20 Nov 2013

Comparison of file copiers

Most of us commonly use the default Windows file copy which offers little control over file copy and transfer operations. I am sure the majority of users wouldn't care, as long as any of it does the job, however let me assure you that its only when people realize that their computers regularly freeze up while moving large number of files between disks.
Did you wonder, and rejoice in knowing at the availability of alternative file copiers that can handle bulk requests in a better and efficient way?

TeraCopy (Free/ Pro)
If regular freeze is a common thing, probably you might have also heard about TeraCopy. It is the most recommended Windows alternative file copy program. However TeraCopy isn’t the only Windows copy program and it’s certainly not the best (as claimed by others). Based on features, TeraCopy’s drawbacks become obvious, however based on my experience it is the best so far i have come across.

TeraCopy disadvantages:
Inability to shuffle or reorder the queue
Inability to remove files from the copy queue (only in Pro version)
No speed or buffer size control\
No filtering options (limited filtering in Pro version)

SuperCopier (Free)
SuperCopier comes integrated with Windows shell and replaces Windows explorer file copy. After setting it as the default file handler, it automatically launches when you try to copy and paste files using the Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V shortcuts or the Windows context menu. You can also start a file copy/move operation, cancel an operation or temporarily deactivate the program using the program icon on the system tray.

SuperCopier features:
Can pause and resume file copy/move operation
Can Limit speed of the operation
File collision options
Option to control copy of file attributes and file security settings
Set buffer size
Edit file queue
Save file queue for later

FastCopy (Free)
FastCopy employs two different file transfer methods based on whether the source and destination directories are on same or different hard disk. If both are on different disk drives, it smartly process reading and writing respectively in parallel on separate threads. If both source and destination are on the same disk drive reading is processed until the buffer is filled, and then writing is started and processed in bulk.

The basic reason why reading/writing on disks are processed without affecting other applications is because it does not use operating system cache. As per the developers, FastCopy can achieve Reading/Writing performance that is close to device limit (ie hardware limitations only).

The problem i found with FastCopy is to open the program and select the source and destination folders. But a better way is to simply drag and drop files and folders into the source field.

FastCopy features
Can Set buffer size
Ability to ignore file errors when copying
Speed control by percentage
Secure wipe and delete
Copy Access Control List (ACL) and Alternate Stream for NTFS partitions
Basic filtering options that enables you to include or exclude files by Date or Size and matching string in file name.

No file queue management

This is perhaps the only file copy program that is truly free and support cross-platform (available for Windows, Linux and OS X). It works similar to SuperCopier , however has a variety of additional features.

Ultracopier features
Pause and resume the copy
Show speed and change/ apply speed limitation
Copy list can be edited during the copy process/ progress
File Collision management (overwrite, skip, cancel or rename)
Error management (retry where it block, skip, cancel put at the end of the list)
Resume the copy where it have stop if error occurred
Set file copy block size

Test results:
So finally, i had to set task to all the file copy program to experience it. You will probably not going to get a lot out of these programs for files of smaller size. However, if you copy large number of files or large sized data, amounting to several hundred megabytes/ gigabytes in size, you will observe noticeable differences.

To understand the differences, i had copied files in three stages

1) Single file of 328 MB

2) Files equal and larger than 1 GB

3) Final test of UltraCopier for 12 GB (to understand if its worth)

Now you decide yourself, which one is better.. I find that TeraCopy helpful and better in most of the commonly used tasks.

To be continued...


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