Stellar Data Recovery Review

June 2020 Stellar Data Recovery Windows Review & Deals
Best for recovering and repairing corrupt photos and video files.
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Compatible With

  • Windows

Recommended For

  • Photoshop
  • Microsoft Office
  • PDF
We all lose things be it car keys, wallets, friends, or our own minds. The same is true in the digital world, although restoring corrupted family photographs is often considerably more challenging than replacing a set of keys.

You also need a more powerful data recovery tool if you want to restore corrupt image files rather than, say, accidentally deleted data files. With Stellar Data Recovery’s latest version, however, premium users have little to worry about. While the free version has its limitations, it’s a great tool for figuring out if Stellar Data Recovery is the answer to your problems and whether you need the Premium or Toolkit to recover your files.

This is one of many Stellar Data Recovery reviews but, we believe, the one that will give you a clear understanding of its packages and capabilities, as well as how it compares to other leading data recovery solutions.

Things We Like

Retrieves any file type

Repairs corrupt videos and images

Disk imaging means faster data recovery

File preview is available

Recovers data from HDDs, SSDs, external USB drives, and optical media

Performs monitoring, cloning, and disk imaging

Things We Didn't Like

Comparatively costly

Deep scans are time-consuming

8.5
Setup

Installing Stellar Data Recovery will take a few minutes, and once that’s completed, you’ll be able to navigate using its minimalist interface. The interface design is consistent across all Stellar’s apps. Simply select the items you want to search for and recover and Stellar Data Recovery will do the rest for you.

The only obstacle for Mac users is that they need to disable System Integrity Protection before they can restore Mac files. Turning SIP off can cause some instability in the system and reduces security but if technical freedom is more important to you, it will probably be worth the risk.

Stellar Data Recovery’s simplicity will appeal to less experienced users while those wanting to perform more advanced actions will value the high level of customization that can lead to a faster, slicker recovery process.

You can, for instance, use the Resume Recovery menu to create an image of a selected range of items which you can then use as your recovery source. This is particularly helpful for those trying to retrieve video or audio files from a corrupt hard drive.

Unlike many data recovery services, Stellar Phoenix provides both monitoring and cloning features as well as recovery tools so you can monitor the health of your hard drive and receive regular reports on performance and potential data loss.

7.8
Recovery Process

The Stellar Data Recovery process consists of three basic steps:

  • Step 1: Select the type of files you want to recover.
  • Step 2: Select the location or drive you want to search.
  • Step 3: Once the scan is complete, select the files you want to restore.

When you begin the recovery process, the first step is to establish exactly what it is you want to restore. Stellar Data Recovery allows you to specify both the location you want to search and the type of file you’re looking for, thereby saving both time and CPU usage. You may, for example, only want to scan for audio and video files while ignoring a host of documents and images.

Most Stellar Data Recovery reviews emphasize the usefulness of its preview feature which works both before and during the recovery process to view the details of each file so you can restore the exact file and version you were looking for.

Once you’ve decided what it is you wish to recover and from where Stellar Data Recovery will look into your recently deleted files while it’s FAT data recovery feature can restore data from previously existing partitions.

Users can opt to perform a Quick or a Deep scan, depending on how much rummaging is required to unearth the lost data. The quick scan is limited to just one volume but its extremely fast and is capable of retrieving most data.

If you aren’t able to find the file you’re looking for with a quick scan, you can perform a deep scan instead. This will force the software to look into every nook and cranny in your hard drive. Even if Stellar Data Recovery only finds a part of a file, it will still list it as being potentially recoverable, even though the end result may prove unreadable.

8.2
Features

Inevitably, the more you pay for your Stellar Data Recovery service, the more features you’ll gain access to. The free version is the most limited but even this is surprisingly feature-rich, especially when compared to other data recovery solutions.

Precisely what files you can locate and restore will depend, to some extent, on the Stellar Data Recovery package you opt for. For instance, although the free version can restore almost any file, including archives and customized files, it can’t bring files back to life if they’re in a lost partition. Amazingly enough, every premium package, from professional to toolkit, can.

Similarly, those opting for the free Stellar Data Recovery option won’t have the benefit of recovering and repairing corrupt video files or retrieving files from a virtual drive or damaged RAID disks.

For the most part, however, Stellar Data Recovery has a host of features that work as effectively on a Mac operating system as on Windows or Linux. This data recovery tool is so intuitive, it can even learn new file types if given a selection of five samples to work from.

Other useful features include the ability to:

  • Create a bootable recovery media using a USB
  • Repair corrupt video, audio, and image files
  • Recover data from encrypted sources like BitLocker
  • Retrieve files from a lost partition

Many of these features are only available to premium users, while those opting for the free version must be content with the basics, like tools to

  • Recover data from formatted systems
  • Retrieve deleted files from any storage media
  • Restore items from NTFS and FAT locations

Flawless imaging and cloning are part of the appeal of the more advanced options, like Stellar Phoenix Premium, for example, while those willing to shell out a few hundred dollars a year for either the Technician or Toolbox options will be able to restore information from virtual drives and create virtual RAID drives.

8.9
Ease of Use

Much like the setup process, using Stellar Data Recovery to monitor drives, create clones, and restore lost files is straightforward, thanks to its advanced, intuitive and feature-rich wizards. Once a scan is complete, the files waiting to be restored are listed according to type, making it easier to navigate and select the items you’re looking for.

Stellar Data Recovery combines power with simplicity having revamped its tools back in 2017. The CEO of Stellar Phoenix, Sunil Chandna, said the aim was “to achieve the most advanced, yet simple data recovery softwarepossible

Last year, Chandna announced another wave of updates, including a repair tool which is designed for people who don’t have any technical capabilities”. Indeed, the Stellar Photo Recovery tool is the “world’s first software with both repair and recovery capabilities for photo and video”. Videos are particularly susceptible to

Even the most technologically challenged users will find performing advanced functions surprisingly simple. For instance, a less experienced Windows user may lose heart when confronted with the warning “Hard disk became RAW”, but Stellar Phoenix will emerge from the virtual flames, convert RAW to NTFS, and rescue your data from the ashes with little guidance from the user.

By simplifying complex data recovery processes, Stellar Data Recovery tools provide a more streamlined user experience while giving users of all levels access to advanced restore and repair options.

9.0
Pricing

The prices of the various packages available are reflective of their capacity, with the entry-level Stellar Data Recovery option being free but limited to just 1GB of data and the top-end offering, Toolkit, costing a whopping $500 per year.

While Stellar Phoenix used to have just three main packages offer, it’s now introduced some more affordable, mid-level solutions that, in many ways, offer better value for money than it’s top-end packages.

Take the Premium option, for instance, which costs $99.99 per year and yet gives users all the following benefits:

The Premium subscription will allow users the following:

  • Recover permanently deleted data
  • Restore data from a formatted drive
  • Lost partition recovery
  • Create disk images
  • Optical media recovery
  • Monitor hard drive health
  • Clone HDD or SSD
  • Repairing corrupt videos and images

A similarly feature-rich package from another data recovery software developer is liable to cost you double that of Stellar Data Recovery’s professional offering, making it excellent value for money.

If the premium version feels too bulky or advanced for your needs, or you’re simply looking for a cheaper alternative, you could go for either the professional or standard packages. While the professional option will give you capabilities like unbootable system recovery and hard drive monitoring, the standard alternative sticks to the basics.

Stellar Data Recovery’s standard package costs $49.99 per year and enables the recovery of deleted files of all types, the ability to restore files from any media, and BitLocker data recovery. Meanwhile, the professional version throws in handy tools like recovering files for lost partitions and optical media recovery, for an extra $30.

At the top end of the scale, Stellar Data Recovery has its Technician and Toolkit options which go the whole hog in terms of virtual drive recovery and support for Linux and Mac drives, although the latter is only available with the Toolkit version. These products are high end and their prices, $199 and $299 respectively, reflect that. If you need a comprehensive data care utility, however, you won’t find many cheaper options that pack this amount of power.

While Stellar may not be the most affordable data recovery programs available, it is one of the best on the market and represents excellent value for money. You can also check out its capabilities by using the free version to perform a scan, thereby ensuring your files are recoverable before you invest.

Each subscription comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can always change your mind if Stellar Data Recovery fails to meet your needs.

7.0
Support

Stellar Data Recovery has done everything it can to make scanning and retrieving lost files as simple as possible but that doesn’t eradicate the need for customer support. A quick trip to Stellar Phoenix’s online support should resolve most issues, whether through the Knowledge Base or the FAQ sections.

The Knowledge Base focuses on basic tasks like how to repair a JPEG image file or export files from mailboxes in Office 365. The solutions are displayed in step-by-step infographics that give clear instructions that even your cat could follow.

The FAQ section is similarly easy to understand and navigation is seamless thanks to the functional design. While a little more content wouldn’t go amiss, what is there is helpful, although quite how up to date it is hard to say. Most of the FAQs are dated 2018 which would suggest they don’t reflect the changes made to tools like the photo repair feature during last year’s revamp.

While Stellar Data Recovery’s online support has some useful information, it lags behind some of the competition, especially in terms of the topics covered and the ease with which that information can be accessed. Similarly, while some data protection software developers offer live online chat 24/7, Stellar is sticking with the outmoded ticket system which lacks both the immediacy and one-on-one support of online chat.

Stellar Data Recovery relies primarily on a telephonic customer support system which is all well and good for those who speak English and are situated in a country where such call centers are situated. If, however, you’re in South Africa, you’ll have to phone a number in India which could prove costly.

Stellar excels at data recovery but could do with upgrading its customer support if it wants to compete on all levels. We would certainly like to see Stellar Data Recovery reviews celebrating the introduction of a live chat option, for example, or a wider range of FAQ topics.

Conclusion

Stellar Data Recovery is one of the best options for Windows and Mac users alike. It’s powerful and can restore any kind of file from any kind of storage, mobile or otherwise.

While free data recovery tools are always tempting, even Stellar’s is limited insofar as it doesn’t allow for drive monitoring or the creation of disk images. It’s nevertheless a great way to ascertain precisely what the more powerful paid options would be able to recover and repair.

As most Stellar Data Recovery reviews indicate, Stellar’s software boasts an intuitive yet minimalist user interface that makes recovering files streamlined and simple. Prices are competitive and some of its mid-range products offer excellent value for money when you compare their advanced features to other similarly priced products.

With six different data recovery packages available, Stellar Phoenix has something to suit everyone’s budget, while its ability to work with Mac and Linux files makes it more versatile than most.

The only aspect of Stellar Data Recovery that lets the side down is its customer support, which lacks range and is languishing in the 19th century with its telephonic support system. This is a minor issue, however, as its products are so easy to use but, if you do encounter a problem, it could take longer to resolve than it would with an alternative data recovery company.

When it comes to functionality, however, there’s little to complain about and Stellar Data Recovery’s premium tools can do everything from recovering files from lost partitions to disk clinging and video repair. The file preview feature is also handy as it allows you to establish exactly which files are recoverable before you begin the process.

Although these may not be the cheapest file recovery tools available, as most Stellar Data Recovery reviews indicate, they are some of the most powerful and versatile. Now it’s up to Stellar Phoenix to make sure its customer support gets up to speed and gives its products the backing they deserve.

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