FAQ

General FAQs

What is a Redkey USB?

Redkey is a bootable USB device carrying software specifically designed to securely erase personal data not only from computers but also from mobile devices and other digital equipment. After activation online, it permits unlimited use on a variety of devices without additional fees. Redkey also includes regular software updates, ensuring it remains effective and up-to-date for all compatible devices.

What computers will Redkey work on?

Redkey is highly compatible with a wide range of computers. It works with most PCs produced after the year 2000 and Intel-based Apple computers manufactured between 2006 and 2020. To operate effectively, Redkey requires certain minimum hardware specifications.

Usage and Compatibility

How do I use Redkey USB?

Begin by activating and updating your Redkey USB on a Windows PC with our provided updater application. Once it's ready, insert the Redkey into the computer you aim to wipe. If your objective is to wipe data from a mobile device, connect the device to a computer that runs the Redkey software. This connection should be made via a standard data cable, as the Redkey USB isn't designed to be plugged directly into mobile devices. Follow the on-screen instructions given by the wipe wizard for complete data erasure, applicable for both computers and mobile devices.

Is Redkey compatible with modern storage devices?

Yes, the Redkey USB is compatible with a wide array of storage devices. This includes modern storage solutions like SSDs, NVMe drives, and M.2 drives, as well as traditional magnetic hard disk drives. Additionally, it supports various external storage devices, including USB drives and SD memory cards, ensuring versatile application across different data storage formats.

Data Wiping Process

Will a data wipe remove a computer's operating system?

Yes, when Redkey USB is used for data wiping on computers, it completely erases the operating system from the hard drive. The computer will be left with a clean hard drive, and you will need to reinstall the operating system. Assistance for operating system reinstallation is available if required.

Does Redkey Affect the Operating System on Mobile Devices?

While wiping with Redkey USB can effectively erase the operating system on mobile devices, it doesn't leave the device without one. After the wiping process, the operating system is either reinstalled or reset, ensuring the device is operational with a clean, refreshed system.

How does Redkey erase data?

Redkey USB employs a blend of external erasure techniques and internal firmware-level commands to overwrite and permanently destroy data. This approach guarantees thorough data removal from various storage devices. The specific method of erasure depends on the type of device it's being used on, and users have the option to override this with their own settings.

How can I verify that Redkey has erased data successfully?

After using Redkey USB, you will see an on-screen report that confirms the successful erasure of data. For users of the Professional and Ultimate editions, there's an option to save these reports as enhanced PDFs for detailed documentation. Additionally, Redkey includes an independent hex viewer for manual verification, offering an extra layer of assurance in the data wiping process.

Product Editions and Upgrades

What are the differences between the Redkey editions?

Redkey USB comes in three editions: Home, Professional, and Ultimate. The Home edition provides basic data wiping capabilities. The Professional edition builds on this by adding the feature of report generation. The Ultimate edition further expands these capabilities, including the option to wipe mobile devices.

Can I upgrade my Home / Professional key to a higher edition?

Yes, upgrading your Redkey USB from the Home or Professional edition to a higher version is possible. The upgrade process involves a fee, usually corresponding to the difference in price between the editions. To initiate an upgrade, complete our online upgrade form. Once your request is verified, an invoice will be sent to you via email. The activation code for the upgrade is generally issued within 48 hours following payment. The cost for upgrades is typically around $30, but this can vary based on current exchange rates.

Redkey includes lifetime updates? Really?

Yes, Redkey USB comes with complimentary lifetime software updates. This commitment means users can always access the most current version of the software, benefiting from enhanced features and improved functionality. This promise of lifetime updates was part of our initial offering during our first crowdfunding campaign in 2018, and we have proudly upheld it since then.

Product Activation and Updating

About Product Activation:

Activating your Redkey is essential before its first use. The activation code is located under the scratch-off panel in the packaging. Enter this code into the updater on a Windows PC with internet access. The activation process, which includes downloading about 1GB of data, is a one-time requirement. Be aware that repeated activation attempts can block the device, necessitating customer support or factory service.

About Our Updater App:

The Redkey Updater App facilitates easy activation and updating of your Redkey. It's a convenient tool that runs from your computer without needing installation. Simply download it, activate and update your Redkey, and then delete the app. This process ensures your Redkey is primed for immediate use.

About Legacy Redkeys (V1 & V2 Keys):

Owners of the earlier V1 and V2 Redkey products, which initially didn't require activation codes, can now request one at no cost to access the latest software. Connect your Redkey, use the Updater app to request an activation code, and expect an email response within 72 hours.

Using the Latest Updater:

For the newest features and optimal functionality, it's important to always use the latest version of the Redkey Updater. Older versions might become outdated, so keeping up to date is essential.

Current Software Version:

The Redkey USB software is continually evolving. Currently, the software is at version 5.15, with the desktop Updater App at version 3.17. Regular updates are provided to ensure access to the latest features.

Lost Activation Code?

If you've discarded the packaging with the activation code, you can request a copy through the Redkey Updater App. Submit your details, and we'll get back to you within 72 hours. Keep the code secure, and contact our customer support team for any assistance.

Developments:

Stay informed about the latest Redkey software developments, including detailed change logs, by referring to our provided link.

Data Wipe Kits

What is a data wipe kit?

A data wipe kit from Redkey is a thoughtfully assembled package, providing uniformity and ease for data management. It includes Blank USBs for creating operating system reinstallation media and backing up data, alongside an Ultimate edition Redkey for comprehensive data wiping. These kits are sometimes released as limited editions and are known to sell out quickly due to their popularity. While it's possible to use your own spare USBs for similar purposes, our data wipe kits offer a more streamlined, convenient, and stylish approach. If you see these kits on offer, it's advisable to act quickly to secure one, as they offer a professional and efficient solution for data wiping and system restoration, all in one neat package.

Privacy and Security

Can anyone tell if I've used Redkey USB to wipe a computer?

It is impossible to determine if Redkey USB has been used on a device, as it leaves no traceable data on the wiped device. Redkey operates offline to ensure discretion and privacy. While it can create encrypted log files on the USB for technical support purposes, it's important to note that these log files are only stored on the Redkey itself and can be deleted by the user. Furthermore, these logs can only be read by Redkey USB Ltd, and the methods for doing so are kept confidential and secure. Some custom settings, like choosing between light or dark mode, might be visible, but these do not reveal any user data or indicate that Redkey was used.

Can Redkey USB Ltd see my data?

Absolutely not. Redkey operates entirely on a local level and runs from RAM. It is incapable of reading, transmitting, or accessing any user data. Before initiating the data wiping process, Redkey only interacts with non-identifiable hexadecimal/binary data formats, and it does not have the capability to access standard files and folders through its software interface. It's important to note that for older Apple iPhone models lacking support for internal erasure, Redkey may offer an optional connection to the internet for downloading necessary software files required for iPhone OS reinstallation. This mode is exclusively intended for devices that necessitate this process and is accompanied by clear warnings. Users must actively select this option, and even in this scenario, Redkey does not access or transmit any personal user data.

Software and System Installation

Does Redkey updater install any software on my computer?

No, the Redkey updater app is a portable executable that does not require installation. It can be used and then deleted without leaving any software on your computer. This ensures that your computer remains unaffected by the updater app.

Does the app install anything on my computer?

The Redkey software operates from RAM and does not install anything on your computer's hard drive. When you use Redkey, you boot from the USB to run the software live, which means your system remains entirely unaffected by the software itself.

Disk Erasure Limitations

Are there any parts of a disk that Redkey cannot erase?

Redkey cannot erase certain firmware-level information on disks, such as usage hours and serial numbers. It's important to note that this information is non-user identifiable and specific to the disk hardware. It is not related to personal data or usage history. Redkey's primary focus is on securely erasing user data.

Compliance and Standards

Are Redkey wipes compliant?

Yes, Redkey is fully capable of performing data wipes that are compliant with various current standards, aligning with regulatory requirements outlined in GDPR, NIST, HIPAA, and other international regulations for secure data erasure. Users can select these standards from the advanced menu. For example, to perform a wipe compliant with NIST standards, simply choose a NIST algorithm from the standard selection menu within Redkey's software.

Apple Mac Information

Is Redkey compatible with Apple computers?

Redkey is designed to work with most Intel processor-based Apple computers, including iMac, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro, produced between 2006 and 2020. However, it's important to note that Redkey is not currently compatible with Apple devices that use non-Intel processors like M1 or M2. On Mac computers with an Intel processor, About This Mac displays an item labelled "Processor", followed by the name of an Intel processor. A Mac computer with an Intel processor is also known as an Intel-based Mac.

Is it possible to activate and update Redkey on a Mac?

No, currently Redkey cannot be activated or updated on an Apple computer. To use Redkey on a Mac, you must first activate and install the software on a suitable Microsoft Windows-based PC. Afterward, you can use Redkey on your Mac or other devices as needed. It's worth noting that we are actively working on developing a Mac updater for the future, which will enhance compatibility and convenience for Mac users.

Mobile Device Information

Which edition of Redkey can erase mobile devices?

To erase mobile devices, you will need the Ultimate edition of Redkey. This edition provides the necessary features for erasing a wide range of iOS and Android devices, although device compatibility may vary based on the operating system version and other factors.

What Apple devices can Redkey erase?

Redkey can securely erase most Apple mobile phones and tablets. It supports Apple mobile devices running iOS 9 or later via a fully automated reset and erasure method. This includes devices from the iPhone 4s onwards, which are capable of running this streamlined method. For the few devices older than this iOS, such as the iPhone 1 to 4, a different approach can be used that involves downloading and reinstalling the firmware of the device, which may take a little longer but ensures that all devices are supported. Additionally, even the latest devices can use this method if desired. The ability to erase a specific device depends on its operating system version capability and other factors.

What Android devices can Redkey erase?

Redkey can perform automated wipes on most Android devices that have encryption enabled by default. The ability to wipe specific devices depends on the device itself, its operating system version capability, and other factors. Much older Android devices may require a semi-automated process with manual intervention.

Is Redkey certified for mobile device erasure?

Yes, Redkey is certified for erasing both iOS and Android mobile telephone devices and can also be used on most tablet devices running either of these operating systems.

After a Redkey data erase, will my mobile device continue to function?

Yes, absolutely. Following a Redkey data erase, your mobile device will continue to function seamlessly. Redkey's data wiping process ensures the permanent and secure removal of all user data from the device. Importantly, this process does not impact the functionality of the operating system or core components in any way, allowing you to use your device without any interruptions.

Chromebook Compatibility

Is Redkey compatible with Chromebooks?

Redkey can work with Chromebooks that have Intel processors. However, it is currently not supported on Chromebooks with ARM processors. Before using Redkey, please ensure that your Chromebook meets the necessary system requirements for compatibility.

Reselling and Distribution

Is reselling of Redkey products allowed?

No, reselling Redkey products is strictly prohibited. Our products are exclusively sold through authorized channels to maintain the proper use of the software and to protect intellectual property rights. Unauthorized resale could lead to legal consequences related to licensing, patents, trademarks, warranties, and other aspects. It's important to note that end users who purchase Redkey products from unauthorized sellers will not benefit from our warranty coverage and will not be entitled to technical support, as we only provide these services to our direct customers. We urge all customers to ensure they purchase Redkey products from authorized sources to receive the full benefits and support.