Pros / Cisdem DataRecovery had a high success rate recovering lost and reformatted image files, according to our tests.
Cons / It could only find one-third of deleted document files.
Verdict / Cisdem DataRecovery does an excellent job recovering photos, but its poor performance in restoring other deleted file types limits its usefulness.
Editor's Note: According to Cisdem, a newer version of this software is available. Updated features include optimized deep scan, a reduced memory footprint and an enhanced interface. We will evaluate, rank and review the new version when we next update Mac Data Recovery.
Cisdem DataRecovery Mac data recovery software is inexpensive and makes quick work of scanning hard drives and recovering lost files. However, while it did an excellent job recovering image files, it struggled in our tests to recover documents, videos and music. Further, it does not organize files into folders according to file type, which complicates the post-recovery experience. Overall, it's a good program if your business uses a lot of images and you're seeking a bargain Mac recovery software solution.
In evaluating the effectiveness of the data recovery programs on our list, our testing protocol replicated two common data loss scenarios: lost – or accidentally deleted – files and files lost due to a reformatted drive. For the first test, lost files, we simulated accidental deletion or a corrupted file directory. Cisdem DataRecovery retrieved an average of 96% of photos. It recovered an average of 98% of the photos lost due to reformatting. These were its best results, which compare favorably against our higher-ranked Mac data recovery programs, but keep in mind that one percentage point makes a big difference.
The bigger concern with Cisdem DataRecovery, however, lies in its ability to recover documents, music and videos. It salvaged a meager 30% of lost document files, the worst rating of all the applications on our list. In our reformatted drive test, it recovered an average of 34% of documents. In our tests for videos and music, it only retrieved 54% of lost files and 58% of reformatted media. This software is better suited for businesses that rely on images, like photography studios.
Cisdem DataRecovery had a slightly below-average ease of use score. Installation was easy enough, and it recorded optimal speeds both in scanning and recovering files. (Incidentally, we did not find a correlation between speed and quantity of recovered files.) It also works with RAID systems.
However, once Cisdem retrieves all of your files, it places them in a single folder rather than separating them by file type and extension, which is what other Mac recovery applications do. Therefore, if you had a huge directory of deleted files on the Mac, you may find yourself sorting through hundreds or thousands of varying file types to find the exact files you need.
Cisdem provides customer support via email and an online knowledgebase. In addition, it provides free updates to its software.
- Picture Lost File Recovery
- Picture Reformatted Drive Recovery
- Document Lost File Recovery
- Document Reformatted Drive Recovery
- Video & Music Lost File Recovery
- Video & Audio Files Reformatted
Cisdem DataRecovery costs significantly less than most of the Mac data recovery programs we reviewed, but it also recovers significantly fewer files, particularly document files. While it's compatible with multiple formats, including RAID systems, the fact that it deposits all recovered files into one folder, which you then have to sort through, detracts from its ease of use.
Contributing Reviewer: Karina Fabian