Optical discs are useful for storing interactive contents, videos, music and other large-sized data. It is a superior choice for back up purposes. Optical platforms that are used for back up are typically DVD and Blu-Ray. The legacy CD is no longer cost effective given its sub-gigabyte capacity. While HDD offers much larger capacity than even the most expensive Blu-Ray, it is are more vulnerable to failures to different reasons. DVD and Blu-Ray are considered as efficient means for backing up information. They are able to consistently meet our critical requirements and needs. They provide sustainable data archiving, reliability and good durability.

Benefits of using optical discs for back up purposes include reduced storage costs, reduces risks of data loss, compatibility with many computer sets, good durability, long term data retention and low power requirements. Once recorded, data in DVD and Blu-Ray can’t be changed or modified. It may seem like a disadvantage, but it also means that data backups in optical storage won’t be infected with virus and malware during subsequent data retrieval. Optical discs ensure high data integrity and it won’t be changed over time. Integrity can be guaranteed and data can be kept perfectly intact.

CD, DVD and Blu-Ray have identical dimensions. Blu-Ray readers also offer backward compatibility with CD and DVD. The differentiating factor of these types of optical discs is the size. Blu-Ray is the newer technology for optical discs that utilized blueviolet laser. It has shorter wavelength compared to standard red laser used by CD and DVD. A standard Blu-Ray disc could contain about 50GB of data and a 100GB version is also available. The high density of data storage is achieved through multi-layered data storage. 4-layer Blu-ray discs are able to accommodate about 200GB of data.

When stored in dry, cool, clean and dark storage areas, an optical could last between 20 to 100 years. Optical discs are also more durable than hard disk drives. A disc can be smashed to the ground and still retains the data. On the other hand, although HDDs are equipped with various anti-shock features, they are definitely less durable against abuses. When choosing a DVD or Blu-ray discs for back up purposes, it is recommended to choose the one with protective coating. It prevents fingerprints, scratches and growth of fungus. This should help to protect data in optical drives against many kinds of damages.

When using optical media for back up purposes, we should make sure that it’s based on common industry standard formats, including UDF and IO 9660. These formats are compatible with common operating systems, including Mac OS X, UNIX, Linux and Microsoft Windows. Optical media should ensures that they are compatible for many years ahead. Blu-ray readers are now affordable and can be installed on both laptops and desktop computers. While DVD is increasingly considered as a legacy technology, Blu-ray is certainly become the new standard in back up media.