A tape drive is a data storage device that stores digital data on magnetic tapes. Tape drives are often used for offline storage, such as major backup jobs or long-term storage of large amounts of data. One of the primary reasons why people choose tape drives as their solution is that data loss during long term storage is minimal.
However, as hard drive prices have generally fallen so much over the past few years, many choose to use a RAID setup with hard drives rather than tape drives. They do this because access to files stored on hard drives is less difficult, as you do not have to go and change the tape to restore individual files from a backup or the like.