Well this is a new one for me. A piece of software for data recovery. I’ve used freeware variants in the past, but never an official product, and iSkysoft’s effort has a lot to recommend. I took a look at the market, and all the options right now do the same basic three things. They can recover documents removed from the recycle bin, they can recover data from infected partitions and they can recover data from formatted drives. Obvious the best defense against all three is to not delete stuff you need, but that is not an option all the time, accidents do happen, obviously since i already mentioned having to do it myself. But how can it un-delete stuff you have already deleted?
Well, when you save something to your computer it gets assigned space on the disk and gets written to that space. When you delete something it does not get scrubbed, because that is impossible, instead your computer marks that area on the disk as free, allowing something new to be written in that space. Essentially this means that everything you have ever saved is still on the HDD, assuming nothing new has been assigned to the same spot. Now, while there is no way to completely remove something from a disk, you can make free spaces on your computer unrecoverable, by using a file shredder program to randomize the data contained in the free space on a disk, but assuming you have not done that, the data is still there, and can be brought back.
iSkysoft focus on utility software, first for the Mac before moving to Windows. Their software is pretty good, the GUIs all have the same design sensibility, with the ease of use options brought with them from their Mac development days. It makes a fair change from the legions of PC first low cost options, who all seem to have front ends designed back in 1998. I have not looked into their other products yet, but I may well do a run down of them at some point, assuming I can try them out.
So let’s take a look at the software, see how it works.
iSkysoft Data Recovery For Windows Design and Quality
So where better to start than with a look at the program itself. I noted in the intro that iSkysoft’s design work owes a lot to Apple, and it does, with the simple GUI on the left showing that off nicely. The options are nice and big, and clearly labeled, so no matter what feature you are looking to make use of it should be intuitive. The ancillary options at the top seem a bit odd to me, with social media links and the like, but clicking on them brings you to their social media page, allowing you to engage with the firm directly in the unlikely event that you need help with set up and recovery.
The four main options are Lost File Recovery, Partition Recovery, Raw File Recovery and Resume Recovery, as you can pause any of those options and come back to them later if you need to processor for something else. Going into an options brings you to a nice browser screen, a little dated looking but it gets the job done, and the Deep Scan option, for those harder to find files, partial overwrites and the like. The scan screen that follows looks much like a virus scan screen, with a long right hand column letting you know what it found. iSkysoft Data Recovery is able to be narrowed down, if you only want pictures, films, music, or allowed to bring anything it finds to the forefront. If it finds nothing with normal scan it will prompt you for a Deep Scan, but I advise you skip the middle man and just run the Deep Scan from the start, saves you the time. It then shows a list of what it found, and you can select what you want recovered, saving these newly recovered files to a new folder for perusal at your leisure.
There are other ways to get the files back, with an even easier to follow wizard set up, allowing you to select the file types you want, or the device you want to recover from and move from there. If anything it is even easier than the method I used, as you can see in the right hand imagine, but I prefer a brute force approach to it, and you never know what you’ll find buried in your HDD, always worth a quick look.
Overall, the software does exactly what I expect. It’s pretty quick too, depending on the amount of space it has to comb through, but that is true of all data recovery programs. The only issue left is the price, let;s see how it compares to the competition.
iSkysoft Data Recovery For Windows Pricing and Warranty
So the price. The iSkysoft Data Recovery for Windows tool has three packages to choose from, depending on your needs. The most basic is the 1 year License, priced at $29.95. It covers you for just the year, with an option to renew it after that time passes, but it only allows the one computer to use it. The next package is the Lifetime License, priced at $39.95, giving you access for life, but again, only for the one computer. The final license is Lifetime License Extra, giving you the benefits of the lifetime license, but now you can use the program on 5 PCs, for $99.95. Best value for me is the Regular Lifetime License, good pricing and you can just swap in and out different HDDs and SSDs when you want to check them. Would not recommend you install your licensed version on a laptop, simply because switching disks is a lot more difficult on a Lapp over a Desktop.
iSkySoft have a thirty day money back guarantee, but a read through their list of conditions does not fill me with confidence. Top of the list is the most damning one, should you buy the product thinking it does something but it does not you are not entitled to your money back. I do not understand this one, for what other reason besides I am unhappy with the software, is a money back guarantee for. It is ludicrous to me that this is top of the list, that there are caveats at all is ridiculous. It’s less a guarantee and more a we will refund you if and only if you are wearing one shoe in the middle of a forest hopping backwards and singing the Swedish national anthem. I might do one of those things to get my money back, but all at once seems a bit much, like this guarantee.
The pricing model used is fairly standard in this sector, and the price itself is excellent. I do not know what stops people from using the program on multiple devices, but as I said, there are ways around that that are easy to do, and take no time at all. The warranty is okay, not the best in the world, but seen as the program cannot breakdown, and the only future issue might be obsolescence, I think it’s fine here. Overall, a good price, with some excellent after care support.
iSkysoft Data Recovery For Windows Conclusion
When it comes to programs there are only two things to think about, is it easy to use, and does it work. If the answer to both is yes then you have a good program. iSkysoft have made a data recovery tool that is not only effective and simple to use, but looks great, costs little and packed full of useful features. There are a lot of free options online though, and a payed product has to compete with them somehow. They do so with excellent customer support, in fact I had to write to them when putting this review together and they got back to me very quickly, and a front end that is slick. So many of the free options look like garbage, and many are unwieldy when they work well, and infuriating when they fail entirely. Always better to go premium in my opinion and iSkysoft Data Recovery is certainly that.
If you would like to give the software a shot you can by clicking here.