For most users, Daemon Tools' main purpose is to emulate the functions of an optical disc drive. In short, Daemon Tools can be used to read the digital copies of content stored on optical discs ranging from CDs and DVDs to Blu-Ray and HD DVDs. Once those digital copies have been read, the Daemon Tools can then run them as though the actual optical discs had been inserted into a compatible drive attached to the computer.
This is significant because it is an enormous improvement on the default method used to read the digital copies of optical discs. Under normal circumstances, computers are unable to read the formats used for digital copies of optical discs. To circumvent this problem, users must burn those digital copies onto optical discs inserted into compatible drives and then use those optical discs as normal. For obvious reasons, this approach can be both expensive and time-consuming over time, both factors that contribute to the benefit received from Daemon Tools' comparative convenience.
However, the emulation of optical disc drives is not Daemon Tools' sole purpose. Users can also create digital copies using either optical discs or preexisting digital copies stored on their computers. Said digital copies can be created using either the standard ISO format or the MDS/MDF file pair. In contrast, Daemon Tools can create these digital copies using digital copies stored in a number of formats, ranging from CUE to NRG and PDI. Some of these formats are particular to programs such as Alcohol 52% and Nero Burning Rom that share similar functions.
Although these functions are useful for its intended audience, Daemon Tools is also important because it comes in one of four forms. Daemon Tools Lite can both run and create digital copies, but offers fewer features because it is available free of charge to interested individuals. In contrast, Pro Standard, Pro Advanced, and Net offer more features and more powerful capabilities. However, Daemon Tools Lite contains all the elements that casual users might need, meaning that there is little point to upgrading for most people out there.
Overall, Daemon Tools is not a stand-out product that compels the attention of its audience. Its functions are much the same as those belonging to its competitors, while its capabilities possess no special distinction. Instead, Daemon Tools should be considered an excellent product because it handles the duties that it is expected to handle in a fast and reliable manner using a simple and intuitive interface. In short, it is not innovative so much as polished.