The last time you got rid of your old laptop or PC, what did you do with the data on the hard drive? Hopefully you did more than just delete the files and folders before setting that plastic little box with all your dirty secrets out on the curb for anyone to pilfer through. Unfortunately deleting files does not remove them or render them unreadable. To do that, you need a hard drive eraser. When it comes to protecting your data, you should use the best hard drive eraser available.
Do I still need hard drive erase software if I’m not getting rid of my PC?
The answer is a surprising yes. Even though you may be keeping your PC or laptop, there is certainly information stored on it that you wouldn’t want to share with the rest of the world. Using a hard drive eraser software suite that can isolate the files of certain applications or specific locations will allow you to perpetually and permanently keep your PC free of sensitive information. A good hard drive eraser suite will include the following features:
- Multi-level security
Overwriting old data with “dummy” files to erase it takes pc resources. Because not all information are equally sensitive, you might want to be more thorough with some files than others. Browsing history for instance might only need a single wipe, while important personal or corporate information may require 3 or more passes to ensure it is completely un-recoverable.
- Ease of use
The best tools are the ones that are easy to use. This allows you to use them more frequently which, in the case of data erasure, is extremely important.
- Supports many file types
Ideally your hard drive eraser software should allow you to erase data based on its type. As an example, you should be able to select your browsing history as a category and trust the software will erase all data that falls into this category but leaves everything else intact.
- Fully supported
As applications and file extensions change, you need a tool that will be able to adapt to these changes to stay relevant and productive. The ideal hard drive erasure software will be continually updated to ensure its functionality meets the changing demands and needs of its users.
To free or not to free?
When answering the question of whether or not a good hard drive erasing software suite can be available for free, the answer might surprise you. There are a number of suites out there that are decent and free. But our experience has been that ultimately you get what you pay for. With that in mind, you can have our preferred hard drive cleanser for a surprisingly low price.
So what would we recommend?
After using and living with multiple hard drive eraser software suites, we’ve come to value a few qualities that are extremely important. Speed, completeness, accuracy, ease of use, and support are the major issues we look for. With the experience of using multiple platforms for an extended period of time, we can honestly recommend this as one of the best hard drive eraser software suites on the market; especially at the price. A nice bonus is that you can download a free trial to get familiar with the extremely easy-to-use interface and see how many files are sitting on your computer that contain sensitive information of one type or another.