The best feature of this simple to use tiny (890Kb) freeware wiping software called Secure Wipe, is the wide range of algorithms available to securely erase your files or folders. You can indicate manually how many times you want to erase the file or folder too, Secure Wipe settings can be configured to run in the background while erasing (silent mode), reduce memory usage, delete sub-folders or/and exit the program when finished.
There is no help manual included but this data erasing software is very intuitive to use, I didn’t feel a help file was needed unless it is to explain what each wiping algorithm does. To operate Secure Wipe it is as easy as using Secure Wipe interface to select the file or folder you want to permanently get rid of, click on the Erase button and you are done. A portable version of Secure Wipe is available for download too.
Secure Wipe data applicable wiping algorithms
- Guttmann method (35 passes)
- RCMP- Royal Canadian Mounted Police (3 passes)
- US Department of Defence (3 passes)
- US Department of Defence (7 passes)
- Single pass using 1s (1 pass)
- Overwriting using pseudorandom data (1 pass)
Secure Wipe disadvantages
I found two major disadvantages using this wiping software, Vista 64 bit asked me for administration rights to run the portable version of Secure Wipe, this is not a problem at home but it will be at a public computer as you are not likely to have admin rights there and won’t be able to run it. The other disadvantage is that once you start erasing a file you can not discontinue it, there is no cancel or stop button.
Secure Wipe testing
I tested Secure Wipe to overwrite a 1.4GB file using a single pass and I wasn’t too happy with the speed, I have used dozens of data wiping software before and although the selected file was huge, having into account that I was using a single overwrite with 1s, IMO it took an unusual amount of time to wipe it, with the added headache that I could not cancel the wiping, after 30 minutes of waiting and looking at the wiping progress bar still at the beginning I clicked on CTRL+ALT+DEL and manually terminated Secure Wipe from Windows.
There is the small possibility that I had chosen a wiping algorithm with more than one pass by mistake, we can’t know this for sure because the checkbox can be changed even after the software has already started wiping files, in any event I would still blame the problem on Secure Wipe, once you start erasing a file the wiping settings should remain rock solid to avoid confusions.
Conclusion review Secure Wipe
My personal verdict is that Secure Wipe is not up to the job due to the usability problems described above, my main concern is that settings do not stay anchored once you start erasing and that you can’t cancel the operation if it is taking too long. It felt amateurish, you can find better data wiping software.