What is Magnetic Tape? Advantages and Disadvantages of Magnetic Tape

Magnetic tape, magnetic drums, and magnetic disks are types of magnetic memory. Which are used as secondary storage devices in computers to store data and information.

In today’s article, we are going to talking about Magnetic tape.

Today we will learn in detail about, what is magnetic tape, and what are advantages and disadvantages of magnetic tape?

So without wasting time let’s first understand what is Magnetic Tape?

Magnetic Tape
Magnetic Tape

What is Magnetic Tape?

Magnetic tape is the oldest technology to store data, which has a high capacity and a very low cost. Magnetic tape is a thin long, narrow strip of plastic coated with a magnetizable material.

In the magnetic tape, only one side of the ribbon is used to store data.

It is sequential memory that consists of a thin plastic ribbon coated by magnetic oxide to store data. The width of the ribbon ranges from 4 mm to 1 inch.

Reading/writing data in the magnetic tape is very slow because sequential access is done in it. Sequential access means that you cannot read/write data randomly or directly.

Magnetic tape is a reliable storage device. Whose storage capacity ranges from 100 MB to 200 GB.

Magnetic tape is a non-volatile memory, which means that the data and information stored in it are not destroyed even when the power supply is turned off but is stored permanently.

Data access is slow in this, so it is mostly used as a backup memory.

History of Magnetic Tape

Magnetic tape is one of the oldest computer storage media, which is still in use today.

The first magnetic tape was used in 1951 in the computer UNIVAC I (Universal Automatic Computer I) made by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly.

The use of magnetic tape boomed when mainframe computers arrived. Magnetic tape was used to store data in these computers.

When Random Access Memory and other storage devices came in the market, those memory were used as primary memory by replacing magnetic tape with primary storage media. However, in some industries such as entertainment, science, magnetic tape has been used to store large files.

Advantages of Magnetic Tape

  • Magnetic tape can also be used to store large files.
  • Handling the magnetic tape is quite easy and convenient.
  • It can be used to keep a copy of a disc file.
  • It is a reusable memory. In this, by erasing the stored data, new data and information can be stored again.
  • It provides backup.
  • This is a cheap memory which is available in the market at very low prices.
  • Its storage capacity ranges from 100Mb to 200 GB.
  • Magnetic tape has a very long life, so it is used to store such data which we have to keep for a long time.

Disadvantages of Magnetic Tape

  • Stored data in this cannot be accessed directly.
  • In this, the data is accessed sequentially, which makes searching a bit difficult.
  • It is a bit slow because the data is accessed sequentially.
  • It requires a lot of care.
  • This makes it difficult to update story data.
  • It requires a dust free environment.



Friends, I hope that after reading this article, you will get all the information related to what is magnetic tape, and what are advantages and disadvantages of magnetic tape? and you will not have to search about it anywhere else.

If you want a complete tutorial on Computer Fundamentals, then see this article Computer Fundamentals Tutorial. Here you will get all the topics of Computer Fundamentals step by step.

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If you still have any question or doubt related to magnetic tape, then ask me in the comment, I will answer all your questions and you can contact us for more information.

Jeetu Sahu is A Web Developer | Computer Engineer | Passionate about Coding, Competitive Programming, and Blogging

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