5 Best Alternatives to Stellar Data Recovery

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Stellar Data Recovery is heavily marketed online… But is it worth the hype? No doubt, this software is a veteran in the industry and has faithfully served thousands of customers. But if you know what to look for, you might dig up other tools that can deliver way more bang for your buck. In terms of performance, usability, and most importantly – value-for-money, we found 5 strong alternatives to Stellar Data Recovery. Read on.

Top Stellar Data Recovery Alternatives

Short on time? Here are the top 3 alternatives to Stellar Data Recovery. To learn why these are our top picks and to find more critical intel on different apps, continue reading this article.

Top pick
1. Disk Drill for Windows
The Windows version of Disk Drill empowers regular users to reliably recover all kinds of lost data with a few simple clicks. Read full review 
Platform:  macOS Windows
Distributed as:  Freemium
2. R-Studio for Windows
R-Studio for Windows is a powerful data recovery software application, but regular home users may struggle to master it and put its capabilities to good use. Read full review 
Platform:  macOS Windows Linux
Distributed as:  Freemium
3. Wondershare Recoverit for Windows
Wondershare Recoverit comes with an intuitive user interface, but subpar recovery capabilities that struggle to deliver. Read full review 
Platform:  macOS Windows
Distributed as:  Freemium

What Is Stellar Data Recovery?

Stellar Data Recovery is a highly popular data recovery software that’s constantly featured on multiple websites. It recognizes over a hundred file signatures (including custom ones), and has a bunch of other useful features packaged into a modern and sleek GUI (graphical user interface). 

You can recover up to 1 GB of data for free as well as preview files up to 100 MB, but other features are locked behind a paywall.

Stellar Data Recovery Logo

Why you might need an alternative to Stellar Data Recovery

#FeatureResultDescription
1Price
Average
An expensive annual subscription.
2The number of formats supported by deep scan
Decent
Struggled with less common formats and supports limited file signatures than most modern data recovery apps
3FAT32 partitions scan
Crashed
App crashed during multiple FAT32 partition scan attempts
4exFAT partitions scan
Crashed
App crashed during multiple exFAT partition scan attempts
5NTFS partitions scan
Crashed
App crashed during multiple NTFS partition scan attempts
6Preview recoverable items without interrupting the scan
No
Users can only do one task at a time
7Windows shadow copies scanning
No
Not supported
8Recovery chance prediction
No
No information given prior to or during recovery
9Automatic implementation of multiple appropriate scanning methods without user interaction
No
Quick Scan is selected by default unless changed by the user
10Multiple view modes in scan results
No
Only one view available
11Convenient thumbnail preview of recoverable items
No
Not supported

Stellar Data Recovery is one of the most advertised data utilities on the market, but its reputation seems to have surpassed its actual performance. There are a number of tools that provide better value for your money.

Top 5 Best Stellar Data Recovery Alternatives

If you need to restore your files with data recovery software, you should know what to look for. We tested top tier apps and summarized the most critical information for you below:

disk drill windows icon

1. Disk Drill for Windows

3.84 • Best choice for Windows users – Disk Drill for Windows is among the best data recovery software applications available to Windows users.
Version
4.5.616
Last Release
4th Aug, 2022
Platform
Windows
Requirements
Windows 7-11

Overview

Developed by Cleverfiles, Inc., Disk Drill is a robust data recovery software for Windows and macOS. Since its first release over a decade ago, Disk Drill has steadily gained popularity – and it’s pretty much an automatic entry on most top 10 lists today.

Read full Disk Drill for Windows review

That’s because Disk Drill just works. It performs well, supports hundreds of formats (including RAW), its GUI is snappy and beginner-friendly, and its additional (free) features make sense for a data recovery software to have. The developers also only focus on Disk Drill, so it’s constantly getting updated.

The main differences between Disk Drill and Stellar Data Recovery

Overview of main differences
#FeatureStellar Data RecoveryDisk Drill
1Starting price$49.99 / 1 year$89.00 / Perpetual
2exFAT partitions scan
3FAT32 partitions scan
4NTFS partitions scan
5Raw photo recovery
6Video formats recovery
7Multiple view modes in scan results
8Automatic implementation of multiple appropriate scanning methods without user interaction
9Recovery chance prediction
10Data protection
11S.M.A.R.T.
12Mount recoverable items as disk

In terms of performance, usability, and quality of life features, Disk Drill wins by a mile. During real life testing, Disk Drill successfully scanned more file systems and provided excellent support for RAW files – both areas where Stellar Data Recovery struggled.

It was also just so much easier to use. Preview worked perfectly for most files (even RAW images and video files), the interface made it easy to figure out what to do next, and the app's well-designed session management function made recovery way less frustrating.

And while Disk Drill appears more expensive at the onset, remember that Stellar’s $49 offering is for a subscription. Disk Drill’s license actually costs $10 less than Stellar’s perpetual license at the time of this writing.

stellar data recovery windows icon disk drill windows icon

There are more differences to discover.

Read full Disk Drill versus Stellar comparison

Disk Drill is a good alternative to Stellar Data Recovery because:

Supports hundreds of file formats

Stable performance and consistently high recovery rate

Preview window is snappy and works with most files (incl. videos)

Disk Drill’s lifetime license is cheaper than Stellar’s

Warns the user of bad sectors before proceeding

Disk Drill is a poor alternative to Stellar Data Recovery because:

Only offers 500 MB of free data recovery

Doesn’t offer image and video repair

Doesn’t allow scanning by file type (but you can filter the results)

r-studio icon

2. R-Studio for Windows

3.08 • Empowering professionals; intimidating home users – This data recovery software offers a broad range of features to meet the needs of demanding data recovery professionals. 
Version
9.1.191029
Last Release
15th Aug, 2022
Platform
Windows
Requirements
Windows 2000-11

Overview

R-Studio is a super popular tool among data junkies – and for good reason. It’s fast, it performs well, recognizes hundreds of formats, and it gives advanced users more control over the data recovery process. You can even use it to generate audit logs for court hearings (read the full review for more info on that).

Read full R-Studio for Windows review

However, unlike most apps on this list, R-Studio’s GUI isn’t beginner-friendly. Expect a learning curve if you’re new to data recovery. 

The main differences between R-Studio and Stellar Data Recovery

Overview of main differences
#FeatureStellar Data RecoveryR-Studio
1Starting price$49.99 / 1 year$49.99 / Perpetual
2APFS partitions scan
3HFS+ partitions scan
4Document formats recovery
5Network recovery
6Bad sector management
7Forensic features
8Scan speed
9Easy-to-locate features
10Modern user-friendly interface
11Corrupted video repair tool
12Corrupted photo repair tool
13Money back guarantee?
14Live chat

Hands down, R-Studio for Windows is a lot more powerful than Stellar Data Recovery. It performed well against all the formats we threw at it and its recovery management features make it an attractive choice for power users. That said, it’s a rough experience for novice users.

Stellar has a way more user-friendly interface and offers live chat support in case you get stuck. You can also repair photos and videos with Stellar, but not with R-Studio.

R-Studio also has an interesting pricing model, where you can buy affordable perpetual licenses for individual drive formats. However, its full offering still comes out roughly $10 cheaper than Stellar’s at the time of this writing.

Overall, R-Studio is the perfect tool for certain individuals, but regular users may want to stick with Stellar (or review other user-friendly apps on this list).

R-Studio is a good alternative to Stellar Data Recovery because:

Supports hundreds of file types (including custom/user-added)

Can restore original folder structure

Users have more control over the data recovery process

Unlimited file recovery (files ≤ 256 KB only)

Compatible with macOS, Windows, and Linux (incl. older versions)

R-Studio is a poor alternative to Stellar Data Recovery because:

R-Studio’s interface is not user-friendly

Preview doesn’t work with most RAW files

No file repair tool

wondershare recoverit icon

3. Wondershare Recoverit for Windows

2.39 • Can it really recover it? – Wondershare Recoverit offers a sleek user interface and exceptional ongoing support. But, its recovery capabilities are average at best, and little else is offered outside of basic file recovery.
Version
10.5.9
Last Release
13th Jul, 2022
Platform
Windows
Requirements
Windows 7-11 (x64 only)

Overview

Wondershare Recoverit is a good-looking software with a modern interface and decent user experience. It also has an advanced video repair tool that may be a selling point for some users, but it also has respectable data recovery capabilities worth noting.

Read full Wondershare Recoverit for Windows review

While not the heaviest hitter on this list when it comes to data recovery tasks, Recoverit was able to recognize more file signatures than Stellar did (definitely not 1,000 though, as marketed). It was even able to scan our NTFS partition, which Stellar couldn’t. The recovery process itself also was a much better experience from source selection to previewing items – though we wish there was a way to sort files.

Finally, we were pretty impressed with how Recoverit fixed our unplayable videos, but note that this is a paid feature – and it doesn’t recognize less common video formats. Fortunately, you can recover up to 100 MB for free so you check beforehand.

The main differences between Wondershare Recoverit and Stellar Data Recovery

Overview of main differences
#FeatureStellar Data RecoveryWondershare Recoverit
1Starting price$49.99 / 1 year$59.99 / 1 month
2NTFS partitions scan
3The number of formats supported by deep scan
4Preview recoverable items without interrupting the scan
5Convenient source selection on start
6Convenient thumbnail preview of recoverable items
7Update frequency
8BitLocker support
9Disk images: scan and recovery
10RAID reconstructor
11Sort results

What makes Wondershare Recoverit such a strong contender against Stellar Data Recovery is its file and format support. Not only does it recognize more file signatures, it also managed to scan an NTFS partition – a task that just can’t be done with Stellar.

However, usability is a slight toss up. Recoverit does not offer disk image support, so you can’t recover from a byte-to-byte backup (only directly from your drive). You can’t sort results either, making it harder to work with a bigger drive.

stellar data recovery windows icon wondershare recoverit icon

There are more differences to discover.

Read full Recoverit versus Stellar comparison

Wondershare Recoverit is a good alternative to Stellar Data Recovery because:

The app doesn’t crash

Can scan NTFS partitions

Offers advanced video repair (that really works)

Recognizes more file signatures than Stellar Data Recovery

Wondershare Recoverit is a poor alternative to Stellar Data Recovery because:

Can’t resize window

No way to sort results

No support for disk images

Can’t scan entire disks

minitool icon

4. MiniTool Power Data Recovery for Windows

2.15 • Does it have the power to recover your files? – It makes the recovery process easy, but its recovery capabilities are outmatched by higher quality recovery tools on the market.
Version
11.3
Last Release
9th Aug, 2022
Platform
Windows
Requirements
Windows 7-11

Overview

MiniTool is a longtime player in consumer software. Power Data Recovery, its data utility, performs at a decent average on its own. But there are key differences between this app and Stellar’s tool that can help you decide.

Read full MiniTool Power Data Recovery for Windows review

MiniTool Power Data Recovery is better at the basics than Stellar Data Recovery. It can recover most popular formats easily, and we had no problems scanning both NTFS and exFAT partitions (Stellar struggled to scan either).

However, Stellar has the upper-hand in quality of life features – we’ll break these down in the table below.

The main differences between MiniTool Power Data Recovery and Stellar Data Recovery

Overview of main differences
#FeatureStellar Data RecoveryMiniTool Power Data Recovery
1Starting price$49.99 / 1 year$69.00 / 1 month
2NTFS partitions scan
3exFAT partitions scan
4Start file recovery without interrupting the scan
5Preview recoverable items without interrupting the scan
6Disk images: scan and recovery
7Modern user-friendly interface
8Disk cloning
9Disk surface test
10Built-in updater

MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a solid alternative to Stellar Data Recovery simply because it performs better. It provided excellent support for NTFS and exFAT partitions, whereas Stellar choked multiple times during our attempts.

But its preview feature kind of sucks (you need to download it first for some reason), and its GUI is really ugly. Most importantly, MiniTool doesn’t have a byte-to-byte backup feature – which is critical for users with corrupted disks. Stellar does, which may be a strong consideration for some users.

MiniTool’s monthly subscription is more expensive than Stellar’s, but their perpetual licenses cost the same as of this writing.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a good alternative to Stellar Data Recovery because:

Works with exFAT and NTFS partitions

Free 1 GB data recovery

Fix corrupted files (paid feature)

Can scan non-mounting drives/drives with no file system

MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a poor alternative to Stellar Data Recovery because:

Struggles to work with bad disks

Rarely updated

No byte-to-byte backup feature

Need to download the preview function

recuva icon

5. Recuva

1.75 • Good for basic data recovery jobs – Recuva, despite it being a full recovery solution at zero cost, leaves a lot to be desired. Compared to other recovery tools, it's sorely lacking in terms of recovery performance and features. However, if you're in a pinch, it can serve as a quick and easy-to-use recovery solution.
Version
1.53.2083
Last Release
15th Jun, 2022
Platform
Windows
Requirements
Windows XP-10, 11 (unofficial support)

Overview

Recuva has been around for years and was a longtime crowd favorite thanks to its $0 price tag. This humble app supports most common non-RAW file formats, packing decent power into a super lightweight app.

Read full Recuva review

Unfortunately, Recuva is pretty ugly. Unlike Stellar Data Recovery and other apps on this list, Recuva’s GUI is old-school and cluttered. It’s also outdated – Recuva’s last major* update was in 2016. This means that Recuva will become less and less viable as the years go by and more formats are invented.


*Recuva has had some minor updates this year (2022) – mostly to do with licensing and quality of life features.

The main differences between Recuva and Stellar Data Recovery

Overview of main differences
#FeatureStellar Data RecoveryRecuva
1Starting price$49.99 / 1 yearFree
2Windows shadow copies scanning
3Multiple view modes in scan results
4Recovery chance prediction
5Hex view for recoverable items
6Secure data shredding
7Modern user-friendly interface
8BitLocker support
9Recovery from RAID1, 0, JBOD
10Corrupted video repair tool
11Bootable recovery drive creation
12Helpdesk support

Recuva is special. It works brilliantly for basic data recovery tasks at zero cost, and it even supports Windows shadow copies. However, its UI is outdated and we can expect that Recuva will slowly become less reliable as more file types exist.

It also lacks most of the bells and whistles modern data recovery tools like Stellar offer, such as repair tools and the ability to create bootable drives. For now, Recuva is still worth a shot before trying paid solutions.

stellar data recovery windows icon recuva icon

There are more differences to discover.

Read full Recuva versus Stellar comparison

Recuva is a good alternative to Stellar Data Recovery because:

Free unlimited data recovery

The app is lightweight and fast

Recuva is a poor alternative to Stellar Data Recovery because:

Ugly GUI

Can’t scan the whole disk (only partitions)

Doesn’t get updated anymore

Struggles with less common formats (incl. RAW)

Can’t scan unmountable disks

Wrapping Up

Stellar Data Recovery

2.19

Disk Drill

3.84 75%

R-Studio

3.08 40%

Wondershare Recoverit

2.39 9%

MiniTool Power Data Recovery

2.15 2%

Recuva

1.75 21%

Stellar Data Recovery is one of the most popular data recovery solutions out there… But that doesn’t make it the best. Disk Drill for Windows delivers consistently excellent performance and good user experience. Its 500 MB free trial is enough to demonstrate the app's strengths.

Disk Drill for Windows

3.84 • All around excellence – Disk Drill does its job (data recovery) well and its additional features make it an even better product. For a lifetime license, it's well worth the price tag.

Version

4.5.616

Last Release

4th Aug, 2022

Platform

Windows

Requirements

Windows 7-11

Recuva may be outdated, but it’s still powerful enough for many users who only need to restore common file types. No free app can replace paid solutions, but Recuva gives a fighting chance to users on a budget – making it worthy of an honorable mention.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the most common questions users ask about Stellar Data Recovery, its alternatives, and data recovery software in general:

Stellar Data Recovery is a data recovery software, which is a special tool that can restore files that were lost due to accidental deletion/formatting, corruption, and other types of logical damage.

Stellar Data Recovery lets you restore up to 1 GB of data for free. To recover more data, you have to pay for a premium license.

Here are 5 of the best alternatives to Stellar Data Recovery (according to our tests):

  1. Disk Drill for Windows
  2. R-Studio
  3. Wondershare Recoverit
  4. MiniTool Power Data Recovery
  5. Recuva

Recuva is 100% free and most tools offer 500 MB to 1 GB free data recovery as a trial. If you only need to restore a couple of files, these trials are certainly viable.

However, free apps can’t beat the performance, features, and reliability of paid solutions. In the case of data recovery software, you often get what you pay for.

Alejandro Santos
Alejandro Santos
Author

Alejandro is a veteran writer with a rich background in technology. He worked part-time in his uncle’s repair and recovery shop as a young boy, and now uses his experience and writing skills to produce content for multiple tech websites – specifically on the topic of data recovery. As an author for Pandora Recovery, he is constantly testing and experimenting with new tools and technology to help his readers find the best software for their needs.

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Yevgeniy Tolkunov
Yevgeniy Tolkunov
Approver

Yevgeniy Tolkunov is Hardware Engineer at ACE Data Recovery. Yevgeniy has a Master's Degree in Physics, Information Technology; 15+ years of experience.