One thing I’ve noticed over the past few months is the very common practice of listing “Multiple Locations” or “Many Locations Nationwide” in the hard drive recovery business.

We built our Class 10 / Class 100 cleanroom (and security systems) last year and we know what a huge expense a facility like this is ($500k - $1million can easily be spent making a start-of-the-art, secure facility). With such a huge cost to make a facility, we knew these other companies couldn’t really have 30-50 other cleanroom locations around the country like they try to promote on their websites. Doing a little investigating, we found that many hard drive recovery companies were listing out 30-50 locations nationwide (in the major metropolitan areas). What they are actually doing is using a paid-for virtual office that is shared by 5-20 other companies.  So when you see a hard drive recovery shop touting 30-50 locations, look up some of the addresses in Google.  You’ll probably find that the address is also being used by an accountant, lawyer, real estate professional and maybe a housekeeping service.  These addresses are actually just a shared office that any company can sign up for. You can then have a “presence” in any number of cities… In reality, it’s most likely that you’re risking your confidential and precious computer data in a way you might not have known.

You search google to find a local computer recovery shop.  You find one with an address right in town and you think, “Great! I can just drive it down on my lunch hour!”– So you call the local phone number and the person answering sounds like their at some national call center. You tell them you want to drop off your hard drive to their location right near you. The person on the phone says great, let me open a case for you– At this point you’re still under the assumption that your hard drive will be worked on right in your town, at the address listed on the website, which uses a local phone number, complete with an area code that matches.  Here’s where the company is knowingly deceiving you: What you will actually be doing is bringing your hard drive (with all your family photos, tax and bank info, passwords etc) to a drop-off office location shared by other companies.  The shared offices are usually staffed by one single person. That person is responsible for accepting and forwarding packages for all those companies. Can you trust that this person won’t misplace your hard drive, mishandle it or step away from the desk (or take a lunch break) leaving it out in the open to be taken?  Sure, a broken hard drive might not be all that inviting to theft, but your hard drive will be in a box, likely labeled for FedEx or UPS pickup, so if it’s just sitting there on the desk while the receptionist steps away, a thief might see the FedEx box and think it’s an iPhone or something else of value. There is definitely some risk in leaving your hard drive at such a location. Also, do you really want to trust a company that uses these sorts of misleading tactics, pretending to have locations when they really don’t?

At the Data Rescue Center, we have a state-of-the-art cleanroom, but we also have best in class security, something that is definitely lacking at all those shared office addresses some companies tout as their own locations. We employ above-and-below grid cameras, motion sensors, as well as a Class 2 Vault to store your hard drive in while it’s not being worked on. We also have a top-of-the-line fire suppression system that is there to protect our facility from any fire danger.

If you’re in the area, come on by our location. If you happen to bring a hard drive in for recovery, you’ll notice we put it into our Class 2 Vault, not on some receptionist’s desk with various other tenants and delivery people walking in and out all day– The Data Rescue Center offers best in class security, best in class cleanroom, free diagnosis, up front pricing and honest information about who we are, what we do and where we do it. Demand that from whomever you chose as your hard drive recovery service.