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Ashampoo Burning Studio Free review

CD and DVD burning made refreshingly straightforward

Ashampoo Burning Studio Free
(Image: © Ashampoo)

Our Verdict

A free disc burning suite that puts all the most important features front and center. The installer presents a couple of small hurdles, but once you're up and running, Ashampoo Burning Studio is simplicity itself, requiring little to no explanation thanks to its clear menus and convenient presets.

For

  • Clean, clear interface
  • Presets for different data types
  • Small selection of useful extra tools

Against

  • Installer has some hoops to jump through

Ashampoo Burning Studio Free is a comprehensive toolkit for burning CDs and DVDs. It features specially made profiles for different types of data, plus the ability to make quick backups.

It’s an impressive set of features for a free DVD burner, but this software’s real selling point is its clean, simple interface that makes a potentially confusing task refreshingly simple.

Features

Ashampoo Burning Studio Free has a smart, slick interface that’s a cut above many free DVD burners, with clearly laid out options for burning different types of disc: data, audio and videos. You can also use the software to copy discs, burn and create images (ideal for storing a bit-for-bit copy of a CD or DVD on your hard drive), and back up and restore selected files.

The backup tool isn’t as comprehensive as dedicated backup software (there’s no scheduling, for example, and you can’t choose to make incremental backups), but it’s handy for tasks like making occasional copies of files that don’t change often, such as photos. You can also set exclusion rules so certain types of file aren’t included in your backup (such as system files, for example).

If you have a rewritable disc, you can erase its contents with a click, and it’s possible to copy CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays (though only if they’re not protected by DRM, which is fair enough).

Ashampoo Burning Studio Free

Ashampoo Burning Studio Free includes a backup tool for saving data to discs and restoring it if necessary (Image credit: Ashampoo)

The software isn’t limited to burning, either; it can also rip audio CDs automatically, which is a welcome feature 

The premium version adds several handy features including the ability to add password protection, create animated menus and create labels and covers for your discs. It also supports disc-spanning, and can copy data to Compact Flash (CF) cards and microcards.

These are all useful to have if you burn data regularly, but for occasional use, Ashampoo Burning Studio Free has everything you’ll need.

User experience

As is often the case, there are a few factors to watch out for when installing Ashampoo Burning Studio Free – though hopefully none will be a deal-breakers. When you run the installer, you’ll be prompted to request a free registration key.

Ashampoo Burning Studio Free

When installing Ashampoo Burning Studio Free, you'll be prompted to enter a free license key, which necessitates submitting an email address (Image credit: Ashampoo)

To do this, you’ll need to submit an email address. Ashampoo won’t sell your email address to third parties, though it may be used to send you ads for its own software (which you can unsubscribe from).

After clicking the email confirmation link, you’ll be prompted to create an Ashampoo profile by entering your name, day and month of birth and country, but you can skip this if you prefer and go straight to your license key by clicking ‘Not now’.

The installer contains no bundled adware, but will add a link to Ashampoo’s online store to your desktop unless you deselect the option to add desktop icons during installation. 

Once installed, the software itself contains no banners or other advertisements, so you can concentrate on burning discs without distractions.

Support

Ashampoo is a well-known presence in the PC software market and been around for over 20 years. You can access the company’s official website for technical or product-based queries (the website has a dedicated support section).

The product support page provides detailed step-by-step instructions and tips for all of Ashampoo’s apps. Product manuals are also available online, along with a detailed FAQ relating to product activation, features, and your account.

If you are still unable to resolve your problem, there’s an online support form which you can fill in, and a tech support representative will contact you at an email address you provide.

Final verdict

Ashampoo Burning Studio Free is a very impressive DVD burner utility with a host of features made available at absolutely no cost. It meets all the basic disc burning needs, and indeed goes beyond that in many respects. Burning Studio Free doesn’t demand much of your PC in terms of system specs either, and in short, this is a must-have package.