"X-Ways Forensics is an advanced work environment for computer forensic examiners and our flagship product. Runs under Windows XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/8.1/2012/10*, 32 Bit/64 Bit, standard/PE/FE. (Windows FE : winfe.wordpress.com) Compared to its competitors, X-Ways Forensics is more efficient to use after a while, by far not as resource-hungry, often runs faster, finds deleted files and search hits that the competitors will miss, offers many features that the others lack, ..., is made by a German company, and it comes at a fraction of the cost! X-Ways Forensics is fully portable, runs off a USB stick on any given Windows system without installation. " - ?www.x-ways.net
I have been a user of X-Ways Forensics since 2015, and it is undoubtedly my favorite forensic tool, and also my favorite software of any kind!
Compared to competitors, X-Ways is simply faster, and recovers more data. It is frequently updated, and is rare that each update is significantly better than the last, improving what is already the best tool on the market.
There seems to be a perception in DFIR that X-Ways is somewhat difficult to use or understand - this couldn't be further from the truth. One of the great things about X-Ways is it's highly detailed Help manual, which explains exactly what the tool is doing, and how you can get it to do what you want it to.
X-Ways is also extremely competitively priced, especially when you choose the BYOD yearly renewal.
I have attended the X-Ways I & II training courses taught by Jens Kirschner. I uselessly despise most tool training, as it's little more than a sales pitch for something you've already purchased, but X-Ways training is different. Jens takes the time to explain the low-level ways that X-Ways does its thing, and forensic and computing concepts in general. You'll learn more in a 4-day course with Jens than you will on most 3-year undergraduate degrees in forensics.
The only negative I can think of is that X-Ways does not have native support to decode encrypted file systems - you'll have to decrypt outside and provide that image to X-Ways for analysis. This is unlikely to change, as X-Ways have stated that they're not experts in encryption, but is more of a inconvenience than a serious issue.
I look forward to using X-Ways for many years to come - I would choose it over any other tool.
I've been using Xways Forensics for over 10 years now, next to the most other known suites as FTK, iLook, Paraben, Blackbag and Magnet. For me, it is by far the most excellent suite. I haven't tested Encase yet, as it is more pricy.. The strength of Xways is the speed and advanced filtering and selection possibilities. It's a bit harder to learn your way around, but once you know how, it is actually very intuitive.. Many updates also. I use it as a Digital Forensic Expert for Businesses, insurance companies and as a court expert: www.diforex.eu | [email protected]