What is the average lifespan of external hard drive?

I'm planning to buy an external hard drive to store all the photos and videos. They've been occupying just too much space on my machines. The only thing that will ever get stored on the new external hard drive will be photos and videos - and nothing else. But the concern I have is how long will the drive last if I keep it in a safe place and only connect it to the computer when I need a backup of photos and videos?

I've read that the average life expectancy of the external hard disks is about 3-6 years. That, I think, is too short. I'd expect them to last at least of a decade if not more.

Have you had any experiences with the external hard drives? Do you think they are reliable?


  • Guttu
    the life expectancy depends on the usage. If you backup fotos and disconnect the drive. It will surely increase the life. If you keep it connected, Then the life span will be reduced. I am using a 500GB WD HDD for 3 years and 160GB for 4 years. Both are always connected. No problems so far.
  • lovebox
    I am using a Seagate 500 GB external for 3 years now to backup my data. No problems as such till now. Working absolutely fine. It came with a 5 year warranty. 2 more years still to go before the warranty expires.
  • Jeffrey Arulraj
    Jeffrey Arulraj
    A bit stored in the Harddrive needs to be there without getting distorted or lost for a period of 10 years
    By Dr. Shivram, Research Analyst Nano tech SRM technologies

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