Last updated: 16/10/2022

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The optical drive is the device that reads and writes to a disc such as a CD, DVD or Blu-Ray. It is capable of reading these discs, writing data onto them and also playing audio CDs.

The best Optical Drive in the UK: Our selection

Optical Drive: Frequently asked questions

What types of Optical Drive are there and what determines a good product?

There are two types of Optical Drive, CD-ROM and DVD. The difference between the two is that a CD-ROM can only read CDs while a DVD drive can both read and write to DVDs as well as CDs.

The quality of the optical drive is determined by its read and write speeds. A good DVD-RW should be able to burn at 16x, while a CD-R/W should be able to burn at 48x. Of course, there are other factors that determine how well an Optical Drive performs (such as buffer size), but these two numbers will give you a rough idea about what kind of performance you can expect from it.

Who should use a Optical Drive?

Anyone who uses CDs or DVDs in their computer.

Based on what criteria should you buy a Optical Drive?

The first thing you have to ask yourself is, “How much am I willing to spend?” If the answer is a lot, then we recommend getting an internal optical drive. It will be cheaper and easier than external drives. However if your budget doesn’t allow for it or you don’t want one inside of your computer case, then go with an external Optical Drive. You can find them in all shapes sizes and colors so they should fit into any decor.

Make sure you compare the features of the Optical Drive with your needs. For example, if you are looking for an External Optical Drive to use as a backup device, make sure that it is compatible with your computer or laptop and has enough storage space for all of your important files. If you need something more advanced like a Blu-ray drive, then look out for one which can read both CDs and DVDs so that there will be no problem in playing back any kind of disc on this external optical drive.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a Optical Drive?


Optical drives are the most common and popular way to install software on a computer. They have been around for many years, so they can be found in almost any PC or laptop that you buy new today. An optical drive is also known as an “optical disc drive” (ODD) because it reads from and writes to CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs and other types of optical media like CD-ROMs or DVD+/-RWs.


The main disadvantage of an optical drive is that it takes up space inside your computer. If you have a small case, or are trying to build the smallest possible PC, then this can be a problem. Optical drives also take longer than other storage devices such as hard disks and solid state drives (SSDs) to access data from them which means they’re not ideal for applications like gaming where speed is important.

Shopping Guide: Everything you need to know

Which brands and manufacturers are represented in our review?

In our review, we present products from various manufacturers and suppliers. The list includes products from the following brands and manufacturers, among others:

  • Comter
  • ASUS
  • iAmotus

What is the price range of the featured products?

The cheapest Optical Drive in our review costs around 16 pounds and is ideal for customers who are conscious about their money. However, those who are willing to spend more money for better quality can also spend around 26 pounds for one of the more expensive products.