If you’ve accidentally deleted an important file from your computer or lost files after a computer crash, you might be looking at available solutions to recover your lost data.
Data recovery software can be a real lifesaver in these events, and UFS Explorer data recovery products seem particularly attractive thanks to their wide range of features and ability to solve complex data loss problems.
But, as is the case with all software applications, first impressions, and marketing promises can be misleading, so we decided to put the most capable UFS Explorer data recovery product, UFS Explorer Professional Recovery, to the test to see if it’s worth the rather steep price.
TL;DR: UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac is easy to download and install on Mac computers, but the software is not the most user-friendly and can be quite confusing to use. The interface isn’t the best and feels outdated. However, the features are quite extensive. Even in the trial version, the software has a lot to offer in terms of functionality. The full version is quite pricey but we can see how enterprises and some advanced users may be able to justify it.
Continue reading to find out more about what we liked and what we didn’t like about the software.
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Part #1: Main Features
UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac is one of the most feature-packed data recovery applications that are currently available. Let’s take a closer look at each of its main features to better explain what it can do.
Comprehensive File System Support
Using the latest version of UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac, you can recover the following file systems:
- macOS: HFS, HFS+, APFS
- Windows: NTFS, FAT, FAT32, exFAT, ReFS/ReFS3, HPFS
- Linux: Ext2, Ext3, Ext4, XFS, Extended format XFS, JFS, ReiserFS, UFS, UFS2, Adaptec UFS, big-endian UFS, Btrfs, F2FS, ZFS
In addition to traditional macOS, Windows, and Linux file systems, you can also use UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac to recover disk images and virtual machines, including VMware VMDK, Hyper-V VHD/VHDX, QEMU/XEN QCOW/QCOW2, VirtualBox VDI, Apple DMG, Parallels, EnCase E01, and Ex01 non-encrypted files, and simple disk images.
Being able to recover lost data from virtually any storage device that you may possibly encounter using just one data recovery software application is not only convenient but also cost-effective.
RAID Data Recovery
When it comes to storing large quantities of data, RAID (redundant array of independent disks) technology is hard to beat. The only problem is that RAID arrays can be very complex, and not all data recovery applications handle them well, and some don’t support them at all.
UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac not only supports RAID data recovery right out of the box, but it brings to the table a number of welcome capabilities, such as the ability to automatically reconstruct certain RAID arrays or the option to perform RAID assembly from virtual disks.
These and other capabilities are not something many home users will ever notice or appreciate, but they’re exactly what justifies the higher price of UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac to enterprise customers (more about it later).
Encrypted Storage Device Decryption
Encrypting data at rest is now considered to be an essential cybersecurity best practice because it greatly reduces the risk of a data breach caused by physical theft or device loss.
But as useful as data encryption is, it can significantly complicate the recovery of lost data. UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac comes with the ability to decrypt LUKS, Apple FileVault 2, BitLocker, and other volumes—no third-party software required.
Of course, you still need to know the right password, but that’s just given. The point is that you can decrypt a storage device that was encrypted, for example, using BitLocker on Windows even if you only have access to a Mac computer.
Damaged Storage Device Recovery
In some cases, data loss is combined with logical or even physical damage, making it more difficult to solve it. UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac offers multiple ways to work with damaged disks.
For example, it has a disk imager that can produce a map of defects during the imaging process and create a dynamic map of bad blocks. Some data recovery experts even recommend creating a disk image before every recovery job just to minimize the wear and tear on the original device as much as possible.
If your goal is to recover an entire lost partition, then UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac makes it easy thanks to its ability to detect lost partitions and automatically align them. In situations where automatic partition detection doesn’t cut it, you can define partitions manually.
It’s also worth noting that UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac has built-in S.M.A.R.T. monitoring capabilities that can alert you about emerging issues, giving you time to back up your data before they have a chance to cause irreversible data loss.
Low-Level Data Analysis
Just like all similar data recovery software applications, UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac can automatically recognize most common file formats, including PDF files, Microsoft Office documents, audio and file files, and more.
However, it also features a comprehensive toolkit for performing an in-depth data analysis. The toolkit contains a hexadecimal viewer and editor, data interpreter, parity calculator, bitwise “exclusive OR” (XOR) function, parallel search, and several other powerful tools that all experienced data recovery geeks can put to good use.
Part #2: UFS Explorer Data Recovery Process
For the purposes of this review, we decided to test the data recovery capabilities of UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac by recovering several test files from a 16 GB USB flash drive using macOS Big Sur. Here’s what we had to do:
1. Download and install UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac
Downloading the free trial version of UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac was easy because the latest version for each supported operating system is conveniently available on the download page. The installation was also a breeze, and there were absolutely no noteworthy obstacles to overcome.
2. Launch the application and scan for lost data
Once UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac was installed, we could launch it just like any other macOS app. We were asked to enter our admin password, which is completely normal when it comes to data recovery software. The tool detected our 16 GB USB flash drive (with a single NTFS partition on it) without any issues. To scan the drive, we click the Scan for lost data button. It took us some time to find the button because it’s relatively small and not labeled. It’s only when you hover the mouse cursor over it when a label is displayed.
UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac let us specify the action we wanted to do with the existing file system as well as the file system families we wanted to search for. Since we were happy with the default options, we simply clicked the Start scan button. It’s worth noting that less experienced users would likely find the available options as obscure as hieroglyphs from Egypt.
3. Wait for the scan to complete
UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac then proceeded to scan our USB flash drive using its capable data recovery algorithms. We were given the option to stop or pause the scan, but we couldn’t preview recoverable files before it finished. That was a bummer because the software took a long time searching for lost data—a lot more than we expected. An option to revise found data becomes available when you pause the scan, but that seems like a huge compromise.
The good news is that UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac kept us well informed from start to finish, telling us not only how much disk space had already been scanned but also how much time there was left.
4. Preview and select files for recovery
After UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac finished searching for lost data, we were able to browse through all recoverable files and sort files by date, type, name, or size. Since common file formats can be previewed directly inside the data recovery software, selecting files for recovery doesn’t take much time.
Besides visual previews, UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac can also display the hexadecimal contents of individual files—a potentially useful option that we don’t see too many regular users taking advantage of since it requires fairly advanced technical knowledge.
5. Recover selected files to a safe destination
The only remaining step was to actually recover the selected files to a safe destination. To do that, we clicked the Save button in the toolbar and selected a folder on our system drive. Again, we didn’t like that the Save button wasn’t labeled better. Sure, the icon for saving is universally recognizable, but it would be great if it stood out more.
Results: All in all, UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac was able to recover all test files without any issues, and we’re confident that it would handle more complicated data recovery scenarios just as well. We just wish the tool was more intuitive because navigating its wealth of advanced options can be a struggle even for someone with years of data recovery experience under their belt.
Part #3: Pricing
UFS Explorer Professional
UFS Explorer RAID
UFS Explorer N-RAID
UFS Explorer Standard
UFS Explorer Access
The software comes with a free trial version, just like all UFS Explorer products, which are distributed as shareware. This means that you can try the product before purchasing it.
The developers of UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac, SysDev Laboratories, highly recommended that all users check out the trial application before purchasing a software license to make sure that it matches their needs and has all required functions.
Users who want to purchase the full version of UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac have two options: the commercial license for €599.95 or the corporate license for €999.95. The main difference between the two license options is that a corporate license allows you to use the software on up to 10 computers.
Needless to say, both licenses are extremely expensive and geared toward enterprise customers. Home users who are on a limited budget should consider UFS Explorer Standard Recovery (from €59.95) or UFS Explorer Standard Access (from €21.95) instead.
While not nearly as feature-packed as UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac, the two less expensive versions are more than capable of handling basic data loss scenarios, such as the one we simulated for the purposes of this review.
SysDev Laboratories also sells two special-purpose versions of UFS Explorer, called UFS Explorer RAID Recovery (from €129.95) and UFS Explorer Network RAID (from €199.95). As their names suggest, both versions address RAID data recovery, but they don’t bring to the table any features that are not already included in UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for Mac.
Part #4: User Feedback
It’s always a good idea to research customer reviews before purchasing a product. The problem is that finding user reviews published online by real users of UFS Explorer Professional Recovery is not easy at all.
At the time of writing this review, there are 56 testimonials published on the official website of the software, and they are all 100% positive. Here are some examples:
What’s strange, though, is that the total review score displayed on the same website is not 5 out of 5 stars but 4.5 out of 5 stars. This could mean three things:
- Negative testimonials are hidden.
- The total review score doesn’t actually reflect the published testimonials at all.
- The testimonials are not actually published by real users.
After doing a bit more research, we were able to find additional reviews on CNET’s Download.com, but all of them were outdated. One review from 2007 praised the user interface, which is funny because we consider it to be the biggest weakness of UFS Explorer Professional Recovery.
Pros: UFS Explorer Professional Recovery does have a lot to offer in terms of functionality, offering support for a large number of file storage technologies and data recovery techniques. The software was easy to download and install on our Mac, and it works just as well on Windows and Linux machines.
Cons: The software is not the most user-friendly one out there, and we found it to be quite confusing to use on multiple occasions, partly because the instructions on the website are limited for Mac users. There are other data recovery software tools available that are easier to use and don’t require nearly the same data recovery knowledge and previous experience.
Overall, UFS Explorer Professional Recovery has many impressive features, but the free trial version makes it difficult to appreciate them all because it can only recover files whose size doesn’t exceed 768 KB.
The full version, obviously, doesn’t have this limitation, but its price puts this data recovery software out of reach of most home users. This leaves the less expensive (and less feature-packed) versions of UFS Explorer as the best way to go for anyone but enterprise customers. Unfortunately, all versions suffer from the same usability issues because they share a single outdated user interface.
Our verdict: 4.0 out of 5.
David Morelo is a professional content writer in the technology niche who joined the Handy Recovery team in 2019 and has since made an invaluable contribution to the quantity and quality of our materials. David's main principle is not to start working on a new article until he has studied the subject backwards and forwards.
Andrey Vasilyev is an Editorial Advisor for Handy Recovery. Andrey is a software engineer expert with extensive expertise in data recovery, computer forensics, and data litigation. Andrey brings over 12 years of experience in software development, database administration, and hardware repair to the team.