Tape Drives for 2022 Storage?

So ive come across some LTO drives at work and on clearance hardware sites and it seems 15Tb Tape drives can be gotten for cheap for e.g " Overland-Tandberg LTO-7 Data Cartridge, 6.0, 15.0TB" can be gotten for under £50 + shipping on reputable sites, and found some LTO drive readers for under 200, would these work with Modern OS’s such as TrueNAS Scale and or Windows Server 2022? as thats what i run at home if so, would they be viable for Storing Images/Documents/OS Backups/Logs on? or should i just go get a 16TB HDD

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Tape drives are for long term cold storage backups if you need frequent access to the files then I’d suggest going HDD rather than tape.
Tapes also have a rather low write endurance from what I know so one tape is not meant for frequent backups (like daily or weekly).

Where did you find LTO-7 tape drives for a couple hundred? Around here LTO-7 and LTO-8 drives cost a small fortune. Only the really old and outdated LTO-5 drives are affordable.

LambadaTek and Ebay has a few here in the EU

I’ve seen tape drives, but never seen in depth
What is the interface of them? Are they tidy enough, to work in a [regular] pc case?

For me, HDD every time.

  • The cost usually doesn’t make sense unless you have many hundreds of terabytes. Can you expect to get a decent price in the future when you need a new drive or more tape? My answer is lol no. The only people that should use tape are those that work where they can reasonably expect affordable hand-me-downs from their business, or are rich enough to have “make it happen” money.
  • HDDs have a 2-5 year warranty depending on what you get.
  • HDDs have human usable random access. This is more important than you might realize.
  • HDDs don’t have firmware/software licensing or hardware interface bullshit to deal with
  • HDDs don’t require near as much physical human intervention
  • I don’t consider tape reliable for regular people, as they are much more sensitive to your imperfect home storage conditions. That said, whether HDDs or tape, you absolutely can’t trust a single copy of the data.
  • Be aware, the “15TB” capacity is a dammed dirty lie unless you are storing terabytes of uncompressed text log files. LTO-7 holds only 6TB of data native, and the overwhelming majority of data you have (PDFs, video, music, pictures, compressed archives, programs, game) is already compressed.

One nice thing is tape reads and verifies everything it writes because it has read heads after the write heads.

If you can a silly cheap (and working) drive, absolutely go for it, and then flip it on ebay.

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If I look on German Ebay, I see LTO-7 drives starting from 2500EUR upwards.


You know this is only the medium , the tape, you put into the drive, right? Can you link any of the cheap drives you said you found?


Very cheap tape drives can be found if you take the time to look around:

Er, I searched for LTO-6 and the cheapest drives were over $800 and that’s a standard that is ten years old and only 2.5tb uncompressed per tape.

Perhaps you can link one of these supposed bargains as I don’t fancy clicking through 100 pages?

They just don’t make sense unless you are operating on an enterprise scale.

The number behind LTO and the dash is the generation of the drive. There are cheap drives on the side you linked but those are really old, low generation drives that don’t store a lot of data. When you filter on the site for LTO-6 and higher you are once again in the range of thousand Dollars and up.