The Best DVD Copy Software
We have researched, compared, tested, rated and ranked the best DVD copy software for 15 years. In that time we’ve considered dozens of programs, spent hundreds of hours testing products, created hundreds of new discs and examined the quality of the copy. DVD Cloner has topped our rankings for more than a decade, and for good reason. It has every tool and feature we look for in the best DVD copy software, including two copy modes: Express and Expert. Express allows you to start the copy process with minimal effort, while Expert gives you all the customization tools to get the exact copy you want.
This software is our top pick because its unique design allows you to either start copying a DVD right away or dig in to customize your new disc. And anyone with a computer can learn to use this software.
It certainly isn’t the cheapest, but it is the most modern and intuitive. It produces exact DVD copies easily and offers several customization options. Plus, its compressed copies have minimal quality loss.
DVD Cloner for Mac
It’s no surprise that the best solution for Apple users is the same as for Windows. DVD Cloner for Mac is easy to learn and use, and it yields high-quality results.
|Product||Price||Overall Rating||Copy Tools||Output||Customization||Help & Support||Identical Uncompressed Copy||Create NTSC Disc||Compressed Copy Quality||Create PAL Disc||Compress DVD-9 to DVD-5||Time to Complete Uncompressed Copy (minutes)||CSS Decryption||Burn DVD Folder to Disc||Ease of Use||Copy ISO to Hard Drive||Time to Complete Compressed Copy (minutes)||Copy Video_TS Folder to Hard Drive||Copy From ISO File||Split Disc||Convert DVD to Video File||Select Content to Copy||Region Code Removal||Merge Separate Discs||Live Chat||Tutorials||FAQ or Knowledgebase|
|DVD Cloner 2017||View Deal||5/5||9.9||10||10||10||✓||✓||A||✓||✓||45||Integrated||✓||97%||✓||40||✓||✓||✓||$||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|DVDFab 10||View Deal||5/5||9.8||10||10||10||✓||✓||A||✓||✓||45||Integrated||✓||92%||✓||40||✓||✓||✓||$||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|123 Copy DVD Gold||View Deal||4/5||7.5||8.3||8.9||10||✓||✓||C||✓||✓||85||Plug-in||90%||✓||30||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Xilisoft DVD Copy 2||View Deal||4/5||10||9.3||4.5||7.5||✓||✓||A-||✓||✓||40||Integrated||✓||98%||✓||40||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Tipard DVD Cloner||View Deal||4/5||10||7||4.5||7.5||✓||✓||D-||✓||✓||45||Integrated||✓||95%||✓||25||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Aimersoft DVD Copy||View Deal||3.5/5||8.7||9.2||2.2||10||✓||✓||B||✓||✓||55||Integrated||✓||93%||✓||55||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|1Step DVD Copy||View Deal||3.5/5||7.9||8.3||4.5||7.5||✓||✓||C||✓||✓||45||Plug-in||✓||93%||30||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Magic DVD Copier||View Deal||3.5/5||8.3||7.5||4.5||5||✓||✓||D||✓||✓||40||Integrated||96%||✓||30||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|WinX DVD Copy Pro||View Deal||3/5||8.8||4.5||4.5||7.5||✓||✓||N/A||✓||45||Integrated||✓||100%||✓||N/A||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|1Click DVD Copy||View Deal||3/5||6.8||10||7.5||✓||✓||A||✓||✓||55||Plug-in||✓||91%||35||✓||✓|
For years, DVD Cloner has been our top pick for DVD copy software. It’s versatile, easy to use and yields high-quality copies of the original content.
This application allows you to make a perfect 1:1 copy, compress a DVD 9 onto a DVD 5, pick and choose the aspects of a commercial DVD you wish to copy onto a new disc, and more.
It’s also remarkably easy to use. DVD Cloner has two main interface modes, Expert and Express. The former allows you to dig deeply into the application’s potential, and the latter is a wizard-style sequence that walks you through the entire process of ripping, copying and burning a DVD movie. The interface is completely intuitive, but it also has powerful controls that allow you to customize your copy.
DVD Cloner has consistently performed excellently in our quality, time and ease of use tests. Results are almost always crystal-clear and perfect matches of their source discs, and the program rarely produces an unplayable or unwatchable disc.
You can also use it to merge several DVDs onto a single Blu-ray disc. This is an excellent option if you’re upgrading your physical media library or simply trying to consolidate the space it takes to store optical media discs.
This software can also convert your movies and TV shows into standalone files. This is a great feature because it lets you watch your content on nearly any media player, and content can be synced to your multimedia devices easily.
This may not be the least expensive DVD copy program, but it provides the biggest bang for your buck.
Its well-designed, intuitive interface is the most modern of the programs we reviewed. DVDFab does a great job keeping the program updated so that it’s compatible with your current operating system – something that isn’t guaranteed with other applications.
But it’s the multiple copy tools that make this program such a bargain. You can make an exact copy of a disc, make a movie-only copy or split the content onto several new discs. This program also allows you to back up your DVDs to a hard drive. This is great because you can use the copied files to burn a new copy of a disc without needing the original.
In our quality tests, DVDFab earned high marks. Exact copies were indistinguishable from the original, and compressed copies had minimal artifact and other imperfections.
The downside is that it might be intimidating to beginners. Learning everything and using it to its fullest potential might require a few times through the process. However, if you’re willing to take the time, you can master the program with help from tutorials and other resources from DVDFab’s website.
Best for Mac
DVD Cloner for Mac
The best DVD copy option for Mac is the sibling of the best Windows pick.
DVD Cloner for Mac provides the same easy-to-understand workflow, customization options and backup tools as its PC counterpart. Its Expert and Express modes allow you to choose whether you want to make a copy in just a few clicks or take a little more time to create a personalized disc.
You don’t have to splurge on the more expensive DVD-9 (or DVD-DL) blank discs; you can compress a commercial disc to fit onto the cheaper DVD-5 discs. You’ll notice some quality loss when you choose this option, but DVD Copy for Mac keeps that to a minimum. If you want to retain as much quality as possible, you can make a movie-only copy of a disc that will require less compression.
This is also the fastest Mac DVD copy software we reviewed. It takes about 40 minutes to make an exact 1:1 copy of a commercial disc. When we compressed the copy, it took about 45 minutes. The program can save a disc’s image (ISO file) to your hard drive, so you can make new copies without using the original.
You will need an external DVD burner if you want to use this software on a newer Mac, since they no longer come with an internal optical drive.
Best Quality Copy
Every program we reviewed can make a perfect 1:1 copy of a DVD. However, several contain the ability to compress a movie found on a commercial DVD-9 onto the smaller-capacity blank DVD-5.
This necessarily reduces the quality of the original movie. 1Click DVD Copy, along with our top pick, create the best quality compressed copy.
Additionally, this DVD copy software is very easy to use. Like its name suggests, you can start the copy process in as little as one click. The interface is one of the simplest of all the programs we reviewed. However, it’s missing several of the features we look for. Such as the ability to customize new discs as well saving a disc image or TS folder to your hard drive.
Easiest to Use
While its interface is antiquated, 1Step DVD Copy is the easiest-to-use DVD copy software we tested and reviewed.
All its features and tools are available from the main window of the interface. You have the ability to choose to clone a DVD directly, copy DVD files to your hard drive, burn a new disc from a saved DVD folder and convert DVD videos into digital files you can watch without a physical player. Anyone can use this software to its fullest potential, even those with limited computer skills.
This simplicity does come with some tradeoffs. Unlike the best programs we reviewed, 1Step DVD Copy cannot copy a disc’s image (ISO file) onto your computer for archiving or backup purposes. Additionally, the quality of compressed copies leaves much to be desired.
Why Trust Us?
We have reviewed this category for 15 years. In that time our reviewers and video experts have spent hundreds of man hours copying discs, customizing content, watching newly burned discs, and comparing results with other copies from other programs and with the original. We’ve used dozens of DVD copy programs and made hundreds of copies. We are intimately familiar with the software’s abilities, performance and drawbacks.
How We Tested
During our evaluation of DVD copy software, we subjected each product on our lineup to a series of tests.
We made at least two new copies of our test disc with each program we reviewed, one compressed and one uncompressed. Our video experts then examined each copy and compared it against the original, searching for quality loss such as compression artifact, pixelation and distortion.
We found that all the products on our list can make an identical copy of a DVD if they are uncompressed and burned onto a blank DVD-9. There were no exceptions to this. If you want a perfect copy of a DVD movie, bonus features and all, you can choose any of the products in our lineup to get it.
However, when we evaluated the quality of compressed discs, we found wide variations among the software. They all had noticeable quality loss, but some were much worse than others. Our video experts compared the compressed discs against each other and the original disc, and gave each program a letter grade (A-F) depending on the quality of the video.
When we tested the DVD copy programs, we timed how long each took to complete a full copy of our test disc, both compressed and uncompressed. These copies had everything contained on the disc, including a full-length feature film, menus, audio tracks and all other bonus features.
We found that the average time to make an exact copy of our test disc to a blank DVD-9 is a little less than an hour. Some products take as little 40 minutes on the low end and nearly an hour and a half on the high end. If you have a single disc you want to copy, these variations don't matter much. However, if you have a large DVD library you want to back up, even a few minutes can make a huge difference in the time you must dedicate to the task.
Making a compressed copy takes considerably less time than an uncompressed copy. With one exception, the products in our lineup took about half an hour to compress the contents on our test disc and burn them onto a DVD-5.
Many of the programs in our lineup have very similar interfaces. We evaluated how easy it is to access and use the common features of each product. We documented how many clicks it takes to begin a conversion, load an ISO file and access each application's customization tools. We also tracked how many times the programs crashed during testing and how many unusable discs they created.
Things to Consider When Choosing DVD Copy Software
There are a few things you should understand and features you should look for when shopping for the best DVD copy software.
Every DVD contains what is known as an ISO file (or ISO image). These files are essentially the blueprints for a disc. They contain everything a DVD drive needs to recognize and play a disc on a computer or a television. DVD copy software scans this file, copies it onto your hard drive and then burns it onto a new disc. This creates an exact copy of the original disc, complete with the movie, menus, audio tracks and bonus materials.
Before a DVD copy program can make a new disc, it must bypass the copy encryptions found on almost all DVDs sold by major entertainment companies. These protections are intended to stop illegal piracy. The best DVD copy software circumvents these encryptions so you can back up, archive and make personal copies of the movies and TV shows you've already paid for.
There are two types of blank discs you can copy your DVDs to: DVD-9 and DVD-5. DVD-9s have about 9GB of storage space and DVD-5s have about 5GB. This is important because nearly all commercial DVD movies are sold on DVD-9s, and the most common and less expensive blank discs are DVD-5s. The best DVD copy software allows you to compress the content on a DVD-9 to fit onto a blank DVD-5.
Keep in mind that if you compress your DVD copy, you'll notice significant quality loss on the new disc. This is the nature of video compression, and even the best DVD copy software can't get around it. This includes pixelation, compression artifact and motion blur. If you want an exact copy of a disc, you should purchase and use the more expensive blank DVD-9s, which will yield a copy with no quality loss whatsoever.
An alternative to compressing your DVD movies onto smaller discs is to create custom copies that require little to no compression. Most of the DVD copiers in our review allow you to copy just the main feature on a disc and leave off extras like menus, alternate audio tracks and bonus materials. In most cases, the main feature from a commercial disc will fit onto a DVD-5 with no compression. The best DVD copy software allows you to pick which tracks and content make it onto your new disc.
One other way to avoid quality loss due to compression is to split the content from a DVD-9 onto two DVD-5s, with the main feature on one disc and everything else on the other. The best products in our lineup have this feature among their main tools.
Another important attribute for any DVD copy program is the ability to save the disc's ISO file onto your hard drive. If you're using these programs for archiving purposes or have a large DVD library, this is a must-have tool. When you save an ISO file, you're essentially saving a virtual DVD onto your hard drive. These files act the exact same way as physical discs. You can play them through DVD player software and even burn new copies without the original disc on hand.
A great way to back up your DVD library is to get an external hard drive and back up each disc's ISO file. You'll never have to worry about a disc being lost, damaged or broken, because you'll always have that backup ISO file to make a new copy. The best DVD copy programs allow you to load an ISO into the interface and burn a new copy the same way you would if you had the original disc.
You can expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $60 for DVD copy software. But keep in mind that the more expensive software isn’t necessarily better. For example, our top choice costs $60, which is the same price for programs that are missing several of the tools we look for in this category. Make sure the program you buy has all the features you need, so you get the most for your money.
Is it Legal to Copy a DVD for Personal Use?
Ripping, duplicating and copying DVDs is a tricky legal issue, even if it’s for personal use. The short answer is that you can probably get away with it, but there are some things you should know. Starting with the law.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) forbids anyone from bypassing digital rights management technologies found on most commercial DVDs and Blu-ray discs. This effectively makes it impossible to rip, copy or convert any media that contains copy protections, encryptions or similar guards without running afoul of the DMCA.
Title I of the DMCA rather definitively states, “No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.” It also prohibits anyone from making or distributing a product or service that circumvents protected content.
The title empowers the Librarian of Congress to issue exceptions to the anti-circumvention rule, and exceptions have been made for copying obsolete computer software, “jailbreaking” smartphones and using clips from movies for commentary and criticism. However, the Library of Congress has not made an exception for circumventing Digital Rights Management, or DRM, even for personal use.
Ripping, Copying and Circumvention
You’ve likely seen the warnings repeatedly that copying or ripping a DVD or Blu-ray disc is illegal. However, while circumventing DRM protections isn’t allowed, ripping and copying haven’t been specifically forbidden. What are the important differences between these concepts?
Ripping is the act of transferring files found on physical media, such as an optical disc, to a computer. This act is not technically illegal because it can apply to ripping homemade DVDs. Copying or duplicating home-produced DVDs or Blu-ray discs is likewise legal, so long as the user owns the copyright to the content found on the disc. But what about ripping movies and shows you didn’t produce?
There have been several statements and rulings made by government officials and courts both in the U.S. and the U.K. that affirm the legality of ripping even copyrighted works. In 2012 Congressman Darrell Issa participated in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) event on Reddit. During the session, he was challenged about the legality of ripping legally acquired DVDs and Blu-ray discs.
“You can in fact make personal copies for your own use. A good example would be ripping a DVD so you can play it on your iPad. That use is not prohibited. The MPAA always takes the view that your rights are limited, but for non-commercial use, making a digital copy like you suggest is a-okay,” Issa said.
This statement appears to be in conflict with the rules set forth by both the DMCA and the Librarian of Congress. However, Congressman Issa only mentions ripping copyrighted material; he says nothing about circumventing the copy protections. It was a partial dodge of the question. The asker followed up his question with a request for clarification about circumvention – a request that was ignored by Congressman Issa.
In 2014, a U.K. court legalized making personal copies of legally acquired media for private use. However, this ruling does not touch on the subject of DRM. While Britons may duplicate copyrighted works for noncommercial use, circumvention of DRM protections remains illegal.
Prosecutions and Lawsuits
Despite the efforts of the above-mentioned institutions and individuals, circumventing copy protections remains against the law in the United States, the United Kingdom and most western nations.
Large-scale content creators, such as movie studios, use the anti-circumvention clauses in the DMCA to target software manufacturers that produce applications that circumvent DRM encryptions such as the Content Scramble System (CSS) for DVDs and the Advanced Access Content System (AACS) for Blu-ray discs.
A recent case brought by Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator (AACS LA) against the software manufacturer of DVDFab, resulted in the company’s U.S. based domains, such as DVDFab.com, being seized by the U.S. government and their affiliate program ordered to be halted. Representatives of Fengato Software (the maker of DVDFab) didn’t show up to the hearing that resulted in the injunction against them.
While it is illegal for an individual to use ripping or copying software to bypass DRM, there have been no notable cases of copyright holders pursuing legal actions against individual users, nor has there been any action taken against publishers who review or otherwise cover products that circumvent DRM. It appears that the manufacturers of the software bear almost all the liability for the illegal use of their products.
What Is CSS?
Content Scramble System, or CSS, is the encryption method that protects discs from piracy. Unlike the protection encryption for Blu-ray (AASC), CSS is no longer being updated to keep up with codebreakers like those found in the programs we reviewed. As such, all these programs can easily decrypt discs so you can make backup copies of the movies and TV shows you have bought and paid for.