Editor’s Note: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) forbids circumventing copy encryptions contained on commercial discs. The DMCA makes no exceptions for circumventing these encryptions for personal use. Top Ten Reviews does not endorse piracy or any other illegal activity.
You’ve made a big investment in your DVD library over the years. DVD copy software helps you to protect it by enabling you to create exact copies of your movies. So when a DVD become scratched, broken or lost, you’ll have a backup copy ready to go and you won’t have to buy the title again. It’s also helpful when you have an alternate DVD player in a place where discs are prone to damages such as in a vehicle or in a children’s playroom. You can use the duplicates in those locations without worrying about damaging the original.
We evaluated the best DVD copy software available on the market. At the end of our assessment, DVD Cloner, 123 Copy DVD Gold and 1Click DVD Copy earned the award-winning slots in our side-by-side comparison. We also have a collection of informative articles about DVD copy software to help you make an informed decision.
The best DVD copy software can do more than make copies of movies. The application should also enable you rip files from a disc and store them on your hard drive. It should also allow you to select what content you want on the new disc. For example, you should be able to copy only the main movie and leave out things like bonus features and trailers.
Below are the criteria we used to evaluate the best DVD copy software.
If you're looking for Mac-compatible software, see our reviews of Mac DVD copy software.
The first thing you should know about a DVD cloner application is whether it will be able to copy your discs. Commercial DVDs are usually encrypted to guard against piracy. The best programs will be able to remove this protection. Some come with this feature while others require you to download it separately. Some don’t have this ability at all. Those applications are limited to duplicating non-commercial discs.
The next thing to consider is how long it will take you to make a new disc. The best DVD copiers can rip a feature-length movie and burn a new copy in a half hour or less. Others can perform the same task in less than 60 minutes.
Another feature to consider is if you’ll be able to customize your new disc. The best programs will offer the ability to copy only the movie from a commercial DVD while leaving out extra features. Additionally, you should know if the software has the ability to compress a DVD 9 – a standard commercial disc – onto a DVD 5, which is the type of blank disc normally found in retail stores.
Another element you should look for is the type of media and formats the application can work with. The software should be able to burn content to a variety of blank disc types, including Blu-ray, DVD+/-RW, DVD+/-R DL, DVD+/-R and even CDs. You should also look for a program that can burn other types of media such as home movies, slide shows, data files, video files and other video entertainment.
Some DVD cloners have the ability to convert copied DVD files into different formats. With the growing popularity of portable devices such as smartphones and tablets, DVD converting software is in higher demand. The most common DVD conversion formats include DVD to AVI, DVD to MPEG, DVD to PSP, DVD to WMV and DVD to 3GP. The best DVD converting software can convert DVDs into numerous formats, or just make identical copies.
Quality of Copy
DVD cloner applications are sometimes referred to as DVD ripping software. Essentially, a DVD ripper copies a DVD to your hard drive for viewing, storing, converting or burning. The best DVD rippers make perfect 1:1 copies without losing quality. Most DVD rippers also support advanced functions such as selective copying, compression and decryption.
Having an application that constantly stops responding and freezes up is nothing but a headache. We looked at how the products respond to various encrypted discs. The best applications will continue working and display error messages explaining the issue. These applications are easy to work with and prevent frustrations.
Ease of Use
Software that does everything is worthless if it isn't easy to use. When looking at the applications, we checked how intuitive the interface is as well as how many steps there are to copy your movie from the disc to another location.
Ease of Installation
When testing the products, we wanted to make sure that you wouldn't have any problems installing them. We looked at the various ways to receive the application, whether through a download or on a disc, and how easy it is to get the program up and running.
DVD copy software fulfills a wide range of needs, from DVD ripping to DVD burning. Because of the easy-to-use software available, anyone from professional videographers to families documenting a family reunion can film, rip and make copies for everyone.