Advantages & Disadvantages of DVD-ROM Discs

By Ashley Poland

DVD-ROM is a generic term that can refer to different types of discs.
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When you're comparing your data storage options, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. You may find DVD storage perfect for your situation, while another user may find it inconvenient. Even though most users prefer rewritable media such as external hard drives and flash drives, there are some perks to using DVDs.

Cost Per Gigabyte

When it comes to straight cost per gigabyte, DVDs have the advantage; you can buy a set of blank DVDs for anywhere from $0.04 to $0.13 per gigabyte. This price varies depending on the brand, type and amount of DVDs you purchase at one time. This is a significant savings over flash drives, which run up to more than a dollar per gigabyte; it even beats many hard drives, which tend to run under a dollar per gigabyte.


If you need a form of external media to store continually changing files, DVD may not be the right choice for you. Only specific forms of DVDs can be written once and then rewritten: DVD-RW, DVD+RW and DVD-RAM. If you have a blank disc labelled DVD-R and DVD+R, then you can write data to that disc only once.

Storage and Portability

Depending on how you need to use your media, DVD can be a plus or a minus. While individual DVDs are small and come in thin cases, lots of them can be cumbersome to store. DVDs are good for storing data you do not need to access or take with you on a regular basis.


Everyone has broken a CD or two in their day. DVDs are vulnerable to scratching, breaking and warping when stored improperly. Damage to your DVD can mean partial or even total data loss -- although they are not inherently more prone to damage than external hard drives, which are at risk for mechanical, fall and magnetic damage.

Movie Storage

When you're looking for physical storage for a movie collection, DVDs are a mixed bag. With the ubiquity of DVD players in homes, you'll rarely have trouble playing your movies on the go -- but a standard DVD plays only one movie. If you have a large movie collection, you may be better suited with an external hard drive, or a media system that can stream from your computer to your television.