Best External Blu Ray Drive Reviews 2018

An external Blu-Ray player, at its most basic, gives a computer the ability to read optical format discs such as CD, DVD and Blu-Ray. Being writers, they also allow you to copy large amounts of data to disc – an excellent way to back up precious information. We’ve researched five top brands producing such drives and picked a great product from each to showcase, but first, let’s look at how to go about choosing one.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Writing Speed
Systems
Compatibility
Extras
Size
Our Top Choice
LG Electronics External Blu-Ray Disc Rewriter
LG is a company that can only be described as a tech giant, often creating products as good as the premium brands for significantly less cost.
Compatible with all recent versions of Windows and (after a fashion) Macs. 14x writing speed. Works with BDXL format discs. USB 3.0 connection.
Requires extra software to work on a mac.
Max 14x
Windows
USB 3.0 Interface
M-DISC Support
6.4 x 10.2 x 2“, 3.3 Pounds
Best Value
Pioneer Slim External Blu-Ray Writer
The Pioneer company is one of the most prominent media hardware-producing companies currently on the market, making high end audio and computing equipment.
Slim and sleek design. Great for travelling. Compatible with BDXL discs as well as Blu-Ray, DVD and CD.
Requires additional software for Mac compatibility.
Max 6x
Windows
USB 3.0 Interface
Clam Shell Design
5.3 x 5.3 x 0.6“, 8.2 Ounces
Buffalo Media Station Portable Blu-Ray Writer
The Buffalo company represents one of the major players on the global market regarding high-tech devices and gadgetry!
Bundled with CyberLink Media Suite software. Supports BDXL discs. Writes all optical formats – from Blu-Ray down to CD.
Although it’s compatible with all USB connections, it only runs at USB 2.0 speeds.
Max 4x
Windows
USB 2.0 Interface
Two Inbuilt USB Cables
0.8 x 5.7 x 6“, 12 Ounces
Asus External Blu-Ray Drive
Enjoying a reputation as a market leader in the department of gaming hardware and electronics in general, Asus is a strong contender in any product category.
Fast burning speed. Sleek design. USB 3.0 and 2.0 capability. Includes professional backup software.
Does not work with 4k Ultra HD discs.
Max 12x
Windows, Mac
USB 3.0 & USB 2.0 Interface
Doubled Data Security
9.6 x 2.5 x 6.5“, 2.5 Pounds
Archgon External Blu-Ray Combo
The Archgon company is a new player on the global market for high-tech devices and accessories, producing a number of computer peripherals.
Reads all formats, including BDXL. USB 3.0 interface. Plays 3D movies. Includes Cyberlink software.
Not great for scratched or damaged discs.
Max 6x
Windows, Mac
USB 3.0 & USB 2.0 Interface
Premium Aluminum Casing
5.9 x 5.4 x 0.7“, 13.9 Ounces

(Updated )
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Watch Our External Blu Ray Drive Review

How Do I Choose the Best External Blu Ray Drive?

Most people are familiar with the idea of Blu-Ray as a means to watch movies in high definition. Many people have a standard Blu-Ray player sitting near their television. If you have a capable TV, you may even own a 3D Blu-Ray player. You can replicate this capability on a laptop or any other computer with a USB socket and a reasonably new operating system, allowing you to enjoy your movie discs when you’re travelling or in your room. All you need is an external drive that reads the discs you own. Bear in mind, most Blu-Ray drives will also play DVDs and CDs, but you may need additional software to watch movies (often, drives come with copies of such software, but remember to look for it).

Beyond playing back discs, most drives are also writers. A Blu-Ray Writer's biggest strength and also selling point is its speed of writing data, as the quicker one of these devices can make a bunch of copies, the sooner you'll get your job done. In this respect, a Blu-Ray Writer is similar to such devices as a DVD duplicator, as it essentially performs the exact same function, only for Blu-Ray discs. What's more, a fair number of recently-developed models are also capable of reading and writing BDXL discs, which is the largest-capacity consumer disc available (and used for distributing UHD 4K movies).
Price
Being quite standard bits of kit these days, Blu-Ray drives are quite inexpensive. The models we've featured in our top 5 list range roughly from 70-ish to 150 bucks, depending on the features you get with each of them. The speed of writing, USB connectivity (whether it's USB 2.0, or 3.0 compatible, or both), the design of the case, and the name of the manufacturing brand are all features that stack up the price, of course, but even the most basic model can get the job done.

Just avoid excessively cheap external Blu-Ray drives as poor manufacturing and materials will result in a drive that breaks down easily and potentially damages your discs in the process.
Features
One of the most important things to keep in mind is exactly what you want from your drive so you can evade unnecessary costs. For example, if you're working on a computer with USB 2.0 interface sockets, getting a drive which supports USB 3.0 will just ramp up the price for no good reason!

Here are more important features to pay attention to when buying one of these magnificent devices:
  • Writing Speed
  • USB Interface (version 2.0 or 3.0)
  • BDXL Disc Support
  • Lightweight Design
  • The Necessary Software
  • Power Consumption
  • USB Cables
  • Back-Up Features
  • Data Security
Construction and Design
External Blu-Ray Writers are not big. Their compactness and transportability represent their biggest strengths, and most models that are being released nowadays feature sizes that aren't considerably bigger than the discs they're processing! Many models include a way to ‘store’ the connection cable within the frame of the drive itself, so you don’t risk losing its connection which transporting.

Other than that, some manufacturers have devised a clam shell-like construction, which not only looks like a blast-from-the-past Walkman type of opening system but also protects your discs and avoids the use of delicate mechanisms like the ones often seen on laptop-based optical drives.

Finally, look for a build material that fulfils multiple requirements – for example, brushed aluminum looks classy, is very lightweight, and acts as a heatsink, preventing the drive from overheating during extended use. Others may have strengthened plastic to protect the drive or even rubberized elements, which not only protect it from physical damage but reduce vibrations when reading and writing discs.
Performance and Ease of Use
A well looked-after drive will last you as long as you need it to, so take care to store the cable properly, use any carry-case that may come with it, and of course don’t drop it if at all possible! Disc drives shouldn’t need any direct maintenance, so long as they’re kept clean and treated gently.

If you buy a drive that uses USB 3.0, it will be backwards-compatible with older computers that have slower USB 2.0 or even 1.1 sockets, but be aware, this will limit transfer speeds between the drive and your computer. When writing discs, the process may take longer, and you may not be able to play UHD 4K movies over a slower connection. Equally, you can use a drive with a USB 2.0 connection in a newer USB 3.0 socket, but you won’t enjoy the speed benefits. Essentially, match the drive’s interface to your own, but err on the side of USB 3.0 is best if you have the choice.

Compatibility is worth being sure about. Most drives will work fine on every recent version of MS Windows (usually, Windows XP onwards). However, not all are as compatible with Mac systems or Linux, so if you use one of those, ensure your intended purchase will work before you commit. While we’re discussing software, remember you’ll need movie playback software in most cases to play discs. Some drives come bundled with what you need, which may also include software for creating system back-ups, so make sure you’re getting what you need.

What is the Best External Blu Ray Drive?

Hopefully, we’ve given you an idea of which features are important to you, so it’s time to look through our top five products to see if any of them fit the bill.
Our Top Choice
Coming from the world-renown LG company, this Blu-Ray Disc Rewriter is a mighty little contraption that can help you organize your disc collection quickly and effortlessly! If you happen to be in need of an Internal DVD Writer for your desktop PC, try the LG Electronics DVD Writer Drive model CU20N!
LG Electronics External Blu-Ray Disc Rewriter, Supports BDXL Discs, M-DISC Support

LG Electronics External Blu Ray Drive MAIN-99362


Features
At LG Electronics, where the two main corporate mottos are that 'Life waits for no one', and also the somewhat less ominous phrase of 'Life's good', folk are interested in one thing and one thing only - creating a bunch of high-tech contraptions that can make your life easier! Whether it's preparing a steamy meal for your family or surfing the Internet while enjoying a bug-free and fast connection, the LG company can say with an air of pride that it can supply you with whatever it is that you need from the category of technical contraptions, from dishwashers to smart TV's!

In order to make their market presence as dominant and all-encompassing as possible, the hard-working folk at LG Electronics have devised a wide range of product categories, so a person who likes their style, so to speak, would pretty much be able to equip their entire home with LG wares only! What's more, with each of the purchases you decide to make, you can count on the friendly customer support which will make sure everything runs smoothly from the moment you approved of the transaction!

The LG Electronics External Blu-Ray Disc Rewriter is a good looking contraption weighing just over 3 pounds. It can work in coordination with any recent version of Windows, and will work with a Mac if you don’t mind installing some additional software. It supports BDXL discs (128 GB capacity) and M-DISC, as well as all the standard Blu-Ray and DVD disc types. It's top writing speed is 14x BD-R, so you needn't worry about its efficiency once it gets to work! All this runs over a USB 3.0 connection, which guarantees high speeds and compatibility with any current computer hardware. As the icing on the cake, it’s even capable of playing back 3D Blu-Ray discs, as long as you have a screen with the matching technology!
Best Value
Boasting a clam shell design for robustness and security, this Pioneer disc writer is one tough little Blu-Ray Drive for a true tech-savvy connoisseur! For a couple of bucks less, you could get a Pioneer External Blu-Ray Drive Silver solution instead!
Pioneer Electronics USA Slim External Blu-Ray Writer, Clam Shell Design, USB 3.0

Pioneer External Blu-Ray Drive BDR-XD05


Features
Established way back in 1938 as a garage-based small-scale factory producing audio equipment, the Pioneer is the brain child of an avid Japanese technician called Nozomu Matsumoto. Other than having a burning passion for making all kinds of speakers and other contraptions capable of reproducing music, Nozomu had an innovator's bug in him as well, so he made sure the company continued down the path of creating its own audio devices, even when the business grew in scale.

During the course of its history, Pioneer has lived up to its name by innovating several major home electronics items, most notably: the consumer laser disc (1979), car CD player (1984), and a high-definition plasma display in 1997! Indeed, with the corporate slogan of 'Move the Heart and Touch the Soul', Pioneer is a business that makes sure it’s connected to the customer base at all times.

The Pioneer Slim External Blu-Ray Writer has garnered almost exclusively positive reviews. This sleek device features an extra slim design and a clam-like opening mechanism, enabling you easy access to your disc in a way less prone to damage than more traditional tray systems. Combined with a lightweight build, this makes it perfect for heavy travelers. It works on the USB 3.0 Interface, and it supports BDXL, as well as Blu-Ray, CD and DVD media!

Here are some other great features of this drive:
  • PureRead 2+ Features
  • Offers up to 6x Writing Speed on BD-R and BD-R Dual Layer Media
  • Reduced Power Consumption
  • Small Dimensions
  • CyberLink® Software Included
Small in size, and capable of reading and writing Blu-Rays, DVD's and CD's with equal ease, the Buffalo Media Station Portable Blu-Ray Writer is an all-in-one media solution! If you prefer a desktop-based alternative, this Buffalo Desktop BDXL Blu-Ray Writer might do the trick.
Buffalo Media Station Portable Blu-Ray Writer, Powered by USB, Portable Blu-Ray Writer

Buffalo External Blu-Ray Drive BRXL-PC6U2B


Features
If you were ever to establish your own company dedicated to the production of top tier computing and networking equipment, what sort of name for that massive entrepreneurial undertaking you would deem fit the most? If this tricky question has taken you by surprise, the folks whose mighty external Blu-Ray drive we're about to present to you had not a shadow of doubt in their minds! That's right, the company strong enough to deserve the illustrious third spot on our list goes by the name of 'Buffalo' – a ‘global manufacturer of innovative storage and networking products!’

As far as customers are concerned, Buffalo makes all kinds of high-tech solutions for two major groups: 1) individual users and 2) businesses in need of a cost-effective networking platform. It’s managed to spread far and wide on the global theater, so if you're interested in buying a Buffalo product, you can count on many different retailing hot spots worldwide, as well as on customer support in multiple languages!

Buffalo's Portable Blu-Ray Writer has the appearance of a small black box with two USB cords snugly stuck to its sides for convenience. The two cables are there for good reason, though, as this particular model is powered by USB, so the plan is to use one cable for data transfer, and the other to further boost the Writer's power supply, in order to make the whole process more efficient.

The Buffalo Portable Blu-Ray Writer has some other important features:
  • USB 2.0 Support with Integrated Cables
  • Reads and Writes Blu-Ray
  • Supports BDXL
  • Works on Cyber Link Media Suite
  • Lightweight Construction
The Asus External Blu-Ray Drive is a mighty little device with a bundle of high-tech features that can truly prop up your home hardware arsenal! If you'd like a different model, check out the Asus Direct External Blu-Ray instead!
Asus External Blu-Ray Drive, 12x Blu-Ray Burning Speed, USB 2.0, USB 3.0

Asus External Blu Ray Drive BW-12D1S-U LITE


Features
In the market for computing goods, and various other related contraptions and gadgets, Asus has been enjoying a leading role for a number of years now. This Taiwan-based electronics giant was established in 1989 with the intent of making a new breed of powerful hardware platforms, and it quickly assumed its rightful position as one of the most prominent gaming brands in the world, offering customers a wide range of new solutions at affordable prices!

The pushing force behind this mighty corporation is the list of Asus’ 5 Virtues of Humility, Integrity, Diligence, Agility and Courage. These propel this plucky company onwards, and it's been that way ever since the business was first established. If you want to learn more about their corporate policies and ideas, check out the Asus official webpage.

The Asus Blu-Ray Writer model we've chosen for this list is probably the best-looking one we reviewed, featuring a sleek black body with elegant bluish lights on the corners. It comes with a host of benefits for the user, among which you can find some professional backup software, data security and disc encryption for good measure!

Here are some other features worth taking note of:
  • Supports both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0
  • Doubled Data Security
  • Unique Diamond-Shaped Design
  • OTS Technology
  • Auto Backup Scheduler
  • 10x Transmission Speed with USB 3.0
Combining Panasonic's excellent technology and a hardcore aluminum housing, the Archgon External Blu-Ray Combo is a device definitely worth checking out! For a slightly higher price, you can also get yourself an Archgon's aPrime Blu-Ray RW SuperDrive.
Archgon External Blu-Ray Combo, Premium Aluminum Casing, Bundled Cyberlink Media Suite

Archgon External Blu Ray Drive MD-3102-U3


Features
Archgon is relatively new to the high-tech market as it was only established in 2009 in Arizona, United States. The mission statement of this company couldn't possibly be any simpler – offer customers high-quality hardware that also looks good! So far, this company has produced in a couple of areas related to computers and their periphery. For example, you can buy a number of optical drives, hard drive enclosures, and other accessories from the official website, and what's more, you can do so with ease if you're Chinese, since the entire site is translated into Mandarin. Next up for Archgon is to expand production capacities, to include such arenas as Sport, Travel, Home Care, and Fashion.

The Archgon External Blu-Ray Combo is a hardware medley of sorts, made up of a variety of ingredients with the goal of combining the best of all worlds. For example, uses Panasonic components and comes in a premium aluminum casing for best protection. Also, the design is super slim, and it could maybe fit in a pocket! (A more sizeable pocket – think cargo pants)

Other features of this drive are:
  • USB 3.0 Interface
  • Bundled Cyberlink Media Suite
  • Supports 3D
  • Comes with a BDXL Burning Technology

Get the Best External Blu Ray Drive of 2018!

These devices are well-known for their compact, travel-friendly size, fast writing speeds, and all-around convenience, which makes them a perfect tool for any kind of disc-managing task. We hope you found our reviews and our buying guide helpful. Best of luck with your purchase!

Our Top Choice
LG Electronics External Blu-Ray Disc Rewriter
Best Value
Pioneer Slim External Blu-Ray Writer
Buffalo Media Station Portable Blu-Ray Writer
Asus External Blu-Ray Drive
Archgon External Blu-Ray Combo