External HDD or SSD for backups?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 13,881
Re: External HDD or SSD for backups?
2

Justme wrote:

I am looking at Seagate SSD and HDD for backups in the 2TB range. SSD costs double but is it more reliable?

No media, even SSDs, are immune from failure, so you should have more than one backup drive and alternate them. The last thing you want to discover after your live drives die, get corrupted or or stolen is that your sole backup is also dead. You also don't want to be in the situation where, for example, your system suffers its failure halfway through cloning your live data to your only backup drive. Now that backup is half updated and may be useless. And whatever took out your system might have taken out the backup as well.

That being the case, I see no reason to pay the extra money for an SSD as backup media. The big extra that SSDs give you is speed more than reliability, and you don't really need the speed for backup media since you don't normally run your backups while you're actually doing work on the computer.  And the reliability issue is covered by having multiple backups.

I would particularly avoid SSDs if by "backup" you mean "keep data offline for a while". SSDs will loose data if they're left sitting on the shelf for too long, they need to be powered up and scanned every so often in order to detect and refresh memory pages whose static charges are dissipating. That's not too much of a problem for an SSD drive that gets used as part of a regular backup cycle every month or so, but I wouldn't trust it to keep offline data intact for periods measured in years.

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