balenaEtcher is a freeware app for creating bootable flash drives or SD cards of your operating system. The app creates a complete image of your boot drive and can do so as much as 50% faster than similar applications. It features a sleek, user-friendly interface that should be easy to use for users of all levels.
While the same functionality can be achieved piecemeal, such as using UltraISO to create an ISO image and then using ISO to USB to burn it to a flash drive, balenaEtcher can make the process more enjoyable.
Simple, clean, easy to use
The developers of this app intended for it to be fast, easy to use, and effective, and it shows. The app looks well-designed, the controls are simple, and the app completes its task quickly and without fuss. In most cases, the resulting media can be used to boot into your new flashed operating system as easily as any startup or recovery media.
There are limited configuration options, which makes things easier for those not familiar with this type of procedure, but could also be a downside for experienced users looking for a little more control. The app also offers the functionality to validate your flash drive or SD card, so you know you are not writing onto corrupt media.
Looks great, simple to use, but lacking in control
There is no denying that the app look great and performs very well, but experienced users may become frustrated at the lack of configuration options. It is also the case that only a limited number of image formats are supported, which shouldn’t be an issue in most cases, but might be a headache for some.
Another thing to be aware of is that not all bootable media created with balenaEtcher will work right “out of the box”. Some operating systems will require an extra step or two to get the drive to be registered as a bootable device. In these cases, the developers recommend using software that is specific to those types of images.