I love Mac OS X, but for some reason it still doesn’t have the ability to write to NTFS formatted drives, only read them. This is a major drawback, especially when working with Windows systems that use NTFS formatted partitions. For me, being able to write to NTFS drives is essential; all my external hard drives and pen drives are formatted for Windows, so I need to be able to access them whenever I want from any OS I want.
Created by Tuxera, the same development company that also developed NTFS-3G, an open source solution for Mac OS X NTFS writing, Tuxera NTFS for Mac adds an abundance of options and data protection to your partitions as well as delivering top speeds when writing data. Like NTFS-3G, Tuxera NTFS places itself in System Preferences.
In the preferences pane, you have many settings to choose from after unlocking the pane with your administrator password. You can choose to enable file system caching, which allows the driver to use internal caching which improves performance.
You can also choose whether to also mount volumes that weren’t safely ejected from their last Windows session, which is a nice feature as I don’t like to be warned every time I haven’t safely removed my device after using it. Other options include enabling debug logging and disabling the recovery dialog for hibernated volumes.
When testing, I formatted two drives in NTFS format, one 2TB hard drive and one 8GB pen drive. With Tuxera NTFS installed, you can format any drive like you would in Disk Utility, but you have an extra option to format using the Windows NT Filesystem with Tuxera NTFS. When transferring data between my NTFS partitioned drives speeds were acceptable, although they didn’t blow me away.
Although speeds could be slightly improved, Tuxera NTFS for Mac is definitely a great addition to any OS X machine, although if you don’t need the more complex options that come along with the program, you can choose the open-source alternative, NTFS-3G.