PowerISO Reviews: An Excellent Software For Your CD-Burning Needs

​Believe it or not, people are still using CD-burning software in 2018.

While technology continues to advance at a frightening pace, there are some people who still find a use for the older programs. You may remember they were once championed by pirate movie vendors and that cool kid in class, who ran a money-making scheme outside the school gates.

Nowadays, many large applications are laden with disc images. In order to use the application to its full potential, it’s necessary to first “burn” the program onto a DVD or CD, and then you can use the disc as if it was an original program.

This takes time and is far from convenient. Worse still, if it’s something you’re doing a lot of, the costs can add up, particularly if the discs are not rewriteable. Even the playground PlayStation-game merchants understand these problems.

Luckily, there are better options today.

Namely, there is PowerISO.

In this article, we’re going to tell you what makes PowerISO a solid choice for this job, and in the name of impartiality, we’ll give you a quick rundown on some alternatives to it.

But first, let’s try and understand just why you would need to be using a program like this at all.

Where ISO Files Are Used

ISO

An ISO file is a precise duplication of the absolute contents of a disc.

People use ISO files, also known as ISO images, to distribute a large program across the internet. This is because it’s possible to contain virtually all of the program files in one single, compact file.

An example is the Ophcrack password recovery tool. This free software comprises a complete operating system, as well as several additional software utilities. The whole package is wrapped in one ISO file. Other examples include the vast majority of bootable antivirus programs, including Bitdefender.

The primary benefit of using ISO files like this is that everything is centralized, making it incredibly easy for users to download. Moreover, it is very easy for people to burn the file to a disc or removable storage device.

It’s even possible to buy full versions of Windows on an ISO format, including the most recent iterations of Windows 10. You can buy it directly from Microsoft and extract it to a hard drive for use in a virtual machine.

An Overview Of PowerISO

PowerISO

​So, what exactly is PowerISO?

In a nutshell, it is one of the most popular utilities for disk image management. This multi-functional utility enables users to:

  • open image files
  • edit original content
  • encrypt file security protocols
  • create bootable disks
  • mount virtual drives
  • burn copies of original files
  • generate floppy or CD images
  • rip data from files

How to Install PowerISO

As you may expect in this day and age, it doesn’t take too long to install this software.

You can get PowerISO installed on your computer in just a few clicks, with the entire installation process finishing up in about 10 seconds or less, depending on your bandwidth and internet connection.

During the process, the program will prompt you to choose which file associations you want to have opened automatically. You can simply select the respective check-boxes on whichever file types you need to be jumpstarted.

The basic system requirements to install and run PowerISO aren’t too demanding. You’ll only need:

  • Intel Pentium Processor 166MHz or higher
  • 64mB RAM
  • 10mB space on the hard disk
  • Windows 98 or newer

User Interface

The majority of features on PowerISO are easy to access, as they are located near the top of the main screen. This makes for a very clean and clear interface, which is easy to get to grips with.

To import a new file, click the ‘Add’ button, then select the file you want from the Explorer window that opens.

The files will be shown in your main window, allowing you to choose what to do with them. All the actions such as copy, burn, compress, extract or mount are displayed along the top of the screen.

The Key Benefits Of PowerISO

Benefits

​PowerISO is effectively a virtual drive assistant, providing an all-in-one service. As such, this program offers users the ability to create multiple virtual drives, and mount them on their PC or Mac computer.

Some of the key functions you can perform with PowerISO include:

  • Create bootable USB flash drives to back-up your entire operating system. This is especially convenient, and increasingly vital in the digital landscape as disk drives are quickly becoming obsolete. As a downloadable software, it is more convenient to secure your OS in case of failure or serious repairs.

  • Ability to create and mount. This is different to many competing virtual drives that typically have limited functionality.

  • Full encryption of ISO images. This enables users to secure an ISO image in a 128-bit security mechanism. This provides additional protection for your data.

Problems With PowerISO

question marks

PowerISO is certainly capable of carrying out the tasks it has been designed to do, however, that doesn’t make it perfect.

Here are a few concerns that have been raised about this program:


  • In the current digital landscape, the software feels a little outdated. Staying true to traditional principles, it can frustrate many users. Some reviews cite a lack of features and functionality.
  • There is a free version of PowerISO, which is limited to file sizes of 300MB. Some competitors, such as Daemon Tools, offer a free version with no maximum file size limit.
  • By far, the most worrying issue about using PowerISO is that a lot of additional plugins are automatically installed. Some of these aren’t too easy to remove, which makes them on a par with malware. Nobody has time for that, which makes alternative malware-free choices more alluring.

How To Burn An ISO File

To make the full use of an ISO file, you need to first burn it on to a compact disc, DVD, or else a BD disc.

This isn’t just the same as burning music files or documents, as the software doing the burn must be able to assemble all the ISO file contents of the disc.

To give you a clearer sense of the capabilities of PowerISO, imagine that an ISO file is a boxset toy for your kid. The box contains everything you need, but it must be assembled first. As it exists, in the box, the toy is useless, but it is easily contained and transported.

Once, you open the box (the ISO file), you can take all the contents out and put things together to use it. PowerISO allows you to do this with ISO files.

For some specific programs, ISO image burning is mandatory. Many hard drive diagnostics can’t be used inside the operating system – you have to burn it to disc first.

How To Extract ISO Files

Extract ISO

Another option instead of burning ISO files to a removable storage device is to use a compression software, such as 7-Zip or PeaZip – both free programs. These can be used to extract the file contents to a defined folder.

You can then browse the folder, just like any other on a computer. One caveat is that you won’t be able to directly burn this folder to a disc or USB drive.

But, you will be able to extract installation files directly from the ISO file, and then you can install the programs just as you would do with any other.

How To Create ISO Files

​Many programs, such as PowerISO, allow users to create their own ISO files from either a disc or from a collection of different files they select.

A common reason to build ISO images in this way is if you want to back-up a DVD, Blu-Ray movie, or software installation disc.

How To Mount ISO Files

Mount

​You can trick a computer into believing that an ISO file is actually a real disc. This is done by mounting the file, allowing you to use ISO files without wasting discs.

For example, let’s say you’re playing a computer game that usually requires you to insert the original disc. By mounting the ISO image of the disc, you won’t need to physically put the disc in the optical drive.

This is relatively easy to do. You can open the file using a disc emulator, then select a drive letter the ISO file can represent. It will create a virtual drive, but Windows will view it as a real drive.

On Windows 8 and Windows 10, there is an ISO mounting function already built-in to the operating system. You can right-click on an ISO file, then select ‘Mount’. This creates a virtual drive automatically, without any need for extra software.

7 Alternatives To PowerISO

While it can do a lot, PowerISO is certainly not the only player in town. Here are some alternative options for working with ISO files:

1. MagicISO

This is a freeware, which you can use to manage virtual drives. It’s very useful if you do a lot of work with programs that are based on CDs, which is particularly useful for gamers.


2. Free ISO Mount

If you want to mount or unmount existing files in your system, this is a solid choice. You can also create new ISO files. It is a simple, user-friendly program that makes basic ISO file work painless.


3. UltraISO

Another user-friendly option is UltraISO. There are literally dozens of different programs you can use for simple image editing or mounting online. However, where this one differs is it makes it easy to open any type of image file and directly extract files or folders.


4. WinCDEmu

Arguably the easiest program to use for mounting image formats. WinCDEmu enables users to carry out basic mounting in just a few clicks. This open-source platform supports a wide array of different files, including ISO, IMG, CUE, CCD, and NRG, making it one of the most versatile alternatives to PowerISO.


5. FarStone VirtualDrive Pro

The standout feature of FarStone VirtualDrive Pro is the fact that you don’t even need a DCD drive to use it. This is a program that allows people to use ISO files but also caters to modern computers that don’t have an optical drive.


6. Gizmo Drive

If you want a Windows-based program, try Gizmo Drive. It can mount password-protected images virtual hard drives, and work with encrypted images from your hard drive.


7. DAEMON Tools Lite

The last alternative we recommend here is the increasingly popular DAEMON Tools. The Lite version is an authoring program that is compatible with both Mac OS and Microsoft Windows. You can back up any movies, software programs, or games on virtual discs, and run them directly onto a hard drive.

It is one of the best programs on the market, and in the opinion of many people, it’s a better option that PowerISO.

PowerISO Is A Solid Choice

Solid Choice

Online reviews may not be overwhelmingly in favor of PowerISO, especially with so many other programs to choose from.

In the end, however, this software offers all the fundamentals you could want from an ISO file burning program. Whether you want to edit or encrypt CD files, rip, burn or backup movies, or make a copy of your operating system, PowerISO has you covered.

It may not be flawless, but you’ll be hard pressed to find such a software that is. This is a safe bet to continue working with CDs and optical disk drives in the digital era.

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Paul

Digital Poet at BurnWorld Inc.

I am the Team Leader here at BurnWorld. I am an audio/video enthusiast and have been in this industry for over 10 years. I love testing DVD/Blu-Ray and Video software.


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