It’s surprising that Windows 7 still does not have a way to automatically mount ISOs in Windows. Fortunately, it is built into Windows 8+, but other operating systems have had this capability for some time now. For Windows 7 and below, however, you need a third party utility.The How-To Geek recommends Virtual Clone Drive, and I have used it in the past. However, it is only free for 21 days. While it is a nice product, you could say I have a bit of a problem paying for something that just plain should be baked into the operating system. It pretty much grinds my gears to pay for something that other OSes take for granted.
Of course, it isn’t always possible to find a reliable free alternative to mount ISOs in Windows, so I was pleased to meet up with WinCDEmu by SysProgs. It is not only free, but it was pretty easy to use. When it comes to something like this, an intuitive user interface can make or break the program, IMO. There might be more powerful programs with a lot of bells and whistles, but most people just need a simple way to mount and unmount ISO files.
It does not create ISO files, however, as it is not a full-fledged media creator. WinCDEmu does one job and does it quite well. If you need more, you can shell out money for programs with more features, or if you simply need to create, mount and unmount ISO files, then you can use WinCDEmu alongside of another free program, ISO Recorder, which will create ISO files.