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“I wouldn’t rely on a hard drive. In an experience I had, a hard drive of mine was used daily. It was always on and worked flawlessly.”
If you take proper care in working with and moving around, an external hardrive should be just as reliable as the one inside of your computer. If you’ve purchasedan un-branded (China merchandise) from eBay ora terradrive for under $100, then that’s probably the reason for having storage as its most unreliable state.
My experience with CDs, DVDs, and Blue-ray discs (with the exception of hard coating) are prone to tears and scratches just by the nature of basic use. Files storage on discs with my experience is far less flexible in terms of writing and re-writing. CD-R and DVD-R discs can be written only once before they are sealed and finalized. CD-RW and DVD-RW are designed in a specific way to be rewritable as storage, but still have their limitations. After a certain number of writing sessions, the disc must be eraced for any further use. Files cannot be deleted individually. I’ve never had any experience with Blue-ray or any of its characteristics. DVD-RAM is another option (if your drive supports it) that allows a significantly greater amount of writing sessions (somewhere around 10,000,000).
Personally, I’d go with an expensive hardrive with 1 or 2 TB. Most are around the $100-$100 price range.