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Data recovery is something we don't often think about until it's too late. Let's say you are working on a very important document when you step away for a moment. Suddenly, the cat jumps onto the desk and knocks your laptop on the floor. The computer will no longer turn on and you realized that procrastinating buying that backup drive wasn't a good move. Or, perhaps your spouse was a little overzealous in deleting old files and removed some precious photographs you had intended to organize later.
Maybe that fast new SSD drive failed a lot faster than the manufacturer promised it would. And, sometimes, a computer just will not start because of technical problems or software updates that went badly. Regardless of the scenario, without a backup or recovery plan, losing data can make you feel pretty hopeless.
Monday, June 5th
Since 1985, Ontrack has performed hundreds of thousands of data recovery tasks across all kinds of storage devices on Windows, Mac, and iOS operating systems. From hard drives, servers, RAID, and tape, to email, SSD/flash and mobile, this service can help you recover hundreds of file types including photos, audio, video, and others. They also have recovery tools for specialty software such as databases, email, and intranets, as well as data destruction for regulatory and data privacy purposes.
Four primary tools for data recovery
The Ontrack EasyRecovery suite of software includes four different tools:
Ontrack EasyRecovery Photo works on Mac and Windows for recovering and restoring images and video that were lost on camera storage media. EasyRecovery for iPhone fixes problems with lost or deleted data from your iTunes and iCloud backups.
Free trial with each service tier
Each tool in the suite is available in different pricing tiers that meet the specific needs of individual users up to enterprise level users. The tiers include Free, Home, Professional, Premium, Technician, and Toolkit and each tier has a free trial option.
Packages for most consumers
The two tiers of service that are most popular with everyday customers are Free and Home. The Free version offers up to 1GB of file recovery for files of a size less than 25MB each and is priced at $0.00 (hence the name). The Home version has unlimited file recovery and includes recovery from trashed, deleted, or virus-infected files; you can get this package for $79.
Packages for more tech-savvy customers
If you work in the IT industry or are very comfortable with computers, you may want to consider the four higher-level packages: Professional, Premium, Technician or Toolkit. The Professional version ($109) includes everything in the Home edition plus creating disk images, recovering data from optical media, and monitoring of drive health.
Strong positive reputation
Customer reviews of Ontrack data recovery solutions are quite positive on the whole. The users love the speed and user interface of the software as well as helpful customer support representatives. Plus, Ontrack has both an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau: further evidence that this data recovery service is well worth the praise it receives.
Best data recovery option for all users
For every type of data disaster, Ontrack has a solution. Whether you're the average home user or an IT professional, you'll find a data recovery package that will help you salvage what you thought was lost - affordably and effectively. Ontrack gets our highest recommendation among data recovery software platforms.
Salvage Data offers free, fully-featured do-it-yourself data recovery software for Windows, Mac, and Linux. If you have the courage to try to recover your own data from your computer and portable storage media, that's a price that can't really be beat.
Easy DIY data recovery
Just download the software, install it, and follow the steps of data recovery that it offers. If you get stuck, you can open a case on the website or call the toll-free phone number for immediate assistance with your problem. The technician will guide you or help you escalate the problem to higher-tier support personnel.
Professional help available too
For data recovery projects that require a more trained hand, you might want to consider their full-service option. You can begin by starting a case at their website. Then, you can drop off or mail your hard drive, SSD drive, USB stick, or other storage device to one of their locations nationwide.
ISO certified = safer data recovery
Salvage Data is ISO 9001 certified, which means that they've met very stringent criteria for industry standards in data recovery technologies and procedures. For example, if your hard drive needs to be opened to be serviced, you don't want that done in an unclean environment where the air is full of dust particles. That should only be done in an ISO-5 "clean room" by technicians who are ISO certified and have the skills to keep the inner workings of the storage device from becoming even more damaged. Because of the ISO certification, Salvage Data is also certified by major data storage manufacturers as a trusted partner.
Reasonable pricing for top-notch services
Salvage Data is really tough to beat on price and quality of service. You get both the option of do-it-yourself data recovery and having highly-qualified technicians do the work for you at a reasonable price (from $200 to $1900, depending on the case).
Some strong positives
Reviews of the service were mostly positive. The Better Business Bureau gives Salvage Data an "A+" rating, and only two complaints had been registered there in the three years leading up to our evaluation.
A few negatives
The negative reviews did highlight some concerns in terms of additional fees charged for already-opened hard drives, or a ship back fee for non-recoverable storage that was not specified on the website nor in the signup process. However, on the website in the pricing and process section, these facts were indeed spelled out.
Great option for hands-on professional help
Salvage Data makes it easy to recover your data, whether you choose the do-it-yourself free version or the expertise of a trusted professional to do it for you. We encourage you to read the terms of service carefully; the company spells everything out very clearly but you should make sure you understand what you're getting and/or paying for. Out of all of the data recovery services we evaluated, Salvage Data is our preferred choice for hands-on professional attention (and their DIY services are solid too).
Wondershare Recoverit for Mac and PC computers helps everyone from individuals to teams and businesses recover lost or corrupted files on their devices. It costs between $80 and $140 for a one year license. The subscription-based fee structure is geared more towards computer users who have a regular and ongoing need for access to regularly updated tools for data recovery.
Fully-featured data recovery platform
The software license comes with a money-back guarantee of 7 days from the purchase date, free software updates during the subscription period, support from knowledgeable representatives via live chat and email response within 24 hours. Your privacy and personal data is protected with encryption and fraud protection measures.
Pricing up to $140/year, free for the first 100GB recovered
You can get your first 100GB of files recovered through Wondershare at no cost. If you expect to need to recover more data or to use the service on a regular basis, you'll pay an annual subscription of up to just short of $140/year. Your pricing will vary based on the level of service you need. We encourage you to visit the Wondershare site to determine which package is best for you and the most updated cost list. Also, students can enjoy a 30% discount on the software subscription after verifying their student status with a third-party verification service.
Mostly positive reviews
Reviews of Wondershare Recoverit are fairly positive with people liking the quick and accurate recovery of files, good customer service, and ease of use. There was room for complaints from individuals who had bad customer service experiences or whose files were not fully recovered, or weren't recovered at all. However, the support team at Wondershare are actively responding to customer complaints online and offering help and alternative products.
Incongruent low rating from the BBB
We also feel it necessary to mention that the company had an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau at the time of this evaluation - which we found somewhat puzzling, given the overall positive response we found from Wondershare users elsewhere on the internet.
Good software, but check most recent reviews first
Wondershare Recoverit makes good data recovery software. Just be sure to give a quick read through some of the negative reviews and how they're handled by customer support to learn how to avoid any unforeseen problems, before you commit to using the service. If current customer reviews look positive, we encourage you to look seriously at using Wondershare Recoverit for your data recovery needs.
EaseUS has 72 million users and 17 years of experience in data recovery for individuals and businesses. EaseUS offers a 30-day money back guarantee on data recovery services with free technical support. It is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android operating systems, including as far back as Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 for legacy data recovery.
3 available consumer tiers of data recovery service
There are three main tiers of pricing for EaseUS: Free, Pro, and Pro+Bootable.
Available plan for business users
A technician version, at between $299/year, $399/2 years, and $499 lifetime is also available which allows small- and medium-sized businesses and enterprises to distribute and run data recovery software at scale within their organization, with support from EaseUS specialists to help the company's help desk technicians doing the data recovery.
Even trashed files can be recovered!
An additional capability is that EaseUS can recover and repair photos, documents, music and video files, even if they've been permanently deleted by emptying the "trash" on the file system or if the disk has been formatted.
Plenty of support on hand
The EaseUS website offers a full user guide, plus a number of self-help articles and videos to get you from start to finish with a data recovery operation. If you get stuck, you can contact their experts via phone, email, or live chat for assistance at no additional charge. However, there are different levels of support depending on the plan that you purchase.
Customer reviews are a mixed bag
Customer sentiment about EaseUS data recovery software is somewhat split. Those who like EaseUS appreciate its ease of use, support, and the time they saved using EaseUS vs. other solutions. We found more than 1800 people who gave EaseUS a 5-star rating. On the other hand, those who complained said they didn't like that they weren't able to fully redeem the 30-day warranty because of technical issues, support availability only during inconvenient hours, support representative incompetence, and unrecoverable files. Over 300 users gave this data recovery platform the lowest possible rating of 1 star.
There's a lot to like about EaseUS, especially with millions of users and nearly two decades of experience with data recovery. But, there are enough concerns to temper our enthusiasm. We give this service our tentative recommendation, though we recommend that you consider the platforms with stronger customer feedback before deciding to use EaseUS for data recovery.
Stellar provides software and services for data recovery to everyone from the casual home computing user to large businesses. Based in India, they're ISO certified and handle data recovery projects from all over the world.
Licenses available for entities of all sizes
Their software, which can be purchased directly on the website, includes a free version. The software increases in price as more features are made available or as the users of the software are employing it in larger and more complex business environments. For example, you'll pay up to $149 as a regular consumer user if you want a lifetime license, but the business version is $1999 for the same license (which, of course, makes sense: the amount of potential data to recover from home user is vastly smaller than the data of a business!).
Available for Windows, Mac, iPhone users
Windows, Mac, and iPhone device users will find support for recovery of data, videos, photos, emails, and much more. On the business side, there is a heavy emphasis on email inbox file repair and conversion between different formats as well as repair of various office document types that have become corrupted or erased.
Mostly positive reputation
Reviews of Stellar are very positive, with people liking sales and customer support experiences, the success of the data recovery routines, and the overall quality of the software. The few negative reviews talked about not getting activation codes via email, customer service issues, and various problems with the software on specific drives. Also, the BBB gives Stellar a "B+" rating. There was an alert from 2018 on their listing, at the time of this review, that described a pattern of Stellar refusing to honor the 30-day refund policy. Fortunately, those issues largely seem to have been resolved.
Not the best, but definitely not the worst
At the end of the day, you want data recovery that isn't going to cost an arm and a leg, and Stellar definitely has options (you can't beat free, after all, and some of their licenses won't cost you a thing). We're a little less than impressed with their reputation, particularly the Better Business Bureau's alert, but Stellar may still be worth looking at if you need data recovery services.
O&O Software offers data management solutions that address four areas: backup and transfer, systems and data rescue, system optimization, and systems and data protection. O&O, which is based out of Berlin, Germany, has a long-standing Gold Microsoft Partner certification, which means they have all the training, expertise, and resources you'll need to help you in your data recovery projects.
Data recovery for individuals and businesses
O&O Software has solutions for personal and corporate-level data protection and recovery. On the data recovery side, they provide:
Helpful support, plus trial version
O&O provides an extensive support page on their website to help you work through your data recovery process. A trial version of their software is available for evaluation as well.
Perfect... but only if you have a Microsoft operating system
The strengths O&O Software products provide are the Gold-level Microsoft Partnership and their specialization in all modern Microsoft operating system versions. The software is sophisticated enough for experienced corporate IT professionals while still being accessible to home users. However, if you're looking for help from O&O for a Mac OS computer, you'll need to search elsewhere. For that reason alone, this company winds up in the middle of the pack among data recovery services.
Remo Recover software recovers and repairs files on computers running MacOS, Windows, Android, and iOS operating systems. With it you can restore deleted files, recover partitions, recover photos, repair Outlook PST files, repair video files, and recover data from whole hard drives. After installing the software, in only four steps you are able to recover your files, even if they were deleted using Shift+Delete or other usually destructive types of deletion.
Instructions provided - but not for MacOS or mobile users
Installing Remo Recover is a matter of downloading the installation program and running it on your computer or device. Follow the setup workflow and it should install correctly. Unfortunately, the help section of the website is short on details in that it seems to focus only on installation and usage instructions for Windows operating systems. There doesn't appear to be any instructions for MacOS users or for mobile devices.
Doesn't deliver what it promises
The support information also seems to be written by a non-English speaker or by someone who uses awkward phrases and idioms, making what should be a straightforward technical document into something too personal and confusing. Downloading the free version immediately results in a prompt to upgrade to the paid version before being able to use the software, which feels like a bait and switch technique. And, the money-back guarantee criteria that customers have to meet seem to be in conflict with one another on various points.
Not the best option out there
While we found hundreds of positive reviews online, Remo Software didn't have a listing with the Better Business Bureau. Combine that with the confusing user experience and the lack of instructions for mobile and MacOS customers, and it's easy to see why this data recovery service fails to rank among the best of the best. Remo Recover needs some more work before you should consider trying to use it for important data recovery projects.
Wise Data Recovery software products do a lot of things to help you keep your PC and Mac under control as well as recover your data. The variety of individual programs offered also has the potential to be quite confusing to the average non-technical user. The Wise Data Recovery (PC) and Data Recovery for Mac tools are the subject of this review.
Free options, but not for data recovery
The PC and Mac recovery software comes in two versions, free and $29.95. Note that the free version doesn't do any data recovery, but is more for speed optimization and diagnostics.
Not much to offer
Reviewers complained that it didn't fully scan their storage, nor did it recover all of the data. What good is a data recovery service...that doesn't actually do the job? We also were far less than impressed with this site after noticing that it didn't have a secure URL. In terms of protecting data, that's the first thing that any self-respecting IT company should do - but Wise failed to do so.
Not a good option for most people, even if it's free
At best, Wise Data Recovery is a method to try if you have a few files to recover that are of marginal importance, but avoid this if you have anything more substantial to restore. Since that would apply to, well, pretty much everyone, we can't recommend using this data recovery platform over the more robust services we evaluated.
Undelete File Recovery software is the cheapest available among the solutions we reviewed. At just $24.95, it is within most people's budgets, especially when compared to the hundreds or even thousands of dollars that many data recovery companies will charge to restore precious data.
Should you entrust your data recovery to inexpensive software?
But that's also the weak spot for Undelete File Recovery. The maxim "you get what you pay for" is as true with data recovery as with anything else. If you have just one or two files you're trying to recover, it would make sense to pay less and Undelete File Recovery just might work for you. However, if you've lost thousands of precious and irreplaceable digital family photos, videos, and perhaps your financial records, are you really going to want to trust a $24.95 piece of software? Or will it be a better move to pay more for the higher-grade software built and managed by heavy-hitter data recovery professionals?
Use a more fully-featured service to recover your data
In most cases of failed data storage devices, you have, at best, one or maybe two chances to recover the data. Make the most of that probability and move on to another solution. Undelete File Recovery is more likely to waste your time and money, and possibly corrupt your devices even further, rather than restore your files completely and quickly.
However, with the right data recovery service, all is not lost! Just remember that not all data recovery software is the same. Before you purchase your next data recovery utility, you should consider a number of factors. These include:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best data recovery services available today. We hope you find this information helpful in restoring your valuable files the next time you encounter a data disaster.
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