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Top 10 Best Data Erasure Software in 2019 [Comprehensive Guide]

Simply deleting the files either with a right-click or shift+delete key does not remove it from a system. The deleted files—even if you empty the recycle bin folder—remain on the system or storage drive, unless overwritten.

And that’s exactly why you need a file eraser software—to overwrite sensitive files beyond recovery. The software helps safeguard sensitive information from potential breach and unauthorized access. This sensitive information could be your passwords, bank details, credit or debit card details, personally identifiable information (PII), social security number, and more.

Typically, when you delete such information that’s stored on your system either by using browser’s inbuilt cache/history cleaner or a third-party tool like CCleaner, the deleted files remain on the drive and can be recovered with the help of a D-I-Y data recovery tool such as Stellar Data Recovery.
Thus, before disposing off, donating, sharing or trashing your old laptop or PC, hard drive, 

SD card or thumb drive, use a data erasure software to sanitize the storage media or the system beyond the scope of data recovery. This will help protect the sensitive and confidential data from breach.

But which data erasure software is the best to suit your specific needs? Well, here’s a list of top 10 best eraser software 2019. Each software has its pros and cons discussed in details—so choose wisely.

1.    BitRaser for File (Recommended)

BitRaser for File is a privacy safeguarding software that permanently erases files, folders, internet history and partitions from hard drives beyond the scope of data recovery. The software meets daily data sanitization requirements of organizations and individuals by erasing data securely using 17 International standards like U.S. Department of Defense (DOD Standard 5220.22-M) 3 Pass/7 Pass, NATO etc.

These verification methods simultaneously verify file eraser during the erasure task.
It is an easy-to-use and secure data erasure tool that meets your individual data sanitization needs and works more effectively than system cleaner apps such as CCleaner because it securely erases the file, not just delete it. Once a file is erased with BitRaser for File, no data recovery software or service including forensics can recover it.

The software generates a certificate of erasure that guarantees file erasure beyond recovery. The tamper proof certificate of erasure also helps you meet statutory compliance with data security & privacy regulations such as SOX, GLB, HIPAA, ISO27001, EU-GDPR, and PCI-DSS.

The free version of BitRaser for File can erase individual files up to 64 KB in size, which helps ascertain its data erasure capabilities. The licensed version of the software can erase files of any size.

2.    Eraser

Eraser is a free data erasure utility that lets you sanitize the confidential files from various storage drives. You can select and wipe individual files and folders, or schedule data erasure tasks to wipe multiple file and folders at once. It can help you wipe volumes and empty space on the storage drive. The software employs data erasure standards like DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, etc. and can destroy the files and folders beyond recovery.

Unlike BitRaser for File, the Eraser software can’t erase private data (internet activities, system & application traces, etc.). Also, it supports fewer data eraser standards and there’s no verification of data erasure task.

Most importantly, the software can’t generate a certificate of erasure.

3.    DBAN

Darik’s Book and Nuke is one of the most popular free data destruction utility. It is an open-source project available in ISO format. To use it, you need to burn the ISO into a USB flash drive or CD. Following are the data sanitization standards DBAN offers:
·         DoD 5220.22-M
·         Gutmann
·         Random Data
·         Write Zero

Since DBAN works from a bootable media, it can work on any Windows or Linux system. The utility only allows you to wipe entire data from your physical disks, which means you can’t erase data from specific volume or partition on the disk.

It’s a powerful tool but the geeky command line interface may not suit everyone; so, it’s advised to avoid this utility unless you are comfortable with using command line interfaces.
Another key consideration for users with regard to DBAN is that it hasn’t been updated since 2015. And, it does not recognize solid state drives.

4.    PC Disk Eraser

PC Disk Eraser is another bootable file erasure program. That means it can run on any system including Windows, Linux, and Mac. The utility is available as an ISO file that a user can burn on a CD or USB drive, and then boot from it. It uses the DOD 5220.22-M data erasure algorithm to wipe disk, partitions, and folders.

Overall, the program is easy to use and displays all the vital information about the drive. It further prompts the user every time before wiping the drive.

The program can erase entire disk, specific volume including the one that stores the operating system—so be careful. Also, it doesn’t support mouse inputs and thus, a user will have to rely on the keyboard entirely, which can be cumbersome. And it cannot erase individual files or folders.

5.    CBL Data Shredder

A free data destruction software which is available for Windows. However, a user can also create a bootable USB media to erase and destroy files from any other system without installation. The CBL Data Shredder utilizes the following data erasure algorithms for data erasure:
·         DoD 5220.22-M
·         Gutmann
·         RMCP DSX
·         Schneier
·         VSITR

In addition to above-listed data erasure algorithms, one can add their own erasure method, which is unique.

A drawback of this software is that it features a limited number of algorithms, and doesn’t provide much control over which files one can erase. Also, some of the text on the software user interface is in German, which can’t be changed to another language.

6.    Hardwipe

Hardwipe is a free data sanitization program that can overwrite files and wipe hard drive data beyond recovery. To use Hardwipe, one can either install the software on their Windows PC or create a bootable USB/CD media. Both these options allow the users to wipe drives and volumes like HDShredder and DBAN— albeit via a simpler interface.

The software can also be combined with Windows File Explorer and Task Scheduler for file eraser automation.

It supports multiple languages that can been enabled by downloading specific language pack from the various options available on its website. Hardwipe supports the data erasure standards:
·         Zero Overwrite
·         Random Data
·         GOST R 50739-95
·         DOD 5220.22-M
·         VSITR
·         RAZOR (+,++)
·         Schneier
·         Gutmann

NOTE: To use Hardwipe software as a portable version (bootable) and get access to more advanced options, the software needs an upgrade. One can choose from the two portable versions —32-bit and 64-bit.

7.    Disk Wipe

Disk Wipe is a drive wiping utility that permanently destroys data from hard disk and other storage media—whether internal or external. It is a free data eraser software for Windows and supports the following data erasure algorithms:
·         DOD 5220.22-M
·         Gutmann
·         HMG IS5
·         Write Zero
·         Random Data
·         GOST R 50739-95

The software does not require installation. It’s available in a portable version, which means a user needs to just double click on the .exe file to begin wiping the drive volumes containing sensitive information.
The software can’t erase individual files or verify data erasure.

8. Secure Eraser

Secure eraser utility supports 4 data erasure standards to wipe storage media and sensitive data with up to 35 passes.
·         DoD 5220.22-M
·         Gutmann
·         Random Data
·         VSITR

The software lets you erase individual files and folders with drag-drop feature. However, the installer uses a dark pattern (tricks the user) to install another program during the Secure Eraser utility installation wizard.
Also, the software prompts the user to order the full version whenever the software is launched, which is annoying.

9.    HDShredder

As the name suggests, HDShredder is a file-shredding utility that destroys everything you throw at it. It uses a write zero sanitization method to erase files.
HDShredder requires installation on PC. But to use it for erasure, you need a CD or USB drive. The program creates an HDShredder bootable drive. And just like DBAN, you can boot from the bootable drive on any PC and destroy sensitive data.

It supports both internal and external drives and features a wizard-like user interface that makes it easy-to-use. However, it can potentially destroy the operating system (OS) files and program files without any warning. Therefore, while using the program, you need to be extra careful.

But the biggest downside of HDShredder software is that most options that make the software worthy are available in paid version. Such as, you cannot erase individual files and folders.

10.  CCleaner

CCleaner is a free registry and system cleaner software for Windows and Android. It lets you uninstall apps, clean junk files, temporary system files, cookies, and various other system and application traces. But everything it deletes can be recovered with a basic data recovery tool.

However, it has an inbuilt disk wiping utility that lets you wipe the empty storage space on the hard drive or certain partition. So, any previously deleted file gets wiped off and can’t be recovered. You can use any of the four following listed options for wiping the drive:
·         Simple Overwrite – 1 Pass
·         Advanced Overwrite – 3 Pass
·         Complex Overwrite – 7 Pass
·         Very Complex Overwrite – 35 Passes (take more time and may damage drive permanently)

Also, you can’t erase individual files or folder or choose data erasure algorithm because it does not have any.


This comprehensive guide outlines the top 10 best data erasure software in 2019. This will certainly help you choose the right data eraser that best meets your needs.

For instance, BitRaser for File is the only data erasure software that features 17 international erasure algorithms, along with the ability to generate tamper proof certificate of erasure for meeting regulatory compliance. Further, the software can automate erasure tasks and sanitize sensitive data such as internet activities, system traces, and application traces. BitRaser for File is designed to meet all types of data erasure needs for most users, due to its simple interface.

There are other effective data erasure software like Darik’s Book and Nuke or DBAN which is amongst the most powerful tools, but would suit the users who are comfortable with command line interface.

Our recommendation is to choose an erasure software that offers well-rounded utility, ease-of-use, and long-term solution. Another key factor to decide on a software should be based on how it helps the users meet the regulatory standards for data privacy & privacy.
All the data erasure software – presented in this guide - are free to download. So go ahead, download and evaluate them yourself.

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