You can buy three basic types of optical storage for a PC: CD, DVD and Blu-ray™. Read-only drives allow the reading of data from compatible discs. ASUS® external DVD drives connect to the computer via USB. Use them to watch movies or access stored data. External CD drives hold audio files and additional data like album covers and track information. Although some software still comes on CD, DVD has become the industry standard for distributing physical copies of games and programs.
Blu-ray discs can hold up to 25GB of data, and dual-layer Blu-ray discs hold twice the amount, compared to the 4.7GB or 9.4GB capacity of a DVD. An HD movie is around 4GB in size, whereas a 4K movie can be as large as 100GB, and requires at least a triple-layer Blu-ray disc to hold the data. DVDs have a standard 1x data transfer rate of 11Mbps. Blu-ray offers speeds of 36Mbps. DVD has 480p screen resolution and Digital True Surround audio capabilities, while Blu-ray provides 1080p HD picture with 7.1 uncompressed surround sound audio. Blu-ray may also include interactive Java scripts.
Whether you're burning movies to disc, creating CDs for use in the car or using optical discs as a method of remote backup, you'll need a CD, DVD or Blu-ray burner. If you intend to reuse the discs, ensure that you choose ASUS external DVD drives capable of rewriting (RW) and not just creating a single recording (R). If you're running frequent data backups, reusing discs can save you a lot of money. You should be able to reuse a CD-RW, for example, approximately 1,000 times before there is a chance of data loss. Check all features before selecting an item, as all CD-DVD Blu-Ray burners and media are not the same.
If you are using CD DVD and Blu-ray drives for regular backups, drive speed matters. The interface type between PC and the drive directly affects data transfer speed. A USB 3.0 external blu-ray drive is theoretically ten times faster than that of a USB 2.0 connection, but this won't make any difference if your computer has 2.0 ports. Check what interface is currently available from your computer. If you're considering upgrading, ensure that your system is compatible with a new USB 3.0 card before buying. USB 3.0 CD, DVD and Blu-ray drives are backward-compatible, but you won't gain the speed advantage of the modern interface standard.
You can use ASUS Blu-ray drives to read and write data from your computer or to burn Blu-ray discs. External drives are portable, and slim models offer even greater portability and mobility. Various designs ensure that you can find a model to match the aesthetics of your desktop. Make sure that you buy a drive that is compatible with your system, be it Windows or Mac.