Don't buy that security software!

Why buy when a free open source security app might suit your needs? Here are 12 excellent choices.

By , ITworld |  Security

Open source doesn't have to mean free of cost, but thanks to the generosity of open source developers many thousands of great applications are free. Why spend money when you don't have to? Though if you like and depend on an app, nothing says thanks like clicking the "Donate" button.

Open source applications have advantages other than free or low cost. The best security products are open source, for example OpenSSH, OpenSSL, GPG, and the iptables firewall. Most commercial products are for Windows only, or sometimes Windows and Mac, while their open source cousins serve Mac, Linux, Unix, and other platforms. In this roundup we look at some good open source apps for securing and rescuing our data on PCs, and for protecting our mobile devices.


Secure delete, data recovery, clone, encrypt

The real gold on any of our computers is our personal data. These fine free open source programs scrub hard disks, undelete, recover data from failing and damaged storage media, and securely encrypt our files.


Darik's Boot and Nuke

Don't let your used computers out the door without first securely erasing all their hard disks. Unless you like being the victim of identity and data theft.

Darik's Boot and Nuke, DBAN for short, is operating system-independent and works on IDE, SCSI, and SATA hard drives on x86 and PowerPC systems.

Figure 1: DBAN looks for hard disks to nuke.

Source: Carla Schroder

DBAN is easy to use: download and copy it to the bootable media of your choice -- 3.5" diskette, CD/DVD, USB stick, or PXE boot over a network-- fire it up, and let 'er rip. You can wipe all hard disks on a system, or just selected ones. (Replaces BCWipe Total WipeOut, Secure Erase, HDShredder.)

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