Best Free DVD Ripper

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Introduction

While a CD ripper is commonly used for copying raw digital audio from a CD to a file encoded in MP3 or other audio formats, a DVD ripper is usually used for copying the audio and video content of a DVD to a file encoded in AVI, MP4, MPEG, WMV or other video formats. The ripped file saves in a hard disk or other media device for further editing, backup, sharing or playback without the need to load a DVD.

If you have a collection of DVD movies or music videos and want to extract a chapter or make a full backup copy from a DVD to a video file in selected format, these are the free DVD rippers you might be looking for.

After testing several free DVD rippers, I find it’s really hard to say which one is the best. Perhaps A supports numerous outputs. But it only rips part of the protected DVDs. Maybe B is powerful enough to rip the latest protected DVDs. However, the features are difficult to understand for beginners. Hence, you are welcome to comment below with your own experience. Let’s work together to make this category better and better.

Read also Best Output Format at the end of this article.

 

Rated Products

HandBrake  

An open-source DVD ripper with presets for iPod, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Open source)
Good quality in transcoded video, supports multi-platform, small file size.
Slow speed in transcoding. It doesn't rip protected DVDs unless you pair it with third-party tools.
Read full review...

WinX DVD Ripper  

Fast rip DVD to MP4, WMV, MPEG, Music, iPod, iPhone, Android, HTC, Samsung.


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Limited features)
Built with plenty of preconfigured profiles for popular Apple/Android devices. Fast ripping speed.
The profile for AVI is removed in the latest version.
Read full review...

DVDFab HD Decrypter  

Clone DVD to hard drive, two copy modes available.


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free
Nicely remove DVD protections and copy DVD to hard drive.
Lack of commonly used output videos such as MP4, WMV, MPEG, etc.
Read full review...

Format Factory  

Rip DVDs and music CDs to video files as well as creating ISO images.


Our Rating: 
3
License: Free (Ads)
Support nearly all video file formats. Rip DVD to video file. Rip Music CD to audio file.
Ads on interface. Doesn’t support CSS encrypted DVDs.
Read full review...

Freemake Video Converter  

A multifunctional media converter to rip DVD to AVI, MP4, WMW, MKV, MPEG.


Our Rating: 
3
License: Free (Limited features)
Support nearly all video file formats. Convert DVD to video files. Burn DVD/Blu-ray.
Doesn’t support encrypted DVDs. Installer is bundled with potentially unwanted components. Care is needed to avoid these during the install process.
Read full review...

DVDShrink  

An easy-to-use solution for shrinking original DVDs onto recordable media.


Our Rating: 
3
License: Free
Ripping and shrinking DVDs, built-in decryption algorithms.
The program is no longer supported by the developer.
Read full review...

Other freeware products to be reviewed:

  • DVD Catalyst helps you remove the copy protection on the disc and convert your DVD movie to various popular formats.
  • Free DVD MP3 Ripper, extracts audio from DVD, VCD/SVCD and MPEG (MPEG-1, MPEG-2) files into MP3.
  • FreeStar Free DVD Ripper, rips DVDs to VCD, SVCD, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, AVI, DivX, and XviD formats.
  • MakeMKV, a DVD and Blu-ray ripper.

 

Best Output Format

MP4 - The recommended best output format for most people

You may ask which output format is the best. What I do recommend for most of you is MP4. Note that "Most of you" do not include people who need absolute 1:1 copy of DVD with no loss of quality at all, meaning big file size, for example exceeding 10GB, should be acceptable as well.

MP4 is currently the most popular video format, so to speak. But why? Suppose you have a 7.84GB Disney movie DVD. Rip DVD to MPG and you get a 6.79GB output file, while ripping DVD to MP4, it outputs a 1.81GB video file. Play both video clips on your desktop computer, and you'll find that the MPG one really looks fantastic, just the same as the original. And then the MP4 one, it looks great as well and like there is no quality loss. How did that happen?

Here is the thing:

  1. MP4 (H.264) is mainly known for its compression algorithm. In other words, it reaches the best balance between visual quality and file size, which also makes it a perfect option for online streaming (good quality, smaller size).
  2. Secondly, it is playable on, by and large, all players and devices, especially portable devices, your iPhone, iPad, Android mobiles, Microsoft devices, TVs, etc.
  3. If a DVD ripper has only one output set, mostly it would be MP4. For those who know little about video formats and complex adjustable parameter settings, a free and simple DVD to MP4 ripper will serve you well.

Given its own superiority and the ability to cater to end user's wishes and keep up with new trends (online stream), I personally believe MP4 is the best output format for most of you. How do you think?

 

Related Products and Links

You might want to check out these articles too:

 

Editor

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Viola4u. Registered members can contact the editor with any comments or questions they might have by clicking here.

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Comments

Just wasted 30 mins trying to get WinXDVD Ripper to work - could only get 5 minute cut. And then I looked at the comments and saw that someone had noted, over a year ago, that the free program was crippled and should be removed from your list. A relatively rare slip-up from a very useful site - but please fix it.

Your review needs to be updated. The WinX DVD program is no longer free, at least as being reasonably useful. Now it won't let you copy anything more than a 5 minute video with the free version and requires that you buy it to do anything more than that. That makes the free version completely unusable for copying anything to any usable form.

Congrats Techsupportalert! The new design of your website is awesome! heartwinkdevil

HandBrake 0.10.0 has been released (2014.11.22); feature highlights can be found at https://handbrake.fr/news.php .

Thanks! The review has been updated.

Handbrake's website make a BIG point of its NOT being a "dvd ripper." It insists it is a "video transcoder" --- because it doesn't rip copyright protected DVDs. Your article accurately states that it doesn't rip encoded DVDs, but maybe the head should also be changed to say "video transcoder" instead of ripper?

Looks like Freemake Video Converter includes PUPs.

Virtually all software containing "converter" in the tile will used a wrapped installer of contain unwanted components so the best approach is to process every such installation on this basis. There is more information about this at the link below. MC - Site Manager. http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/what-else-have-you-just-download...

*Maybe* that could be made clearer in the article? I sent a friend to this page and they didn't pick up on it.

Thank you for your feedback. I have now added this to the product details. MC - Site Manager.

My expeience with WinX DVD Ripper was a failure. I only got to test non-encrypted disks, and it had no problem doing the job - the files were produced and I viewed them - but the program just hanged at "99% completed", and there was no way of shutting it down. Had to reboot. This problem consisted the several times I tried it. Uninstalled it - and then the uninstaller (having completed uninstallation) just hanged... At least I managed to shut it down without having to reboot.
I'm going back to the the HandBrake & DVDFab Passkey combo that has served me very well on my previous system (all Win 7 64-bit).

The review on WinX DVD Ripper has been updated. Some readers here complain that this ripper cannnot rip encrypted DVDs at all. But if you load the movie by clicking Folder, it will do. :) However, it doesn't support strongly encrypted DVDs. How to judge? I'm not sure. Just try it yourself. In addtion, DVDFab changed their marketing strategy recently. One of the changes is: DVDFab HD Decrypter "Copy just some old DVDs/Blu-rays" Maybe they've changed it for a long time? I tested it with an old Disney movie UP and it worked well. My new DVDs will arrive soon and I'll test it later. The review will be updated accordingly.
Thanks for the update :).
DVDFab HD Decrypter has been removed from this article because the website was blocked according to news.

I tried uRex Free DVD Ripper and in my limited testing it works great! I had an instructional DVD and tried to rip it with WinX DVD Ripper. The result was unreadable by any of the media players I had (e.g., Windows Media Player, Media Player Classic).

uRex hasn't failed me yet. It appears to be just as easy to use as WinX DVD Ripper, only it works!

For basic ripping needs, it's fine, but the free version does not rip to HD videos, doesn't support latest encrypted DVDs, and doesn't you use a custom profile. Some users may find limitations with these.

Anupam,
Thanks for the heads up. I've only had limited experience with uRex.

DVDAux was noticed in the comments so I’ll add my experience with it.

The tests were conducted using a Win-XP-Pro-SP3 system (4 GB of RAM) with an ordinary video card, not one that accelerates video processing. VLC Media Player was used for playback.

Keep in mind DVDAux is version 1.0.0 so it is work in process. Here is what was discovered:

1) No “Support Forum” was located for DVDAux and no support email was found – not a good sign. There is full set of tutorials, actually more than needed, which were listed exhaustively to make locating conversion to any format easy.

2) An encrypted DVD movie was ripped to the hard drive to get the VIDEO_TS folder with its .IFO, .VOB etc. contents. The source was an encrypted (protected) DVD-DL with 7+ GB of material.

3) DVDAux was quite slow (57 min) compared to DVDFAB Passkey Lite (11 min) – both free programs. Both programs used 4-9% of CPU (quad Intel CPU from 2006).

4) DVDAux has a nice menu to select the titles you want to rip. It identified titles 1 through 3 and 13 through 16. Title 1 is the main movie where some problems are noted later. The first time the program was run it converted 30 of 37 files. The ones it excluded were very small .VOB files that would not be used when the converting the movie to another format, and so no loss.

5) Another program, Freemake Video Converter, displayed 20 titles. Again the ones missing from DVDAux were throw-away titles, but it is better when the user decides what to keep or toss.

6) DVDAux was run again and produced the correct 37 of 37 files.

There were other reasons for running DVDAux a 2nd time:

7) The DVD and the VIDEO_TS folder on the hard drive each contain 21 movie files (.VOB):
* Title 1 = Main Movie: 7 files (VTS_01_0.VOB through VTS_01_6.VOB).
VTS_01_0.VOB contains the DVD selection menu
VTS_01_1.VOB through VTS_01_6.VOB are the movie itself
* Titles 2-3, 13-16 = Other Titles: outtakes, interviews, etc. - Ignore these.

A problem was noted with VTS_01_3.VOB in the main movie, which has the director’s commentary over top of the movie audio. This effectively masked the movie soundtrack underneath, and it was present on both rips of the DVD to hard drive by DVDAux.

The expected audio (no commentary) was heard on same file ripped using DVDFab Passkey Lite.

8) Another file in the Main Movie ripped by DVDAux, VTS_01_6.VOB, had French audio instead of English. This was odd because English was selected in the DVDAux menu. It was the only non-English file, but this would ruin about 20 minutes of the movie for non-French speaking movie viewers. No way was found to work around this.

DVDFab Passkey Lite has no selections, but everything ripped to the hard drive as expected.

9) Some tests were done to rip the selected titles to .mp4 and .avi formats. Since the content on the hard drive for DVDAux was not considered suitable, the files ripped by DVDFab Passkey Lite were substituted instead. Both the mp4 and avi files had unwanted subtitles and no way was found to turn them OFF.

The presence of the subtitles is a function of the way DVDAux gathers the files together. The .VOB source files alone have no subtitles.

10) DVDAux has an oddity part nice and part not so much. The nice part is the “open” button on the main screen. This opens the selected folder. Conveniently located just to the left of it is another button labeled “…” that allows selection of new folder, good so far. However when this button is clicked the Folder Window that opens has no selection to “Add a New Folder” so it is necessary to cancel the folder selection and open up the folder first, create a new folder and then select using the “…” button. This is pretty minor, just not intuitive or convenient.

This same window does not remember the last folder opened. Instead the top level menu with Desktop, My Documents, My Computer etc. appears. It requires drilling down through the folders again instead of starting from the one last used.

11) DVDAux should provide an estimate to complete the conversion and report the actual elapsed conversion time. The file size is estimated in the main window as each title is selected.

Overall, DVDAux may become quite useful as it matures. It needs some basic functions fixed and will need to add more features to let the user control operation. An avenue for user feedback is needed

Thank you for a very complete and nicely done review, I have tryed all the programs and as so many times before I have returned to Handbrake.
As it does a great and fast job with almost every encoding.

I’m attempting to upload some video clips from a DVD produced by a Samsung Digital Cam. The DVD contains a number of Titles (.BUP/.IFO/.VOB files), each in turn containing a number of Chapters.

I used Freemake to convert the clips to MP4 format on my HDD, but each Title then appeared to consist of only one Chapter, the 1st in each Title.

What product can I use to extract the full content of each Title, or alternatively extract a separate file for each Chapter?