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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.

 
Discussion

Handbrake: open-source DVD ripper with presets for iPod, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV
HandBrakeHandBrake is an open source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded DVD ripper or video transcoder, available for Windows, Linux or Mac OS X. The latest version was released on May.18, 2013 with many small UI enhancements, Blu-ray (PGS) subtitle and better audio remix supported.

Handbrake produces an MPEG-4 file which is compatible with a wide range of media players. Note that you’ll need to have the right codecs installed for the type of file you wish to convert however such as DivX, Xvid, OGM, 3ivx, etc. A very great feature is Handbrake is designed with preset profiles for Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod and Apple TV. It also provides numerous video and audio parameter settings for advanced users to alter the file size and video quality.

However, unencrypted-protection methods including CSS are not supported internally and must be handled externally with third-party software which helps break the copy protection so HandBrake can read the DVD.

Alternatively, you can also combine libdvdcss with HandBrake in order to read a DVD that uses CSS. What you need to do is to get the necessary dll file by downloading a DVD player that is based on it. Browse the installation folder of your DVD player and copy the libdvdcss dll file to the HankBrake installation folder. Rename the file to libdvdcss.dll and restart HandBrake.

WinX DVD Ripper: fast rip DVD to MP4 WMV MPEG Music iPod iPhone Android HTC Samsung
WinX DVD RipperWinX DVD Ripper is another Windows-based DVD ripper freeware that is kept up to date. The latest version was 5.6.0 built on May.04, 2014. If you think Handbrake is complicated to handle (some users do) and has limited output video formats, WinX is more straightforward which supports ripping DVD to MP4, WMV, MPEG, MOV, FLV and Music (MP3). No third-party codec package is needed.

In addition, WinX DVD Ripper has plenty of preconfigured profiles for not only iPhone, iPod, Apple TV, but also PSP, HTC and Samsung. Each profile represents different video quality and file size. You can also customize profile for your Apple/Android device by adjusting video and audio parameters.

A tip: The "Video Quality" is namely the output file video bitrate. Increasing the “Video Quality” will increase the output file size and image quality.

How about its decryption ability? Based on test, it supports encrypted DVDs. I find a few negative comments below saying this ripper cannot rip DVDs at all. True? The fact is if you load DVD by clicking Folder, it will do! I tested John Cater and it ripped the DVD fast and smoothly. But when it comes to DVDs encrypted by strong protection system, the program will tell you that it is not able to read them. There are two options: 1. Upgrade to its Platinum edition (paid). 2. Use other programs to remove the copy protection, and then make use of WinX.

DVDFab HD Decrypter: clone DVD to hard drive, two copy modes available
DVDFab HD Decrypter DVDFab HD Decrypter (latest version 9.1.3.6 built on Mar.20, 2014), as its name indicates, enables you to remove DVD protections and copy the DVD content to hard drive. Considering this article is about freeware, it’s necessary to point it out this HD Decrypter is just a free portion of the DVDFab application. Due to this reason, it looks like a "big" program. But actually it is very easy to handle.

You can use the two intelligent Copy modes built in DVDFab (the free parts) to either copy the full disc or just copy the main movie. The first one copies everything the DVD has (including menus, trailer, extras, etc) while the second one only rips the movie itself. You need to purchase its other advanced features in order to output more formats, such as ripping DVD to MP4, WMV, iPhone, iPad, etc.

DVDFab HD Decrypter only copies SOME old DVDs as its official web page states. But how it copies SOME DVDs might be inconsistent. You will need to try out the program with what you have available as success can vary.

DVD Shrink: easy-to-use solution for shrinking original DVDs onto recordable media
DVD ShrinkAnother alternative is DVD Shrink . It is able to rip DVD to your hard drive as video files or as an ISO image. Then you can burn the output files by integrating with Nero or other DVD burning software. What makes this program unique is its ability to compress DVD data to the standard 4.7-gig DVD. You will rarely, if ever, notice any decrease in video quality.

The latest version is 3.2.0.15 built in July 2004. The UI looks “unfashionable” today. But personally, I like its considerate and friendly design very much. It lists the DVD structure including Menus, Main Movie and Unreferenced Materials. This means you can easily choose which parts of the DVD you want to include for ripping and shrinking. It’s a nice feature for you to leave out unwanted bonus features, audio data for languages, etc.

DVD Shrink offers built-in decryption algorithms to “read” encrypted DVDs. Unfortunately, as it stopped updating in 2004, some recent copy protection methods are not supported. I tested Transformers 2 and UP. It freezed when analyzing the DVD info. Non-encrypted DVDs work perfectly.

Format Factory: rip DVDs and mucis CDs to video file as well as create ISO images
Format FactoryFormat Factory also won votes from us. The strongest point of this program lies in its support of converting numerous file formats, including video to video, audio to audio, DVD to video, and also image to image. The latest version (v3.3.1 built on Jan.25, 2014) supports up to 60 different languages which further makes it a global application.

This program supports converting videos to mobile devices as can be seen on the top of the Video column on the left side. 20+ mobile devices or mobile device compatible formats are available, including Apple, Sony, Google, Nokia, etc. It's really convenient for some folks who wanna playing various videos on their portable devices. (However, when loading ISO file as source video, it failed.)

In addition to converting videos, FormatFactory also acts as a DVD/CD ripper. But the output format seems a little bit limited. It only supports ripping DVD to ISO/CSO file. What's more, it can’t rip DVDs with CSS according to my test. (But perhaps it supports some old CSS protected DVDs, I guess.)

Freemake Video Converter: multifunctional media converter to rip DVD to AVI, MP4, WMW, MKV, MPEG
Freemake Video ConverterSomeone suggests adding Freemake Video Converter to the review list. When talking about this freeware, I must firstly mention its all-round video converting features. It supports 200+ input videos which cover almost all popular video formats users would require. Besides converting from one video format to another, it's also capable of converting videos to portable devices, such as iPad, iPhone, iPod, Android, PSP, Blackberry, etc. By Pasting URL, you can convert online videos from 50+ sites. That's really an impressive feature to simplify the converting task.

But when comes to another ability – ripping DVD, I’m afraid, this application is not all satisfying. It can rip DVD to AVI, WMV, MP4, MPEG, MKV, FLV, SWF, 3GP, but it doesn't support encrypted DVDs. It crashes on almost all my commercial DVDs such as UP and Thor.

I feel sorry if this review doesn't fit "the Best Free DVD Ripper" category. I just personally wish the developer can improve its DVD ripping function and make it as powerful as its video conversion ability.

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 Video Converter converts video DVDs to video files on your computer as AVI, MP4, MKV, iPod, iPhone, PSP, Blackberry, etc.
  • 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.
  • Thoggen, designed to be easy and straightforward to use. Running on Linux.
 
Related Products and Links

You might want to check out these articles too:

 
Quick Selection Guide

HandBrake
4
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
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.
http://handbrake.fr/
0.9.9
13.63 MB
Open source freeware
Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8.x and Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8, 10.9

The current version no longer works on Power PC (PPC).

WinX DVD Ripper
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Built with plenty of preconfigured profiles for popular Apple/Android devices. Fast ripping speed.
The profile for AVI is removed in the latest version.
5.6.0
11.7 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
Windows 2000, 2003, XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
DVDFab HD Decrypter
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Nicely remove DVD protections and copy DVD to hard drive.
Lack of commonly used output videos such as MP4, WMV, MPEG, etc.
9.1.2.8
43.9 MB
32 and 64 bit versions available
Unrestricted freeware
Windows 8/7/Vista/XP (32-bit/64-bit)
DVD Shrink
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Ripping and shrinking DVDs, built-in decryption algorithms.
The program is no longer supported by the developer.
http://www.dvdshrink.org/
3.2.0.15
1 MB
Unrestricted freeware
Windows 9x/2000/XP (no info on Vista and Windows 7).
Format Factory
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
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.
http://www.pcfreetime.com/
3.3.1
50.22 MB
Unrestricted freeware
All 32 windows OS
Freemake Video Converter
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Support nearly all video file formats. Convert DVD to video files. Burn DVD/Blu-ray.
Doesn’t support encrypted DVDs.
4.1.3
26.95 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows XP/Vista/7, .NET Framework

 
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

by Viola4u on 26. March 2014 - 5:42  (115297)

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.

by Anupam on 26. March 2014 - 7:19  (115300)

Thanks for the update :).

by Viola4u on 11. March 2014 - 4:33  (114937)

DVDFab HD Decrypter has been removed from this article because the website was blocked according to news.

by MidnightCowboy on 11. March 2014 - 6:23  (114939)

According to this reports, the situation will soon be rectified. MC - Site Manager.
http://www.myce.com/news/breaking-dvdfab-website-blocked-by-movie-indust...

by yetanother1 on 2. March 2014 - 18:51  (114746)

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!

by Anupam on 2. March 2014 - 20:13  (114747)

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.

by yetanother1 on 2. March 2014 - 20:26  (114748)

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

by MarkinAZ on 30. August 2013 - 18:41  (110418)

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

by Duke311 on 12. July 2013 - 19:19  (109179)

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.

by Viola4u on 29. May 2013 - 9:23  (108121)

Handbrake 0.9.9 is available (will test it later)
Format Factory is using new URL.

by Altnetcoza on 28. May 2013 - 9:14  (108089)

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?

by rfithen on 10. May 2013 - 13:30  (107633)

Anyone try:

DVDaux @ http://www.dvdaux.com/

or

DVD ISO Master @ http://bdlot.com/dvd-iso-master/

Both freeware.

A good friend of mine stated both programs successfully made perfect copies of
Toy Story 3.

by Viola4u on 14. May 2013 - 2:51  (107728)

Thank you for your recommendation.

However, I ripped a DVD of mine to iPod video using the default setting of DVDaux. The output video can't be imported to my iPod (iTunes). :(

by Anupam on 10. May 2013 - 17:18  (107637)

Didn't know about the first one. Seems like a new product.

The second one is not a dvd ripper... it just makes an image of the DVD as ISO file, which any basic disc burner can do.

by rfithen on 10. May 2013 - 23:13  (107641)

@Anupam

With all due respect, any disk burner cannot make iso copies of encrypted discs. Especially Disney discs.

-Rick

by Mark Wall on 7. December 2012 - 18:28  (103424)

I wish I'd read the comments before wasting time on WinX. It is definitely not free! After wasting time and bandwidth downloading and installing, I tried to rip my first DVD to my NAS box.

Owning a large DVD collection I was taken in by the idea it was both fast and free.. not so.. the very first DVD caused a pop up demanding $39.95 to be able to rip it. I've sent them an email telling them I'm never going to buy a product that claims to be free when it clearly isn't. This is false advertising. Why is it still on this review list when EVERYONE says it doesn't work? It looks like a scam to me. Quite frankly I believe a company that advertises in this way is unlikely to provide a working version even after taking the money. Avoid like the plague!

by Viola4u on 13. December 2012 - 7:12  (103565)

Dear Mark, I also wish someone would suggest me a free and powerful DVD ripper which is able to remove all copy protections and has all features people want. :-(

I'm sorry to see the doubts about this review. WinX doesn't work. DVD Shrink doesn't work (someone PM me that "I can confirm it does work as stated on Windows7"). DVDFab is just an apparent freeware, etc.

As a matter of fact, if you read the comments below, you'll find the solution to rip your DVD by "combining" some of the above freeware.

--- the editor of this section

by MidnightCowboy on 8. December 2012 - 1:32  (103431)

Did you also read the comments below that offer ways to get around this issue which is common with all free DVD rippers and not just WinX? MC - Site Manager.

by Juxxize on 14. December 2012 - 12:07  (103620)

Yes I agree MC it is freeware after all. I often find i need to combine 2 freeware products together to get the results I want like in this case 2 DVD rippers to get the results I want or 2 video editing software's to create the results I want and with it being freeware I feel it is quite acceptable to have to merge products together to achieve results i want sometimes.

by Isis4 (not verified) on 25. November 2012 - 22:25  (102900)

I just tried DVDFab (for 64-bit), and after installing, before I could do anything else, the program tried to go online again, to run something called regoperator.exe. Apparently something to do with registering for the paid version, if I understand it right. And it does this each time I open the program.

Since I'm not sure what this regoperator application is about, and I found it really creepy for the program to go online after I presumably downloaded the program already, I refused, and then got the option to enable HD Decrypter, which I thought was the free version of this program, so did that. But on my first attempt to use it, it already failed, because it couldn't read an otherwise perfectly playable DVD.

Seems like a lot of people have had good luck with this program, but it doesn't seem to be working for me, at least not using the 64-bit version (9.0.1.1 - Nov 24, 2012).

by Adam12 (not verified) on 28. November 2012 - 3:32  (102999)

I have downloaded and installed the apparent FREEWARE of DVDFab. After converting a DVD the output has the DVDFab logo up in the right hand corner of the movie. That does not get a mention (at least I could not see that written anywhere as a condition of using the unregistered version.) And when the program loads, it also opens a browser page to take you to the buy version. All a bit of a nuisance to go through all the time to download, install, rip and convert to find the files can't be used without the logo in the corner.

by Isis4 (not verified) on 28. November 2012 - 4:09  (103000)

Thanx for alerting us to this issue with the logo, Adam12. I don't have that problem so far, but from the DVDFab forum I'm gathering that this only happens when you use some of the features of the program. According to one thread, the watermark only happens when the video is re-encoded, like when you compress a video. And some people are talking about ripping from Blu-Ray and having this problem.

In any case, I would not call this freeware. Way too much nagging to buy the full version. I think DVDFab calls its free version shareware.

by Isis4 (not verified) on 26. November 2012 - 8:41  (102919)

Nevermind. Apparently my computer needed to re-reboot for this program to run. Still don't like the nagging to buy and register when I open the program, but I did successfully copy a DVD, and that's all that really matters in the end.

by Isis4 (not verified) on 25. November 2012 - 20:55  (102896)

DVD Shrink stopped working for me when I went over to Windows 7. According to Wikipedia:

"The Vista family of Microsoft Windows (Windows Vista, Windows 7) may have issues running DVDShrink due to changes to the graphics system; users will need to run the application under compatibility mode for Windows XP to avoid the application from hanging."

I'm wondering if anyone has tried [commercial reference removed], which they claim works like DVD Shrink.

by crombierob on 14. December 2012 - 20:14  (103629)

Don't blame Shrink, blame flippin MS
I have come across quite a few programs that need the XP compatibility setting. Whilst in there, tick some of the checkboxes to avoid MS BLOAT (graphics, etc).
You may have to experiment as to which checkboxes to tick.

I have not found a program that cannot be persuaded to work using this technique.

by michael.doual (not verified) on 14. November 2012 - 7:13  (102284)

There are old products, I current I use GMT DVD ripper, It is totally free, very good:http://www.77freeware.com/freeproduct/ahd_free_dvd_converter.aspx

by il sospiro (not verified) on 26. September 2012 - 10:27  (99771)

I have tried WinX but all it does, when I try to use it is to refer me to buy their Premium product; it's quite useless folks!

by vinnie1999 (not verified) on 11. November 2012 - 5:21  (102145)

Not one person in one year in the comments has had a positive review of WinX DVD Ripper. Leads me to believe the review is biased (for whatever reason...ahem) since the free WinX software clearly will NOT copy decrypted DVDs.
I have used DVDFab and DVDShrink off and on for 6-7 years now and DVDFab is excellent for simply duplicating and decrypting onto my hard drive. Plus for burning on normal DVDs DVD shrink still mostly works! DVDFab should be on the list and WinX removed - esp. since the author updated this article a few months ago...hmmm. ;-)
At least some of the article is informative but the comments are more accurate. Totally wasted my time on WinX just to try something new. I will stick with what works for me.

by crombierob on 14. December 2012 - 20:19  (103630)

I agree with most of what you said (and do).
Here is the most reliable way to do this -
1) Use free DVDFab to decrypt to hard drive
2) Use Shrink to shrink it (TO YOUR DRIVE)
3) Use Nero to burn your DVD (NOT SHRINK)

by Juxxize on 11. November 2012 - 13:00  (102161)

What works well for one person may not work well for another as regards with DVD ripper software some may work better in different country's . Everybody wants different things from their software and have different priorities of whats important ,the amount of times I've read review for some software i really really love and another persons review is ranting how awful it is. When I go hunting for reviews on software I always prefer reviews where comments are allowed such as this site because the review is only one persons ( or a handful of peoples ) point of view. In reading all the comments you get a fuller picture from alot of users this is the beauty of community sites like this.