PROS / The total process, from the evaluation to the recovery, takes an average of only five days, which is one of the fastest turnarounds in our review.
CONS / It doesn't have a certified cleanroom for recoveries.
VERDICT / Like all of the top RAID recovery services we reviewed, Gillware Data Recovery has the expertise to recover data from all types of storage devices, but the lack of a certified cleanroom is concerning.
Gillware Data Recovery is an excellent RAID recovery service that works hard to set itself apart from the many mediocre services in this industry. With Gillware, you have access to technicians with the expertise to recover data from all types of storage devices and data loss scenarios. In addition, you can rest easy knowing that a third party audits the security procedures and policies, ensuring that your data is safe and secure. However, the same can't be said about the cleanroom, which is only self-certified.
While many scenarios of data loss damage the data beyond recovery, Gillware makes the bold claim that it can rescue data from almost any device, regardless of the damage incurred. The recovery process begins when you send your RAID drive to the company's facility for a free evaluation. During this process, the technicians closely examine the drive to determine what is recoverable and how to recover it. The evaluation is complete when they send you a full account of the files that they can recover via email. You can then review the list and decide whether recovering the data is worth the cost.
In case you're pressed for time, Gillware Data Recovery has one of the fastest turnarounds for both the evaluation and the recovery process, at an average of five days. However, the more drives you have in your RAID system, the longer the turnaround. The average turnaround time is based on a single drive. If you need the data even faster, you can upgrade your account to a priority service that puts technicians on your recovery 24 hours a day until it's complete.
The most trustworthy characteristic of Gillware Data Recovery is the security. The data on your RAID drive could be sensitive to your business, your family or you personally, so it's critical that your data is protected and secure. Since Gillware is a General Services Administration (GSA) contract holder, meaning the company is authorized to provide data recovery services to government agencies and employees, it has some of the strictest security policies and procedures, which must be audited by a third party to receive SSAE 16 Type II accreditation.
One downside is the customer service, which scored a 75 percent in our tests. For comparison, the best RAID recovery services scored a 95 percent in the same test. In fact, Gillware's score is 5 percent below average. To determine the score, we asked the customer service reps a series of questions from many anonymous contacts, then we compared the answers. As with many RAID system recovery services that scored below average, the biggest issue was unanswered questions. When you ask a customer service representative a question and he or she doesn't answer, it means that they either don't pay enough attention to their job or they don't want to give you the answer. Since trust is one of the most important aspects of any RAID recovery service, this is a significant flaw.
Another downside to Gillware is the lack of a fully certified cleanroom. Instead of a cleanroom, it performs data recoveries in ISO 5 Class 100-rated workstations, which are essentially bench areas designed to maintain an airspace with less than 100,000 particles per square meter. While the workstations are cheaper to purchase and maintain than cleanrooms, we didn't value these as highly as services with full cleanrooms. A full cleanroom ensures that the service applies the cleanroom procedures to the entire area and not just a workbench, which means there's less chance of contamination. In addition, the workstations are only certified internally. Without a third-party certification, you can't be sure that the workstations are properly cared for and in working order.
Gillware Data Recovery is a good option for recovering data from a RAID drive, as it has the expert technicians to recover data from all types of storage devices and scenarios. Your data is securely stored at all times, as the service meets the stringent security protocols required for any company with a government contract. However, we'd prefer better customer service and a full-sized, certified cleanroom.