Heidi Computers Limited Product Review: Eraser, NoTrax & Spam Blackout

Heidi Computers Limited (HCL)

Heidi Computers Limited (HCL) is an older company founded in 1989. In addition to creating software products, HCL also provides a host of other services including web hosting, business consulting, and customer relationship management. In their software development section, HCL has engineered three tools for the regular user looking for online privacy: Eraser, NoTrax, and SpamBlackout.

Eraser

Eraser provides a robust way for Windows users remove data from their hard drive by repeatedly overwriting the data on your hard drive with carefully selected patterns. Along with successfully deleting files, Eraser will the empty hard drive space to ensure other old files are wiped off completely. This handy tool  is available online for free as an effective cleaning solution for your Windows computer.

For another opinion on Eraser, check out a review by PCWorld.

NoTrax

HCL created NoTrax as an anonymous browser. This browser functions independently and does not need to be added onto any other major browser. NoTrax accomplishes anonymity by erasing your cookies, session files, browsing history, and cache––no traces are left on your computer. In addition, your cache and sites that have been added to a “favorites” folder are encrypted for added security. Users might be particularly drawn to a service like NoTrax considering the privacy issues that have been seen with other browsing services.

Read more about NoTrax at Software.Informer.  

Spam Blackout

Spam BlackoutHCL’s Spam Blackout is a program designed to protect users from attacks through email  by stopping spam and viruses before they are downloaded to an email client like Outlook, for example. The image (left) is from the HCL website offers a visual graphic for understanding how Spam Blackout works.  

In the image, we see the various filters used by Spam Blackout. First are a set of lists including a “friends and enemy” list that the user controls. Users can also select entire countries to block emails from, as well as set phrases that are commonly used in spam messages to help Spam Blackout better filter through emails for spam.

In addition to these customized lists, Spam Blackout offers automated lists and filters. The Spammers List, created by Spam Blackout, checks email IP addresses against pre-made “dynamic Internet Blacklist databases”. In this way, emails from known spam IP Addresses will be blocked. For spammers not on the list, Spam Blackout utilizes Bayesian Analysis, which analyzes emails and calculates the probability of it being spam. These two features are supported by a host of tracker killers also used. A detailed list of each tracker blocker can be found with additional information here.Once identified as spam, emails are sent to the Spam Queue where they remain encrypted.

HCL’s programs are limited; that is, they are only available on Windows. In addition, a look into HCL’s privacy policy reveals that they, in a manner highly akin to the media coverage of AGV, share their users data with other business. Similar to AGV, Heidi Computers promise they will not share information deemed “personally identifiable”. However, based on the backlash AVG received, it is not a leap to assume that some customers are uneasy with this practice.

About Ryan Jeethan

Ryan Jeethan

Ryan is a recent graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Arts & Business program focusing on UW’s unique Speech Communication program.

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