Difference Between CDR and CDRW


CDR (CD-R) and CDRW (CD-RW) are two classes of recordable compact discs, the difference between CD-R and CD-RW is the way they can store data. Compact discs are storage devices that are capable of storing data, music and movies that can be replayed or accessed in different ways. They must, however, use a disc reader in order to be accessed.


CDR means compact disc-recordable. Like most compact discs, CDRs can only store somewhere between 700-800MB of data. The unique thing about them is that they can only be used for recording once. After that, it is a read-only disc. As such, whatever you will record on a CDR will remain unchanged forever. The good thing is that most of the time, the data can be read by almost every reader available, unless the data is written specially.


CDRW, on the other hand, means compact disc-rewritable. It also holds a 700-800MB limit on its memory; however, it can be recorded on again. It has to be wiped clean first before re-recording though. This makes it great for temporary data storage. CDRWs also need more sensitive laser optics in order to be read. CDRWs are usually used for frequent file transfers that you don’t have to waste CDRs for.

Difference between CD-R and CD-RW

CDR and CDRWs are just two storage mediums. They are somewhat outdated. Regardless of that fact, however, they still are being widely used. CDRs are mostly used for music and movie playback as well as data backups while CDRWs are more commonly used for data transfers or temporary data storage. Because they use specialized materials, CDRWs also cost more compared to CDRs. A common ground to the two is the use of readers. While they can be read by almost any reader, there are some CDRs and CDRWs that can only be read by specific readers, especially if they contain data instead of just music and movies.

CDR and CDRWs are just two storage mediums that have made our lives easier when the computer became an important household item. These two, although outdated, will still have uses for more years to come.

In brief:

• CDR means compact disc-recordable. They can hold data anywhere between 700-800MB. They can only be written on once, and after that, it’s read only.

• CDRW means compact disc-rewritable. It can hold the same amount of data CDRs can, however they can be rewritten on. You just have to blank it first, however.