ReviewsReview: 4Secure Erase

Review: 4Secure Erase


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In a world where you don’t want your data ending up in the wrong hands, the 4Secure erase device is here to help protect you – and here is our review.

The 4Secure erase is a stand-alone device that quickly and securely erases hard drives. Simply connect a hard drive to the 4Secure erase and at the click of a button it will securely sanitise the drive without the need for additional hardware or software.

Data that has been deleted or incorrectly sanitised can be easily recovered, leading to significant amounts of data remaining present and accessible. This data might be attractive to certain threat actors seeking to exploit ineffective procedures, potentially resulting in the disclosure of sensitive information, reputational damage and regulatory breaches.

The 4Secure erase has been subjected to a rigorous certification process by CESG under the CPA scheme.  Through this formal assurance process the 4Secure erase is able to assert compliance with the highest standards, detailed within HMG IAS5. Therefore guaranteeing the secure erasure of media.

Secure Erase is a feature on many modern hard drives (greater than 15GB). This feature is activated by a low level command to the drive and causes the drive to erase itself using methods developed by the drive manufacturers in conjunction with the NSA. To protect against malware attacks, operating systems such as Windows and Mac OS (an software applications written for these operating systems) cannot send this command, but 4Secure erase can.

Here is a video explaining more:

A Closer Look

The 4Secure erase device is about the size of an old walkman (those were there things people who were born before 1995 used to listen to music on in case you were wondering).

The front has an LCD screen, an on/off switch, buttons for controlling the menu options and various status lights.

There are ports for both SATA and IDE/PATA drives, along with the power out port.

A number of adaptors are supplied in the box.

Using the 4Secure erase

Using the 4Secure erase is very simple – connect the drive you want to the device and switch it on. The device will then search for any connected drives.

Then you just have to select what type of erasure you want to perform. By detail the selection is HMG IS5, but it’s incredibly easy to choose a different type if you so wish.

Then just wait – depending on the type of erasure you selected will depend on just how long the erasure takes to perform. It’s not a speedy process, but you want to be certain that your data is gone forever, and that’s what the device does. The 4Secure erase will erase drives at up to 7GB/minute or more depending on the type and age of the drive connected to it.

Here are the different erasure options you can choose from, depending on your requirements:

Final Thoughts

Whether you want to want to sell, throw away, or give away an old hard drive, you probably have some data on it. Whether it’s personal data such as pictures of your family, or if its important or confidential company information, you wouldn’t want anyone to be able to access it. There have been too many stories over the years of someone buying a second hand hard drive only to find either sensitive material on it, or something very private!

Unfortunately a lot of people believe that if you just delete the data or format the drive in Windows (or whatever other operating system you might be using) that the data is gone and they are safe. For the most part they may be right – however with data recovery software available on the Internet for a very small amount of money, it’s fairly easy now to recover that data.

This is where the 4Secure erase comes into play. Its a small, light weight standalone hardware device that you connect a hard drive to and then let it do its thing in order to securely erase the drive making that data impossible to recover.

The 4Secure erase is very easy to use – it’s pretty much plug and play – connect the drive, select the erasure method you want, press a button and wait. It really is as simple as that.

There are a number of options you can select, including the type of erasure as we have previously mentioned, device information and more.

The LCD is very clear and during the erasure you can view the progress so you know how long you have to wait until it completes. You can also see a number of status lights, including power, disk access and if any errors have been encountered.

There is also a DB9 null-modem serial connector so that you can connect up a label printer to the 4Secure erase. This is so that you can print out details of the erasure and stick on a bag should you need to keep the drive or provide proof of what was performed.

At a little over £800, the 4Secure erase isn’t cheap, but you get what you pay for. If you plan on erasing a number of drives then the total cost of ownership of the device reduces dramatically. There are significantly cheaper options on the market if you only want to erase one or two drives, but those are software based and are usually one off licences per drive. So suddenly that £800 doesn’t seem that expensive after all. And how much is your data actually worth to you?

If you have a small business, or you need to protect your data when disposing of hard drives then buying a 4Secure erase is a no brainer.

The 4Secure erase is available now priced at £807.50, including free shipping.

You can learn more and order your 4Secure Erase from their website.

Andrew Edney
Andrew Edney
I am the owner and editor of this site. I have been interested in gadgets and tech since I was a little kid. I have also written a number of books on various tech subjects. I also blog for The Huffington Post and for FHM. And I am honoured to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2008 - again this year as an Xbox MVP.


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