Ask The Readers: Best Free Burning Software

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 11, 2008
Updated • Nov 29, 2012

I have been using Nero Burning Rom for a long time. It used to be a free giveaway with every CD or DVD burner that I bought over the years and I'm currently using version 7 something of it on my computer. Nero is a good program, really. It is just a little bit slow and comes with lots of excess that I would never need nor touch in my whole life. I know that there are dozens of free burning applications available for Windows and I thought I ask you which you do prefer and which you think is the best free burning software currently on the market.

Let me explain the functionality that I really need it to support. The software should be able to burn CDs and DVDs both in image formats like ISO or IMG but also folders and files for archiving purposes. It should be able to burn music CDs although I rarely use that feature nowadays. It would be nice if it would have one or two context menu entries that would allow me to burn images right from the context menu.

That's really all I need. Everything else would be a bonus unless it would slow down the application. A perfect application would load as fast as possible, show no splash screen and let me pick what I want to do right away. Now it's your turn, what is the best free burning software in your opinion?

Update: My favorite disc burning program is ImgBurn right now. It is a lightweight program that ships with all the functionality that I need, and then some that I do not need but may in the future. It can burn disc images right away, create audio CDs, burn Video_TS folders and a lot more.



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  1. Tzolis said on August 1, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Imgburn. Just started to test free alternatives to Nero. Small, fast AND it can burn images OTHER than .iso only… (e.g. .cue which is very popular too).
    Of course I haven’t tested them all :p

  2. shibu said on April 15, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    ashampoo has problems with long folder names

  3. Mosey said on April 14, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    @Angelo.R: Thank you for the explanation :) It really helps!

  4. Lorissa said on April 13, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    @Angelo R. – Full

  5. Roman ShaRP said on April 13, 2008 at 11:54 am

    I’m still using Nero 6. I got some other “spare” burners, but still no-one impress me to move from Nero.

  6. Angelo R said on April 12, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    @Lorissa – do you use the full version of Nero? Or the software that came with your computer/drive.

  7. Lorissa said on April 12, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Nero! As the saying goes, 150 million @/%$*&@)!( can’t be wrong!

    @/%$*&@)!( = replace with any word you deem appropriate. lol :)

  8. Angelo R said on April 12, 2008 at 4:04 am

    @Mosey – It really depends on your DVD player. Some of the “newer” ones are DivX compatible, and in those ones you can just burn .avi files to DVD and have them play. Otherwise, you’ll have to convert all of your movies/videos to DVD format, which essentially separates the audio and video into .vob files. Once you have them converted into that format, you can even burn them as data and it will still work.

  9. Bill said on April 12, 2008 at 12:10 am

    I’m like you – I just use Nero because it’s always there! I’ve tried ImgBurn, Infrarecorder,Starburn, CdBurner XP Pro, Burnaware, Deepburner, Finalburner and the only one that came close was Ashampoo.

  10. GRTerrero said on April 12, 2008 at 12:09 am

    For DVDs, I use Vista’s native Windows DVD Maker. It’s slow, but it has beautiful menus and the results are always flawless.

    For CD burning, I will use any program that will allow custom mixing of music files.

  11. Mosey said on April 11, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    Are these all softwares that can be used to burn a DVD to play in a DVD player as well?

  12. kevinn said on April 11, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    ImgBurn… full featured and easy to use.

  13. Jonathan said on April 11, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    I use BurnAware Free Edition, and I like it, and it has a nice easy to use interface.

  14. Famf said on April 11, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    Infrarecorder is great. I have had no problems with it. It can burn images, but I like IMGburn more for that.

  15. jakfolio said on April 11, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    You must try Ashampoo Burner Free Edition v6 or v7 (latest) edition with more features.

    However, IME you’ll find it hard to find an alternative to Nero Ultra Edition.

  16. George said on April 11, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    PowerLaser installation

  17. Geoff said on April 11, 2008 at 6:28 pm


  18. Bruno 'ReX' Barbieri said on April 11, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    ImgBurn, burn images and FILES.

  19. Hz said on April 11, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    I’ve been very happy using ImgBurn ( It’s fast and has a simple interface. Once installed, you can right-click on image files and start the burn right from there. And you can easily create an image from individual files for later (or immediate) burning. (Yes, I know I sound like a commercial… I swear I’m just a user of the software and not the author ;) )

  20. Angelo R said on April 11, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    I actually work at Tiger Direct, so I can say that Nero Burning Rom still comes with all our DVD/CD burners as free software.

    I, however, use a program called CD Burner XP. It’s a free download that’s very simple to operate. However, it’s primarily for cd’s and data dvd’s only.

  21. Brad Linder said on April 11, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    I’m a big fan of CDBurnerXP, but Infrarecorder is also free and offers most of the same features.

  22. Suman said on April 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    InfraRecorder(for windows!!) all the way…
    plus its open source…

  23. IcyHotStunted said on April 11, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    InfraRecorder and CDBurnerXP

    Both free for personal and commercial use. No advertisements or banners. Usual data, ISO and copying functions.

  24. MM said on April 11, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Give ImgBurn a try.

  25. tullius said on April 11, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    deepburner portable
    easy, fast and good

  26. Rarst said on April 11, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    CDBurnerXP , latest version is pretty solid (old ones were somewhat bad judging by feedback from that time) and has very clean and productive interface. I hadn’t chosen it after comparing with bunch of others and had no urges to find something better… So it’s either pretty good or simply fits my needs. :)

    >If you use Total Commander, simply install the CD/DVD Burner plugin.
    As far as I know there is one very outdated and unstable and one shareware from ComplexNT.

    Shareware file manager+shareware burning plugin is kinda overkill when person needs something freeware for basic burning tasks. :) I also doubt it works with audio.

  27. Dante said on April 11, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    You can burn files/folders directly from Windows Explorer. Just drag and drop files into the DVD/CD burner’s drive.

    As to music CD’s, you can just use the Windows Media Player. For home made movies, use Windows Movie Maker. These two comes with Windows 98, XP or Vista.

    ISO’s are a different animal. You can download the ISO burning GUI from here

    As to ripped movies, just use the free version of DVDFab.

  28. NightFlyer said on April 11, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    I use Ashampoo Burning Studio 6.6 Free Edition, tried a few others but this one is the one I settled on.

  29. StandStill said on April 11, 2008 at 3:44 pm
  30. Ojos Azules said on April 11, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Ashampoo Burning Studio Free

    IMHO, this is currently the best free burning program.

  31. Marcel said on April 11, 2008 at 2:52 pm


  32. Cagliostro said on April 11, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    FinalBurner is worth a try.
    It supports CD, DVD and Dual Layer, BlueRay, burns ISOs, etc.
    It’s also possible to convert many audio and video formats before burning.

  33. Yonatan said on April 11, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    InfraRecorder – open source, fast and easy.

  34. eRIZ said on April 11, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    If you use Total Commander, simply install the CD/DVD Burner plugin.

    The simpliest solution. ;]

  35. Zanza said on April 11, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    I use DeepBurner. Its easy, fast and portable.

  36. Malinthe said on April 11, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    I tried a program from Ashampoo, can’t remember the name though. There’s a free version and it was really good.

  37. Rajat said on April 11, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    i use star burn free edition… burn aware is also good but i prefer star burn.

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