Difference Between DVD-R and DVD-RW

There still exist cassette freaks who wish to give concrete integrity to memories or preserve essential data by saving them in cassettes, CDs, DVDs, or hard drives. This age has sensationalized the use of Android phones, pen drives, and laptops, with unlimited storage expanse. Still, the extra effort to preserve memories or essentials is absent.


IT Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to technology

1 / 10

A process that is repeated, evaluated, and refined is called __________

2 / 10

Which of the following is not an electronic device?

3 / 10

What is Artificial Intelligence?

4 / 10

For which of the following Android is mainly developed?

5 / 10

What is the radix of the octal number system?

6 / 10

Who is considered as the father of computing

7 / 10

When a machine possesses the ability to mimic human traits like make decisions, predict the future, learn and improve on its own said to have

8 / 10

Mark Zuckerberg is the owner of

9 / 10

Which of the following is defined as an attempt to steal, spy, damage or destroy computer systems, networks, or their associated information?

10 / 10

The intention of Machine Learning is

Your score is


So, if you are looking to store your information on DVDs while choosing to store files, you can carefully choose between DVD-R and DVD-RW discs. These discs have the same capacities, and it is easier to store the same quantity of data in either of them, no matter your choice.

However, the primary difference between DVD-R and DVD-RW is the ability to clean or erase the contents in DVD-RW.

Key Takeaways

  1. DVD-R (Digital Versatile Disc – Recordable) is a write-once disc format that allows users to record data or media files onto a disc. Still, it cannot be rewritten or erased once recorded.
  2. DVD-RW (Digital Versatile Disc – ReWritable) is a rewritable disc format that allows users to record, erase, and rewrite data or media files multiple times on the same disc.
  3. The key difference between DVD-R and DVD-RW formats is their reusability, with DVD-R being a one-time writable format and DVD-RW offering the capability to rewrite and erase data multiple times.


DVD-R stands for Digital Versatile Disc Recordable. It is impossible to write data repeatedly in DVD-R once it has been stored. DVD-RW stands for Digital Video Disc Re-Writable. In DVD-RW, data can be erased and rewritten repeatedly. DVD-RW is versatile, which means data can be updated anytime.


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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDVD-RDVD-RW
Full formDigital Video Disc Recordable.Digital Video Disc Re-Writable.
FeaturesData can be written and stored only once.Data can be erased and re-written again and again.
UsageIt can be used to store data.It can store data, audio files, videos, voice messages, and images.
StorageIt can store a large amount of data.It can store a lesser amount of data compared to DVD-R.
SpeedIt is slower than DVD-RW.Faster than DVD-R.


What is DVD-R?

As mentioned in the introduction, the full form of DVD-R is Digital Versatile Disc Recordable. DVD-R is a circular disc of 120 mm in diameter and 1.3 mm in thickness.

The disc also contains two poly-carbonate substrates of 0.6 mm each. Almost all DVD players easily play the disc.

It is tested and approved by the DVD Forum, founded by merging various international firms.

The founder of DVD-R was Pioneer. It was founded in 1997. The disc is primarily used to store important data.

The only flaw with an otherwise efficient device is that it can be written only once. The data is incorporated with the use of a laser on it.

The disc is known to store up to 4.7 GB on single layer and single-sided discs, 8.5 GB can be stored on dual-layer discs, and 9.4 GB on double-sided discs. The storage capacity of DVD-R is greater than DVD-RW. DVD-R is cheaper than DVD-RW in price.

Also, know that both discs were released in 1997.

dvd r 1

What is DVD-RW?

As mentioned above, the expanded form of DVD-RW is Digital Versatile Disc Re-Writable. As you can already understand by its name, it is a circular disc that is 120 mm in diameter and has a thickness of 1.3 mm.

Similar to DVD-R, DVD-RE has two poly-carbonate substrates of 0.6 mm each. The only remarkable difference separating the discs is that DVD-RW can be erased and written repeatedly, as many times as you wish.

The data is stored in the disc in digital form only.

This, too is an optical storage device. DVD-RW’s specialty is that any digital data such as audio, video messages, images or multimedia programs can be saved in it.

The disc is extensively used to install various operating systems in computers. DVD-RW has greater speed than DVD-R and is more flexible regarding storage.

Another notable feature of DVD-RW is that once uploaded in this disc, the data remains forever unless voluntarily erased by the user. Because of its efficiency and upgraded features, DVD-RW is slightly costlier than DVD-R.

However, the difference is not much. Both discs were released in 1997.

dvd rw

Main Differences Between DVD-R and DVD-RW

  1. The full form of DVD-R is Digital Video Disc Recordable. At the same time, the full form of DVD-RW is Digital Video Disc Re-Writable.
  2. Data in DVD-R can be written and stored only once. Whereas, in DVD-RW data can be erased and re-written again and again.
  3. DVD-RW can store data, audio files, videos, voice messages, and images, while DVD-R is limited to only storing valuable data.
  4. DVD-R can efficiently store a large amount of data, whereas DVD-RW can store less.
  5. DVD-R is slower than DVD-RW in speed.
Difference Between DVD R and DVD RW

  1. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1143/JJAP.40.1768/meta
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