Question What's a good drive for long-term storage?

Nov 2, 2021
I am looking for a drive that is large enough to hold many files (around 2 - 5 TB) that will also last a long time (around 5 - 10 years). Now I know SSD's are better for that, but they are also more expensive.

I don't care about speed at all. This particular drive will be a secondary drive for just keeping files and letting me access them whenever I want to. I want to have as much storage as I can for $150 at most.

I was originally planning to go for this Barracuda Hard Drive, but after hearing how unreliable hard drives are at storing files safely for a long time, I'm starting to rethink this. Is there any drive that is better or is this Barracuda hard drive just as fine?

Again, I don't care about speed, I care about how long the drive will last. I don't want my drives randomly dying after I've put way too many important documents in there.

Thank you in advance.


Mar 16, 2013
Drive failure rates from places such as BackBlaze shows there to be very little difference in drive reliability across brands.
Except for couple of outliers, they are all within a percent or two.
You can't say WD SUX!. Or Seagate SUX! Or whatever....

But any single instance of a drive...the one in your desk drawer, for instance...can't be guaranteed to last "5-10 years".

All drive stats and longevity are based on fleet wide numbers.

For instance...
I have a 7 month old Toshiba Enterprise drive, 16TB, in my QNAP NAS.

2 days ago, it started showing bad sectors. 650, 720, now 14,000+.
It will be submitted for an RMA, and almost certainly replaced under warranty.

Previous to that, I had a 3TB WD Green die at 5 weeks out of the box.
Replaced under warranty.

In both of these cases, the data recovery on the drives is under my control.

Backups of your data needs to be on multiple devices, and checked regularly.
You can't just copy stuff and stash that drive on the shelf.