How Much Should Data Recovery Services Cost

Data Recovery service providers may charge as much as $1 per GB per case! Others offer the promise of a successful recovery of your data for $400, for encrypted hard drives there is an extra $100 surcharge if they are able to recover your data. If you call around, you are going to find that every company has their own policies and procedures, as well as pricing options and fine printed details! The question is: How much should my data recovery service cost?

The Data Recovery industry is under a tremendous amount of competitive pressure these days. From SMR to Encryption to Captive ASICs & Machine Learning to cheap “data recovery kits” to current industry decline. These days “data recovery” is done by MeBreakYouFix just around the corner! The other guy has a YouTube channel with thousands of followers.

What most realize way too late – price/social media shopping for data recovery services is very different than purchasing items over the internet, servicing a car or even replacing a broken part on a smartphone (although the latter may actually lead to some recovery of data. Apart from the obvious scammers, black-hat’s and catchy phrase peddler’s, real data recovery service providers base their prices on Qualifications, Certifications, Technological Know-How, Security.

In other words, you are truly paying for what you get. In data recovery one most likely has one good attempt, few at the most to obtain safe* access to user data. However, if handled poorly data may stay lost forever. Diversity of models, design, and failures of devices is one of the leading cause for most not providing a flat rate price over the phone. Those who “can” use business models based on volume are able to push prices down. Meaning “one good attempt” is wasted on a set of automated actions and in many cases cause more damage often rendering data as completely unrecoverable.

Those who do well with the high volume business model, absorb your “unrecoverable” case. Don’t be surprised to find yourself in worse shape than where you started.

* Just a quick note here. By safe access I mean ability to attempt recovery of data and if not able to leave the storage media in let’s just say “good faith”. In “perfect world” engineer keeps a detailed log and attaches it with “unrecoverable” media. Unrecoverable data no longer exist, therefore lost!

If Not By Price How Should You Select A Data Recovery Service Provider?

The hourly rate for a Data Recovery Professional in the US averages anywhere from $100 to $500 per hour, depending on the skill and background and a provider’s location. Major push of prices and time for recovery of data include sourcing replacement parts to act as donors.

When in need of data recovery service look for:

  • Credentials
  • Recommendations (reviews, testimonials, Reddit, etc.)
  • Avoid those with expensive Google Ads
  • Ability to track your case
  • Cost and features (no data-no fee)
  • Skill rather than convenience (location)
  • How much longer you can live without it (in many cases those who waited couple of years before attempting got better deal simply because method “how to” do it has been perfected!)

Some say that costs associated with data recovery are based on what others are charging. That it has nothing to do with time, effort, difficulty or any other factor relative to actual cost. Their claim is based on the fact the industry has, rightly, received blame for many years as the reason for all pain. The fact is many of those featured in rip-off reports are now in the Cloud business selling storage plans – still doing their “Kansas city shuffle”.

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