The advantages of NTFS

If we compare NTFS with its main predecessor, FAT, we will see a number of advantages. First of all, NTFS uses Unicode to save filenames. On FAT volumes, it was impossible to read or access files that contained non-Latin symbols, if you switched to another encoding. On NTFS formatted volume, filenames are always shown correctly and the files are accessible, no matter what encoding is used as system default.

NTFS has a built-in security system which controls sharing of files between users. There are owners, groups, and different levels of permissions, which guarantees privacy. FAT didn't have any of that by its design, that's why it was difficult to turn earlier versions of Windows into real multi-user environments (which is crucial for networks).

NTFS can encrypt and decrypt files and folders while reading or writing them. Furthermore, it can compress and decompress individual files and folders just as easily.

It introduces user quotas, allowing administrators to control disk usage, thus preventing unfair behavior when a user grabs all available disk space for his or her needs and deprives all the other users.

Ever since the inventing of file systems, a major question was: what happens if some operation fails (for example, because of a power loss)? NTFS is able to complete operations that failed and to restore its state. NTFS 6.0 that comes with Windows Vista has self-healing functionality.

NTFS can successfully deal with very large files and partitions. While FAT performs good on partitions under 500 MB, NTFS is far better equipped for larger partitions. Microsoft didn't recommend to use FAT on volumes larger than 32 GB, which would be already too little for modern computers.

In general, NTFS was developed with all highs and lows of FAT and of other file systems in mind. It takes into account new technologies and capabilities, it can control privacy and sharing in a multi-user environment. It introduces a number of handy features, like the newly added NTFS symbolic links (since Windows Vista). It is stable and robust.

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