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Nero used to be one of the best and most popular pieces of software for burning CDs or DVDs. But it’s expensive and bulky. Moreover, it’s bloated with features you don’t really need. You probably won’t have to spend money on a CD/DVD burning tool at all!
Why not try a freeware CD/DVD burning application? It might be all you need. Here we have compiled five alternatives to Nero Burning ROM for your Windows PC.
This is my Nero alternative. I use it partly because InfraRecorder offers a straightforward interface and mostly because it’s open source. On top of that, it includes everything you would expect in a CD/DVD burning suite — and more.
Some highlights from this Nero alternative include:
- support for Multi-Session
- very light on resources
- support for not just ISO, but also BIN and CUE images
- burning on Dual Layer DVDs is supported
- rewritable disc support
- open source
I used to use ImgBurn. It’s a lightweight CD/DVD HD-DVD/Blu-ray burning application that you can install both on Windows and Linux PCs. It’s the most fully-featured burning program out of all competitors. If you’re looking for something advanced and with lots of features ImgBurn is the best candidate.
Beware, though! The ImgBurn installer comes with Potentially Unwanted Programs (how to remove PUPs). You can choose to not install these, but you must specifically opt out.
- Can create ISO files of pretty much anything.
- Most feature-rich burning client around.
- Great looking user interface.
- Lightweight installation footprint.
Despite its name, CDBurnerXP works on all versions of Windows. It perennially ranks among the most popular burning clients on account of its simplicity, feature-set, and lightweight footprint.
Here’s a highlight of the features available in CDBurnerXP:
- multi-language interface
- support for Blu-Ray/HD DVD
- BIN to ISO converter included
- rewritable disc support
4. DVD Flick
When it comes to authoring your own discs from video files, no free app does it better than DVD Flick. DVD Flick supports a tremendous number of disc formats and codecs. Its defining feature, though, is its ability to create complete DVDs from video and audio files.
On the downside, DVD Flick doesn’t support ripping discs — so it’s only a partial replacement for Nero.
In summary, these are the key features of DVD Flick:
- creates DVD menus
- adds subtitles to videos
- supports most common (and many rare) video codecs
- open source
DeepBurner has been around for a while now and remains one of the best Nero alternatives. Not only is it available as a regular installable application — it’s also a portable app. So if you want something you can carry around on your USB flash drive then check this one out.
The free version of DeepBurner comes with these features:
- Supports both internal and external CD/DVD writers.
- Burn any data, copy any disc.
- Create multiple disk copies.
- Make ISO CDs.
- Print CD labels.
The biggest, beefiest, and most fully featured client is Ashampoo Burning Studio Free Edition. Its feature suite appears similar to many of the other programs in this list. However, it ups the ante by throwing in disc ripping capabilities. On the downside, Ashampoo (even the Free Edition) requires registration through the Ashampoo website.
Here’s just a few of the burning client’s features:
- disc ripping capabilities (appears limited to CDs in the free version)
- clean, aesthetically pleasing user interface
- easy to use
- video CD compatibility
BurnAware’s elegant and simplified interface doesn’t just look great — it’s functional too! It comes with a large number of features, like rewriteable disc support. On top of that, it’s light on resources and supports every other format that you can imagine (including Blu-Ray). Burning is fast because this software burns data directly onto the medium, instead of waiting for “hard disk staging”.
The free edition of BurnAware offers the following benefits:
- Elegant and simple user interface.
- Can create boot discs.
- Compatible with rewriteable burners.
What’s the Best Nero Alternative?
It depends on what you need. Infrarecorder is the best open source solution. ImgBurn offers the closest to a full replacement of Nero. However, if you need DVD authoring, nothing beats the open source DVD Flick.
Do let us know about your experiences with these Nero software alternatives in the comments. Have I missed out any? Shoot out your voices, come and discuss!
Originally written by Aibek Esengulov on 5 February, 2008.