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MarsOfEarth reviewed on 24 May 2009
After downloading and trying the 10 day Trial period for Paragon's NTFS for Mac OS X here is my short review:

I was curious to find what extra features Paragon's NTFS for Mac OS X included for the premium of $39.95, as there are already freely available open source alternatives available.

The Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X is small package that installs like most Mac OS X programs with a requirement for a system restart at the finish. After restart, a new Preference Pane is installed in System Preferences where the user can select a few different options to the use of Paragon's NTFS for Mac OS X, including the option to disable. Two options that I noticed that are not found in other freely available projects are the options of "Access Permissions" and "Compress Files and Folders".

Selecting the check box for Access Permissions allows the use of Mac/UNIX style permissioning of files/folders on mounted NTFS drives to your mac. It is unclear if removing the drives and attaching to another computer maintains the permissions and if so how this is handled, or if the permissions are simply held within a database on the Mac using Paragon's NTFS for Mac OS X. Interesting idea however.

The other check box unique is Compress Files and Folders which compresses, you guessed it, files and folders on the NTFS mounted drive used by Paragon's NTFS For Mac OS X. I'm not really sure I am sold on this idea since drive space is so cheap and the performance hit would be substantial, however perhaps there is a use for this in unique situations.

Performance wise I compared Paragon's NTFS solution to that of NTFS-3G.

NTFS-3G is an Open Source package maintained and developed by Erik Larsson of Sweden. An Engineer with a passion for computer file structures it seems. His package and info can be found here; The NTFS-G package for Mac is much like Paragon's in that it has a very Mac like install Interface and installs all the needed file libraries and a Preference Pane for many different advanced options.

Both Paragon's and NTFS-3G performed equally well on ATA and SATA connnected NTFS drives. There is a performance difference if you choose the "Legacy" build of NTFS-3G over the "Standard" build of NTFS-3G. The Legacy build performs quite a bit slower than Paragon's when read/writing to NTFS drives over USB. This is likely due Paragon implementing 'drive caching' to speed up things on slower connections like USB or Networks. Installing the 'Standard' build of NTFS-3G shows equal performance to Paragon's NTFS For Mac OS X since the 'Standard' build does implement drive caching.

All in all performance wise I give it a tie between Paragon and NTFS-3G Standard.

Stability. Let's face it we need our file systems to be stable, and in my business it is pretty much mission critical in our GIS/Data lab. In our lab we are platform agnostic running various Windows versions XP 32, 64, and test beds of Vista 64 and even 64bit 7, Linux builds of openSUSE, Fedora, and Mint, and a bunch of iMacs running 10.5.6 as of this review. Now I am not sure if it is due to use using Virtual Machines for our systems, or some conflict not resolved yet on our Network, but connecting to some NTFS drives using Paragon's NTFS for MAC OS X cause some reported instability issues with Safari and the Finder. Other issues include not being able to launch our virtual machines under VMWare or Parallels. Disabling Paragon's NTFS for Mac OS X seems to resolve these issues.

Over all I would say Paragon's NTFS for Mac OS X is a fairly solid performer with a few exceptions that most consumers may not find themselves in.

For myself I do not find the addition of Permissions or File/Folder compression compelling enough to pay the $39.95 premium for a slightly less stable NTFS product in my situation.

Our lab and my home machine will stick to NTFS-3G and make donations to the Open Source product unless Paragon can develope greater value into it's NTFS for Mac OS X package.
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