Age of every storage device depends on the write cycles (number of times you erase and store new files) of that storage device. If we talk about CD’s, you can only write data only for once which will be retained until the CD lasts. Thus, the write cycle of a CD is limited to one.
However, there are some DVD’s which can be rewritten up to 10 times. You can erase it and store new data up to 10 times; this way, the write cycle of a rewritable DVD is ten. As a consequence, flash memories were developed so that you can erase and rewrite any data to them. We have a plethora of flash memory drives available in the market including pen-drives, SSD and SD cards.
Such memory drives account for everyday use, ranging from taking it to offices for the purpose of carrying documents or to share media files like songs and movies with friends. This is often accompanied by formatting the drive after a particular use.
That being said, the write cycles of these drives range from 10,000 to 100,000. All of this is dependant on the hardware (flash memory chip) used in that flash drive. The better the hardware, the more write cycles you can get from a flash drive.
When it comes to retaining the data, CD and DVD’s can keep the data until its broken or scratched. The more you use this memory drive, the more it will degrade. Therefore, flash memories are quite reliable and do a far better job when it comes to retaining data. Store your precious data on a flash drive and forget it, the data will be retained forever, be it ten years or more.
On the contrary, if you are using your flash drive more often and formatting it with every use, then you might end up degrading the flash memory chip inside it. This would possibly affect the data stored inside or the storing capacity of the drive. Therefore, to be on a safer side, you should avoid formatting your flash drives too often.
That being said, what is the best media to keep your data? No doubt, Flash memory can be used for that purpose. However, a proper backup of precious data on the cloud is always preferred. Also, always buy quality flash drives from well-known brands so you can rely on them for keeping your valuable data alive.