Nero 9 Free
The free version of Nero's burning suite caught us by surprise - Nero 9 Free is an excellent disc burner, but its limitations are many
- Highly limited functionality
Despite its highly limited functionality, hefty 130MB install footprint, and dead-end buttons encouraging you to buy a full version, the extremely reliable Nero 9 Free is a welcome addition to my toolbox. It's nice having something around that we know will work (we've had some problems with other freebies and late-model drives), even if it's not our first choice. Now if they'd only make a portable version...
Buy now (Selling at 5 stores)
There are plenty of free disc-burning alternatives out there - and enough articles pointing to them - but the strength of Nero's offering is welcome. There's absolutely no questioning Nero's expertise with all things optical.
Basically a stripped down version of the Nero StartSmart control centre, Nero Free creates only CD/DVD data discs: no audio ripping or burning, no VCD/SVCD support, and no DVD movie burning from existing files, although it will copy all those types of discs.
We weren't shocked that the free version of Nero lacked almost all the functionality of the pay version, but we were a tad surprised at just how limited it was compared to other free programs such as DeepBurner Free, ImgBurn, and InfraRecorder Portable.
Nero 9 Free is also a bit of a tease. In tests it recognised the Lite-on WH08LS20 Blu-ray burner on our system as well as BD discs. We were hoping that like ImgBurn it would burn Blu-ray data discs - however, it does not.
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