We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Disk tools/Optimisation software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Daemon Tools Ultra review: create virtual hard drives

£35 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Daemon Tools

Our Rating: We rate this 2.5 out of 5

Create and access hard disk drive files as if they were physical devices with Daemon Tools Ultra. Here's our Daemon Tools Ultra review.

Daemon Tools Ultra review

Daemon Tools' disreputable younger days as a hacking tool seem a speck in the rearview mirror now. Arriving at what appears to be the new top of the pyramid for single users is the £35 Daemon Tools Ultra software, but there's more, and less, here than meets the eye. See all software downloads.

You've got to imagine the word "Diversification" is mentioned frequently over at Disc Soft Ltd these days. After years of static prices and singular release schedules, they've gathered an armful of new products under the Daemon Tools banner and have their market segmentation tuned finely enough to impress a Toyota executive. A cursory glance turns up 10 titles on the products page, some with prices close to £250 for corporate site licenses. See also: Daemon Tools Pro review.

In the plus column, Disc Soft Ltd has added Virtual Hard Drive support to Daemon Tools Ultra, allowing users to create and access hard disk drive files as if they were physical devices attached the system. Protocol support is expanded as well, including iSCSI implementation for networked image hosts via either Disc Soft's own Daemon Tools Net or other iSCSI compliant hosting solutions. Operation is swift and reliable, with Ultra mounting a wide variety of images during testing and new features working as expected. Popular optical emulation modes perform as robustly as here as in other versions. However, that's not the case with features across the board.

Daemon Tools Ultra review

Daemon Tools 5 Pro users will find functionality missing from the Ultra version "upgrade," including the ability to master bootable disks images or discs, USB stick portable execution modes, command line interface scripting and other power user features. Licensing restrictions prevent users with multiple copies from performing selective upgrades. It's either all Ultra, or all older versions. Word from Disc Soft Ltd indicates Ultra is a work in progress:

"This is just first version which introduced new way of mounting. If users will like it, then we may add more features so no functionality will be lost compared to Pro"

And on licensing issues the company says:

"By purchasing an upgrade you will get a license of DAEMON Tools Ultra with a new serial number, that is always available at My Licenses page. Your current license will be blocked.

About Multi-Instance License. Instance is considered as a License copy, which may be installed and used on one operating system. So, there is no ability update 1 instance."

Daemon Tools Ultra review

This beta-test approach is ill-advised given the product is commercially themed, has been officially released, and is one of the most expensive in their catalogue. Also off-key is the fickle attitude displayed towards future development. All the "may" and "if" language suggests support is likely to be based on popularity rather than any sense of responsibility towards existing, paying customers.

Adding injury to insult are the multiple attempts during installation to insert third party "browser bar" style software nonsense which makes the asked £35 investment feel exploitative. The good ideas and new features on display here don't outweigh this cynical approach. See also: Daemon Tools USB review.

Daemon Tools Ultra Expert Verdict »

Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8
  • Overall: We give this item 5 of 10 overall

Unless you need VHD and iSCSI support, hang on to your current version until Disc Soft commits. If they won't, why should you?

  • Daemon Tools Pro review

    Daemon Tools Pro

    Daemon Tools Pro is the most advanced and capable virtual optical drive software on the market--for non-copy-protected discs.

  • DAEMON Tools Pro Advanced review

    DAEMON Tools Pro Advanced

    With its improved virtual device support and its image-type conversions, Daemon Tools Pro Advanced is better suited for heavy or specialized use.

  • FireDaemon Pro review

    FireDaemon Pro

    FireDaemon Pro allows you to take your PC a step closer to a server (or further configure your server) by running programs, scripts or batch files as Windows services.

  • Daemon Tools USB review

    Daemon Tools USB

    Daemon Tools USB doesn't provide much for the money that Windows can't do on its own. Here's our Daemon Tools USB review.

  • QNAP TS-639 Pro Turbo review

    QNAP TS-639 Pro Turbo

    The QNAP TS-639 Pro Turbo iSCSI-enabled NAS solution is a perfect match for the growing small office, especially one expanding beyond the internal storage of a VMware or Windows Hyper-V virtualization server.

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model