On-Site vs Off-Site Hard Drive Shredding

Oct 1, 2018
Which is better? Shredding hard drives offsite or onsite at your location. While both types of shredding services offer protection, they are not necessarily equal.
Onsite Shredding

Mobile hard drive and media destruction, or onsite shredding, is when a hard drive shredding company brings a mobile shredding truck to your location, collects your devices, and shreds your drives or data containing media immediately before leaving your location.

Benefits of onsite shredding service:

Immediate Destruction. With on-site hard drive destruction, all of your data is completely destroyed within minutes of entering the secured truck. The only thing leaving your location is small, tiny fragments of what was once your data-containing media.

Transparency. Often times, vendors will let you see the hard drive shredding process in action and watch as your discs or drives are put through the industrial shredder on the truck, providing complete transparency.

Simplicity. With mobile, on-site hard drive shredding, media is taken directly from your security cart or storage bin and shredded before leaving your location. This makes the process as simple as possible, eliminating any doubt of what happens after devices leave your property.


Check out SEAM’s mobile data destruction service for data storage devices including hard disk drives (HDD), solid state drives (SSD), flash drives, cell phones, backup tapes, CD’s and more: Onsite Shredding.

Offsite Shredding

With plant-based or off-site hard drive shredding, the vendor will arrive at your location, pick up your devices or security carts, haul them to their processing facility, and perform the shredding services behind locked doors.

Benefits of offsite shredding service:

Imminent Destruction. With offsite or plant-based shredding, devices and hard drives are collected from your location, then transported to the vendor’s secure facility where each device is shredded with an industrial shredder. Often times video of the shred process is available upon request for more transparency.

Affordable. As with any service, onsite shredding does have a fee. For companies on more of a budget, offsite shredding may be the more affordable option if media is not required to be destroyed before leaving your property.

Chain of Custody. When off-site shredding services are performed, the vendor should provide complete chain of custody documents including transfer of ownership paperwork, serial number reports of each drive that was shredded, and a certificates of destruction verifying everything was destroyed in accordance with data security legislation and shredding standards.

Certified Data Destruction

Whichever option you choose, make sure you’re using a reputable, certified vendor to guarantee hard drive shredding is done in accordance with current security standards (NIST SP 800-88r1). As the only e-Stewards and R2 certified provider in the area, SEAM guarantees compliance with privacy regulations including HIPAA, FISMA, FACTA, and GLBA.

No matter the shredding service selected, customers always receive a Certificate of Destruction verifying the data has been destroyed along with a serial number report. All reports are made available 24/7 on the customer portal for easy access if you’re ever audited.

Get an online quote or call SEAM today at 605-274-SEAM (7326) to learn more about our data shredding services.

SEAM provides IT recycling and data destruction services including onsite shredding and hard drive wiping to South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Schedule a pickup or contact us for more information.