Best DVD ripper software 2022: DVD copying apps

best dvd ripper
(Image credit: CC)

The best DVD ripper software offers a great way to back-up copies of your favorite discs so you never need to worry about losing them. Or perhaps you want multiple copies for quick access in different places, it's all possible with these programs that make the job simple.

There can be legal issues with making copies though, and these vary based on where you live. So be sure to check the laws in your area so you're copying your CD or DVD without anything to worry about as you do. In most cases you own the disc, not the copyright, so you may be able to make a back-up and that's it.

Make sure the best home computer (opens in new tab) you're using has a DVD player (opens in new tab) or Blu-ray player capable of copying discs. If not, you can pick one up online that plugs into your computer, easily. Going Blu-ray means you can work with those discs as well as older DVDs too.

You can get free DVD ripper software but if you have a slower machine you may want to invest in paid options, which can do a lot of the grunt work, taking the load off your machine and giving you a quicker end result than a free option.

You may also want to look at the best video converter software (opens in new tab) and the best video editing software (opens in new tab), especially if you're working with your own video content.


1. WinX DVD Ripper Platinum: Best DVD ripper overall

Why you can trust Top Ten Reviews Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

WinX DVD Ripper Platinum: Best DVD ripper overall

(Image credit: WinX)
This is the best DVD ripper software overall, with loads of ripping features

Specifications

Works on: Windows, Mac
Region free?: Yes
Blu-ray ripping?: No
CD ripping?: No

Reasons to buy

+
Very fast rips
+
Loads of profiles
+
GPU-accelerates rips

Reasons to avoid

-
Free trial is useless

A GPU-accelerated ripper with the handy ability to set the number of CPU cores it uses, WinX DVD Ripper can rip your DVD to a file in around five minutes at full speed. Using it is as simple as loading the disk, selecting the output folder, and pressing the big, blue 'Run' button.

There really isn’t much more to it, and WinX DVD Ripper is one of the best DVD ripping programs for this reason. With no fiddling about selecting codecs, framerates, or audio options, this is a good way to rip a large collection of home movies quickly, especially if you have a PC equipped with up to eight cores and a modern discrete GPU. 

While it offers a free trial, this is limited to only ripping the first five minutes of non-copy-protected disks. For those who will make use of its simple, speedy workflow, upgrading to the full version should be a no-brainer.


2. Handbrake: Best free ripper

Handbrake: Best free ripper

(Image credit: Handbrake)
The top free option in DVD ripping

Specifications

Works on: Windows, Mac, Linux
Region free?: Yes
Blu-ray ripping?: No
CD ripping?: No

Reasons to buy

+
Comprehensive
+
Open-source
+
Ready-made presets

Reasons to avoid

-
Not easy to use

Handbrake is a powerful video transcoding application that can also rip unprotected DVDs. As one of the best DVD ripping programs, it stands in contrast to WinX DVD Ripper in that it has more options than just about any other video application.

If you know what you’re doing, you can use Handbrake to de-interlace, sharpen, rotate, add subtitles, remove subtitles, down-mix audio tracks, add chapter markers, fiddle with framerates, and just about anything else you can think of. Its comprehensive video quality controls allow you to manage compression so that you hit a target file size, while a vast number of presets mean you can tailor your video file for any number of devices, as well as saving your own.

Handbrake can create files in the h264 and h265 codecs, with several options on top of each of these. Once you’ve got the hang of how it works, Handbrake is one of the best DVD ripping programs, and the fact it’s completely free adds to this. The only downside is that it’s not as fast as something like WinX DVD Ripper, nor as easy to use.


3. Wondershare Uniconverter: Best for added CD ripping

Wondershare Uniconverter: Best for added CD ripping

(Image credit: Wondershare)
If you want CD ripping too, this is for you

Specifications

Works on: 64GB
Region free?: Yes
Blu-ray ripping?: No
CD ripping?: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Comprehensive suite of tools
+
GPU acceleration
+
Even contains an editor

Reasons to avoid

-
Free trial only rips 1/3

Sitting somewhere between Handbrake and WinX DVD Ripper in terms of features and complexity, Wondershare Uniconverter offers some options the other two don’t.

For example, in addition to the usual DVD ripping and video conversion, it’s also capable of transferring still images between formats, and of making animated GIFs from video clips. It can also cast your screen to a TV, acting as a media server, and record your screen activity as a video. It can rip your CDs, transfer your files to an Android smartphone, and even convert videos into a format that can be played back on VR devices.

GPU support means conversion times are fast, but other than choosing between h264, HEVC, and some lower quality legacy formats, there’s not much control over the specifics of the ripping process. This aside, it’s one of the smoothest and fastest DVD ripping programs we’ve tried, and packs a great deal of functionality into one app. A free trial is available, but is limited to only the first third of your source DVD.


4. MakeMKV: Best for added Blu-ray ripping

MakeMKV: Best for added Blu-ray ripping

(Image credit: MakeMKV)
A free Blu-ray ripper that needs a little help from Handbrake

Specifications

Works on: Windows, Mac, Linux
Region free?: Yes
Blu-ray ripping?: Yes
CD ripping?: No

Reasons to buy

+
Simple and free
+
Rips Blu-rays
+
Open-source

Reasons to avoid

-
No GPU acceleration
-
Lacks compression

Currently available for $0 as part of a public beta test, MakeMKV offers a highly streamlined ripping process that does a lot of the work for you. While there’s not much in the way of settings to fiddle with, this makes it a good choice for beginners and at least means you can whip through a number of disk rips quickly, although it doesn’t benefit from the GPU acceleration found in other apps.

The name comes from the Matroska Multimedia Container, an open container format that can hold common video formats, such as h264. Its files use the extension .mkv, and can be played by anything that can read an MP4 file. 

If you want to compress ripped files to make room on your HDD, you should combine it with Handbrake, to get this functionality.


5. Freemake Video Converter: Best for older devices

Freemake Video Converter: Best for older devices

(Image credit: Freemake)
Kinda free, and works with loads of older formats

Specifications

Works on: Windows
Region free?: Yes
Blu-ray ripping?: No
CD ripping?: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Good for beginners
+
Supports loads of devices

Reasons to avoid

-
No h265 format
-
Constantly asks for money

Another do-it-all app with a few odd omissions. Looking at Freemake’s list of target files, which takes up three times the width of the app window, you’d think you’ve got everything covered. But who, these days, needs to rip video to Blackberry or Nokia devices? 

Freemake can rip CDs too, as well as move image files between formats. But while it’s nice to be able to tailor files to Windows Media Player, PlayStations and Xboxes, we’d rather it had h265 support and working GPU acceleration - the Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti card in our test machine was invisible to the app’s digital eyes.

While it’s free to download, Freemake will embed its logo in any files you create, and it'll constantly ask you to buy extra features. Conversion settings are chosen through presets, and you’re free to create your own to tailor video files to your preferred device. After this, its a straightforward case of hitting the OK button and sitting back. Freemake is a good choice if you’re starting out with DVD ripping or have older devices you want to keep supplied with new video files, and if you’re luckier than we were with your PC’s GPU.

What makes for good DVD ripper software?

The best DVD ripper software will get your a faster end result and at a higher quality. Quality is the key to work for though as a longer wait isn't an issue if you're getting a better result. Audio in sync, for example, is a key output performance indicator that's worth paying for. Here are some other areas to consider.

Conversion
While you can go for a huge file or the highest quality, this isn't always ideal. Some systems will let you compress the file so you end up with a still great quality finish without taking up so much room. This can be done by taking out parts of the visual and audio spectrum that the human eye won't even notice. Most do this automatically with some offering manual setting for those that know what they're doing.

Ripping
A good quality finish is important but speed can be helpful especially if you're converting a lot of discs. Find a good balance to suit you and consider if you need everything, like subtitles, in order to be the most efficient.

Customization
This comes down to deciding if you want to use automatic settings, which can set bitrates to vary per scene or stay solid throughout, or go more manual picking what you want to suit the disc. It can be a case of trial and error. You may want to go for more varied bitrates in a nature documentary that's visually engaging, for example, or leave it static for a drama where lots of the imagery is the same.

Cost
There are lots of decent free options and even paid for software shouldn't cost you much more than $50. Pay and you may find you have more features to tweak and extras like editing subtitles. 

Help and support
Official sites can offer features like tutorials, upgrade offers, or a searchable knowledge base which can help you when starting out. Free versions will come as seen and you'll need to get Googling if you have any issues.

Ian has been a journalist for 20 years. He's written for magazines and websites on subjects such as video games, technology, PC hardware, popular (and unpopular) science, gardening and astronomy. In his spare time he has a pet tortoise and grows his own vegetables. He also has a passion for cameras and photography, and has written for TTR on these subjects.