NTFS stands for New Technology File System. In Spanish, we would understand something like a new technology file system. Without beating around the bush, NTFS is the file system that has been used in Windows since the advent of Windows NT 3.1. At the time, it was a replacement for the FAT system and has been adopted in all user versions up to Windows 11.
Today, it is the default file system when it comes to formatting an SSD or HDD in Microsoft OS.
To know the origins of NTFS, we must go back to the year 1980. At that time, Microsoft and IBM formed an alliance to develop operating systems with graphical environments.
Out of that collaboration came OS/2 and HPFS. Discrepancies between the two parties did not take long to appear and the result was a separation of both companies. While OS/2 continued under the influence of IBM, Microsoft began work on Windows NT and its file system, NTFS.
Because of this, HPFS and NTFS share some important features, such as disk partition identification.
Despite the years behind it, NTFS is a file system that can be used today and meet all user expectations. Currently, it is possible to allocate a minimum cluster size of 512 bytes. Handles 32-byte cluster addresses.
It supports filenames with a maximum of 255 characters (longer than Twitter offers for its posts) and maximum volume sizes of up to 16 exabytes. It is worth noting that, thanks to NTFS, users can manage files larger than 4 GB. In fact, that is one of the great limitations of FAT32. Because of this, when it comes to handling large files, it is crucial to format the drive to NTFS .
What is NTFS for?
Like any other file system, NTFS is used to facilitate access to files housed within a storage unit, regardless of whether it is an SSD or a mechanical hard drive.
It does this by determining how to save the information. But that is not the only objective that this system currently fulfills.
One of the premises that Microsoft has sought with NTFS is to offer users a file system capable of adapting to current times. In fact, a quick comparison between NTFS and FAT32, another popular file system developed by the company, is enough to realize the benefits of the former.
For example, NTFS is postulated as a more robust technology against document corruption. Or what is the same, it tends to fail less, avoiding more frequently that the files stop being readable.
Likewise, another critical point is security. When the user opts for NTFS when formatting a drive, he has the possibility to encrypt the content.
This is something that FAT32 does not implement and that, especially in corporate environments, is essential. Finally, we point out that NTFS is a file system compatible with 64-bit systems. It should not be overlooked that the latest version of Microsoft’s system, Windows 11, no longer offers a 32-bit version.
So it will take better advantage of NTFS capabilities than FAT32. In any case, if you want to know all the differences between NTFS and FAT32, we recommend this comparison guide between both file systems.
In short, NTFS is a file system developed by Microsoft that is used to organize data within a storage unit. This structure is vital for operating systems since it allows them to read, write and manage the documents that are stored within it.