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Currently, one can buy 8G DL DVDs for storage ($0.33 per Gig), and external 1TB USB HDs as another option ($0.10 per Gig.) Is there a midrange technology, say 500G or so, perhaps tape-drives in a useful price-range for the consumer?

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What are looking to store? Taps are good for some things, DVD's are good for others, External drives another, etc. –  Josh K Feb 20 '10 at 14:25
    
Althought, if it's a matter of storage for personal needs (home storage), I'd just go and buy a usb 500 gb external disc (they comes at about 50-90$ depending on the manufacturer, and are more then enought for anything one might need in non extreme circumstances). –  ldigas Feb 20 '10 at 14:33
    
price comparisons make this too localized for this site -- in 6 months the prices will be different. if we can keep most of the price talk to generalities it might be ok. –  quack quixote Feb 20 '10 at 15:50
    
~quack - Prices per gb, don't differ that much for it to be localized. They are mostly a matter of production price ... and although prices differ along the world, the relative ratios between different storage means remain the same. –  ldigas Feb 20 '10 at 15:53
    
@Idigas - yeah, i'm more concerned with the localized-in-time aspect -- 2+ years from now all the $/GB we quote here will be irrelevant and outdated. –  quack quixote Feb 20 '10 at 15:57
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

There are numerous options in between, yes (including tape drives).

  1. Blu ray discs (BD-R/BD-RW). For optical storage, this is the next level up from DVD-DL.

  2. Flash storage a.k.a. SSD. Cheap in the 8GB-USB-thumb-drive form, expensive in the 64GB-SATA-SSD form. Prices will continue to fall, capacities will continue to increase.

  3. HDDs. A stack of fast-spinning platters holding magnetic data inside a sealed metal box. The bigger they are, the cheaper they come. See the table under "Capacity and access speed" for a full listing of form factors and maximum platter capacity; here's a few of the current popular sizes:

    1. 1.8" -- teensy. 3 platters, 320GB.
    2. 2.5" -- standard laptop size. 3 platters, 1TB.
    3. 3.5" -- standard desktop size. 5 platters, 2TB.

You mentioned tape drives. Althought not so popular amongst home users, they've always been there and used. I know some people who swear on them when it comes to backup. Not so cheap nowadays thought.

A general article on backup solutions here.

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~quack - 'my gratitude for this very nice edit :) –  ldigas Feb 20 '10 at 15:54
    
yw! i just thought you were missing a couple of things there. :) –  quack quixote Feb 20 '10 at 15:57
    
is ssd's for storage a good idea? i thought they were as reliable as thumb drives (not such a good idea for long term storage) –  JoséNunoFerreira Jun 16 '11 at 14:35
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