Active ISO Burner packs a lot into a simple interface

This free ISO burner is easy to use but gives lots of options.

To burn discs with your PC, you need two things. The first is a CD burner, or (better) a DVD burner, or (better still) a Blu-Ray burner. The second is disc-burning software. For the first, you're probably limited by the burner you already own, and your burner's capabilities will determine what kinds of disc you can burn, how much and what kind of data they can hold, and how long it takes to burn them. But for the second requirement, the burning tool, you have a lot more choices, and a lot of them are free. Active Data Recovery's Active ISO Burner is a free disc-burning utility that is simple to use but offers more sophistication than some premium disc-burning packages. It supports a wide range of devices, including Blu-Ray drives, and three independent burning transport protocols (SPTI, ASPI, and SPTD). You can specify the number of copies to burn, burning mode, and even what happens when the job is done. Recent upgrades include an updated burning engine and Windows 8 compatibility.

Active ISO Burner's installer can also update your PC with any burning transport it lacks. With our permission, it installed the SPTD transport protocol on our system. With a dialog-style interface, drop-down menus, and basic but clear data display, Active ISO Burner is extremely easy to use. We browsed to an ISO image we'd saved in the Source field. There was no need to choose a Target: our DVD burner was the only device on the list. We left the default Mode selection, Track-At-Once, and the default Speed, Auto-Select, though each control offers more options. We could also specify the number of copies to burn, from 1 to 100. An Options button accesses a smaller dialog box with Transport & Cache options and other advanced settings. All that remains is a large Burn button, though you'll find a User's Guide in Active ISO Burner's Start Menu folder that explains how to burn discs.

Active ISO Burner made quick work of burning our ISO image, automatically determining the best speed for our drive. We like this simple tool with not-so-simple capabilities.

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