Everyone should be using antivirus/security suites anyway
Every user should have a modern, updated antivirus/antispyware security suite, and that includes Mac users too.
As I said earlier, I would never rely on just a single hard drive. Even if someone has old versions of documents on a DVD-R, how does that help them if they accidentally hit the delete key and lose all the updates made since their last backup? The solution I mentioned above (Almost immediate backups) means that I will never lose more than a few minutes of new updates. And I noted that except in the case of fire or flood, it's highly unlikely for two modern hard drives to fail simultaneously. I also posted about HDD Health, a free utility that keeps me informed on minute changes in drive performance that can indicate imminent hard drive failure. I'm not foolish enough to think that one single hard drive is sufficient to safeguard my documents.
And recordable DVDs and CDs are not really effective long-term storage options. At least not from what I've read. One can't record them, file them away and expect them to be readable years down the road. Maybe in an ideal world people would use both an external hard drive and recordable DVDs.
There are a few disincentives for many people to use recordable DVDs. First is their relatively small size. Many people now have tens or even hundreds of gigabytes of files because of photos, MP3's and digital video. Even a dual-layer DVD won't fit all that data onto a single disk. Many people are not going to be patient enough to sort through their files and separate them into different folders to be recorded onto different disks.
A second problem is the limited life of recordable DVDs. They don't last nearly as long as pre-recorded DVDs because they use ink to record the data. If someone has their data stored on 10 separate DVDs, they will have to re-record that data onto 10 separate DVDs in just a couple years (preferably sooner). That takes some organizational work.
A third problem is the tediousness of creating a full set of backup DVDs. Unless one happens to be one of the very rare individuals with a recordable Blu-Ray or HD-DVD drive, one will have to use multiple DVDs to backup data, at least if you have a lot of video and audio files and most of us do these days. The pain-in-the-*** factor turns off many people from making regular backups. It's not smart to hold off on making backups but it's a sad reality with many (most?) computer users.
Internal and/or external hard drives are relatively easy to use, even without dedicated backup software. Is it the perfect solution? Probably not. But I find it to be reliable and very convenient. Recordable DVDs are not such a great solution either and most home users aren't going to be buying tape drives. I agree that everyone should be backing up their data. It's also good to keep in mind what people will actually do. And many of them won't be making yearly sets of DVDs for all their movies, photos and music.
I already explained that I back everything up on a second internal hard drive AND I plan to make occasional full backups on another external hard drive. I used to make backups on CDs but the tediousness of the process made me give that up very quickly. Even with DVDs, I would have to use several disks to store everything and then I would need to make regular backups of those backups because those disks won't last forever.
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