Safest way to store digital files

CD? Copy to DVD. Store in a cool dark and dry place.
Keep copies on an external HDD at a different location - in case of fire, flood, theft etc.

geek_r.g.nixon, Jun 5, 7:48 am

What about on a cloud?

geek_jh34, Jun 5, 8:26 am

Micro SD card or USB stick. Cheap enough and better than CD/DVD.

geek_bastardsquad, Jun 5, 9:37 am

To unreliable. DVD is good, i have never had a problem just buy quality ones, about $8 a pack of 10.

geek_wayne416, Jun 5, 9:43 am

Good idea. Google Photos now allow unlimited photos and up to 1080p videos for free. You just have to let Google use them if it wants to (something like that).

geek_r.g.nixon, Jun 5, 9:51 am

The 'Best' way is two or more copies on different types of media (one of which should probably be cloud based)

geek_king1, Jun 5, 10:24 am

Both very unreliable options. CD/DVD can last 50+ years when stored in the right environment. Archive quality discs are rated for 100+ years.

Flash media can fail at any time.

geek_suicidemonkey, Jun 5, 10:33 am

And print the precious ones off at a photo store and keep one set at home, another set offsite. Costly yes but some memories are priceless. If they become unreadable on disc, hard drive etc you can still look at them.

geek_neil51, Jun 5, 6:45 pm


Multiple copies, and update them as technology changes.

I keep our pictures etc on the hard disk, a copy on a removable hard disk, and on the disk of the "backup" PC on the network. When I replace my PC, things get updated again, so the files are always on reasonably current media. OK, that's hard disks, but they are on different locations.

To lose them I have to loose 3 hard disks at the same time. Exactly how many copies, and what they are on is up to you. Cloud, DVDR, thumb drives etc are all "ok", but nothing is 100%. But 99.9%, with 3 or more different copies gets you pretty reliable.

But don't expect to read some media after 20 years in the bottom drawer. The 'Best' way is two or more copies on different types of media (one of which should probably be cloud based). But when you upgrade the PC, the 100 gb of user files off the disk go on the 1 tb disk in the new machine. Next upgrade will have 10tb of storage, so you just repeat the process.

geek_ianab, Sep 16, 2:58 am

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