These days, you use electronic devices to operate many aspects of your business, and losing the valuable data stored on those devices is enough to make your stomach turn. If you’re like many other business owners then your customer information, marketing plans, employee data, and business strategy plans are all stored on an electronic device. You may even has essential programs that help you manage accounting and payments as well with the data associated with those programs. Needless to say, the electronic data you store is an essential part of your business.

Unfortunately, even the best storage methods are not entirely foolproof. Hard disk drives can fail and devices can be damaged, which makes your valuable data seemingly impossible to access.  This, in turn, can make running your business a seemingly impossible task. Many business owners resign themselves to the fact that the data is possibly gone forever, but the good news is that may not be the case.

Data recovery services are available to help bring that lost information back from the information graveyard, and they have a surprisingly high success rate in doing so.

They use advanced technology and the latest innovations to retrieve data from broken or non-functioning devices so you can put the information onto a new hard drive without having to go through the process of collecting the information all over again. To the average person, this seems like magic. But the process is very real, and the successful recovery of data is often possible.

So, how do you choose a data recovery service when your business experiences the worst? Why are these services even necessary? Let’s take a closer look, and turn that long-lost data into a thing of the past.

Why do you need data recovery services?

Imagine for a moment that you’re working on your laptop. You’re about to send a marketing message out to your list of customers that you have been growing for years. All of a sudden the display goes black. Pushing the power button appears to do nothing, or you’re met with a solid blue screen. What has happened? Did your laptop die? Was there a mechanical failure? And most important, is your information gone forever?

This scenario is a common thing that most people will experience when their data storage devices fail. It may be difficult to determine that the issue is with the data storage, however. Since a hard drive stores everything a computer needs, like the operating system files, it’s not immediately obvious that the hard drive is the root cause of the non-functioning computer. When you discover that your hard drive has failed and the data is inaccessible, it can be a very stressful time. Not only is your device not working but, perhaps more alarmingly, the data held on that device has disappeared. Customer files, business information, and accounting files are gone.

Coming to terms with a massive data loss can be challenging. But perhaps you don’t have to. This is where data recovery services come into play. These services use cutting edge technology to examine drives that were previously thought to be completely useless. They can find existing data on the hard drives that have been damaged or unresponsive and then transfer that data to a new hard drive, which allows you to return the data to the previous state it was in before the drive failed.

The growth of iPhone and Android smartphone use for business purposes has made smartphone data recovery services even more popular in recent years. However, these devices pose a unique risk when it comes to data loss. These devices go with you wherever you go and get a lot of regular use. This increases the risk of normal storage drive failure and/or damage that can also cause data loss. Thankfully, a broken and non-working smartphone doesn’t have to equal lost data thanks to the newest data recovery methods used by professionals in the industry.

Ransomware is a rapidly growing form of malware that has lead many people to turn to data recovery experts. In scenario’s like this, ransomware takes the data on your device and encrypts it so that you can’t access it. Typically, a message is delivered that provides payment details and a timeline to pay before the data is erased completely. Some people pay to have their data restored at a huge cost but that only makes them an even greater target for future malware attacks as they have been identified as someone that will pay the ransom. Of course, not paying the ransom means the data is gone for good. 

A data recovery company may be able to recover data, even if it has been encrypted or supposedly deleted, depending on the method used by the hacker. While avoiding ransomware with digital security best practices is always recommended, sometimes mistakes are made and this may be a time where a data recovery service may come in handy.

If you have experienced data loss before, then you may have tried a tool that attempts to read a device and pull the stored information from the damaged or non-working device. This may work in some cases, but may not achieve the desired results. If a software data recovery tool fails to recover the data on the non-working device, it may be time to go a step further and enlist the help of a rapid data recovery service. This is especially true if the data is sensitive. For example, some data may be backed up to a cloud service or external hard drive. However, regulations may prevent you from storing certain types of data in a way that isn’t 100% secure and encrypted. As a result, your only copy of data may be on your device and, if that device were to fail, then the data is gone. In addition, backups can fail or there may not be a recent enough backup to recover a specific piece of data that you need.

One of the most important reasons why you may want to consider a data recovery service is the integrity of your data. Recovering data from a damaged storage drive is not a simple task and can result in files being corrupted if not done correctly. When you trust data recovery professionals with your needs then you can feel confident that the data being recovered will actually be usable after it has been transferred to a new storage device.

Essentially, hard drive data recovery services are your last line of defense against data loss. You can do everything right, take excellent care of your devices, and even create regular backups. But even the best-laid plans can fall apart. That is where data recovery services come in handy.

When do you need data recovery services?

There are a few common scenarios where you will find yourself needing the services of a data recovery service. These are typically more extreme data loss scenarios where you can’t resolve the issue yourself. Of course, if the data in question is incredibly valuable to your business then you may not want to waste time trying other solutions and, instead, just go with a data recovery service that you feel you can trust to recover your data in a timely manner.

The first, and possibly most common scenario, where you will need data recovery services is when your data storage device has become damaged. In the case of a laptop, you may be using a device that has a hard drive rather than an SSD. In general, hard drives are more prone to damage than solid-state drives because they have moving parts that can be jarred loose due to events like dropping the device. With that being said, however, an SSD is not completely immune to damage either.  Power surges can also wreak havoc on electronics, and cause a drive crash.

While a damaged storage drive may make the device unusable for you, data recovery services can often still read the device and transfer the data to an external storage drive so that you don’t lose the data for good. For example, our smartphones store massive amounts of important data and are even more prone to damage since we take them literally everywhere with us. A dropped smartphone may have a shattered display and non-functioning buttons which means the data inside is inaccessible, even though the storage itself may be in perfect working order. This kind of damage can be overcome by data recovery services.

Malware is another common problem that can cause data loss issues. Ransomware is probably the most concerning when it comes to data loss, but it’s far from the only one. Other types of malware can render a device unusable, or make it difficult to access data. If a backup is unavailable or has been corrupted, then the malware could even make disaster recovery plans useless. Many people, when faced with a ransomware demand, will end up paying the ransom to get their data back. This is costly and doesn’t actually resolve the root cause of the ransomware infection. It could only be a matter of time until you’re paying another ransom after the original payment unless you’re lucky enough to be working with an honest hacker.

When a device has become riddled with malware, this may be a great opportunity to enlist the help of data recovery services. They can recover the important data you need, and then transfer the data to a new device where there isn’t any malware present. In many cases, this may be the best solution to ensure that malware doesn’t continue to affect your ability to run your business.

Of course, data recovery isn’t only for personal or individual devices. Many businesses have large storage devices for backups and/or server operation. While these are often set up with protocols in place to protect against data loss, there are a number of events that can make such failsafe plans useless. For example, multiple storage devices could be damaged during a natural disaster like a hurricane or fire. If the backup device is damaged as well, then the data may be lost forever. A server data recovery service can examine and pull information from damaged storage devices to help your business recover quickly. 

Corruption of system files can render a device completely unusable as well. What’s important to note here, however, is that the data storage drive inside the device may still be in pristine condition. Even though the device doesn’t work and you can’t access the files, they are still there. That’s when data recovery specialists can help you recover your files before formatting the drive and installing a new operating system to try and get your device back up and running.

One of the most gut-wrenching data loss situations is due to accidental deletion of data. This is not a result of hard drive failure or a malicious act, it was simply a mistake. And while mistakes can and often do happen, when it comes to the data that your business needs, they can also be very costly. Luckily, simply deleting a file on your device does not mean it is necessarily gone forever. You may not see the file, nor be able to access it, but it may still be there for a data recovery service to pull.

If you have ever wondered why wiping a hard drive takes so long, it’s because a basic deletion of a file is not foolproof. As a result, wiping a hard drive clean involves deleting data, writing new data over top of it, and then deleting that data too. In some cases, this process may be done multiple times. If you have only deleted a file and not wiped the drive then the data you need to recover may very well still be there. Essentially, a data recovery service can step in and help you undelete your files if you made a small error that’s turned into a big problem.

How to choose a data recovery service and what to look for?

There is a very wide range of data recovery services available to help you when you feel like you have nowhere else to turn. So how do you choose the right one for your needs?

The first thing to consider is the features offered by the data recovery service since not all data recovery services offer the same features or types of recovery services. For example, the most basic form of data is data recovery software. This may help in the accidental deletion of a file, but it won’t, for example, resolve an issue with a damaged drive in a large majority of cases. If you need more advanced support, you’ll want to use a data recovery company that works with the physical storage device itself. In most cases, this involves mailing the storage device to the data recovery professionals using a prepaid shipping label.

Next, you’ll want to check what types of devices the data recovery service in question actually works with. Some companies will only work with hard drives, while others have a larger suite of services that may include support for smartphones, SSDs, and even RAID storage devices. The type of device you are trying to recover data from can, and often will, play a major role in dictating which data recovery service you need to use.

It’s always important to see what kind of warranties or service promises are offered with the data recovery service as well. For example, some data recovery services will offer a free inspection of the device to see how much data they are able to recover before providing a quote for their services. Other companies will even waive their charges if they’re unable to recover data. This is important because if you don’t have any service guarantees, you may end up paying good money despite not being able to get any of your data back. 

Looking into the turnaround time for data recovery is another essential feature, especially when your business is depending on the data in question. Many companies offer 1-day data recovery turnaround after receiving the storage device, but this varies from company to company. In some cases, you could end up waiting over a week to have your data recovered. If the data is not incredibly important to your business, this may not be a big deal. If the data is critical to business operations, however, then the wait simply may not be worth it.

It’s also important to look into the certifications that the data recovery service has if any. Some manufacturers may authorize companies to work on their devices with specialized data recovery certification. Finding a data recovery service that’s certified to work on your device is a good way to ensure that the people working with your data are actually trained and qualified to do so. This can greatly improve the chances that your data will actually be recovered.

Of course, pricing is always a concern. If you need the data recovered, then chances are the data is pretty valuable to your business. Service costs vary significantly depending on a number of factors that may be linked to some of the important features listed above. For example, a certified data recovery company will typically charge more for their services than a company that is not certified.

Turnaround times can also dictate pricing for data recovery. Some companies even offer various pricing tiers for customers so that those needing immediate service are able to pay for that service while those without the same sense of urgency can save some money by choosing to wait longer for their data recovery. It’s also important to note that turnaround time generally refers to the time that the device is actually in possession of the data recovery service. For example, if shipping to the service center takes several days, then you will need to factor that shipping time into the total service time estimate for your data recovery.

Some data recovery services may actually need to work on-site. This can greatly affect the price you’ll pay for the service itself. Generally, on-site recovery is done with larger storage devices like RAID storage and servers. Disaster recovery is big business when it comes to data recovery, and on-site service can be costly, but worth it.

How easy it is to use a data recovery service is also very important. In many cases, the best data recovery services take the stress out of the process for you. A shipping label is generated and, in some cases, they may even send a prepaid package to you for returning your storage device to them. On-site data recovery services are among the easiest to use but also come with the steepest price tag. In general, data recovery is not difficult for you as a business owner. The recovery services do all of the hard work and all you have to do is mail the device. Still, it’s important to know if you need to generate your own shipping labels, find your own packaging, and choose your own courier, or if all of that work is done for you by the data recovery service as part of their pricing package.

It’s also important to know how the data will be delivered back to you as well. Some services will offer online delivery, some will offer encrypted delivery, and some will even install the data back onto a new device for you. All of this can make your data recovery experience much easier since it’ll be catered to the unique needs of your own business.

Finally, customer service is always an important part of choosing any business to work with. Find out if your data recovery service has customer service available 24/7, or if there are limitations to when you can reach out. Do they do data recovery on weekends or just during weekdays? What effort do they put in to help you through the data recovery process? All of these are important customer service attributes to look into for before making your final decision.


 

SalvageData

SalvageData logo

  • Overall: 4.75
  • Features: 4.5
  • Pricing: 5
  • Ease of Use: 4.5
  • Customer Service: 5

SalvageData offers two data recovery solutions for your business. The first is much like many of the other data recovery services on this list and requires either an on-site visit or shipment of your data storage device to their location. The other service is its free data recovery software. The software is for more simple data recovery tasks like if you accidentally deleted a file and need to restore it. Their pricing guarantee is among the best in the business with free examinations and a guarantee that if they can’t recover any of your data then you won’t pay anything. The timeline for service is about 10 days which is around the industry standard but some competitors do offer faster service for more urgent cases. Overall, SalvageData has one of the best offerings from a company in the data recovery industry.


 

Kroll OnTrack Data Recovery

Kroll OnTrack logo

  • Overall: 4.5
  • Features: 4.5
  • Pricing: 5
  • Ease of Use: 4.5
  • Customer Service: 4

Kroll OnTrack Data Recovery has a very wide range of services that include DIY data recovery software, remote support, on-site recovery, and the option to ship your device to their lab for professional data recovery. Their standard service time is 5 to 7 business days but they do offer expedited service as fast as just 1 business day. Very few data recovery companies offer a price on their website but Kroll OnTrack Data Recovery did provide a starting price which was slightly lower than many of the other quotes we have seen online. Unfortunately, one of the few knocks against this data recovery service is their lack of guarantee for recovering data. They do offer free evaluations but it appears that you will pay regardless of whether or not they can recover your data.


 

Secure Data Recovery

Secure Data Recovery logo

  • Overall: 4.38
  • Features: 4.5
  • Pricing: 4
  • Ease of Use: 4
  • Customer Service: 5

Secure Data Recovery is a very well-known and established name in the data recovery world. They are security certified by a number of organizations so you can trust your data with them. Furthermore, they are also certified by manufacturers including Apple to work on their devices. The 24/7 customer support and same day data recovery service make them an excellent choice if you are looking for top-notch service. Plus, they have one of the widest ranges of service offerings, which include everything from basic hard drive recovery to advanced enterprise recovery done on-site. Secure Data Recovery sells additional devices to help provide peace of mind but, in general, these are just branded forms of devices that are probably not worth the cost unless you want a single, unified data storage and recovery service for the future.


 

The Data Rescue Center

The Data Rescue Center logo

  • Overall: 4.38
  • Features: 4.5
  • Pricing: 5
  • Ease of Use: 4
  • Customer Service: 4

The Data Rescue Center provides you with a number of ways to recover your data. In the event that the device is not damaged or failing and you simply need to recover a deleted file, The Data Rescue Center has a DIY software program to help. On their website, they quote prices 30% to 40% lower than their competition and offer similar services with a 5-day turnaround for data recovery. In addition, for security purposes, their facility is audited regularly and has earned an SSAE 16 security audit report which means they adhere to some of the most stringent security requirements in the industry. One unique feature from The Data Rescue Center is its ability to have you pay for your data recovery in installments. Data recovery is not always very affordable so this payment plan is a nice option if you are considering cash flow issues as a result of your services.


 

DriveSavers

DriveSavers logo

  • Overall: 4.25
  • Features: 4
  • Pricing: 4
  • Ease of Use: 4
  • Customer Service: 5

DriveSavers takes the stress out of data recovery by helping you navigate the complicated and stressful process. Their 24/7 customer support works with you to provide an instant quote for data recovery. If you need to send your device to them, they provide you with a prepaid shipping box and then allow you to select the turnaround time that’s right for you. DriveSavers guarantees their work with a free inspection and you will never pay for any data they are unable to recover. If they can’t recover your data, you won’t pay a dime. What’s reassuring about DriveSavers is the large number of manufacturer certifications they have. Whether you have a smartphone, hard drive, or SSD from a top manufacturer, chances are that DriveSavers is officially certified to work on that device.


 

WeRecoverData

WeRecoverData logo

  • Overall: 4.25
  • Features: 4
  • Pricing: 4
  • Ease of Use: 4.5
  • Customer Service:  4.5

WeRecoverData offers dozens of locations in North America for data recovery services. This large number of locations means that drop off of devices is simple for businesses that would rather ensure delivery of their storage device than send it off to be mailed. For service times, WeRecoverData has one of the best standard service windows with a 3 to 5 day turnaround time. You can pay for faster service with same day data recovery potentially being available to you. Like many of the other top data recovery services, they promise that you won’t pay if they aren’t able to recover your data. And, if your privacy and security are important, it should be noted that WeRecoverData adheres to one of the stricter data protection certifications available, ISO 4 Class 10.


 

Disk Doctors

Disk Doctors logo

  • Overall: 4.13
  • Features: 4.5
  • Pricing: 4.5
  • Ease of Use: 3.5
  • Customer Service: 4

Disk Doctors is a well-known name in data recovery and they offer arguably the widest range of recovery services to suit your needs. Their DIY recovery software appears dated but, based on professional testing, performed the best compared with the competition. The pricing is fair with free evaluations and a guarantee that you won’t pay if no data can be recovered. You also have the ability to preview the recovered file list before choosing to pay. The turnaround time is also one of the most impressive offers available with recovered data being delivered with free overnight shipping just 24 to 48 hours after they have examined the device. Disk Doctors website and software may appear to be out of the 1990s but their products and services are among the best in the industry today.


 

DataTech Labs

DataTech Labs logo

  • Overall: 3.88
  • Features: 3.5
  • Pricing: 4
  • Ease of Use: 4
  • Customer Service: 4

DataTech Labs is another top name in the data recovery industry. Like many other providers, they offer fast shipping of devices to their labs for data recovery. However, they don’t have a software product to help you recover your own data if possible. In lieu of that offering, they do provide remote data recovery services which may be adequate for simpler data recovery needs. DataTech Labs is also government certified which means they meet HIPAA requirements as well as other compliance requirements for sensitive data exchange. Their evaluation of your device is free but they do not advertise an option that doesn’t require you to pay if the data cannot be recovered like many of the other top names in the industry offer.


 

Gillware

Gillware logo

  • Overall: 3.63
  • Features: 3.5
  • Pricing: 3.5
  • Ease of Use: 3.5
  • Customer Service: 4

Gillware offers data recovery services in addition to a wide range of other services. For businesses that may be looking for more than just data recovery, like digital forensics and incident response, Gillware may be the right choice. However, for simple data recovery, Gillware falls behind some of the competition when it comes to their promises. For example, they do not prorate data recovery or make price guarantees if data cannot be recovered. Their service time is quoted as being between 6 and 10 days which can feel like a very long period of time if your most sensitive data needs to be recovered. However, Gillware does offer HIPAA compliant data recovery and incident response which may make them one of the obvious choices for the most sensitive data recovery needs.