34 Best Free File Shredder Tools 2016
Before diving into the list, let's talk about file shredders...
What do you know about digital file shredders?
OK, I will start from the basics. You know about the programs that can recover deleted files, right? Well, digital File shredder is a kind of program that can make files unrecoverable!
HOW IT WORKS?To understand how file shredders work, first, you need to understand what happens when you delete a file from the memory.
When you delete a file, your computer marks the sectors containing the data as "unused" so the file appears to be gone from the memory. That means, the file you deleted is not actually gone, it is hidden, it will be there until someone overwrites the same space with something else.
[The data recovery tools look for the sectors marked as "unused" to find any recoverable data, and then the software tries to combine them back together in a readable format.]
But if you use a file shredder to delete a file, it will delete the file and overwrite the space with gibberish. Meaning, no one will be able to recover the file.
Here is the list of best file shredder tools:
- AbsoluteShield File Shredder
AbsoluteShield File Shredder is a simple file shredding tool that has two different shredding methods -- "Quick" and "Standard". The Quick method overwrites the data two times and the Standard method overwrites 7 times. But I'm not really a fan of those two methods because one pass with random data is more than enough to make the data unrecoverable.
If you are going to use AbsoluteShield File Shredder, select the quick method, it is fast and sensible.
- Advanced SystemCare's File Shredder
Advanced SystemCare's File Shredder a.k.a IObit File Shredder offers a wizard-driven interface that allows easy file/folder shredding. The program supports the following deletion methods:
1. Quick delete: Overwrites the files with zero.
2. DoD5220.22-M(ECE): This method is developed by the US Department of Defense, and it is usually implemented in 3 or 7 passes.
3. Gutmann method: This method is usually implemented in 35 passes, and it is irrelevant.
- ArtPlus File Shredder
Don't underestimate this program's ability to delete files beyond recovery based on it's old looking design. I don't know about the real methods this program uses to destroy the files, but it works very well.
If you are going to try the program, I recommend you to use the "Improved" or "Thorough" deletion method to shred the files.
- Ashampoo WinOptimizer's File Wiper
Ashampoo WinOptimizer has a lot of tools in it, and one of the best tools they offer is the File Wiper. This program offers 3 different wiping methods such as Standard (3 passes), Gutmann and DoD5220.22-M.
I know, the Standard method is too much, nevertheless, if you going to try Ashampoo WinOptimizer's File Wiper, choose the Standard wiping method.
- Baidu PC Faster's File Shredder
This is a simple file shredding program with a cool interface. There are no fancy features in this app, but if you check the "Triple Shred" box, the app will overwrite the target files 3 times.
BitKiller has a simple interface and it offers 5 different overwrite methods. To add files/folders to the program, simply drag and drop files/folders onto the interface.
- Blank And Secure
Blank And Secure is a portable file shredder program that means you don't need to install this application on your computer, just download the file and then run it. To add the files, jut drag and drop them in the program.
It offers only one deletion method -- overwriting the file with zeros.
CyberShredder is a small program that can delete the files forever. The program offers the following deletion methods:
1. Very Quick Shred: Overwrites the files with zeros.
2. Quick Shred: Overwrites the files with zeros (0), ones (1) and then a random stream of bytes.
3. Normal Shred: Seven pass file overwriting.
This program has no main window, all it gives you is a context menu named "Securely Delete". After installing this application on your computer, just right-click on the file that you want to delete, and then select "Securely delete". Then confirm the action, that's all...
Note: You may need to reboot the computer to complete the installation.
Eraser is actually the most popular program on this list. It supports almost 13 different deletion methods including Gutmann, US DoD5220.22-M, RCMP TSSIT OPS-II, Schneier 7 pass, German VSITR, British HMG IS5, US AirForce 5020, First/last 16KB Erasure and many others.
The program also includes a context menu for easy deletion.
- File Secure Free's File Shredder
File Secure Free is an all in one tool for protecting confidential data and privacy. It has four main modules -- File Backup, File Encrypter, File Shredder and Lockup.
Let's take a closer look at the File Shredder module...
Simple Interface, and 5 different wiping methods.
Of course, it has Gutmann method, I don't know why everyone adds Gutmann method to their programs.Nevertheless, the file shredder module is well designed and it is working very efficiently.
- File Shredder
This program offers 5 deletion algorithms such as Simple one pass, Simple two pass, DoD5220.22.M, Secure erasing algorithm with 7 passes, and Gutmann.
- File Shredder Ultra
File Shredder Ultra overwrites the files and folders with random data (2 pass). The user interface is pretty basic, looks like a basic HTML form.
- Glary Utilities File Shredder
Glary Utilities is a system tuning program just like the Advanced SystemCare, and it also has a file shredder module. This file shredder module is just as good as the ASC file shredder, but you can't select a particular deletion algorithm in this program.
If you want to wipe the free space in the local drives, just select the "Wipe Free Space" tab in the file shredder module, and then select the drive(s), then click on the "Wipe Now" button.
- Hard Disk Scrubber
Hard Disk Scrubber offers 4 different scrubbing methods, and if you don't like those methods, you can create your own method using HDS custom pattern editor. It's good, right?!
Take a look at the built-in scrubbing methods:
1. Normal: Random pattern.
2. Heavy: 3 stage pattern (0s+1s+Random).
3. Super: 5 stage pattern (0s+1s+checkboard0+checkboard1+Random)
4. Ultra: 9 stage patterns.
Hardwipe is a good tool that offers 10 different wiping patterns such as Zero overwrite, Random data, GOST R 50739-95, DOD 5220.22-M, RAZER, RAZER+, RAZER++, VSITR, Schneier and Gutmann.
The program also adds two right-click menu options -- Wipe File and Hardwipe Tools.
- Moo0 File Shredder
Moo0 File Shredder is a simple tool with 4 scrubbing algorithms. To add the files, just drag and drop files onto the window.
The program offers the following patterns:
1. Shred Once: Overwrites the data using "Pseudo-Random". Then changes file size, name, attribute, timestamp (twice).
2. Extra Carefully: Overwrites the data using "US DoD5220.22-M" 3 times. Then changes file size, name, attribute and timestamp 7 times.
3. Into Ashes: Overwrites the data using "US DoD5220.22-M and then changes the file size, name, attribute and timestamp 15 times.
4. Vaporize: Overwrites the data using "Gutmann", and then changes the file size, name, attribute, and timestamp 20 times.
- PC Shredder
It offers 4 wiping algorithms such as Fast (1 pass), DoD5220.22-M (3 passes), DoD5220.22-M ECE (7 passes) and Gutmann (35 passes). The user interface of this program looks like the WinRAR application (take a closer look at the above image).
PrivaZer is an efficient system cleaning tool, and it has a File Shredder module in it. To access the file shredder module, select "Delete without a trace" from the main menu. The program offers 11 different deletion methods, and they are listed down below:
1. British HMG IS5, Baseline Standard (1 pass)
2. British HMG IS5, Enhanced Standard (3 passes)
3. Russian GOST P50739-95 (2 passes)
4. German Federal Office for Information security (3 passes)
5. USA Navy NAVSO P-5239-26 (3 passes)
6. USA DoD 5220.22-M Department of Defense (3 passes)
7. Canada Communications Security Establishment ITSG-06 (3 passes)
8. German VSITR (3 passes)
9. Bruce Schneier's Algorithm (7 passes)
10. Canadian RCMP TSSIT OPS-II
11. Peter Gutmann's Algorithm (35 passes)
- ProtectStar Data Shredder
ProtectStar Data Shredder is a wizard-style program that has only two shredding algorithms -- Overwrite with random values and Overwriting with 0xFF for SSD. If you purchase the pro version, you will able to use almost every secure erasing methods. But like I said before, you don't need those methods, the free version is more than enough to make the data unrecoverable.
- Remo File Eraser
The free version of Remo File Eraser allows you to use 3 wiping methods (actually that's all you need). It also allows you to schedule your shredding processes.
- SS Data Eraser
A file shredder with only necessary functions and algorithms. The user interface of SS Date Eraser reminds me of MS Excel. It offers the following algorithms:
1. One pass random (1 pass)
2. US DoD 5220.22-M (3 passes)
- SSuite File Shredder
SSuite File Shredder offers unique functions such as "Encrypt File Before Shredding" and "Compress File Before Shredding". These functions can actually secure your data even if somebody managed to recover the deleted data.
- Secure Eraser
Secure Eraser is not only a file shredder but also registry and system cleaning program. It offers 5 wiping methods including US DoD 5220.22-M and Peter Gutmann method.
- Securely File Shredder
The Securely File Shredder is an easy-to-use, drag and drop style program that can delete files forever. User interface wise, it's good, and it looks like a mobile application.
Yes I know, the interface is crappy and unbearable, but the program works very well. I included this program on the list because of it's simple, and basic user interface.
- Simple File Shredder
Simple File Shredder is like any other shredder application, but it has some special features such as shredder lock, quick search, and color guide.
- Super File Shredder
It is a simple tool, you can add files/folders just by dragging and dropping them onto the window. And, the program offers 4 wiping algorithms -- Simple one pass, DOD 5220.22-M, Secure erasing algorithm with 7 pass, and Gutmann algorithm 35 passes.
It also adds a context menu option named "Shred Files(S)".
- ToolWiz Care's File Shredder
ToolWiz Care is a system tuning software, and you already know that this program has a file shredder module. The file shredder program in the ToolWiz Care is actually a simple one, the only problem with this shredder program is, the user can't select a particular wiping method.
- TweakNow SecureDelete
TweakNow SecureDelete has everything a good file shredder software must have; 4 best shredding methods, page file optimizer, and recycle bin shredder.
- WinUtilities File Shredder
1. Single pass (Quickest)
2. DOD 5223-22M (3 Passes)
3. NSA (7 Passes)
4. Gutmann (35 passes)
If you want to wipe the free space areas of your hard drive, simply select "Wash Free Space" and then choose the drive, then click on the "Start Washing Free Space".
WipeFile supports 14 different wipe methods, and it is absolutely easy to use. Anyone with a little knowledge about software can operate this little program and make any file unrecoverable.
- Wise Care 365 File Shredder
Wise Care's File Shredder is actually a very simple and basic file shredder, no special options or features, but it works very well.
- XT File Shredder Lizard
This program supports 4 shredding methods -- Simple (1 pass : writes 0x00), US DoD 5220.22-M (3 passes: writes 0x00 and 0xFF), US DoD 5220.22-M (7 passes: writes 0x00 and 0xFF- US government approved) and Strongest (30 passes: writes random data).
That's all guys, I hope you liked this list. If you did, please share this article...
I will talk to you guys in the next article...
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