Do you ever want to reminisce your precious memories or need a specific document for an urgent purpose? You can’t seem to find that particular photo or document anywhere. Gone are the days of stacks of old photo albums or document binders. The world has moved on to digital data storage. And that’s why we need data archive solutions.

While there are many ways to archive data, not all of them are reliable. You can go for standard offline storage options like HDDs, SSDs, or optical disks. Another viable option is to choose online cloud storage for data archiving.

All things considered, data archiving is crucial when it comes to preserving critical digital resources. So, let’s find out the best way to archive data!

What’s Data Archiving?

As opposed to data backup, data archiving implies a different meaning. Although both processes employ a somewhat similar mechanism to store precious data, archiving is mainly done primarily for long-term preservation.

On the other hand, data backup is for securely storing and quickly restoring essential everyday data in case you run into an emergency and your active storage device faces data loss.

Data archiving is done to store old photos, documents, files, or any digital resource for years to come (maybe even generations). It’s for data that you don’t immediately need but don’t want to delete right away either.

How to Archive Data

Archiving data can be quite an exciting concept. While there are a plethora of ways you can store or backup data, not all of them will do the trick for archiving.

1. External Hard Disk Drive

HDDs have always been the traditional go-to device for storing data. It’s reliable, sturdy, and simply gets the job done. You can expect to keep one terabyte of data in a hard disk for up to 15 years.

The only downside is the dimensions. Hard disk drives take up a lot of physical space. Also, moving parts inside the device make it vulnerable to mechanical damage. So, make sure to spin up the machine every year or two, just to keep it viable.

2. External Solid-State Drive

Flaunted as the flashy new replacement for HDDs, Solid-state drives also hold quite the promise in data archiving. Although the technology is less than ten years old, many manufacturers claim that it’s suitable for long-term storage up to 20 years.

The hardware is virtually shock-proof and uses electron-traps to store data instead of moving mechanical parts. So, it can definitely be a viable method. We suggest that you keep it in consideration if you can afford the higher price point.

3. Flash Disk

Although not as reliable as HDDs or SSDs, USB flash disks can show potential when archiving data. The cost-effectiveness and recent popularity of USB technology have made flash disks quite the household device.

Besides offering up to 500 gigabytes of storage, flash disks have storage-friendly dimensions, meaning it doesn’t take up much space.

Also, since there are no moving parts like HDDs, you don’t have to worry about refreshing it. Simply plug it in via USB and enjoy browsing through your precious data archive.

4. Online Cloud Storage

If you’re just too confused and baffled with so many options, go for online cloud backup. Yeah, it’s the new kid on the block. But it’s the one that has gained everyone’s trust, including tech giants and multi-national corporations!

There are numerous web-based cloud storage services online that you can use to archive unlimited data virtually until eternity (for a fair amount of money). There’s Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon’s Glacier, and so on.

Although there are internet speed issues and some security concerns (since the data is stored virtually, not physically), most are minor. And the technology is still pretty much developing to overcome the flaws.

5. Optical Disks or Blu-Ray

Take it with a grain of salt when we say that you should choose Blu-ray disks to archive data for more than a hundred years! Yeah, you read it right. We’re talking about the disks that you buy for movies and TV shows.

Writing over BD-R disks using a Blu-ray disk drive can be a great way to archive up to 25 gigabytes of data. The cost is pretty bearable too. So keep it in consideration if you don’t need terabytes of storage space but looking for a more economical solution.

Bottom Line

That being said, you should now know about the best data archive solutions. We’ve suggested five different ways, and you can choose any one of them based on your storage preference and budget.

As a one-liner, go for online cloud storage since it’s the most trusted and promising one yet. Otherwise, choose HDDs for long-term on-site archiving. Just remember to go through the maintenance procedures regularly.