Hard drives are becoming larger with each advance made in the hardware industry. With the increase in storage size available the amount of files the average user keeps on their computer has also greatly expanded. But when you want to backup those files safely to either another partition or an external hard drive you need a copy utility that will not run into problems. I used my own music collection at 21.7GB and used several free copy utility programs to see which of them was the fastest, most reliable, and easy to use.
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FastCopy is my choice for the best file copy manager. When it comes to stability and speed, FastCopy gave me consistent results and beat every other manager in the running by several seconds. I also noted that during the transfer, even with the 64MB cache that it used, I was still not seeing a significant jump in resource usage. My RAM usage stayed consistently low throughout the entire transfer. The program is excellent which made it my top choice of the file managers I tested.
It also includes shell integration with the program and x64 capabilities. The program can also be run without being installed which is a very nice touch if you only need it for certain tasks. It also includes an installer for shell integration and for use as your default copier. It will not override your Windows file copier even when installed.
There are a lot of great things about this program but I cannot give this program a 10/10 for the following reasons. First, the uninstalling utility would probably be confusing for the average user since you have to enter the C:\Program Files\FastCopy folder in order to run setup again and choose to uninstall the program. With that said it did not show up in the "Uninstall Program" section of Windows 7 Control Panel which would be the optimal place for the program to be uninstalled. Secondly, shell integration must be configured via the "Options" menu and in order to choose what FastCopy options you would like added to the right-click menu since it does not automatically override your Windows copier.
These to me are minor gripes as the shell extensions added manually are excellent and you can even choose to hide the transfer window in the system tray and hover your mouse over to see the transfer speeds. Also, built into the program is a file wiping utility that performs up to three passes over the file it is deleting for those wanting secure deletion of their files. A big thank you to the commenters for bringing this program, and its benchmarks, to my attention.
UltraCopier has some pretty exciting features including an excellent file resume option, which allows for resuming of a file transfer from a disconnected USB key. So, for those of you playing at home, if you're in the middle of a file transfer from a USB key and it somehow becomes disconnected, when you plug it in again all you have to do is to hit resume and it will pick up where you left off! A great innovation, especially if you have a finicky Windows install that randomly disconnects your drive.
It has also other useful options such as speed limitation and searching through the copy list. And as far as looks go, UltraCopier is a much more visually attractive copier replacement. It's open source, runs on multi-platforms including Windows, Mac and Linux.
All of the software I reviewed here is excellent and it is up to the user to try these out and decide which one they prefer. For now, I'll be using FastCopy for large transfers and UltraCopier for daily transfers side by side.
The next program that I tested was Unstoppable Copier. This one wins hands down in the reliability category. Not only does it transfer faster than the normal Windows copier, it is also able to recover partial files from damaged media or corrupt areas of a hard disk drive. This program is not a miracle worker but I gave it several scratched DVDs that were denied by my Windows copier and it was able to get me a complete backup of the files on the disk. I am very impressed by the software and its uses.
I do not believe it is the intention of the project to do so, but I think this could be an even better program if it was able to be used in place of the Windows copier. It is portable and installable but both versions must be launched in order to do file transfers. The output of the program is outstanding and gives you a very good idea of which files have copied successfully and which files will be re-attempted. With its unique ability to recover damaged files, this copying program is the most reliable of the programs I tested.
I recently used the 2.22 version of TeraCopy. I've seen a lot of complaints about stability with this program and so I decided to push it to the limits. Full on 21.7GB transfer of small files, pausing and resuming of said files, follow-up verification of the total transfer, and killing and re-starting of the same transfer. I will say that these features worked as intended on my setup which is Windows 7 x64 Home Premium.
While this program is a beta, the features I tested performed as they should on my setup. My results are as individual as they come because obviously I cannot account for every variation but the method I used involved TeraCopy as the only program running. Even when I wasn't 'harassing' it by pausing and resuming, my setup is RAID 0, I tried copying small files and one ridiculously large file several times. Each time it did exactly what I asked it to do. The file verification also reassured me that everything transferred correctly even if I did manually verify later.
I personally switch file copiers because I want something faster and more reliable than the Windows copier. In this respect as a Windows copier replacement TeraCopy still shines. I will have some people I know test this program and see if they run into any problems that perhaps I could not. But I still have to say that this is the most actively developed and impressively integrated file copier out right now.
The fact that they have a freeware version that works with Windows 8 x64 (seriously, look at their page) and smooth total integration still makes this one of the best file copiers I've used to date. Which is why it remains a contender for the top spot. If a new release ends up equalling FastCopy on speed, resource usage and stability, then you all will be seeing a new top spot recommendation from me.
Besides the recommended file copy utilities, I'd also mention SuperCopier and KillCopy since both are stable and reliable. Both are faster than the built-in Windows copier. They run from the system tray and are light on resources. KillCopy is quite a bit faster on transfers and has a plethora of options for the advanced user. It gets a hard time for its looks but it has many skins available on its webpage if you do decide to go that route. None that make it as attractive as UltraCopier, in my opinion, but it does help.
You might want to check out these articles too:
- Best Free File Manager
- Best Free File Archiver/Zip Utility
- Best Free Rename Utility
- Best Free Search and Replace Utility
- Best Free Drive Imaging Program
- Best Free Data Recovery/File Un-delete Utility
- Best Free File Cataloging Program
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