What Is the Capacity of Magnetic Tape?

The capacity of magnetic tape varies from one product and manufacturer to another, but the standard capacities range from under 3 megabytes to about 5 terabytes. Several companies have sought to drastically increase the potential capacity of magnetic tape. In 2014, Sony announced that it had manufactured magnetic tape with a capacity of 185 terabytes.

IBM first introduced magnetic tape in 1952. Since then, it has been used extensively for data backups and archival storage of digital media. There are several formats for magnetic tape, many of which are proprietary and owned by specific manufacturers.

Data storage needs grow by approximately 50 percent each year, according to Forbes. Magnetic tape offers an efficient, low-cost solution to archiving and backing up data.