I want permanent storage that will be added to about every week. The old stuff needs to be kept secure and new stuff needs to be added every week.

I am presently using DVD. This seems reasonably good. I have some older discs and most data seems retreivable. However, the last few files on every discs no longer seem accessible on most of my DVD readers. However, an old 10 years old DVD reader can still read those files, so it might be a case of the original DVD writer writing a little bit more data than the new DVD readers can read.

Is my assumption that DVD writers write/read different amounts of data correct?

In 2020 I am reading articles saying:

  1. SSD drives can only be written to a certain number of times and then become unusable. I cannot find how permanent the data is once written. Does anyone know how long, once written, the data will last?

  2. HDD only last about 3-5 years, so this seems a bad way of storing data long term. Is that correct? Is that due to the moving parts?

  3. The DVD presently seems the most sturdy, but is obviously limited to about 4GB per disc. The data is on a disc which is disconnected from the reader with the moving parts than can be replaced. Would Blu Ray be a better/similar option. I think that is about 25GB per disc for a comparible price?

  4. I am presently saving on DVD+R, but can only find BluRay-R. What is the difference? I was always told to buy +R DVDs as they were better, but I never knew why. Can someone explain?

  5. Does anyone know any other, better long term storage device? What is everyone's personal choice they use? It has to be added to every week, but the old data needs to be kept secure.

PS. I do not want to use the cloud.

  • 4
    #2 seems unsubstantiated. (I have SATA HDDs which still work after running 24/7 for a decade, and even IDE HDDs which still work after spending 15 years in a laptop.) #4 is easy to answer but would be much better posted as a separate question. #5 is entirely opinion-based and so offtopic for the site. Sep 15, 2020 at 9:36
  • 1
    What about a NAS in RAID for redundancy, with some 3.5" drives designed for a NAS? Sep 15, 2020 at 9:58
  • @Tetsujin Thanks for the comment, but it does not answer. That is 2012 and also the person's conditions are different. I am adding weekly to my data, so HDD would constantly have spinning wheels. I also do need to look at old data occasionally.
    – Rewind
    Sep 15, 2020 at 10:02
  • @ spikey_richie I have never heard of NAS in RAID and will research it. Thanks.
    – Rewind
    Sep 15, 2020 at 10:03
  • 1
    "adding weekly" is nowhere near "constantly having spinning wheels". Consider that many hard drives are in use all day long on a daily basis as part of their normal usage in desktops, laptops and servers. Sep 15, 2020 at 10:17

1 Answer 1


It depends on several things, such as :

How much data storage do you need?

How much money can you spend to store this data ?

I would suggest a NAS with several hard drives in a RAID configuration, so that when a HDD fails, you don't lose any data and just have to replace it. It also allows a lot more storage than DVDs, but it's more expensive.

Your 2nd point doesn't seem realistic to me, the durability of a hard drive is much higher than that. Look at these statistics for example : https://www.backblaze.com/blog/backblaze-hard-drive-stats-q2-2020/ and take into account these HDDs are in 24/7 use. For a personal use where most of the time you are not accessing or writing data, they would last more without issue. The oldest I have is 11 years old, and I have not lost any of them yet.

The primary advantage of SSDs compared to HDDs is their speed, and they cost more for the same capacity, so that's not ideal to store data anyway.

Also keep in mind that if that's data you really dont want to lose, you should store them in several physical locations, in case a fire or another accident happens.

  • Did you manage to check out my link superuser.com/questions/284427/… . They appear to think External HDD have a 3-5 year lifespan. Why are external drives so different to internal ones?
    – Rewind
    Sep 15, 2020 at 11:21
  • Also the NAS RAID looks good, but wow the price. As good as it looks, I think I have to rule out that option.
    – Rewind
    Sep 15, 2020 at 11:21
  • Here is another link claiming the 3-5 years: datarecoveryspecialists.co.uk/blog/…
    – Rewind
    Sep 15, 2020 at 11:29
  • @Rewind I don't think external HDD are so different than internal ones. A loss in 3-5 years seems unlikely to me, I don't see on what this claim is based on. Maybe it's because an external drive is more likely to be carried, etc, but if it stays at home, this should not be an issue.
    – asmoth
    Sep 15, 2020 at 12:51

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