Review: Clean your tracks with Privacy Eraser

Try free cleaners before you buy this too-basic shareware (or its pricier cousin).

Cybertron's Privacy Eraser shareware reinforces your online privacy by cleaning private data from your PC. With the click of a button, it removes browsing tracks and personal data, cleans Windows caches, and deletes temporary files. It offers several security methods for overwriting files, including a user-defined Custom Method. Privacy Eraser 8.86 is free to try for 15 days and costs $29.95. While it seems to offer a lot, we just weren't sold on this product, which seems a bit dated. We've found freeware that does nearly as much.

Privacy Eraser's compact dialog-style interface is tabbed for Main, Windows, Browsers, Advanced, and Misc. functions. The Windows and Browsers tabs let us select items to clean, including common locations like the Recycle Bin and others, less common, such as Scandisk File Fragments and recent Paint files. But right away we noticed that some other familiar tools, such as CCleaner, offered many more (and more relevant) options. Privacy Eraser has been around a long time, and though regularly updated, it shows its age in places, such as the Browsers options: Internet Explorer & MSN, Mozilla Firefox, AOL, and Opera. We know what you're thinking: "What; no Netscape?" We're happy to see Opera, but seriously, AOL? And not Chrome? Well, we checked the program's Web site, and it seems that Privacy Eraser Pro adds Chrome compatibility, cleans more (such as plug-ins), and adds extras like a File Shredder, all for about $10 more than Privacy Eraser.

We're left wondering what Privacy Eraser is for. Similar freeware exceed its capabilities with more cleaning options as well as scheduling and extra tools. Its Pro sibling clearly is more up-to-date and offers many more features, but as we noted, it also costs more than the regular version. Before you buy either, we recommend trying some of the very capable free system cleaners available for download. If you can't find what you need (and we think you will) then take a look at the premium tools.

Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Privacy Eraser 8.86.

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