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Btrfs vs EXT4, All You Need to Know About Btrfs and EXT4!

What is the difference between EXT4 and Btrfs? This tutorial covers the detailed comparison of Btrfs VS EXT4 file systems. We also provide useful information about Btrfs or EXT4 for Synology NAS devices as well as how to recover lost data from Synology NAS Raid drives.

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Table of Contents

So, what is the difference between EXT4 and Btrfs? You might wonder what the differences between the two file systems are? Before we proceed, we should highlight the fact that not all OS (Operating System) can deal with all types of files system.

Therefore, on Windows, you have a few file options (FAT32, NTFS, etc.) for storing data on your hard drive. On the other hand, Linus users have multiple files types to choose from. Btrfs and EXT4 are two common types in this regard.

Now, we are about to find out how both of these file types are different. So, stick with us.

ext4 vs btrfs

Btrfs File System

Btrfs is commonly known as a B-Tree file system. It is one advanced and features pack file type. Therefore, even since its inception, it has been the talk of the town. The industry calls it an advanced file type because it works on the Copy on Write (CoW) mechanism.

This particular mechanism can store back the data after the modification. Therefore, the chances of data corruption aren't that high. Though this file system was introduced in 2007, many businesses still use it. 

It is because it gives that room to developers to add new functionalities within the same file type. So, this is another reason why Btrfs is so popular. 

Key Features

  • Create Snapshots With Ease  

As mentioned, the Btrfs file system gave plenty of room to developers for some updates. So, it lets them create various snapshots with ease. Note that these snapshots are not just readable but also writable. 

  • No Data Corruption  

In the Btrfs file type, the complete data is a copy on write (CoW). So, it doesn't change the data on the disk. Instead, it creates a copy. Therefore, this file type ensures no data corruption while handling huge file sizes. 

  • Optimized for SSD's  

As SSD's (Solid State Drives) are meant for high-speed data transfers. So, Btrfs is well optimized to work with solid-state drives. Therefore, it ensures that you get the best performance from your SSD. 

Pros : 

  • Supports maximum file size up to 50 TB 
  • Less complication for dealing with huge data files
  • A stable file type for Linux OS 

Cons :

  • Data fragmentation remains on the higher side 

Ext4 File System

Ext4 is the fourth version of Linux's extended file system (Ext). Initially, it was just an extended file system (ext) that was mainly used. However, the Ext file system is the latest offering by the OS manufacturer. So, even today, standards come with the Linux system.  

Today, Ext4 is known as a journal-based file system. This is because this file system keeps a journal of the data which is saved on the disk. 

Key Features

  • Stable File Type 

Ext4 has been there for so long that it is considered one stable file type for Linux OS. So whether you have just shifted to Linux or want one reliable file type for storing your data, Ext4 would serve you fine. 

  • Backward Compatible 

As discussed, Ext4 is the updated version of their previous file types, including Ext1, Ext2, and Ext3. The good news for Linux lovers is that Ext4 is backward compatible with all its previous versions.  

  • Journal Based Mechanism 

To some users, the journal-based data saving mechanism of Ext4 file type may seem a bit old school. But, in reality, it delivers consistent speeds, which matters the most to many users. So, it is one reason why many Linux users still use ext4. 

Pros: 

  • Tried and tested file type 
  • Keeps data secure for long 
  • Suitable for new Linux users 

Cons: 

  • Doesn't allow taking snapshots 

Btrfs vs EXT4, What Are the Differences

Enough of EXT4 vs Btrfs. Let us find out some of the main differences between these two file types. 

Btrfs Or B-Tree File System  Ext4 (Extended File System) 
The Btrfs file type supports partition size up to 16 EIB (Exibyte).  The Ext4 file type supports partition size up to 1 EiB (Exibyte). 
You can create up to 264 files in a Btrfs system.   Ext4 lets you create a max of 232 files.  
It is an updated and also reliable file system  It is one but a reliable file system.  

Btrfs vs EXT4 on Synology NAS Device

EXT4 vs Btrf are two main file systems for NAS hard disk. On Synology NAS or NAS devices of other brands, how to choose the right file system? If you are not sure which file system to choose for on Synology NAS Device, do not worry. We have created this brief guide to help you choose the best file system out of the two. 

Why Go with Btrfs File System?   

As we already discussed, Btrfs is one excellent file system. It has some good little add-ons. Further, it retains the old reliability aspect of its predecessor's file system while bringing in some new features. It even allows creating snapshots of snapshots, which is a very good feature. 

Its copy-on-write mechanism is a welcome addition. So, in short, Btrfs is the more advanced and feature-packed file system for Linux users. You should go with the Btrfs file system if you want: 

  • More flexibility 
  • Less risk 
  • Want to save maximum files 

Why Go with Ext4 File System?  

Ext4 is a more kind of standard file system with some new features. Basically, it is version 4 of the standard file system of Linux OS. However, it does offer some improvements. For instance, it has a journal-based storage system, unlike the copy-on-write mechanism of Btrfs. 

However, its maximum file size capacity is not that much compared to Btrfs. So, it does have some limitations. You should choose the Ext4 file system if you want: 

  • Trusted file system 
  • No data fragmentation
  • Average file size limits   

How to Recover Data EXT4/Btrfs RAID/NAS Drives

Though NAS is a reliable device, data loss still can happen. So, you never know when such stuff happens. NAS drives can lose data because of the following reasons: 

  • Accidental deletion 
  • Repeated power failures 
  • NAS initializing or formatting 

Method 1. Restore EXT4/Btrfs Files from NAS Directly

So, how to avoid such hassle? Well, there is nothing to worry about here. EaseUS NAS data recovery software has got you covered. Let us find out more about this tool. 

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EaseUS NAS data recovery software is an excellent tool that helps you recover data files from every file system early. This software has an easy-to-navigate UI and loads of features onboard to ease the whole data recovery process. 

Salient features of EaseUS NAS data recovery software :  

  • Super easy Nas data recovery, no need to remove the RAID disks
  • Recover accidentally deleted files from NAS within no time
  • Restore lost data from formatted or initialized NAS device
  • Preview the files before recovering them. So, no need to recover all files. Just recover the required ones and save your time

Take the steps below for NAS data recovery from QNAP, Synology, Lacie, Iodata, Buffalo, DLink, Seagate, Western Digital, and more. 

Step 1. Select a NAS server and start recovering.

Download and install EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your Windows 11/10 64-bit computer. When you open this software, select "NAS Recovery". All the NAS servers will be automatically listed, choose your target NAS device and click "Scan".

Select a NAS server and start recovering

Step 2. Enable SSH service on the NAS server.

Go to "Control Panel > Terminal & SNMP" to check the "Enable SSH service" box. Then view and remember the port for remote access open EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and click "Next".

Enable SSH service on the NAS server.

Step 3. Connect to the NAS server remotely.

This software will detect your IP and Port automatically. All you need to do is input the user name and password. If the IP address or Port is not right, you can correct it manually. Then, click "Connect Now".

Connect to the NAS server remotely.

Step 4. Recover lost/deleted NAS data

Then, EaseUS data recovery software will connect to your NAS and start a NAS device scanning. After the scan, you will see all the deleted, lost, or existing files on your NAS server. 

You can apply the "Filter" feature or click the "Search files or folders" option to find the lost files on the hard drive. Select wanted NAS files that you lost on the server and click "Recover" to save them to another location.

Click the "Recover" button to restore deleted BitLocker files in Windows 10.

Recover lost/deleted NAS data

Method 2. Restore EXT4/Btrfs Files with Data Recovery Service

You can also ask data recovery experts for help. EaseUS offers the following services after FREE diagnosis. Contact the experts now.

Consult with EaseUS data recovery experts for one-on-one manual recovery service. We could offer the following services after FREE diagnosis

  • Repair corrupted RAID structure, unbootable Windows OS, and corrupted virtual disk file
  • Recover/repair lost partition and re-partitioned drive
  • Unformat hard drive and repair raw drive(Bitlocker encrypted drive)
  • Fix disks that become GPT protected partitions

Conclusion

So, now you know What is the difference between EXT4 and Btrfs? See, both these files' types are good for their set of features. However, if you want more space for storing files, go with Btrfs. 

Whereas the Ext4 file system is one tried and tested file system. Next time your NAS drive gets formatted for some reason, simply use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover all the data efficiently. So, download this software today! 

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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Written by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

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