray disks, and BDXL. It does not currently include software for playback of movies and video files.

Data and Power

The Pioneer BDR-XS06 provides fast transfer speeds thanks to using USB 3.0.

BDXL Support

The Pioneer BDR-XS06 supports newest technology such as BDXL, so that you can fit more data on a single disk. BDXL disks are triple layer and even quad layer so they can store up to 100GB of data or more.

External Blu-Ray Players – A Buying Guide

Why You Need an External Disk Drive

Optical drives, such as Blu-Ray drives and DVD drives, are quickly becoming scarce in the computer landscape. More and more laptops, and even desktops, have the optical drive eliminated entirely to save on space and expense. The thinking goes that everyone is using streaming services, and everyone is using cloud storage, so physical media is simply not as popular.

But we know differently, don’t we? There will continue to be a place for physical media. An external Blu-Ray drive allows you instant access to, and total control over, your data files and videos.

  • Secure Data Storage
    High capacity disk storage allows you to store large amounts of data, away from the cloud. It is in your personal possession, under your complete control. Only you will decide how that data will be protected or shared.
  • Instant Access Entertainment
    A Blu-Ray movie gives you crystal clear definition without compression or data loss. No waiting for a slow Wi-Fi connection or gobbling up data on your cell phone service. In fact, you can access data from your physical disk even with a total lack of Internet service.

Buying Factors

If you are looking for a Blu-Ray drive to pair with your laptop or desktop, you will want to consider some of the following features.

  • Portability: An external drive should be lightweight and travel well, particularly if you plan to take it along on trips.
  • Power: Some external drives can be powered simply by plugging a USB cable into your computer. However, some require a separate power outlet. This is a less portable and streamlined option.
  • Reading and Writing Ability: If you want to be able to store files on disks, you will want a drive that is writeable. That means that it is has the ability to burn data onto DVDs and Blu-Ray disks. A handy tip is to look for the letters “RW” in the product name or model number.
  • Read/Write Speed: The number ending in x (e.g. 6x or 10x) indicates how fast the player is. The larger the number, the faster the speed. For maximum reading and writing speed, the player should support USB 3.0 connections.
  • Noise: Some external drives can be very noisy and distracting. Most people prefer quieter operation.
  • Storage Capacity: Consider how you plan to use your external drive. Storage capacity is based on the size of the disk, not the player. However, it is helpful to know that a player with BDXL support can write to newer disks with larger capacity. BDXL format disks can hold up to 128GB, which is 5 times the normal Blu-Ray disks.
  • Bundled Software: If you plan to use your external drive to play video, you will probably want video player software that is compatible with your operating system.

Ensuring an Optimum Experience

To get the most out of your external Blu-Ray player, follow all manufacturer instructions and make sure you have set it up correctly.

  • Make sure your computer meets the required specifications. You should have a computer display capable of Blu-Ray HD.
  • In most cases, it is best to connect the external drive directly to the computer, not through a USB hub or switch.
  • If your computer is not recognizing the player, rebooting with the player connected is always a good first troubleshooting step.
  • Make sure your disks are as clean and smudge-free as possible.
  • Note that Apple computers (Mac) don’t have native software for playing Blu-Ray video. You will need to find a third party player if there isn’t one on the external drive.

Now, go on and enjoy your new Blu Ray player!