When was the last time you faced a data loss situation?
For me, it happened a couple of weeks ago. I had just returned from a family function and was checking out some of the pictures that we clicked there. It was a huge file – around thousands of photos from different cameras. But as they say “we do stupid things when it is least expected”.
So here I was crying on my stupidity and losing 500 out of those thousand photos. How I got there is a different story.
The important thing is I got it back. How?
I made a smart decision of investing a small part of my money on a Data Recovery Software. I’m sure some of you been there too.
You often hear from us the success stories of our customer. But this article will guide you through nitty gritty of choosing a premium data recovery software.
In this post, you’ll learn the best practices before you buy a data recovery software, whether to go for a freeware or premium (sometimes you can manage with freeware) and questions to ask before you download data recovery software.
First, let’s understand what scenarios one needs Data Recovery Software
When data is deleted or lost permanently, it is not possible to retrieve them manually in any storage devices. You can recover files if you have done the soft deletion. That is, after deletion, the files will move to Recycle Bin in Windows and Trash in Mac. These files can be easily restored in their original location. Apart from that, you can also lose data because of partition loss, deletion or corruption.
If you have a backup, you can restore all your files else you can use data recovery software to get back your lost data.
Data recovery software uses advanced algorithms to retrieve data that seems to be deleted or lost from your storage device. In addition, they are reliable and safe in restoring the data in its original form. Recovery software works in almost all data loss scenarios because of logical or physical failures. Moreover, you don’t have to carry your storage device to the service center, as the software can installed and used by anyone.
Based on this point, here are the questions you need ask yourself before buying data recovery software.
Question #1: Does your device fulfills recovery requirements?
Based on the recovery software you chose, there can be various requirements that have to me met. Every data recovery software comes with their own set of requirements and specification. Before purchasing one, make sure that the recovery requirements are met. Furthermore, you need to check whether the recovery tool is capable of recovering the data you lost and how easy it is to use on your own. One can consider the below points before buying the data recovery software.
For Home Users:
If you have lost data from your home Mac system or PC, then few basic requirements have to be met. And ask these below-mentioned questions yourself:
- Do my device software configuration and hardware is enough to install the recovery software?
- Does the software support my operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux)?
- Can it recover different file types like text documents, e-mails, photos etc.?
- Do the company provide after-sales support?
For Small Enterprises:
If you have a small business and need to perform data recovery on multiple systems, you may require more capable and advanced recovery software. Apart from home user questions, consider asking yourself these below-mentioned questions:
- Can this software be used without any technical support?
- Can I use the recovery tool on multiple devices?
- Can many users use this software?
- Can it perform recovery on numerous advanced data storage systems like RAID configurations?
Question #2: How important is your data to recover?
Before purchasing the software, check if data recovery is possible or not. If it is possible, then check if lost data can restore in original format. Also, you need to check how much worth is data to recover.
Lost data can be in the form of favorite audio and video files, memorable pictures or important office documents, etc. and it is hard for anyone to lose such important data. So, paying some money for the data recovery software shouldn’t be much of a worry. Along with that, you can recover your lost data from the corrupted hard drive, or drives that have been severely crushed, burned or flooded, but at a slightly higher price.
Data recovery is said successful if the software recovers at least 90% of the lost files.
Question #3: Does recovery software support different Storage devices?
A data recovery software must be able to support a vast number of storage devices and file systems. Some of the recovery software supports drives that attached internally like solid state drive or magnetic drives. If you need to recover lost data from external hard drives like, pen drives, optical drives. So you have a need to make sure that the recovery software supports all storage devices.
The mechanism of storing and deleting of data is same in both internal and external storage devices. So it’s easy to recover data from drives that are attached externally, hence the mechanism of recovery is same. But the algorithm that is used to perform the recovery process may vary from one recovery tool to another.
Question #4: What Features should I look for in a Recovery software?
The main function of the recovery software is to recover lost data in its original form from different storage devices. Yet, there are many other features that a recovery software might offer. You must look for the below-mentioned features for an effective and efficient data recovery software.
Must recover all forms of data
A recovery software must be able to recover all types of data including images, documents, videos, audio etc. and each of these types of data again can be in various formats. For example, a video can be in the form of MP4, AVI, MPEG, MOV, M4VRM, 3GP, 3G2. The software must be able to retrieve videos of all forms.
Must be easy use
The pre-requisites to install the program may be different for each software. A good and reliable recovery software should be easy to install and provide a simple interactive interface. And there shouldn’t be any hassle while performing the data recovery process.
Must support all storage devices
Data is usually stored in system’s hard drive, but we can also use external hard drives like pen drives, optical drives or memory card to store files permanently or temporarily. Data loss can occur in any storage device – external or internal, so your data recovery software should be able to recover lost data from any storage device.
Search, Preview, Save options
Having search option saves your time by tracing the files you want to retrieve. Preview options help to assess the credibility of recovered files and save option aids in saving the recovered files in a chosen location.
Compatibility with different operating systems
The most commonly used operating systems are Windows and Mac. The recovery software should be able to support all versions of Windows including Windows 10. And if it is for Mac, it should support Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan and its earlier versions.
After from the features mentioned above, you should choose a company which offers post-sales support. Just in case you might require help.
Question #5: How can I know, if the lost data can be recovered?
Most of the data recovery software have free trial versions, which allows you preview the recovered files (to save the retrieved data you have to purchase the software). You can download one of these and check the credibility of the recovered files. If you are satisfied with recovery results, you can always buy the product.
There are a lot of data recovery software available in the market which promises lot of features and tech support. But not all data recovery software stands up to its promises.
As a user, you should search for a data recovery tool that fulfills your requirements before and after the purchase. It should be able to retrieve data from all types of file systems and devices and should support various operating system as well. The recovery software company should provide post-sales support which should be available 24/7.