Permanent Eraser for Mac - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Permanent Eraser for Mac

CNET Editors' review

While the built-in Empty Trash function on a Mac provides a strong level of security, Permanent Eraser for Mac uses the Gutmann encryption method, which is five times more powerful, to accomplish the most secure removal of information from your system.

Downloading and installing Permanent Eraser for Mac takes a couple of seconds. Simply drag the app to your Applications folder and double-click on its icon to start it, instantly. There's not really a user interface, but the app will pop up a warning window asking you if you're sure you want to erase the contents of your trash. During testing, we had around 440MB worth of trash to delete, and the app took around a minute to complete the process. This is not as fast as emptying the trash the traditional way, but if you need it gone for good, it's worth the wait. In the General Preference pane, you can set the erasing level for files as well as for CDs and DVDs. You can also check the options to play sounds and display a warning before erasing occurs. In the Plug-Ins Preference pane you can check the option to install the contextual plug-in, which will enable you to delete a specific file by right-clicking on it.

This product would be very useful for someone who deals with a large volume of secure documents that need to be permanently removed from a computer. For the average user, who is merely deleting harmless documents, the program may seem a bit slow.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews

Results 1-9 of 9

  • 5.0 stars

    "SUPER Performance!"

    November 12, 2013  |   By staylorpi

    Version: Permanent Eraser 2.6.1

    Pros

    Although the developer stresses (over-stresses, in my opinion) that his app takes longer to erase than Apple's built-in Secure Erase, that's only if you use the highest and most sophisticated levels of security available in the app's preferences. I only wish to keep out snoopers, possibly using deleted file restore software. For that reason, I selected the lowest encryption level. As a result, a 170 MB file took 2 min 14 secs to erase via Apple's Secure Erase, but only 15 secs via PermanentEraser. Now THAT'S performance!

    Cons

    Difficult to access the preferences, unless something is in the process of being erased -- app immediately closes if nothing is in the trash. TIP: Erase a large (100-200 MB) junk file and access the prefs while erasing is in progress. Other than this occasional minor annoyance, no other negatives are observed.

    Summary

    Simple and effective software, works as advertised, and free no less. How can you beat it?

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  • 4.0 stars

    "I believe it works because they say so."

    July 29, 2011  |   By robi4

    Version: Permanent Eraser 2.5.2

    Pros

    Just one click and one OK.

    Cons

    None that I know about

    Summary

    I do not know which one does its work better, but I must say that, trashing a 226.52 MB folder took 02:39:3 in Permanent Eraser. In the system Secure Empty... it only took 01:35:2.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "I hadn't a chance to use it"

    December 16, 2010  |   By candyman13

    Version: Permanent Eraser 2.5.0

    Pros

    I base my rating on what other people say about it.

    Cons

    None at this time

    Summary

    I haven't had a chance to use it. I'm 81 years old and a little slow.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "It works beautifully."

    January 10, 2010  |   By 7vincent77

    Version: Permanent Eraser 2.4.1

    Pros

    I like knowing the file and it's extensions etc are completely erased without repeated write overs.

    Cons

    I have to click on the thumbnail in applications instead of using empty trash - a minor detail.

    Summary

    I like products that are easy to use, do what I expect them to, and don't mess up anything else on my system. So far Permanent Eraser is taking care of business!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "excellent though still trouble with bulk erasures"

    September 21, 2008  |   By Tom Older

    Version: Permanent Eraser 2.3.3

    Summary

    This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
    This is an excellent product and makes forking out for such as Netshred not necessary. My one quibble is that though it is stated that with 2.3.3 the bug that made it lock up with 250 deletions has been erased, I still find it locks up with bulk erasures. This with eg browser cache erasure where you might have 800 or so files in the cache, it locks up somewhere between 200 and 300 I found. Means you have to do such an erasure in stages if you are doing it, but that's a small price to pay when the price is zero.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Works Great!"

    January 7, 2007  |   By splaining

    Version: Permanent Eraser 2.2.2

    Summary

    This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
    This is an easy-to-use, one-step "Gutmman Method" shredder.

    Version 2.2.2 works just fine.

    Thanks!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "The ONLY one that worked..."

    September 24, 2006  |   By boydsnest

    Version: Permanent Eraser 2.2.0

    Summary

    This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
    Last Christmas, I bought The Sims 2 for my girls, and then realized that my aging iMac would not run this software after I had installed it. Since then, I had tried 3-4 different programs to rid the computer of a "Characters" folder/files that simply would not erase, and none of these worked. Permanent Eraser exterminated it with ease! I was amazed. Excellent program.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Wonderful App"

    February 21, 2005  |   By DerSpeck

    Version: Permanent Eraser 2.1

    Summary

    This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
    This application is wonderful- does EXACTLY as it says and folks- it is FREE!! I run OSX 10.3 and i still use this application because it is much faster than the built-in Secure Empty Trash function. I am a HUGE user of LaunchBar so I invoke Permanent Eraser with 3 key strokes and no mouse -so it is actually MUCH quicker to use than the hotkey-less bult-in version od Secure Empty Trash. A GREAT application, works flawlessly and fast and is FREE...

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Works fine for a free shredder."

    November 25, 2004  |   By ahem!

    Version: Permanent Eraser 2.1

    Summary

    This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
    Works great.

    Permanent Eraser 2.1 seems to be a simple shredder. There's no need to do anything but click it, to erase the trash. And, simple drag & drop takes care of files/folders.

    About the only thing it doesn't do is shred disk (free) space. Is it actually using the Gutmann method? 35 passes alone doesn't mean it's Gutmann shredded. There's a pattern that must be followed.

    Still, as far as free shredders go, hey, it looks good.

    SecretShredder does the same in demo mode, and more. You can adjust the shredding process. And, if you register it, you would have the added function of being able to shred disk (free) space.

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