No DVD drive in your laptop or PC? You can do this!

If you buy a new laptop or PC, you will not always find a DVD drive in it. For example, Chromebooks no longer offer a way to play your favorite CDs or DVDs. With these laptops, almost everything goes via the cloud. What if you still want to play a DVD? What are your options then?

1. Rip all your DVDs on a PC

If you don't want anything to do with those (old-fashioned) discs anymore, a good option is to rip all your movies and save them digitally; whether this is on a hard drive or in the cloud. Of course, to convert DVDs to a video file, you must have a DVD drive and the necessary software to perform the process. It is therefore best to do this on a desktop PC, if you have one, of course.

If you want to get started ripping DVDs, read our comprehensive guide. Keep in mind that it's a time-consuming process, and it will take up quite a bit of disk space if you're going to convert dozens (if not hundreds) of DVDs. Once you've done this, though, you'll never have to worry about missing a DVD drive in your Macbook or Windows laptop again.

To play the files, you must have a suitable media player - depending on the file format into which you have converted. We recommend VLC; a free media player that can not only play all video files, the software is also available for smartphones and tablets. Handy if you have all your files in the cloud, and want to view them on your mobile devices.

2. Use an external DVD drive

Of course, the most obvious option is to just buy an external DVD drive. You can get such a box at home for a few tens, so you always have something to hand when you want to watch an old movie on your modern laptop, for example, or play that classic game again.

Connect the external DVD drive to a USB port on your laptop and it will probably work immediately after the necessary drivers have been installed automatically. If for some reason this is not the case, please visit the manufacturer's website and download the necessary drivers for the hardware.

Tip

If you don't want to spend too much money on an external drive, a cheap alternative is to tinker a DVD drive out of an old laptop or PC. If you remove the DVD drive from your old computer, you will have to purchase a suitable housing for this; can be found for little through various web shops. Make sure that this cover has the correct thickness and is suitable for the connections of your DVD drive (SATA/IDE, etc.). This way you have built an external DVD drive relatively cheaply - and easily - yourself. You can also do the same with a flatline DVD drive from an old laptop.

3. Use a USB stick or the cloud

Do you miss a DVD drive especially for copying files and media? Then consider doing this with a USB stick from now on. Not only is this a lot faster than burning to a physical disc, it will also save you a lot of money in the long run.

Another option is the cloud. Services like Dropbox, SkyDrive, Mega and Google Drive make it very easy to upload files to their servers and access them on any device, anywhere. Handy: You can also share the files with many of these cloud services. If you only want to send files occasionally, the Dutch WeTransfer is also an excellent service for sending files (free up to a maximum of 2 GB).

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