Updated: 11/12/2023 by Computer Hope
Magnetic tape

A tape is a magnetically thin coated piece of plastic wrapped around wheels capable of storing data. Tape is less expensive than other storage mediums, but also much slower because it's sequential access and is used for backing up large amounts of data.

Today, tape has mostly been abandoned for faster and more reliable solutions like disc drives, hard drives, and flash drives that are all direct access and cloud storage. The image is an example of magnetic tape taken by KENPEI and shared under the creative commons.

What is a load point?

The load point is the location on an area of magnetic tape where information begins to be placed when written to the magnetic tape.

How much can a tape drive store?

The storage capacity of a tape drive depends on the type of tape drive and technology being used. For example, the first tape drive introduced by Remington Rand in 1951 was only capable of storing 224 KB of data. Later tape drives released in the early 2000s were capable of storing several TB of data. For example, the IBM TS1155 generation 6 tape drive released in 2017 can store 15 TB of uncompressed data. IBM announced in August 2023 its latest TS1170 tape drives with native support of 50 TB and 150 TB with compression.

Cassette, External storage, Peripheral, Sequential access, Storage device, Tape drive terms, VHS