Discover how the true cost of migrations can often be hidden.

Everyone likes a freebie, there’s no denying it. But the truth is, when something’s free, it usually comes at a price.

Free software is a good example of this. Usually it’s just a “taster”, something to whet your appetite or grab your attention, and further down the line you end up paying for a more robust version.

Free migration software is like this; a good foundation to start, but if you want all the bells and whistles to do it properly, then it’s worth paying a little extra.

Free Migration Tools

Migrations are incredibly complex, and the results can make or break a business. It’s not the kind of thing you want to put into the hands of the cheapest option available.

There are basically three serious options when it comes to free migration tools; Microsoft FastTrack, Google Workspace Migrate and third-party open-source software

Open-source software

There are plenty of free open-source software migration tools out there, and most of them are fit for purpose if you’re only moving small amounts of data that have no real importance. But when it comes to a large-scale data migration that’s part of the growth and development of your business, you will want to set your sights a little higher.

As you might expect, open-sourced migration software has limitations. The software takes longer to set up, will usually only migrate certain things (like files and folders, but not emails), and, most importantly, has a higher fail rate, meaning there’s more chance of your migration turning into a catastrophe.

As the software is open-sourced, there will be no guarantee of security because it will come without accreditation. For something as important as your company’s data, you should only ever use software that meets international standards of security, like CloudM.


FastTrack is a migration service provided by Microsoft and it’s available to all Microsoft 365 subscribers for free.

While FastTrack is suitable for simple file migrations, but it was not designed for anything more complicated.

When you are handling a big migration project, you want to be kept abreast of its progress.There is no update on the project until it’s complete, so there is no way of telling how long is left, how much data has been moved, and which files are still pending.

If you have additional requirements, special instances that need specific attention, or simply want someone to help fix unforeseen issues, then unfortunately there’s not much help available.

If any issues come up, there is no telephone or video support, only an email address to use, so a response is usually slow, by which time the issue might have done serious damage.

FastTrack is only available for customer tenants with 150 or more licenses and is also limited to a certain number of users, so for larger projects, you need more than one migration to move your data.

So to sum up Microsoft’s free migration tool, it might be worth it if you’re a small business with basic data to transfer. Anything larger or complicated should be left to bespoke migration software.


For full migrations, Google will only transfer from one Google domain to another. That means if you’re on Microsoft or some other platform, you can’t use their tool.

Google does have GWMMO (Google Workspace Migration for Microsoft Outlook), but some categories of Email, Calendar, and Contacts are not supported to import in Gmail, while Journal entries, Outlook Notes, tasks, and RSS feeds aren’t imported at all through this method.

Google Migration is not always the speediest: you are allocated one server for your project and you’re migrated on that one server.

In fact, for more complicated migrations, Google often turns to third-party software themselves – like CloudM. So if your migration project needs to happen quickly, securely and effectively, you can cut out the middleman and come to us directly.

What can go wrong?

Unfortunately, a lot could go wrong during a data migration, which is why you should never go for the cheapest option. As we mentioned, migrations are complex, and the bigger the job, the more issues can potentially arise.

Losing data, leaving user information behind and data corruption are just a few of the common problems seen during a large migration.

These issues can have serious, real-world consequences. From reputation damage to hefty fines for data protection breaches, a problematic migration can be a nightmare for a company.

Any kind of problem is going to mean more work for your IT team – because here’s the thing with free migration software – if things do go wrong, who do you talk to about it? Who is accountable for lost or corrupted data? What number do you call to speak to someone? Who do you email about the issue?

Invariably, the answer is no one. And that’s where the true cost of free migration tools appears.

Why you should use us

CloudM has a 99.8% success rate when it comes to data migrations, with over 68 million users migrated in 107 countries.
We offer a host of advantages over a free migration service, including speed, security, accountability, and perhaps most important of all, peace of mind.

Migrations can be stressful, and if you choose free software, you’ll increase that stress exponentially. You’ll have no regular updates, no sign of how successful your migration has been so far, and no idea of how long is left.

With us, you’ll have a personalized account manager, someone to oversee your project and keep you up to date with developments. You’ll be in full control of your data, you’ll know exactly what has been transferred and when, how far the project has come, and any issues that have arisen. Plus, with 24/7 product support available you know an expert is never far away.
We also provide Delta Migrations, allowing your business to carry on as normal during the project, so you have zero downtime. A Delta Migration works by migrating all your historical data – say everything up until the past three months – and then once that’s done, we do the last three months over a weekend when no one is working.

Working with us rather than a restrictive service or open-source software with no experts on hand gives you more options and greater agility in your migration. We can course correct if something comes up, and of course, handle everything for you instead of making you do all the work as free software would.

If done incorrectly, problems during a migration can lead to downtime, data loss and, in worse-case scenarios, legal troubles.

It simply isn’t worth the risk to use free, open-source software for something as important as your data. Let the professionals handle it.

You’re not just paying for the software, you’re paying for peace of mind. You’re paying for data security and accountability if anything goes wrong. You’re paying for a successful migration, and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

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