Today I am going to share with you some totally free data shredders. You may already know that it is quite possible to recover files deleted (with Recuva for example) using soft-delete methods, such as emptying the bin or Shift+Del etc. As a matter of fact when you use similar methods to get rid of files, the real data are not erased permanently. That's why we say deletion is just another way to make things hidden.
Let us put it simple as to the reasons why. When you delete a file with common ways (wipe the recycle bin, Shift+del etc.), the real data contained in the file is still 100% intact there stored on the sectors of your storage media (If you are running PC it’s in the hard drive, if you are using external devices like USB, memory cards… same situation), those data are just marked as “deleted” temporarily. They are really deleted under condition that new saved data occupy their space, and technically speaking they get overwritten. So it is obviously only your deleted files are overwritten, they are erased permanently. Learn more from this Howtogeek article.
Another question – when will they get covered? Well, that depends on the storage volume of your hard drive or memory card etc. Sometimes it takes years while others may take months or even days. The more free volume out there, the less likely those data get deleted permanently. As a result, there comes no surprising if you hear someone successfully recovered files deleted years ago.
Thanks to those free data shredders, we can get things done much easier. Here are the top freeware that can help erase files or folders containing quite important information you don’t want for good. I have tested them all. Note: all the software below work under Windows based PCs. If you are on an Apple Mac machine, check out the Mac shredder software instead.
Free Data Shredder 1 – Freeeraser
Best for: General Personal Users
Free Data Shredder 2 – Eraser
Gutmann 35 passes) for your choices. I can’t see any reason why this one cannot be the best of best for technical users.
Best for: Companies especially involved in security field.
Free Data Shredder 3 – File Shredder V2.0
No 3 is also great. “ It is free for both personal and commercial use” declared on its official website. So any one can use it to shred any files, folders or even wipe the disk you want to donate etc for FREE. Moreover, the Settings let you to do erasure very flexiably. 5 secure shredding algorithms for users’ option and the default is “DoD 5220-22.M”.
Suitable for: any PC users
Free Data Shredder 4 – Evidence Nuker (no longer available)
This file shredder tool is a little bit different from the others. It’s more like a privacy clean utility than a shredder. You can use it to scan the evidence (document history, search history, cookies, cache, website history etc.) you left behind while net surfing. And clean them forever by choosing one of the 4 levels.
Best for: Those who surf the net in public computers or who care about their footprints.
Free Data Shredder 5 – ZillaSoft Data Shredder
explains how to erase Mac the easy way.
Best for: General Users
Free Data Shredder 6 – Data Sweeper Pro
Best for: users who need to shred single files.
Okay, these are the 6 data shredders I have tested one by one. Any other free file wipers or erasers out there? Let me know in the comments.