Zinstall WinWin Migration Software Review: The Simple Switch

by Reads (10,083)
  • Editor's Rating

    Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

      • Design
      • 7
      • Functionality
      • 9
      • Ease of Installation/Ease of Use
      • 9
      • Performance
      • 8
      • Cost Benefits
      • 5
      • Total Score:
      • 7.60
      • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10
  • Pros

    • Fast setup
    • Easy to use
    • Settings transfer 
  • Cons

    • Unable select individual applications
    • Expensive
    • Migration assistance costs an additional fee 

Quick Take

The minimalist layout and simple process essentially makes Zinstall WinWin the rotisserie cooker of migrations tools, follow a few simple steps and then you can set it and forget it. It’s a one trick pony that focuses on accessibility and ease, but it manages to perform that trick extremely well. 


Zinstall WinWin

Zinstall WinWin Migration Software

Don’t let the odd name fool you, Zinstall WinWin migration software makes transferring files over to a new PC or operating system a breeze. The data transferring software supports Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8 (from home to Ultimate), and is compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit systems.  

With a straightforward migration process, nearly anyone (regardless of their computing knowledge) can easily move their documents, programs, and settings onto a new laptop or OS. While the software’s simplicity is its biggest selling point; it proves to be a double-edged sword, as the lack of migration options can also make users feel hamstrung.

With its limited feature set, can Zinstall WinWin justify the $120 price tag? Read the full review to find out.

From installation to completion, Zinstall WinWin takes minimalist approach. Immediately after installing the software and entering the registration on my old computer, we were given the option to select whether this was our old computer or the new one. Once you identify whether this is the source (the old computer) or the target (the new one) you simply repeat the process for the second computer.

The software atomically links the two computers using your network connection and you’re prompted to begin the migration. Believe it or not, that’s the most taxing part of the process. From there, the software atomically transfers your saved files, documents, programs, and your settings onto the new device. Zinstall WinWin even notifies users that they should use an Ethernet cable to expedite the process. That may seem like a no-brainer to most of you, but opting for a faster wired connection may not be so obvious for less tech-savvy users.

Zinstall WinWin warns that the migration may not work over a wireless connection, but we didn’t run into any issues during testing. The software was able to transfer a number of large PC games (over 8 GB in size) along with numerous files and benchmarking software over a wireless connection without a hitch. Just be ready to wait if you plan on migrating larger files.

Transferring smaller files like web browsers, a word processor, music files, and word documents finished migrating in about an hour. However, we had to leave the program running over night while moving larger files including massive games like Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls and The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.

Leaving both computers running for the entire evening may seem ludicrous, but it pales in comparison to the time that it would take to download those titles manually. Not to mention that you’d have to continue to check to see when the files have completed downloading to initiate the install for the next application.

Once the process is complete the migration feels near seamless. All of the old files and programs were neatly stored, the screen brightness and battery settings were identical to what was on the old rig; and Hearthstone booted up without any issues or patching. Zinstall WinWin even carries over registration keys, so programs like Futuremark’s benchmark software works immediately after the transfer.

Zinstall Win Win HS

Loading Hearthstone after finishing Zinstall WinWin migration.

While the migration process transfers everything from your old computer, it doesn’t overwrite information on the new device. It’s as if your old PC has been grafted into the new computer. All of the programs and files that were originally on the new computer are still intact and live alongside the data from your old PC. Again this all ties back into simplicity, as users don’t have to worry about erasing any data during the process.  

Zinstall WinWin does have an advanced option, but it’s limited in scope. If there are more than two systems currently running Zinstall on the network, the advanced feature allows users to manually select the migration source and target devices. If either computer has multiple partitions and/or hard drives, the advanced function lets you select which hard drives and volumes will migrate from the source PC, as well as choose the destination drive on the target system. This gives users a small level of control of what carriers over onto their new device, but it still doesn’t allow users to exclude applications and documents on an individualized basis. The software also doesn’t feature a restore option. After the migration users will either have to remove the data manually or run a system factory reset to undo the changes.

zinstall winwin basic

Zinstall WinWin software migration setup.

Another possible point of contention for the migration software is its premium remote support service. The Zinstall site offers a number of support options including an instructive FAQ forum, a complete user guide with step-by-step instructions, and the ability to issue a support tickets. The software’s website also supposedly offers a built-in IM chat feature, however; it’s unclear if it’s a viable option. When trying to use this feature, the representative took about 5 minutes to respond to a simple greeting. After asking a simple yes or no question, we were then told we’d receive an email response in about 2 hours.

Given the straightforward nature of this product, it’s unlikely that most users will run into any serious issues. But if you find yourself at an impasse and the chat feature fails, the only other option is to pay an additional $100 premium remote support session (that’s on top of the original $120 cost of the software).

Conclusion

Zinstall WinWin is a great tool for users who want a simple fast way to migrate their data, applications, and settings onto a new PC or operating system. The software takes care of all the heavy lifting (or perhaps it’s more accurate to say it removes it altogether) allowing even the most basic of PC users to comfortably transfer their data.

Of course, that ease and simplicity comes at a cost. The simple shotgun approach means that users who want a more customizable experience will find Zinstall WinWin wanting. The limited features and the inability to select which applications transfer during migration make Zinstall’s $120 price tag a tough sell. This is doubly true when you consider PCmover Professional (a competing migration software solution) offers many of those missing features; including the ability to restore after a migration, select individual programs, and 24/7 free transfer assistance at $60, half the cost of ZinWinWin.

Users looking for a quick and easy migration tool will find that Zinstall WinWin certainly delivers on that promise, but it may not be the best deal currently available on the market. 

Pros:

  • Fast setup
  • Easy to use
  • Settings transfer 

Cons:

  • Unable select individual applications
  • Expensive
  • Migration assistance costs an additional fee 


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