Best free encryption software

Here are free encryption software that enable you to protect your private data from unauthorized access. Some of the programs are even superior to the commercial encryption programs. Using these free encryption programs, you can encrypt folders, files, hard drive, USB drives, partitions or any data reside on your computer.

TrueCrypt

TrueCrypt is one of the best and powerful encryption software used to secure digital data. TrueCrypt encrypt or decrypt files on-the-fly, means “data is automatically encrypted or decrypted right before is loaded or saved, without any user intervention.” Source: TrueCrypt User Guide. TrueCrypt enables you to encrypt files, folders, partitions or an entire system drives. This is my favorite program I use to encrypt my files. Try it

Key features of TrueCrypt  (Publisher’s Description)

  • Creates a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mounts it as a real disk
  • Encrypts an entire partition or storage device such as USB flash drive or hard drive
  • Encrypts a partition or drive where Windows is installed (pre-boot authentication)
  • Encryption is automatic, real-time (on the fly) and transport
  • Parallelization and pipelining allow data to be read and written as fast as if the drive was not encrypted
  • Encryption can be hardware-accelerated on modern processors
  • Provides plausible deniability, in case an adversary forces you to reveal the password: Hidden volume (steganography) and hidden operating system.
  • Can run in portable mode under BartPE or in similar environment

Compatibility: Windows 2000 SP4, XP, Vista, Server 2003/2008, Windows 7, 8, Mac OS X, and Linux (both 32 and 64 bits are supported)

Website: TrueCrypt free encryption program

AxCrypt

AxCrypt is an open source and free encryption program that can encrypt, compress, decrypt, store, send and work with individual files using industry standard algorithms. Like other similar free encryption programs, it doesn’t run separately, rather it is integrated into the Windows Explorer. You just right click on files and folders you want to encrypt and choose AxCrypt from the menu to encrypt files.

Key features of AxCrypt

  • Encrypt files and folders (AES encryption with 128-bit keys)
  • Support password protection
  • Support double click integration that helps to open, edit, and save protected files
  • Encrypt files send via e-mail and support self-decrypting
  • Support command line scripting and programming
  • Has integrated shredder
  • Include server mode options
  • Support data integrity verification and more

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003/2008, Windows 7 and 8 (support 64-bit)

Website: AxCrypt free encryption

SafeHouse Explorer

SafeHouse Explorer is also free encryption program which allows you to hide your secret files. the files will remain hidden until you enter the password,. SafeHouse Explorer uses 256-bit Twofish advanced encryption and password technology to secure your digital data. This way you can secure any kind of data including photos, videos, documents, etc.

Main features of SafeHouse Explorer

  • Secure files residing  on any drive including hard drive, USB devices, memory sticks, network servers,CD/DVDs and iPods
  • Fully integrated with Windows and Explorer
  • Can run directly from USB drive
  • Create self-extracting encrypted vaults
  • Can be used to send protected files
  • Support backup to external storage devices
  • Has password strength meter
  • Make self-extracting EXE encrypted vaults

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and 8

Website: SafeHouse Explorer

MEO File Encryption Software

Developed with the latest data encryption technologies, MEO File Encryption is a free encryption software from NCH software. Using the software you can encrypt and decrypt files of any type. The software is free for non-commercial use.

Main features of MEO File Encryption

  • Encrypt and decrypt  files and folders
  • Encrypt and send encrypted emails
  • Can create self-extracting encrypted files (the receiver doesn’t require encryption program to read the encrypted file)
  • Support Right-Click integration
  • Loges all operations to file
  • Support checking a and verification of file integrity
  • Simple and user friendly interface

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and 8 (64-bit supported), Mac OS X 10.3 and above

Website: MEO File Encryption Software

Cryptainer LE

Cryptainer is fast, fully functional and free encryption software designed to protect confidential data on any Windows PC. You can encrypt any data, any disk, drive, file, folder with 448 bit strong encryption technology.

Key features of Cryptainer

  • Encrypt and decrypt files on the fly
  • Create unlimited number of encrypted drives
  • Allows creating encrypted disk drives on removable media such as USB drive, flash disks, zip disks, tape drive, etc.
  • Can password protect files, folders on DVDs and CDs
  • Send secure email and support self-extracting encrypted files
  • Support FAT, FAT12, FAT32, NTFS, NTFS with EFS, etc
  • Has easy to use interface

Compatibility: Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7 and 8 (support both 32 and 64 bits)

Website: Cryptainer LE

AES Crypt

AES Crypt is an open source and free encryption software built in with industry standard encryption technology used to encrypt files securely. The software can be used to secure sensitive files at the office or home, when uploading sensitive documents to server or internet.

Key features of AES Crypt

  • Employ 256-bit powerful encryption algorithms
  • Integrates with Windows Explorer
  • Support password protection

Compatibility: All Windows, Mac OS X, Linux

Website: AES Crypt

DiskCryptor

DiskCryptor is an open source disk encryption program used to encrypt system disks and partitions. This free encryption software support dynamic disks and disk devices with large sector size.

Main features of DiskCryptor

  • Support AES, Twofish, Serpent encryption algorithms
  • Compatible with third party boot loaders such as LILO, GRUB, etc
  • Support for key files
  • Broad choice in configuration of booting an encrypted operating system
  • Support external storage devices
  • Create encrypted CDs and DVDs
  • Support encrypting external USB storage devices
  • Support automatic mounting of disk partitions
  • Support hotkeys and command line interface

Compatibility: Windows 2000, XP, Server 2003/2008, Vista, Windows 7 (32 and 64-bit support)

Website: DiskCryptor

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