The big news in data loss is that an estimated one in four people will experience it at some point this year. Frequently these are files that you can get back on your own, but such is not always the case. Logical data loss can remain undetected, allowing it to propagate into backups. It is actually quite common for a file to be deleted and the file table changes saved to a backup before you realize what’s happened. In fact, according to the St. Norbert College Strategic Research Institute, human error caused 29 percent of all data loss in 2012. And it's possible to make that that data loss seemingly irreversible with the incorrect application of sophisticated data recovery tools.
In the middle of a crisis is not the time to learn about becoming a data recovery expert. It's important that you do your due diligence in getting your data back; however there comes a time when you need to find the best hard drive recovery service for yourself.
We have identified the 10 best data recovery companies in the industry, each of which can help you get your data back. The Data Rescue Center is an excellent option for desktop and laptop users. It offers the best DIY software, which it counts towards your data recovery strategy. SalvageData Recovery offers the only SSAE 16 SOC 3 security certification we found in the industry. And among other things, Kroll OnTrack has applied its exceptional recovery skills to make better ways of securely wiping your memory devices clean. To learn more about how these services work, read our articles on hard drive data recovery services.
How do you find the best service when each says they are best? Frequently it’s a matter of finding the differences between them along with whatever industry certifications are available to find the one that most suits your needs. Increasingly, these services are also making end-user software available that allows us to test their technology, which also helps. Here are the four essential items we looked for to find the best hard drive recovery service.
Your first impression of a company is always the most critical. In what is largely an unregulated industry, each can make more bombastic statements than the last on recovery rates. In most case, you will never actually know how well they work – or don’t – until they work for you. Most offer free evaluations and online order tracking, but a few bring their capabilities front and center with do-it-yourself hard drive recovery tools and remote recovery options.
The movement of your data is a matter of concern from the time you ship your devices away until you get your data back. Free shipping is common, but less common is provided shipping materials for your device. The method of getting your data back also varies between services. Some will provide free external hard drives, while others require you purchase one from them or let you provide your own. Some services also offer online delivery through a secure connection.
Security & Certifications
Wherever you send your drive, you want to know your data is safe. All of the reviewed services have an SSAE certification, from the least SOC 1 Type II up to the best SOC 3. These certifications mean your data is protected while it’s in the company's system. There are other ways that hard drive recovery services protect your data, as well. Some services eliminate online threats to your data by keeping it on a physically isolated server, and many can deliver an encrypted physical copy of your data to you on an external drive.
Perhaps above all, you need reassurance that these are legitimate operations. Any person with software can offer data recovery services, but few can say they are trusted partners in government and business. Every service on our list is Mac and Microsoft certified meaning they can recover from those file systems without damaging them. Every one of them is also guaranteed to offer HIPAA compliant privacy standards, but not as many are ISO 9001 compliant, and fewer still are able to report on data that can introduced as evidence in a court of law.
Help & Support
Data recovery is often time sensitive, so hard drive recovery services should offer comprehensive customer service that extends beyond the standard email and telephone support. In addition to these options, the best services also offer 24-hour support, live chat and an online self-service portal. Through this portal, you should be able to track your media through each stage of the recovery process.
When choosing a hard drive recovery service, it is never a good idea to make your decision based solely on price. Instead, consider each company's service options, such as DIY software and adherence to security measures. These factors can give you an idea of each company's efficacy and competency. We encourage you to read our reviews and side-by-side comparison of the best hard drive recovery services to help you choose the service that is most qualified to handle your data loss.