Erase the trace

Thoroughly clean your PC, wipe files, and carry out more privacy and security activities with this powerful tool.

As you know, Windows saves a copy of more or less everything on your computer. Every Web site you visit, every picture, every video; it's all cached or saved or logged somewhere inside your PC. Apart from the security and privacy issues, all that stuff consumes storage and performance resources. A lot of tools promise to clean it all out, but few do. We looked at East-Tec Eraser 2011 from East Technologies, and found it to be a tool that can do the job. It cleans deeply, even files stored as Shadow Volume Copies; thoroughly wipes deleted files; alerts you to risks; runs scheduled cleanups; and cleans traces from all major (and many minor) browsers as well as messenger programs and other popular applications.

East-Tec Eraser 2011's wizard-based interface opened with a Quick Start page with three basic options: Privacy Guard, Erase Deleted Data, and a tool that erases specific data. We started with Privacy Guard in basic mode, which is suitable for most users. There's also an advanced mode. A thorough scan revealed quite a list of cookies, images, videos, Web pages, deleted files, and other PC debris. A review found nothing on the removal list that shouldn't have been there, so we let the cleaning commence. Clicking Change Automation let us configure the scan wizard. When the operation finished, Eraser recommended an immediate reboot, though we could also choose Restart Later or Ignore and Continue. This last option is a "use with caution" option that won't launch Eraser when you reboot and in fact hides your use of the program (for example, from your boss) upon reboot. We clicked Restart and Erase, which restarted our system and returned us to the Eraser interface. The Risk Monitor runs from the system tray; it popped up with an alert that required the Erase Deleted Data tool. This tool makes multiple passes and can take hours, according to Eraser, although our session was much quicker.

Eraser's automated, customizable deep cleaning can help you protect your privacy and security and keep your machine free of a lot of junk without requiring a lot of regular input or effort. While no tool of its type is set-and-forget, Eraser won't forget to do its job when the issue has slipped off your radar.

Editors' note: This is a review of the full version of East-Tec Eraser 2011 9.9.8.200. The trial version is limited to 15 days.

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