Optical Storage Devices – Examples, Types, Advantages

In this article, we will study the concept of optical storage devices and their types.

As the name suggests, optical storage devices are used to store information using patterns of dots. They are used to read and write huge information onto them and store them in a compact manner. A large amount of information can be stored on a low-cost and lightweight optical storage device and can be carried easily from one place to another. The information stored in these devices is read using a laser beam which is directed on the dots present on the devices and reads information from it.

We will take a look at six major optical storage devices which have proved highly useful for storing large data.

Optical Storage Devices

Optical Storage Devices


It stands for Compact Disc Read-Only Memory. As the latter part of its name suggests, the data present on a CD-ROM is in “read-only” format. It cannot be modified or erased. This feature of CD-ROM and its large storage capacity enables us to store a large amount of data. The first CD-ROMs could store up to 600 MB of data, but now with advancements, we can store up to 800 MB of data.

Advantages of CD-ROM:

  • Efficient for storing high-capacity information.
  • Ensures data security.
  • Can also store digital, audio, and video data.


It stands for Digital Video Disc Read-Only Memory. Just like CD-ROM, the information stored on a DVD-ROM cannot be erased. A single DVD-ROM can store up to 7 times more information than a CD-ROM.

Advantages of DVD-ROM:

  • Large storage capacity.
  • Portability
  • Low cost and available easily.
  • Ensure high-quality audio and video data storage.

3. Blue-Ray

With advancements in technologies, a new optical storage device – Blue Ray Disc emerged which replaced DVD-ROM and CD-ROM as it can store even more data onto them. A single Blue Ray disc can store up to 25-30 GB of data and a double-layered disc can store twice that of a single-layered disc. These discs are mainly used to store High Definition(HD) videos.

Advantages of Blue-Ray discs:

  • High capacity.
  • High definition quality storage.
  • Enhanced audios.


It stands for High Definition Digital Video Disc. These storage devices are a replacement for Blue Ray discs and are used to store high-definition videos onto them. A single-layered HD-DVD can store up to 15GB of data while a double-layered can store data twice that of a single-layered disc.

Advantages of HD-DVD:

  • Large capacity.
  • Compatibility with other devices.
  • Available at low cost.


It stands for Digital Video Disc Random Access Memory. It came as a modification of the above-mentioned storage devices as it allows to modify and re-write data onto it. The storage capacity of a DVD-RAM is similar to a normal DVD(up to 5 GB).

Advantages of DVD-RAM:

  • Allows us to re-write data onto the disc.
  • Sufficient capacity to store audio and video data.
  • Used for data back-up and archiving.

6. Recordable Storage Devices

Recordable optical devices are of two types.

  1. CD-R and DVD-R: It stands for ‘CD-Recordable and DVD Recordable’. The data can be recorded and stored onto these discs but once the data is written, it cannot be erased and the discs cannot be re-used.
  2. CD-RW and DVD-RW: It stands for ‘CD-Recordable and DVD Recordable’. The data stored on these discs can be re-used as these discs allow us to re-write information onto them multiple times.

Advantages of Recordable Storage Devices:

  • Have a high capacity for storing data.
  • Allow scheduled backup of data.
  • Inexpensive and compatible.
  • Ensure security of data.

Here, we saw the different types of optical storage devices and their use. These devices have proved highly efficient for storing large amounts of data at affordable costs and also allow the reusability of data. So, that’s all about the optical storage devices used prominently in this era.

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