Top File Erasing Software for Windows

Top File Erasing Software for Windows

by Dan Vlasic on 3 July 2014 · 2871 views

2 medium Top File Erasing Software for WindowsPersonal and private photos, sensitive documents, private emails you have been sending over encrypted channels, perhaps even using Tor browser, or maybe some NC-17 motion pictures – all that data is private, which means you don’t want it to be seen by people who have physical access to your computer. Moreover, with the accessibility of hacking tutorials online, which explain the RATs, hijacking and the like, any technically savvy teenager living next door can play a prank on you, penetrating your hard drive remotely and uploading those intimate pictures to social networks.

Have I scared you enough, yet? Now, you rush to delete the files and folders, but that won’t help. So that you know, simply deleting files and folders does absolutely nothing but removing headers of the data, so that the files don’t show on the hard drive. However, they are still physically there and can be recovered with the help of data recovery tools, like Recuva, which restores even the deleted TrueCrypt volumes, or any of the apps listed in this comprehensive overview of free data recovery software. What these recovery tools do is scan the drives for complete files, re-index them, and violà, they are again available.

To really delete the files, or shred them, you need to use special software that overwrites the data multiple times using specific algorithms, rendering the data unrecoverable. Fortunately, you don’t need to be technically advanced to tell whether the program you used to shred files worked, or not. All you have to do is install and run the file recovery tool and see if your shredded files can be recovered.

We have compiled a list of programs available here, on Download3k, from free to paid, that offer file erasing feature. You do not necessarily need to resort to paid app since many of the free programs deliver as they promised. Here is our breakdown of apps, prices and features for Windows PCs.

Program

Price

Features

File Shredder

Free

5 shredding algorithms: Simple One Pass, Simple Two Pass, DoD 5220-22.M, Secure erasing algorithm with 7 passes and Guttman algorithm with 35 passes.

Shreds free disk space to overwrite previously deleted files. You can shred files from the app’s context menu.

Free Security Soft: File Eraser

Free

Advanced, intuitive UI, offers erasing scheduler to set up free disk space overwrite. Erases browsing history, cache, cookies. Uses Gutmann’s algorithm, the US Department of Defense and pseudorandom data overwrite.

SoftwareMedicine File Eraser

Free

Shreds files, but not folders. Efficient for standalone, occasional shredding. Works like charm.

Mareew Free Eraser

Free

Guarantees that no FBI can recover the data shredded with its software using cryptographically secure sequence of random generated data when overwriting the contents of your files and folders. A GNU project, so anyone can view the source code and make sure the claims are real.

Eraser

Free

Has many shredding methods: Guttmann (35 passes), US DoD 5220.22-M (8-306./E, C & E) (7 passes), RCMP TSSIT OPS-II (7passes), Schneier 7 pass (7 passes), German VSITR (7 passes), US DoD 5220.22-M (8-306./E) (3 passes), British HMG IS5 (Enhanced) (3 passes), US Air Amy AR380-19 (3 passes), Russian GOST P50739-95 (2 passes), British HMG IS5 (Baseline) (1 pass), Pseudorandom Data (1 pass) and First/Last 16KB.

Supports adding custom algorithms; has a Erase Schedule List; creates reports with errors details.

UltraShredder

Free

Has no predefined shredding algorithms, but rather lets you choose how many times you want data to be overwritten, with the upper limit being 20 times. Supports drag-and-drop to its own window, analyzes your Recycle Bin.

Spybot S&D

Free

Has 4 algorithms – fast (1 pass), 7 passes (standard), 35 passes (extreme), 100 passes (paranoid). Good for standalone files in paranoid mode, but multiple files take too long to get shredded in paranoid, so occasionally it freezes or even fails to shred (only with big batches of files). Nonetheless, the spyware program is powerful and its primary features of detecting spyware are stellar for a free product.

AVG Internet Security 2014

$69.95

Fully-fledged antivirus suite adds an option to Explorer’s menu, so when you click on a file, you see an option to permanently shred with AVG. No options to choose the algorithm, though.

abylon SHREDDER

$32.00

Overwrites data up to 35 times for web history, documents, images, videos and whatever you need shredded. Simple in use, functional.

DriveScrubber

$29.95

Specifically for drive erasing, in full or partially – free space, specific files and folders, entire drive, partitions, USB storage (flash drives and hard drives), external devices like smartphones and tablets, digital cameras. It also has a feature to create a boot disk before you wipe everything and install an OS.

O&O SafeErase

$29.95

Offers 6 shredding algorithms, with increasing number of cycles, the greatest being 35. Can erase browsing history, cookies, saved forms and passwords, as well as USB storage devices, partitions and entire hard drive with apps, configurations and registry settings.

Active@ KillDisk

$49.95

17 shredding algorithms, including your custom created and popular One Pass, (1 pass), US DoD 5220.22-M (ECE) (7 passes, verify), Russian GOST p50739-95 (2 passes, verify) and Gutmann (35 passes, verify).

Wipe Free Space option overwrites free space with traces of previously deleted files. Gives detailed reports of disk scans, shredding process, errors and results.

east-tec Eraser

$49.95

Shredding algorithms are numerous here: Quick Wiping (One Pass/No Check), Quick Wiping (One Pass/Check), Quick Wiping (Random Pass), Stop Recovery Tools (Two Passes/Checks), AFSSI-5020, NAVSO P-5239-26 (RLL) (3 Passes), NAVSO P-5239-26 (MFM) (3 Passes), Russian GOST P50739-95, U.S. Department of Defense (3 Passes), German VSITR, U.S. Department of Defense Enhanced (7 Passes), B. Schneier’s algorithm (7 Passes), 3+7+3 Beyond DoD Standards and Stop Hardware Recovery (Gutmann).

Savvy nerds can create custom algorithms, as well as allows you to scan drive for previously deleted files and shred them for good.

Erases contents of removable disks, too.

BCWipe

$39.95

Has quite numerous wiping methods, from quick and less safe to slow but more secure, such as Gutmann, U.S. Dept. of Defense, Russian GOST and more. Power users can create their own algorithms, and also erase browsing history, encrypt the swap file with advanced techniques, erase local history and free space. Transparent Wiping feature shreds contents of a folder when you delete it the usual way.

Quick Crypto

$39.65

Analyzes your hard drive for already deleted files, which can be restored. Then, it erases them permanently by shredding any digital footprint. No pro forensics analysis can restore that data. It’s a comprehensive security suite with steganography, encryption, password manager tools, system cleaner and file recovery modules, and more.

I am sure there are way more shredding tools that are powerful and efficient, so if you have any suggestions, feel free to share them with us in the comments below.

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