Review: Delete data securely with Free File Shredder

Delete files and folders using secure methods with this capable freeware.

Don't rely on Windows to delete your files; use a secure deletion tool like NITBits Free File Shredder instead. Free File Shredder's three levels all delete files and folders more securely than Windows does. It empties the Recycle Bin securely, too. Free File Shredder deletes batches of files and records its actions (including any messages) in a log file you can save. Although Free File Shredder is extremely easy to use, it includes a full Help file with tutorials. Free File Shredder runs in most Windows systems, from 2000 to 8; we ran the latest release, v5.4.1, in 64-bit Windows 7.

Free File Shredder's streamlined dialog-style user interface offers clear explanations at each step, starting with a Welcome page, offering to delete files or folders or empty the Recycle Bin. We could browse or drag and drop to add files. We started with a file: a GIF wallpaper image. Free File Shredder's three delete methods are: 1) Quick delete, which overwrites files with pseudo-random data; 2) DoD 5220.22-M secure deletion; and 3) Gutmann method secure deletion. We could also specify number of passes. The Gutmann method is very thorough but slow; but our file was small, so we selected it. Free File Shredder deleted the file almost instantaneously, so we moved on to a 41MB WAV. Our concerns were unfounded since Free File Shredder took about 17 seconds to overwrite the file. Clicking "Save As" saved the job's log as a text file. Free File Shredder also empties the Recycle Bin as easily as Windows does, only with the same secure methods it uses to delete files and folders.

Free File Shredder strikes a happy balance between options and ease of use without compromising performance or security. It's a wise addition to your regular maintenance utilities.

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