Letting your data go for good, without a computer

A hardware device that wipes hard drives' data on its own without the need of a computer.

Keeping data is crucial, there's no doubt about this. Data backing up has evolved from as painful as copying files onto a floppy disk to an eye candy with Apple's recent invention of the Time Machine.

eRazer at work wiebetech

However, on the other hand, completely losing data is equally important, when you decide to let go your old hard drive. Trashing files from within the operating system generally doesn't make the information completely go way. And you don't want it to be retrieved by people with ill intention.

Today, Wiebetech introduced the first standalone, consumer-friendly hard drive wiping device dubbed eRazer. Unlike most exiting data wiping software solutions, the eRazer doesn't need a computer to work. You just plug your hard drive in to the device, turn it on and it will take care of the data shredding business. Wiebetech claims that the eRazer wipes data at the rate of 35MB/s, about 55% faster than most software wiping solutions. While this hasn't been verified by CNET Labs, the fact that you can get the old hard drive cleansed without having to tie up your computer is indeed appealing.

The eRazer comes in two flavors. The regular version ($99, see photos) works only on desktop IDE hard drives while the Pro version ($149.95) can be upgraded with a converter ($50) to handle both IDE and SATA hard drives for both desktop and laptop computers. The Pro version can also operate in Multi-Pass mode that further ensures the deletion of data.

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by Brian Bennett