How to Find a Data Recovery Company that will Actually Recover Your Data
Regardless of what kind of data recovery you need, it’s imperative that you find a data recovery company that is both capable and fairly priced. When you start your search for the right data recovery services, there are 10 main aspects worth considering:
1. Reviews & Testimonials
2. Engineer Certification
3. Clean Room Capabilities
5. Emergency Capabilities
6. Price Transparency
7. Customer Service
8. Data Security
9. Success Rates
10. Business Longevity
1. Reviews & Testimonials:
Yelp doesn’t lie. Make sure that before you commit to paying for any company’s services, you conduct an in depth search through its Yelp account. The best companies will have a high average rating and a high number of raters; the more happy raters, the more consistently the company has recovered data for a fair price, and the more likely you are to benefit from that service.
Testimonials outside of Yelp are another great way to get an idea of a company’s success. If your data is truly important to you, you’re going to want to get help from businesses that have garnered testimonials from famous companies and government officials. If a business has consistently recovered highly consequential data for highly consequential people, it’s likely to be able to recover your precious information as well. Just watch out for phony testimonials put up by companies trying to impress prospective clients; make sure you have access to the entire testimonial letter and that the message has a company letterhead along with a signature from the proper authority.
Google is another helpful way to check in on a company’s relevance; the first companies that come up when you Google search “Data Recovery” are the most virtually referenced and have the most established websites, so they’re a great place to start your research.
2. Engineer Certification:
This is non-negotiable; you can’t possibly expect effective data recovery without trained engineers who have the right credentials to get the job done. If you’re calling a potential company to learn more about their services, make sure to ask about the training its engineers undergo. The best companies boast engineers with professional certifications at major tech companies like Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, Emerson, and Huawei. More specifically, ensure that the engineers are certified clean room specialists and have their encryption training certifications before opting into any data recovery service.
3. Clean Room Capabilities:
If you are afraid your drive may have a physical issue, you need to find a data recovery company with access to an ISO 5 Class 100 certified clean room or you risk wasting your money and losing your data. Because even the tiniest speck of dust can scratch an open hard drive’s platters and wipe out chunks of the data stored there, hard drive repair must occur within a clean room that filters out airborne dust. If a company claims to be capable of fixing a physical issue in your hard drive but does not have a clean room, cross them off your list of potential providers.
If you’re trying to judge a company’s level of expertise, it can’t hurt to ask about the span of devices from which it can recover data. A company that can perform data recovery on hard drives, solid-state drives and flash memory drives on Microsoft and Apple operating systems clearly understands storage devices better than a niche company that specializes in iMac flash drives, for example.
5. Emergency Capabilities:
A company’s ability to conduct emergency data recovery is a major sign of the level of resources and expertise available to it. Not only do its engineers need to be trained and ready for efficient drive assessment and repair, but the company needs to have huge amounts of various electrical components and new hard drives in stock for speedy part replacement and recovered data uploading.
6. Price Transparency:
Any capable, reliable data recovery company will be open with you regarding its price quotes. The best companies offer diagnostics completely free of charge, so you can know exactly what service you are receiving before you’ve given a company your billing information. If you’re not comfortable getting a diagnostic before choosing a company, at least narrow down your list to companies that can give you a clear price range over the phone.
Beware of any company that charges you for a diagnostic. Often times these companies make a lot of their income by charging everyone who sends them a hard drive but only claiming to be able to perform the easiest, cheapest fixes. These companies will take their clients’ diagnostic money and then convince them that their hard drive is irreparably broken, prompting them to throw away data that could be recovered by a more capable company.
7. Customer Service:
Most companies have friendly sales reps, but it’s a sign of excellence if a company allows you to talk directly to its engineers. Not only does this imply that the company is willing to explain your specific problem to you (as opposed to being vague and over-charging you), but it means that the company allocates enough resources to each drive it receives that the engineers can take the time to talk to you personally.
Avoid data recovery companies that keep their engineers in the shadows; often these engineers are kept extremely busy working on huge volumes of drives. This is a strategy some data recovery companies utilize to make bigger profits even if a lower percentage of drives are successfully fixed.
8. Data Security
Unfortunately, the data recovery process forces you to allow people you’ve never met to access your information. The vulnerability of these circumstances only highlights the importance of finding a company made up of real professionals who take your privacy seriously.
Ask a company about the steps it has taken in regards to physical security, electronic security, sensitive data security and use of personal information. An ideal company uses physical alarm systems along with advanced firewalls and network security settings, electronic monitoring and warning systems and other precautions to combat potential information thieves. Make sure relevant employees have signed non-disclosure agreements and that there are multiple safeguards against the loss, theft or unauthorized disclosure of client data. Ask upfront whether your contact information will be sold, traded, or published by the company in any way.
9. Success Rates
A data recovery company’s success rate is a clear indicator of its positioning among other prospective service providers. That said, be sure to ask how the company got its numbers; some businesses cut corners by only counting the drives they agreed to operate on, in which case companies that take exclusively the easiest jobs will seem more skilled.
Never trust any company that advertises a 100% success rate. Good companies will have high success rates, but it’s impossible for any data recovery business to recover all of their clients’ data, all of the time.
10. Business Longevity
When trying to rate a company based on many of these factors, it’s important to keep in mind how long that company has been in business. For example, if a data recovery provider has an average of 5 stars on Yelp but it’s only been open for one month, you may still want to go with a 4-star, more established company. On the other hand, if a company has only been open a year and already has as many impressive testimonials as a company that’s been around three times longer, clearly the former is your best bet.