Which is the safest medium for data backups

I want to hear your opinion about the safest way to store backups of data. Let's take 3 mediums -- external USB3 HD, USB flash drives and DVDs. I personally stick to Verbatim DVD +RW. The backup costs about twice cheaper than USB3 flash drive (per GB). Though it's a little bit more hassle with the discs... As per external USB3 HD's...  First of all, it's a little bit of an investment upfront. More importantly, what kinda bothers me a little is the notion that after all, a hard disk is a hard disk. It has mechanical parts, vacuum inside, integrated electronics. Too many things can go wrong and magically you can wake up some not so beautiful morning and your disk is dead!
Let's not discuss SSD's here please. They're still a little beyond my budget.
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Mark BillExchange, AD, SQL, VMware, HPE, 3PAR, FUD, Anti MS Tekhnet, Pro EE, #1Commented:
big companies want something like this.

1. San replication
2. Online backup copy file level
3. Local VM copy on a nas too

mid to small size companies want options 2 and 3 from above as usually they do not have sans.
USB sticks and DVD RW's are both very poor backup media. If DVD, then don't use RW's, but rather +R or -R. The RW's only last for a short time and the smallest scratch makes them unusable. The R's last longer, and as you only write to them once, you don't have to handle them as often so scratches are less likely if you store them properly after the backup. Also USB sticks usually don't last long.

Just get a USB dock for any normal HD, and then drop in cheap desktop HD's for that. Remember that backups need to be done to more than one location so you have different versions, and then you can also loose one of the backups. So get several HD's you can rotate. You can get cheap 2nd hand disks, they don't need to be the highest quality, it is more important to have many of them (quantity is better than quality). Also, the dock doesn't have to be USB 3, USB 2 should be fine (although there probably isn't much difference in price). Particularly as you were considering DVD's, backing up to them would be much slower than to a USB disk, and with the DVD capacity of only 4.7 GB you wouldn't be talking of a large volume of data, so speed is completely unimportant.
I've used external USB HD's with say Cobian Backup software as a temporary or interim solution.

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Mark BillExchange, AD, SQL, VMware, HPE, 3PAR, FUD, Anti MS Tekhnet, Pro EE, #1Commented:
If you have no money just use an online backup, make sure you have at least 1GB switches behind it.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Can you provide some context?  Are you backing up your laptop or business?  Are the files personal or critical?  Do you need version history or just whatever they are today?  Do you want to have a backup if your building burns down or at that point you'll start from scratch?

Effective solutions are specific to your needs and USUALLY not cheap but depends on the importance of your data - you need to provide more details.
Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
Use *two* external hard drives and duplicate the backup processes.
Have them on two separate computers if at all possible.
Have them at two different physical locations if at all possible.
Each addition above adds to the reliability of the backups.  One must consider fire and theft in addition to "goodness" of the media.
Surely consider online backup services.

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papakotaAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for your help!

I think the best advice I've got in this thread is from Fred Marshall
He pointed out one very important thing that I usually overlook. I should think about PHYSICALLY placing an important backups somewhere else. I do have a USB3 dock-station and my old Hitachi HD is in it. But if my cat jumps... not sure there would much left of it (though I try to keep the cat away from my disk). I don't have a 2nd physical location, so I should consider online storage. I don't think it's doable to transfer my 200 GB of data via home Internet channel , but some crucial a few gigs of it will do.
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