Data, data, data…data is everywhere, all around us, and you use it every day.
However, even though it’s ephemeral in nature, it can be easily lost if you aren’t careful. So what can you do if your precious data is lost, destroyed, or held for ransom by some script kiddie on the other side of the world demanding thousands of Dogecoin in order to release it? Fortunately, because these scenarios occur far too often, enterprising developers have created solutions to help you recover your data from the jaws of death itself.
In order to start this post off with a bang, the first entry is Veeam. In comparison to the others mentioned in this post, this option is mainly geared toward professional organizations that need an extremely robust recovery solution when the inevitable data loss event occurs. Moreover, Veeam integrates well with a range of SaaS solutions meaning that you can backup and recover your data directly without additional software. This integration includes a Veeam cloud backup to the Backblaze B2 Cloud, ensuring that your data remains secure and ready to redeploy when the time arises. If you need any more convincing, it’s currently used by numerous Fortune 500 companies, including the likes of ING, Siemens, and Shell PLC, to name a few.
If the previous entry is a little too extreme for your personal needs, look no further than Disk Drill. This free software might lack the advanced features of Veeam, but it more than makes up for it with a plethora of other options, perfect for the average user. Additionally, once you have downloaded the software, you can use it to recover data from a variety of sources, including:
Your PC or Mac
HDD or SSD
Smartphone (albeit with some caveats attached)
The best point is that you are not limited to a specific file type you can recover as it supports almost every standard ranging from media files (photo/ video/ audio) to Zip files and even SQL databases! The main downside compared to other choices is its relatively low recovery speed. This might not be an issue to some folks, but for those working to a deadline, it could cause problems.
Recuva is slightly similar to Disk Drill, albeit with a more attractive user interface (which is always lovely) and a somewhat more intuitive way to recover lost files. Similarly to the other choices in this post, it can handle a range of files and formats, meaning that whatever data you need to recover, this option can likely handle it. Moreover, you get real-time previews of the lost or corrupted data enabling you to choose what you want to restore and what you can leave to the data gremlins.
Don’t let the home coder vibe put you off this option, as it’s far more powerful than its design leads you to believe. As you can tell by the name, it was first developed as a way to recover lost photos (which was more common back in the day) but has since evolved to become a more rounded recovery solution that can retrieve many different files. Furthermore, while the amateur style may make you unable to take it seriously, it has some serious accessibility chops. In fact, it’s one of the few options that can run on Linux (which is excellent if you utilize a Linux distribution). The main negative about this software is that it seems only to have one option, which is to download everything. This could be great if that’s what you’re after, but if you require something more granular, you might want to look elsewhere.
R-Studio is another choice that’s p[retty aching in the looks department but works surprisingly well. In fact, the main disadvantage tends to be that it’s overly complex for non-technical users… something that sounds unfortunate at the outset but is great in reality because it means you get more advanced features if you put the time in to learn it. As a result of this intricacy, it also removes any form of walkthrough or wizard, instead leaving users to fend for themselves. Again, you can look at this as a plus or minus, depending on your level of expertise and what you need from this kind of software.
The final choice is arguably the most polished outside the enterprise-level Veeam mentioned initially. In reality, it’s no more or less advanced than the other consumer-based options but is much better at holding your hand throughout the process.
From the very high-end to those that look as though someone in their bedroom coded them, all the solutions listed here are sufficient in recovering lost or corrupted data. If you are a business, you might want to opt for Veeam. Conversely, the free options on the list will suffice if you are a consumer looking to retrieve lost photos from a family laptop.