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.
DVD Cloner is DVD burning software that earned the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for DVD burning software due to its simplicity, robust feature set and high-quality results.
This DVD burner application gives you the ability to compress a commercial disc so it fits on a blank disc that has limited storage capacity. The software also lets you pick and choose what content you want to transfer to a new disc and combine several DVD movies onto a single Blu-ray disc. All of these features are easy and accessible to even the first-time user of the application.
DVD Cloner has two separate modules. The default mode is Express, which allows you to burn a copy of the main movie found on any DVD onto a new disc with a single click. All you have to do is put the disc of the movie you want to copy in your optical drive and click Start. In less than half an hour you’ll have a compressed copy of the main movie. This option strips away all the extra content found on commercial discs, like menus and special features, and leaves you with just the main movie on a disc that will work in almost any player.
If you want to keep the special features and menus or make a copy that is not compressed, you’ll have to switch over into Expert mode. Despite its name, it is just as easy to use as Express mode – you just get more options. You can of course choose to make a movie-only copy, but you also have the option to pick and choose which content you want to make the trip from the original disc to the new one.
Expert mode is where you will find the option to make an exact 1:1 copy of your DVD movie. Since most commercial DVDs won’t fit on smaller blank discs, this option requires that you have the more expensive DVD-9 (or DVD-DL) discs. If you want to make a copy of a commercial disc without these more expensive blanks, you can split the copy onto two separate smaller discs, with the main movie on one DVD and the extra features on the other.
You don’t necessarily need the original disc of a movie to make a copy with DVD Cloner. If you have a disc image (ISO file) stored on your hard drive all you need to do is insert a blank disc into your optical drive, select the Copy Movie From Hard Disk option found in Expert mode, select the ISO file from your hard drive and click Start. In less than 15 minutes DVD Cloner will create a new disc from the file on your computer. This is a great feature for those users who like to keep everything backed up on a hard drive rather than a physical disc.
A new feature found in this version of DVD Cloner is the ability to compile several DVD movies onto a blank Blu-ray disc. This feature is of course reliant upon your ability to burn Blu-ray discs. It is especially useful if you have a large library of DVDs that you want to back up onto Blu-ray discs, which have higher storage capacity. A good example of the usefulness of this feature is that it could allow you to create an anthology disc of all the original Star Trek movies on DVD into a single Blu-ray. This not only will protect your movies against damage, loss or obsolesce, but it will also enable you to binge watch those films without having to change out the disc every two hours.
The chief obstacle to copying any commercial DVD is the fact that the vast majority of them contain some kind of copy protection or encryption. DVD Cloner comes equipped with decryption algorithms that have the ability to bypass common protection encryptions such as CSS and region coding. It should be noted that the application also comes with a warning against illegal piracy on its About section.
DVD Cloner also comes with some other free software that performs similar functions. Stream Cloner Lite and Open DVD Ripper Lite 3 are available for download from within DVD Cloner’s interface. Stream Cloner enables you to capture and save some streaming content from the internet, and Open DVD Ripper Lite 3 allows you to convert movies from your discs into a file format that is playable on your computer. These applications are useful, but they lack the robust feature sets of their upgraded counterparts.
The 1:1 copy options found in DVD Cloner yield results that are indistinguishable from the original disc. The compressed options are markedly reduced in quality, but this should be expected when compressing any video file from its original form. That said, the compressed videos are still crisp, clear and watchable.
DVD Cloner is among the most stable DVD burning software that we reviewed. In our tests, we burned several DVDs and the application never dragged or crashed.
Both Express and Expert modes are exceptionally intuitive for any user. You are never more than a few mouse clicks away from the start of a disc burn. All the features are easy to find, well labeled and reliable.
There is no guesswork when it comes to installing DVD Cloner. All you have to do is download the program from the website or put the installation disc in your optical drive. The install wizard takes it from there and completes installation in less than three minutes.
With a robust feature set, powerful decryption tools and high-quality results, DVD Cloner easily retains its spot at the top of our review of the best DVD burner software. The fact that it is so easy to learn and use makes it that much easier to recommend.
This software burns first-class copies.
The tools found in the bonus applications leave much to be desired.
This DVD burner software is the easiest of any product we reviewed.