Update, 11/7/22: Checked content for accuracy, product availability, and dead links.
What to Look for in DVD and Blu-ray Rippers/Copiers
Whether you want to make a new copy of a scratched disc, rip a Blu-ray movie to watch on your iPhone, or just backup your physical media library, there are a few things to look for in the best DVD ripping programs.
- Copy Quality: A DVD ripper that puts out a shoddy picture and distorted sound ruins the experience you intended to preserve. The best DVD and Blu-ray rippers create an exact 1:1 copy of the content on the original disc.
- Compression: There may be times when you want to compress a store-bought DVD or Blu-ray movie onto a smaller-capacity blank disc. Most writable DVDs have 4.7GB of storage capacity (DVD-5). However, commercially produced DVDs contain 8.5GB of data (DVD-9). The same concept applies to Blu-rays. So, pay attention to the storage capacity of your blank discs and the compression capabilities of the software you buy.
- Customization: Good DVD ripper or copier software gives you the ability to discard things like special features, trailers, foreign language audio, and more. The best programs enable you to build custom discs with everything you want and nothing you don’t.
- Conversion: The best DVD rippers liberate your movies from their plastic prisons, so you can watch them on your smartphone, laptop, tablet, or any other device you choose. They convert content into formats like MP4, WMV, MOV, or MKV (among others) and optimize files for playback on specific devices.
- Archiving: One of the most useful things about DVD and Blu-ray copying software is the ability to copy a disc’s ISO disc image onto your hard drive. Once a disc image is on your computer, you can play it with any media player or use it to burn new discs.
- Free Trial: If you can’t try out a ripper program before buying it, you’re likely to get ripped off. Fortunately, all the programs in this article have a month-long free trial period.
Best Overall: Leawo Prof. Media 11
- ✓ Can buy the whole suite or a la carte tools
- ✓ Compresses Blu-ray content to fit onto DVDs
- ✓ Supports custom disc builds
- ✗ Buying modules piecemeal gets pricey
- ✗ No option to copy disc image to hard drive
Leawo Prof. Media 11 (sometimes marketed as Leawo Total Media Converter) has nearly everything we look for in this category. That’s because it’s more than a simple Blu-ray ripper—it’s a digital media toolbox that has modules for everything from disc copiers and creators to file converters and online video downloaders. Plus, you don’t have to get the whole suite—you can buy what you need and each of its 11 modules comes with its own 31-day free trial.
Prof. Media’s disc ripping and copying tools are hard to beat. The DVD and Blu-ray copy modules enable you to make exact 1:1 copies of your discs, compress content to fit onto smaller-capacity blanks, and even shrink down Blu-ray movies to fit onto a DVD. No other product featured in this article has that ability.
You can convert your movies into common video formats like MP4, MOV, MKV, FLV, VOB, or WMV. The software also has a healthy number of device optimization profiles, including products from Apple, Sony, Samsung, HTC, Motorola, and LG. The Blu-ray Creator and DVD Creator modules allow you to build your own custom discs with any content on your computer, making it an even more helpful tool for the digital content creator.
The one thing Prof. Media lacks is the ability to save a DVD or Blu-ray disc image to your computer. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a digital media program that does everything, it’s hard to go wrong with Leawo Prof. Media 11.
Leawo Prof. Media 11
Leawo Prof. Media 11 is a comprehensive digital media suite that’s perfect for anything you want to do with your optical discs.
Best for Archiving: DVD-Cloner
- ✓ Makes 1:1 copies of your DVDs and Blu-rays
- ✓ Shrinks content to fit onto smaller-capacity discs
- ✓ Saves disc images to your hard drive
- ✗ Only rips to MKV format
- ✗ Limited Blu-ray tools
As its name suggests, DVD-Cloner focuses on making physical copies of your DVDs. You can start the copy process in as little as three clicks. It has options to make an exact 1:1 copy of a DVD-9, compress a DVD-9 onto a DVD-5, create a movie-only copy of a DVD-9 onto a DVD-5, split the content of a DVD-9 onto two or more DVD-5s, and create a custom copy. That might seem a bit much for just one screen, but once you’ve been through the process, you’ll appreciate how DVD-Cloner made something complex into something intuitive, understandable, and fast.
DVD-Cloner has some Blu-ray functionality, but it’s not as robust as its DVD tools. It only allows you to make movie-only copies of a Blu-ray Disc. If you want more enhanced Blu-ray tools, you’ll have to check out its sister product, Blue-Cloner.
One of the most attractive things about DVD-Cloner is its ability to extract a disc’s ISO disc image easily. It’s an invaluable tool for protecting your physical media library. Backing up your optical media collection not only means you can restore them if they’re ever lost, damaged, or stolen, but also that you can play them without needing an optical drive at all. Just fire up your favorite media player software, load the image, press play, and you’ll never have to crack those jewel cases again.
However, because DVD-Cloner is so focused on copying physical media, it’s not a surprise that it doesn’t have much in the way of converting your movies to various file formats. You can only convert content into an MKV file. And while this is good as far as it goes, it doesn’t go very far to begin with.
DVD-Cloner offers a fast and easy way to copy your DVDs onto new discs and save disc images to your hard drive.
Best Device Optimizer: WinX DVD Ripper
- ✓ Comprehensive conversion profile selection.
- ✓ Features GPU acceleration for faster rips
- ✓ Fantastic editing tools
- ✗ No Blu-ray functionality
- ✗ No disc burning tools
WinX DVD Ripper has a ton of great features that allow you to watch your movies and TV shows on whatever device you want. Chief among them is its extensive library of preprogrammed device output profiles, with more than 300 options to choose from. They include Apple, Android, Microsoft, Sony, BlackBerry, Nokia, Samsung, Panasonic, LG, and more. And it’s not just devices; you can optimize your custom rip for uploads to Facebook and YouTube, and prep them for video editing software like Final Cut Pro and iMovie.
Another great feature found in WinX DVD Ripper is GPU acceleration, which means it can use your computer’s graphics card to speed up the conversion and ripping process. So if you’re in a hurry and don’t mind taxing your system a bit, this will come in handy. Additionally, this program gives you the ability to edit your videos before you convert them. This is great if you want to rip a single scene from a movie, or zoom in on a particular bit of the frame.
As you might have guessed from the name, DVD Ripper doesn’t do Blu-ray content. It doesn’t have any DVD burning capabilities either, although you can grab a DVD’s disc image to use in a player or make a new copy with a burning program.
WinX DVD Ripper
WinX DVD Ripper has more than 300 conversion profiles to tailor your movies for the devices you’ll be watching them on.
Best Budget: Aimersoft DVD Ripper
- ✓ Clean and simple interface
- ✓ Converts to all common formats
- ✗ Doesn't work with Blu-ray
- ✗ Won't rip disc image
Aimersoft DVD Ripper has nearly all the DVD ripping tools we’ve mentioned in applications above, but they’re a bit scaled back. That’s good because it also makes it less expensive than those options. It has a clean, simple, and handsome interface that even the least tech-savvy user can operate without issue.
The software loads up discs quickly, has a decent selection of output profiles, offers modest editing abilities, and can even burn new copies of your discs with ease. The only two things we look for in this category that Aimersoft DVD Ripper lacks are the ability to save a disc image to your computer and Blu-ray compatibility. So if all you want to do is digitize your DVD collection for a low price, Aimersoft is an excellent choice.
Aimersoft DVD Ripper
Aimersoft DVD Ripper offers all the ripping and conversion tools you need for a fair price.
Best Freeware: MakeMKV
- ✓ Simple to use
- ✓ It's free!
- ✗ Limited toolset
- ✗ Ugly interface
If free is the price you’re willing to pay for ripping software, then MakeMKV is the program you’re looking for. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll get what you pay for, which isn’t much. The only thing it does is make MKV video files of the content on your DVDs and Blu-ray Discs. You get no compression, no conversion profiles, no editing, and no burning. This is fine if you have the technical know-how to do all that other stuff on your own or already have other applications that do all that stuff. If you don’t, it may be worth the money to get a program that can do all of that for you.
While MakeMKV is a free program, it requires a new beta key every month. You can find it here. The developers claim they will charge a fee someday, but for now, it is free so long as you keep up with the monthly beta keys.
If all you want is a video file of your DVD or Blu-ray movie, MakeMKV is what you need for just the right price.