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Introduction

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I’ve reviewed a lot of DVD writers since TrustedReviews launched last year and they have all been internal units. But not everyone wants an internal drive, especially if you want to burn DVDs on more than one PC.

An external DVD writer has a lot of advantages over its internal cousin. As already mentioned, you can share it between computers making it far more versatile. You can also use it with notebooks as well as desktop computers. And, as well as computers sharing an external drive, so can people. So if an office had an external DVD writer, each worker could use it as and when necessary.

Now there was a time when external devices could only muster a fraction of the performance of their internal siblings (unless you had a SCSI system of course). This was due to the limited bandwidth associated with parallel port and USB interfaces. But now that USB 2.0 and FireWire are so prevalent, the bandwidth of the interface is no longer an issue, and the only performance limitation is the drive itself. This is borne out with the results of the two drives on test here, since both units are faster than any internal drives I’ve tested.

Both the drives on test are retail boxes and come with all the cabling and software to get you up and running straight away. So if you’re after an external DVD writer solution, read on and see whether HP or Sony wins the burning battle.

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