The Best Long Term Digital Storage For 2024

Piers Anthony By, Piers Anthony
Best Long Term Digital Storage
Best Long Term Digital Storage

The Rundown

1. Best Overall: Seagate Portable 2TB Hard Drive

The Seagate Portable 2TB Hard Drive is a convenient and reliable solution for storing and accessing important files, photos, music, and more. This USB hard drive offers 2TB of space, so you can easily store and transport your digital content. Read Review

2. Runner Up: WD 2TB Elements Portable HDD

The WD 2TB Elements Portable HDD is the perfect solution for adding extra storage to your device. This external hard drive offers up to 2TB of storage, allowing you to easily store your videos, music, photos, and files. Read Review

3. Best Quality: Toshiba Canvio Basics 2TB Hard Drive

The Toshiba Canvio Basics 2TB Hard Drive is the perfect way to add extra storage capacity to your PC and other compatible devices. This hard drive is USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 compatible and requires no external AC power cord. Read Review

4. Best Efficient: WD_BLACK 5TB P10 Hard Drive

The WD_BLACK 5TB P10 Hard Drive is the perfect solution for gamers who need to store more games. With up to 5TB of storage space, this hard drive can hold up to 125 games, making it ideal for anyone looking to expand their library. Read Review

5. Best Design: Seagate IronWolf Pro 4TB Hard Drive

It offers powerful performance with speeds up to 214MB/s, allowing you to store more data and work faster. It is specially engineered for long-term reliability to reduce wear and minimize sound noise and vibration while consuming lower power. Read Review

The digital age has revolutionized how we store and access data. We no longer need physical media like CDs and floppy disks to store information. With the rise of cloud computing and digital storage solutions, it's become more accessible than ever to store and access data efficiently and cost-effectively. But with so many options on the market, it can be hard to decide which is best for long-term storage.

This is why it's essential to consider the features and benefits of each type of solution before making a decision. This article examines the best long-term digital storage solutions and what makes them stand out. We'll also be discussing the potential drawbacks of each option so you can make an informed decision about which is best for your needs.

We think the best long term digital storage is Seagate Portable 2TB Hard Drive. With this hard drive, you will have no difficulty finding anything to meet your needs! You can also check out the WD 2TB Elements Portable HDD. To help you find the best fit for your needs, We've put up a purchasing guide and shown other great options for you to consider.

Our Top Picks

TOP Choice #1 Seagate Portable 2TB Hard Drive
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Even when you're out and about, you can back up the documents and photos from yesterday. The USB 3.0 plug-and-play feature and drag-and-drop functionality of Seagate Portable make this possible. You can store pictures, songs, videos, documents, and more on this Seagate device by dragging and dropping. More importantly, you can play your games without any problems.

This outstanding laptop hard drive makes it easy to store and access 2TB of content while you're on the go. It works with both Windows and Mac computers. With this small external hard drive, it's easy to back up. To set up, drag and drop files. Connecting the portable hard drive to a computer will be automatically recognized, so you don't need any software. The 18-inch USB 3.0 cable makes it easy to plug in and play—simplicity with the 18-inch USB 3.0 cable. However, the only issue with this drive is that the shell is hard plastic with no drop protection, so you must protect it from dropping. 

TOP Choice #2 WD 2TB Elements Portable HDD
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Western Digital

This external hard drive is the perfect solution for expanding storage capacity and freeing up valuable space on your devices. Its high-speed USB 3.0 interface allows data transfer at maximum speeds while maintaining compatibility with USB 2.0 devices. By utilizing this hard drive, you can experience improved PC performance. 

Setting up this hard drive is effortless, thanks to its plug-and-play functionality explicitly designed for Windows PC. Connect the drive to your computer, and it's ready to use without additional software or complex installation processes. The compact and lightweight design of the movement belies its high storage capacity, which can reach up to an impressive 5TB. This makes WD Elements portable hard drives the perfect companion for users on the go, offering ample space for videos, music, photos, and files while remaining highly mobile. Unfortunately, the included USB cable sometimes loses the connection.

TOP Choice #3 Toshiba Canvio Basics 2TB Hard Drive
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The plug-and-play functionality of this device gives you access to one of the simplest methods available for increasing the amount of storage space on your computer. It enhances your storage with up to 4 TB capacity, saving your extensive photo, audio, and video collections while allowing you to continue adding to them and playing your games smoothly.

It is a solid portable hard drive since it is easy to carry around and put in any pocket or bag thanks to its sleek, matte-black design that is more compact than ever. It is ready to use with your laptop, and there is no need to install any software. Just dragging and dropping files to and from your laptop or desktop is intuitive. The compatibility between USB 3.0 and 2.0 enables high-speed data transfer without requiring an additional AC power cord. Nonetheless, it may sometimes not work fast with Mac devices. 

4 WD_BLACK 5TB P10 Hard Drive
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The more games you own, the more likely it is that some of your favorites will get pushed to the side. This great WD BLACK P10 Game Drive can store up to 125 games in its massive 5 TB storage space. You can take your whole game collection and all essential documents with you everywhere you go thanks to the WD BLACK P10 Game Drive's portable design, which has a sleek metal top covering for instant access to your ever-expanding library of games while still leaving room for old favorites and new releases.

It has a SuperSpeed interface of up to 5Gbps and a USB Type-A to Micro-B connection of 18 inches (457mm) (Cable length may vary). This hard drive is compatible with Xbox Series X/S (play and store Xbox One games, archive Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S games) and PlayStation 5 (play and store PS4 games, archive PS5 games) consoles. The only downside of this device is that it can store PS5 games but not play them.

The IronWolf internal hard drive is the ultimate solution for demanding NAS server environments, accommodating up to 24 bays and serving multiple users simultaneously with exceptional performance. This drive offers a generous storage capacity of 4TB and impressive speeds of up to 214MB/s, ensuring that you can store more data and work faster than ever. 

Designed specifically to withstand heavy usage, this hard drive is built for durability, resulting in minimal wear and tear, zero lags or downtime, enhanced file-sharing performance, reduced power consumption, and added data protection, even in the event of power loss. Monitoring the health of the NAS drive is made effortless with the integrated IronWolf Health Management system, providing valuable insights and ensuring long-term reliability. With an impressive 1.2 million hours of mean time between failures (MTBF), this drive offers exceptional reliability, making it the perfect choice for your NAS storage needs. However, it may produce a bit of noise while operating. 

6 UnionSine Hard Drive
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This external hard drive offers an exceptional transfer speed experience with the help of its USB 3.0 thickened copper core cable. You can enjoy super-fast data transfer speeds, with a theoretical read speed reaching 125MB/s-137MB/s and an impressive write speed up to 103MB/s. The utilization of the JMicron 578 noise-free solution in the motherboard ensures a quiet working environment, allowing you to focus without distractions. Its ultra-thin and lightweight design makes it highly portable, fitting conveniently into pockets for easy transportability.

Compatibility is a strong suit of this external hard drive, as it seamlessly works with various devices, including PS4, Xbox One, Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android. You can expect stable and fast loading on game consoles, with no noticeable difference in performance when used on a PC. The plug-and-play functionality eliminates the need for software installation—connect the drive and start using it immediately. Furthermore, the hard disk chip is safeguarded with an aluminum anti-interference layer, promoting efficient heat dissipation and ensuring data protection. Nevertheless, it may get a bit warm while transferring massive files. 

7 WD 12TB Hard Drive
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Western Digital

This external hard drive offers a massive storage capacity, reaching up to 12TB. It provides ample space for storing extensive files, documents, multimedia content, and more, ensuring you have enough room for growing data needs. The inclusion of software for device management and backup further enhances the functionality of this external hard drive. Additionally, it is compatible with USB 2.0, ensuring seamless connectivity with a wide range of devices.

Moreover, you can conveniently download and install the software, which enables you to manage your device efficiently and perform backups with password protection. This added layer of security ensures that sensitive data remains safeguarded from unauthorized access. Security is a priority with this external hard drive, as it features 256-bit AES hardware encryption. This robust encryption technology provides an extra layer of protection for stored data, ensuring that confidential information remains secure and inaccessible to unauthorized users. Unfortunately, it can be a bit noisy and vibrating; it is recommended that the drive be placed on a rubber mouse pad or similar surface which can greatly reduce noise.

8 Toshiba Canvio Flex 4TB Hard Drive
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Versatile design. Includes USB-C and USB-A cables.

Formatted exFAT for cross-device compatibility (2).

USB-C ready, USB 3.0 compatible.

9 Maxone Hard Drive
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✔Slim Style Pocket Sized Design: Mini portable hard drive protected by sturdy and durable case, comfortably fits your palm

✔Latest Version: 2.5-inch external hard drive, super fast transfer speed with upgrade USB 3.0(up to 5 Gbit / s), which is ten times as fast as - but still compatible with - USB 2.0, ready to backup massive data in seconds

✔Plug-and-Play: Ready to go without external power supply and  software installation needed

10 SanDisk Professional 4TB Hard Drive
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SanDisk Professional

Triple-layer shock resistance for added protection,Rain-and dust-resistant (IP54) enclosure with a 1000lb crush resistance

Premium, anodised aluminium enclosure for strength you can feel

USB 3.0 and USB Type-C compatible

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What to Look For in the best long term digital storage

Perhaps as a customer, you may be looking for a best long term digital storage that may provide you with just what you want, such as being environmentally friendly, freely selected, and so on.

In this section, we will discuss with you the buying guides and main factors to consider when planning to buy the product from e-commerce websites, so that when the time comes to make your final selection, everything would be laid out in front of you.


All hard drives eventually die, and there’s no definitive answer on when that day will come. We recommend replacing your backup drives between the third and sixth years of use, if possible. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get metrics on which hard drive models are more reliable over the long run, and even so, there will always be outliers and failures that occur sooner than expected.


HDDs, or hard drives, contain spinning disks that read and write your data. The faster these disks spin—rated in rotations per minute (RPM)—the faster the drive can access data and transfer it to your computer.


Transfer speed is the feature that most people notice on a daily basis. We evaluated each drive with tests that replicated different real-world uses, and we focused on the drives that consistently outperformed the other contenders. Drives that did well on some tests but failed others were unreliable and not worth purchasing.

External Vs. Internal HDD

The main advantage of external hard disks is their portability. Which also makes them perfect backups in case your PC is compromised. Desktop PCs allow you room to add extra hard disks, but if you are using a laptop or other gaming device, you will have to replace your existing hard drive.

Size Of The Disk

I understand that you are buying the hard disk in order to eliminate the need to delete some files when you install a new game or add modifications. Also, at a time when a single game can take up to 100GB, Call of Duty WWII is 90GB; it only makes sense that you select the hard disk that will allow you sufficient storage space.

Rotation Speed

Did you know that hard drives store information on spinning magnetic plates? The faster these plates spin, the faster the load and access time. The rotation is measured in RPM (Rotations per Minute), and although we recommend hard disks with 7200RPM, 5400RPM is still a good option.

Cache Memory

This is a cache that functions much like Computer RAM Memory. It stores important files temporarily so that it takes less time to access them on the disk. The larger the cache size, the faster the hard disk will be. However, the difference is not major, and as such, this should not be the biggest determiner.


What is long-term digital storage?

Long-term digital storage is the practice of archiving digital data in a secure and reliable manner over a long period of time, typically decades or more. It is typically used for preserving digital records of cultural, historical, or scientific significance.

What are the benefits of long-term digital storage?

Long-term digital storage offers several benefits over traditional analog storage methods, such as physical media or paper records. Digital data is more secure and can be backed up more easily. It can also be easily accessed, shared, and updated with new technology. Additionally, digital data takes up less physical space and is more cost-effective than analog methods.

What are some best practices for long-term digital storage?

Some best practices for long-term digital storage include regularly backing up data, using multiple copies of data in different locations, using reliable storage media, and ensuring that the data is stored in a secure environment. Additionally, it is important to use standard formats for digital data to ensure that it is still readable in the future.

What are some common storage media for long-term digital storage?

Common storage media for long-term digital storage include hard drives, optical discs, USB flash drives, and cloud storage. Each type of storage media has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to choose the best media for the data being stored.


In summary, the best long term digital storage is the one that will provide you with exactly what you want. Provided that you are not satisfied with the models listed above, we propose Toshiba X300 Hard Drive for you. 

If you are unclear about how to select an item for yourself or someone else at any time in this post, please let us know! Our team of professionals is always pleased to help you find the best match.

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About Piers Anthony

Piers Anthony

Piers Anthony is a freelance writer and computer expert who enjoys helping others get the most out of their technology. He has written extensively about laptops, soundbars, and other computer-related topics, and he currently serves as the editor of The Audio Insights website. When he's not writing or tinkering with his gadgets, Piers can be found spending time with his wife and family.