Handbrake Linux Mac Windows Dvd Ripper_thumb Wondering if there are any good DVD ripper tool for Windows 8 yet? Then read our review of 4 of the best tools

Simply leaving a DVD in the car on a hot sunny day or averting your attention from a three year old for 15 seconds can spell the end of your favorite movie. In this case, making a digital back up is a smart idea, especially for hard to find films or expensive boxed sets. There are many kinds of software that can do this, provided your computer has a drive that reads DVDs.

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WinX DVD Ripper: Versatile Utility For Regular DVD’s

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The basic version of this utility is free, though there’s a version available with more functionality for just under $50. For the casual DVD ripper, the free version is pretty spectacular, and you shouldn’t require much more. Aside from its unfortunate tendency to automatically rename the files to an incomprehensible string of numbers, WinX is user friendly, and creates digital files of good quality. It runs quickly, and converts to many different file types. Its ability to get past copy protection is good, but not great, though.

Handbrake: Rip DVD’s on Linux, Mac and Windows

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Handbrake is another popular free utility. It’s not quite as user friendly as WinX, but it does give the user higher levels of control. One of the really great features that the program offers is the “target file size” option. If the device that the movie is being burned to has only a limited amount of space available, the program allows the user to choose what size the file will be. This isn’t a magic wand, however. If the user insists on a lower file size than the movie merits, there will be a corresponding downgrade in quality.

AnyDVD: Ripping Blu-Ray’s and HD DVD’s

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This program from Slysoft has both free and paid versions and comes highly recommended. It has the ability to rip DVDs, HD DVDs, and Blu-ray. It’s praised for its small size and the ability to work in the background, without tying up the entire computer. It’s pretty good at cutting through copy protection, as well. The main reason it’s recommended though is that the company is very active in developing their product, providing constant bug fixes, help, and general improvements. If anything goes wrong with AnyDVD, the developers are right on top of it, working to fix it.

DVD 43: Rip DVD’s with copy protection

While it may not have the functionality of some of the above programs, many insist that this DVD ripper is their secret weapon. This free utility has a wonderful ability to cut through fussy copy protection that other programs get hung up on. While there isn’t a version available specifically for Windows 8 at the moment, many users have found that the Windows 7 version works just fine. Even if you download another DVD ripper, it’s good to have this one in your back pocket for those extra tricky jobs.

Whether you want to make backups of your precious and expensive movie collection, or you want to be able to watch films on your portable device, these utilities will have you completely covered. Since most of them are free, you can try them all to see which user interface makes the most sense to you. The best solution is to get two or three of them, and if one of them doesn’t work with a particular disk, then try one of the other ones.