SoftRAID and SoftRAID Lite use exactly the same code under the hood
However, with SoftRAID Lite you are limited to RAID 0 and RAID 1, there's no email notification and you don't get access to free email support (among other limitations).
Read below for more details
RAID Levels Supported
Command Line Interface
RAID 0 (Stripes)
RAID 1 (Mirrors)
RAID 4, RAID 5, RAID 1+0
RAID 0 (Stripes)
RAID 1 (Mirrors)
When it comes to knowing if you have a bad disk, there's no difference between SoftRAID and SoftRAID Lite. They both use the same application code to test and monitor your disks, alerting you if a disk has problems before you use it, or if it's about to fail during use.
With SoftRAID Lite, you're limited to creating either RAID 0 or RAID 1 volumes
This is fine if all you want is a fast scratch disk for photo editing (RAID 0) or an ultra-safe set up where every file is copied to a second (or third) disk (RAID 1). However, while useful in certain situations, these two RAID levels are limited: RAID 0 in terms of safety—it offers no protection from disk failure, and RAID 1 in terms of speed—it's slow as it has to constantly copy everything you write to a second, or third, disk.
With the full version of SoftRAID you're able to create RAID 4, 5 and 1+0 volumes. With RAID 4, 5 and 1+0, not only are you able to access your files super fast, but if a disk fails, files on the failed disk can speedily be recovered or recreated, so you can carry on working without losing either data or time.
Only with the full version of SoftRAID, can you work both fast and securely, with peace of mind from knowing that your work won't get interrupted even if the worst happens and one or your disks completely disappears: your data is safe and so is your deadline. No having to spend days backing up from the cloud or retrieving data off backup disks which may be out of date.
With SoftRAID Lite you're missing out on the true power of SoftRAID to provide both fast data access AND safety from disk failure.
With the full version of SoftRAID you'll get email notifications when there is an error so that you know about it as soon as it happens and can take immediate steps to protect your valuable data. SoftRAID Lite won't give you these email notifications.
SoftRAID Lite doesn't provide the command line interface that you get with the full version of SoftRAID. You can use the command line interface to connect to SoftRAID via a remote shell, without having to launch a screen share session. You can also use it for remote monitoring services such as Nightwatchman and for shell scripts which include SoftRAID commands. There's also a great man page for SoftRAID's command line interface, and you will miss out on all of that if you have SoftRAID Lite.
The full version of SoftRAID includes access to our outstanding personalized email support. This is not included with SoftRAID Lite, where standard support is via the SoftRAID Support Forum. If you have SoftRAID Lite, and need personalized email support, you can purchase this—on a per-incident or annual basis—via SoftRAID's purchase page.
Apart from the differences listed above, all other features of SoftRAID Lite are the same as the full version of SoftRAID.
If you can't make up your mind between SoftRAID and SoftRAID Lite, you can always download and try the FULL version of SoftRAID free for 30 days and use that time to make your decision.