Summary: If you are looking to perform data erasure and are contemplating whether to choose a hardware-based or software-based solution, look no further. This blog will help you determine a solution that is most suited to your data-wiping needs. KillDisk Industrial for example is a hardware-based data erasure solution that has several disadvantages making it less appealing than software-based solutions like BitRaser. Let’s find out what are the alternatives to KillDisk.
Manufactured by LSoft Technologies of Mississauga, Canada KillDisk Industrial offers multiple variants of hardware-based disk sanitization solutions. KillDisk hardware has inbuilt data-wiping software to erase up to 25 disks simultaneously. Although hardware-based erasure may look like an ideal solution for performing onsite or offsite data erasure, it has multiple drawbacks. From human intervention at each step to scalability and not being able to offer cloud integration for managing reports and certificates. Numerous alternatives to KillDisk provide better features and advantages and can be used to permanently erase sensitive or confidential data, such as BitRaser, HDShredder, Disk Wipe, etc. Now, let’s see what the limitations of KillDisk are.
Limitations of KillDisk’s Hardware Solution
KillDisk offers various industrial-grade solutions for erasing disks like the ‘KillDisk Industrial Desktop’ and ‘KillDisk Industrial System’. Both of them are portable and customizable hardware solutions. (Refer to Image 1)
As is evident from the above image KillDisk Industrial System is purely a hardware-based solution containing data-wiping software inside it and it looks like a chassis with multiple bays to insert drives. It supports over 20 data wiping standards, including DoD 5220.22 M, NIST 800-88, etc. The system requires you to connect drives into the slots of the KillDisk hardware to perform erasure. This itself is a big limitation considering if you need to wipe laptops, desktops, or other storage media, you need to pull out each drive individually and connect to KillDisk Industrial to wipe them.
- Scalability: The device can wipe up to 25 disks at a time. It means that as a service provider or an ITAD if you only need to wipe a few hundred or thousand disks, it is not a feasible option.
- Labor Intensive: Each disk that has to be wiped must be individually inserted into the device and removed once the erasure process has been completed. This makes the data-wiping process very tedious and labor-intensive.
- Limited Compatibility: KillDisk Industrial offers various bay configurations like 15 x HDD, 13 x HDD 12 x SSD, 13 x HDD 6 x SSD 4 x NVMe, etc. which means only these number of disks can be wiped at one time and these bays are permanent.
For Example, if you want to wipe HDDs, SSDs, and NVMe and you have bought the 13+6+4 KillDisk bay configuration, it would connect 13 HDDs + 6 SSDs + 4 NVMe. However, if next time you have to wipe only HDDs you will be able to connect only 13 HDDs in that bay. This makes wiping multiple device types simultaneously very difficult.
Note: These configurations are also priced differently. For adding different disk types you will have to pay extra.
- Expensive: KillDisk Industrial solution is expensive as compared to the software-based solution. A single device 13 x 3.5″ HDD, 6 x 2.5″ SSD/HDD, 4 x PCI-E NVME bay will cost more than US $5000, with additional costs for adding a monitor, keyboard, printer, adapter, and also an additional price is charged for adding more disk interface. Furthermore, if you have offices in multiple locations, you will need to buy multiple devices or transport the device to another location, incurring transportation costs.
- Limited Wiping Capabilities: The KillDisk Industrial cannot wipe non-standard disks that support different sector sizes like NetApp with 520 bytes sector size.
- Technical Support: KillDisk offers free technical support for 1 year after that you will have to pay extra for each bay. That means if you have 25 bays then for each bay there will be an additional charge.
- Risk of Equipment Failure: Like any other piece of hardware, the KillDisk Industrial System carries the risk of failure. If you have compliance requirements that require immediate data erasure and your system fails, it can become problematic as it could take several days for the replacement to arrive.
These limitations can make it difficult for you to wipe your disks effectively and efficiently. Therefore it’s better to have an option that is not prone to such confines. We recommend using a software-based data erasure solution. A software-based solution offers multiple drive and device wiping options that can help you with your data-wiping requirements. Let’s consider some popular alternatives to KillDisk’s hardware solutions.
Popular Alternatives to KillDisk’s Hardware-based Data Erasure:
Software-based data erasure has many inherent benefits as compared to a hardware-based approach. Data Erasure software is not prone to any of the shortcomings that were discussed above. However, not all software can be considered. One needs to weigh the pros and cons of the software with its features. Let’s discuss a few popular data erasure software that can be used as alternatives to KillDisk:
BitRaser Drive Eraser:
Developed by Stellar, Data Care experts with three decades of experience, BitRaser Drive Eraser is a professional data erasure software that supports 24 data wiping standards like DoD 5220.22 – M, NIST 800-88 Clear & Purge, NSA 130-1, etc. (Refer to Image 2)
BitRaser is a certified and tested software that can wipe data permanently from drives and devices making any sort of data recovery impossible. Here, are the reasons that it can be a superior alternative to KillDisk:
- BitRaser is a software-based method for wiping data so there is no chance of equipment failure. Users can use the software as and when they require it with complete peace of mind.
- BitRaser can erase securely up to 100 drives (HDD & SSD) in PC, Mac, Laptop, and Server simultaneously. Furthermore, its Admin Console variant can erase up to 65,000 drives over a network. This makes BitRaser an ideal solution for organizations and service providers with bulk wiping requirements.
- BitRaser can wipe multiple drives and device types. It can wipe SATA, PATA, SSD, HDD, NVMe, M.2, PCI, SAS, SCSI, IDE & USB, etc. with ease.
- It can be deployed using a plug-and-play variant or via a centrally connected system over LAN. Its user-friendly interface ensures that anyone can use it with ease and wipe multiple drives and devices without much manual intervention.
- The software automatically generates reports and certificates of erasure that are stored on a centralized cloud console. It can be accessed from anywhere and at any time.
- It is one of the most economical professional data erasure software in the market. You can purchase licenses based on your data-wiping requirements and use them as and when you wipe your devices. The licenses don’t have an expiry date until you consume them.
- BitRaser provides free technical support to their customers, who can contact them via email, chat, or phone.
Developed by Miray Software AG HDShredder is a powerful and versatile tool for wiping HDDs, SSDs, USBs, IDE, ATA, SATA, and other storage media. (Refer to Image 3)
It supports over 15 international data wiping standards like VSITR, ACSI 33, DoD 5220.22 M, etc.
- Offers a Windows program application or as a self-booting program.
- Deletion logs can be stored on USB media or network drives.
- Can wipe up to 4, 8, or 16 media devices simultaneously.
- User can wipe their devices using customizable patterns with up to 398 runs.
- Works on Windows OS.
It is a free data destruction software that can erase data permanently from partitions and disk volumes. Disk Wipe supports all popular file systems like NTFS, Fat, and Fat32, etc. (Refer to Image 4)
It supports USB sticks, SD cards, and other portable memory devices.
- Supports popular data wiping algorithms like DoD 5220-22.M, US Army, Peter Gutmann.
- Works with cameras or other multimedia devices that allow their memory to be used as removable storage.
- The software doesn’t require any installation, just download and run it.
- Permanent data erasure beyond recovery; however does not generate any proof of erasure.
- Works with Windows.
These three programs are popular alternatives to the KillDisk hardware-based data erasure. They ensure that your data is permanently erased and cannot be recovered despite using cutting-edge laboratory techniques.
However, understanding the functionality of the software and how it aligns with your business and compliance requirements is critical for selecting the best option.
Why are software-based data erasure techniques better than hardware-based ones?
Software-based techniques allow scalability of data-wiping operations, they can be delivered online at any location instantaneously, they can be used on any type of drive or device and have no interface limitation. The software-based approach also allows seamless integration with your ERP software making the process more streamlined.