Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » T »

tape

A magnetically coated strip of plastic on which data can be encoded. Tapes for computers are similar to tapes used to store music.

Storing data on tapes is considerably cheaper than storing data on disks. Tapes also have large storage capacities, ranging from a few hundred kilobytes to several gigabytes. Accessing data on tapes, however, is much slower than accessing data on disks. Tapes are sequential-access media, which means that to get to a particular point on the tape, the tape must go through all the preceding points. In contrast, disks are random-access media because a disk drive can access any point at random without passing through intervening points.

Because tapes are so slow, they are generally used only for long-term storage and backup. Data to be used regularly is almost always kept on a disk. Tapes are also used for transporting large amounts of data.

Tapes come in a variety of sizes and formats.

Tapes are sometimes called streamers or streaming tapes.







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
DID YOU KNOW?
The Five Generations of Computers

Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the current devices that we use today. Read More »

Small Business Marketing's Greatest Hits

The following compilation of small business marketing tips highlights some of the expert advice published over at Small Business Computing. Read More »

13 Best Free Android Apps

From secure messaging to document editing, our top free must-have apps have been rated, reviewed and named the best free Android apps of 2015. Read More »

QUICK REFERENCE
5 Best Cloud Storage Services

With cost and security in mind, we look at five cloud storage options that will suit the needs of most home and SMB owners. Read More »

Windows 10 Tips for Desktop PC

Five basic tips to help you customize Windows 10 on your desktop PC. Read More »

29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students

From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »