PROS / It's the only data recovery service with a certified ISO 4 Class 10 cleanroom.
CONS / The service lacks do-it-yourself software for logical recoveries.
VERDICT / Secure Data Recovery is one of the best hard drive data recovery services available, which is evident from its ISO 4 Class 10 cleanroom and high level of customer service.
Editor's Note: The manufacturer has informed us that Secure Data Recovery, in fact, does feature a DIY software application for data recovery for Windows. Further, the company is SSAE 16 SOC 1 Type II and SSAE 16 SOC 2 Type I certified and is HIPPA compliant. When we next update Hard Drive Recovery Services, our review will reflect this additional information, and we will evaluate Secure Data Recovery at that time.
When choosing a hard drive recovery service, it’s critical to find one that has a detailed evaluation process, ideal recovery environment and strict security protocol, and Secure Data Recovery excels in every facet. Its customer service received the best score in our evaluative tests, and it's the only data recovery service with a third-party-certified ISO 4 Class 10 cleanroom. While the company’s security audit is only a SSAE SOC 1 Type II, its security protocols include data encryption, secure storage and comprehensive surveillance. For these reasons, Secure Data Recovery earns the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for best hard drive recovery service.
Hard Drive Evaluation
Customer service is the most important piece of the evaluation process, which is where you'll make your purchasing decision. Secure Data Recovery scored an impressive 95 percent in our test. We asked the service a series of questions anonymously through email and phone calls. Not only were the answers consistent from one customer service representative to another, but also almost all of the questions were answered every time. This shows a great deal of attention to detail. The representatives don't shy away from questions by providing an off-topic sales pitch instead.
The evaluation process is free and takes one to two business days, which is average. At the end of the evaluation, the service provides you with a full-scale diagnostic of your hard drive with the cost and estimated date of return. The estimate is a contract. Once you approve the recovery, the price won't increase unless you request additional services. The website even includes detailed instructions on how to ship your hard drive properly so you don't subject it to additional damage.
One of the best aspects of Secure Data Recovery is its certified ISO 4 Class 10 cleanroom. It is currently the only hard drive data recovery service with such a cleanroom that's been certified by a third party and is used for standard recoveries. A few other services claim to have an ISO 4 Class 10 cleanroom, which has 10 times fewer particles per square meter than the standard ISO 5 Class 100 labs, but lack the third-party certification to prove it. While having the best cleanroom doesn't necessarily equate to more successful data recoveries, it certainly minimizes one of the variables that interferes with recoveries – and that matters.
In addition to having the best cleanroom, Secure Data Recovery offers comprehensive recovery services. It can recover all types of files from all types of media. Once the files have been recovered, the service allows you to see their conditions before you pay. This way you only pay for successful recoveries. For instance, if the company quotes you a price for $1,000 but only recovers half of the files, then the price is prorated to $500. Most clients have the recovered files returned on a new hard drive, but online delivery through secure FTP is also an option. However, it's limited to 5GB of recovered data for security reasons.
One minor downside to Secure Data Recovery is its lack of DIY software for logical recoveries. If your data loss is logical, which means there's nothing physically wrong with the drive, then your best option is data recovery software, which costs much less and means you don't have to send your hard drive off to a lab. However, if you don't like the prospects of using software on your own, the service offers remote recovery, which is when technicians access your computer through an internet connection and perform the logical recovery.
Secure Data Recovery is the only hard drive recovery service we reviewed with a SSAE 16 SOC 1 Type II security audit, which it argues is more appropriate for data recovery services than the SOC 2 Type II audit. While it's certainly appropriate for detailing data privacy protocols with concern to financial records, after comparing examples from both types of audits, we decided that the SOC 2 Type II is a more comprehensive audit of data privacy and security protocols. That said, since there is debate over which audit is better, we rated each the same in our review. Many services don’t even have an SOC audit.
The recovered data is always encrypted with 256-bit AES encryption that has a password that works only once. Every device is tracked from beginning to end. The storage area is secure. Every area of the facility is locked with password keypads, and every employee has their own password, which means employee access is tracked and restricted at all times. The premises are under 24/7 surveillance. No employee is allowed to leave with any media whatsoever. Your sensitive files are safe with this service.
Help & Support
Every data recovery case is assigned a dedicated case manager who updates you on the progress and acts as your direct contact with the service, answering any questions and concerns you may have. This is your main support system throughout the process. The online portal is one of the best we saw, with a complete history log of the case, results and support contacts. You can also see the recovered files from the portal.
The company’s website also provides a wealth of educational resources – a blog, articles, proof of certifications and a comprehensive FAQs page. The service gives you all the educational resources you need and makes sure you have access to information concerning the data recovery industry and process. This allows you to make an informed decision.
Secure Data Recovery is one of the best data recovery services available because it provides one of the best evaluations with a high degree of customer service. It's also the only service with an ISO 4 Class 100 cleanroom certified by a third party. The security is comprehensive, and the data security protocols come with a SSAE 16 SOC 1 Type II audit certification.