Data recovery software comparison

Data recovery is the retrieval of data lost due to accidental formatting, deletion of wrong files, or some filesystem failure. The media being recovered is often a single hard or SSD disk with the average capacity, as of now, from 500GB to 2TB.

Since data recovery software can be narrowly functional, that is specialized for a particular filesystem or multipurpose when one software can recover many filesystems, I decided to test the chosen programs only for Windows filesystems, namely FAT, NTFS, and ReFS.

Testbed

I took a 1TB Western Digital internal hard drive connected to a motherboard via SATA as a tested device. There was a single partition formatted to NTFS and filled with data to about 40%. I have deleted three folders and started testing. As for recovery results, all programs have coped with the task; however, there is a set of other differences which you can find in the table.


Parameter EaseUSA GetDataBackB ReclaiMeC RecoverMyFilesD R-StudioE Stellar PhoenixF UFS ExplorerG ZARH
User experience and price
Price 69.95 USD 79 USD 79.95 USD 69.95 USD 79.99 USD 49 USD 39.95 EUR 69.95 USD
Ease of use Easy Moderate Easy Moderate Complex Easy Complex Moderate
Refund Conditional No Unconditional Conditional No Conditional Conditional Unconditional
Lifetime updates Yes Yes Yes No No No No Yes
Recovery speed Average Average Fast Fast Slow Average Average Slow
User manual Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Supported filesystems
FAT Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
NTFS Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
exFAT Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
ReFS No No Yes No Yes No No No
Disk images
Create No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Load No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Files and preview
Structured folder tree Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Search Yes1 No Yes2 No Yes2 Yes Yes1 Yes2
File preview Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Hex preview No Yes Yes No3 Yes Yes Yes No
Preview during scan No No Yes Yes No No No No
Additional capabilities
RAID capability No No Yes4 Yes5 Yes No Yes5 Yes
Bootable CD No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Save state Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
A EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard version 9.0, www.easeus.com
B GetDataBack Simple version 1.02, www.runtime.org
C ReclaiMe File Recovery Standard build 2715, www.reclaime.com
D RecoverMyFiles version 5.2.1 (1964), www.recovermyfiles.com
E R-Tools Technology R-Studio version 7.7.159562/11.08.2015, www.r-tt.com
F Stellar Phoenix version 6.0.0.1, www.stellarinfo.com
G UFS Explorer version 5.17.1 64-bit, www.ufsexplorer.com
H ZAR X build 130, www.z-a-recovery.com

1 Search for file names only.
2 Search using multiple criteria, such as creation or modification date and time, file size, and so on.
3 Hex preview is limited to Demo and Professional editions only.
4 With free add-on software, ReclaiMe Free RAID Recovery.
5 With paid plugins.

Copyright © 2015-2017 Alexey V. Gubin