If you want to be able to play DVDs on your computer, but do not have the right hardware to do so, you can download a virtual DVD player that will emulate the real thing. Here are some free virtual DVD player downloads to get you going.
Phantom CD is a free virtual CD and DVD drive. You can use it to replace your physical CDs and DVDs. This means your optical drive will be used less and last longer and you won't have to deal with scratched or dirty discs. In addition,the reading speed of Phantom CD is up to 200 times faster than a physical disc, so your movies, games and applications will start more quickly and run smoothly.
When you mount disc image files using Phantom CD, the files will appear to be a CD or DVD in Windows and will work just like a CD or DVD player.
AVS DVD Player
Another free virtual DVD player you can download is the AVS DVD Player. Not only is this a free virtual DVD player, but it is also universal. Along with typical DVD formats, such as NTSC, PAL, SVCD and VCD, AVS DVD Player also supports MPEG1, 2 and 4 formats, AVI, Quick Time, Real Media, WMV and more. AVS DVD Player has been tested free of adware, spyware and viruses, as well.
After downloading and installing this free virtual DVD player, you can subscribe to the site's free newsletter by clicking on the Want to be notified when Free DVD Player is updated? link on the download page and entering your email address. This newsletter will inform you about updates, news and future plans.
Virtual Clone Drive
Virtual Clone Drive is a free virtual DVD player offered by SlySoft, Inc. While the drive only exists virtually on your system, it acts just like a physical CD or DVD drive. This free virtual DVD player supports all of the commonly used formats, including BIN, CCD and ISO, and it supports up to eight virtual drives all at the same time. Virtual Clone Drive is also simple to use. All you have to do is double click an image file in order to mount it as a drive.
The free virtual DVD player is compatible with all Windows versions from 98 to Vista, although if you are running Windows 2000 or XP you must be logged on as an administrator in order to install Virtual Clone Drive. The site also offers video tutorials and a support page.
The final free virtual DVD player in our list is Alcohol 52%. This emulation software supports dozens of languages as well as up to 31 virtual CD or DVD drives at one time. This free virtual DVD player supports most formats, and has the ability to save audio, data, game and other types of disc copy settings. If you find you absolutely love this free virtual DVD player, you might opt to upgrade to Alcohol 120%. This software program is not free, but it provides all of the features of the free version along with the capability to burn CDs and DVDs and includes free lifetime updates for just under $60.