File encryption software allows you to secure individual files and folders by associating a key with the data you wish to protect. Only by entering the key will a user have access to the encrypted files. Unlike disk encryption—where a master key is used to lock down all the data on a volume—file encryption allows you to selectively encrypt data while employing different encryption algorithms and keys for different files. We’ve taken a close look at professional and user reviews on sites such as CNET, PC Advisor, Dowload.com, Softpedia, Lifehacker, PC World, digZIP, and rbytes in order to bring you the top rated file encryption software for PCs:
Kruptos 2 Professional ($15)
- Easy to use
- Can mask file names
- Includes secure deletion and self-extracting file creator tools
- Limited functionality without payment
Top Review Sources:
- CNET: 5.0/5.0 “Kruptos 2, with all its features, is what every user needing simple file encryption desires”
- PC Advisor: “Simple and effective file and folder encryption at an excellent price point”
- Download.com User Reviews: 4.0/5.0 (130+ reviews)
Kruptos 2 Professional provides an easy way to password protect any number of files, with the option of masking even the file names themselves. Part of what makes Kruptos 2 Professional easy to use is its tight integration with Windows; right-click a file and you are only one more click away from encrypting it. You can also drag and drop files and folders onto the Kruptos user interface in order to encrypt them. After decrypting a file for editing, Kruptos will automatically re-encrypt it upon close. The program uses the 256-bit Blowfish algorithm to encrypt files. Kruptos also includes a secure file deletion tool, self-extracting file creator, and the ability to encrypt a USB flash drive.
Kruptos 2 Professional is available for purchase on the manufacturer’s website.
- Interface is as simple as it gets
- Tiny installation footprint
- Email encryption isn’t as straightforward as file encryption
Top Review Sources:
- CNET: 4.0/5.0 “As far as free file encryption programs go, this is one of the better ones we’ve seen”
- Softpedia User Reviews: 3.8/5.0 (25+ reviews)
- Download.com User Reviews: 4.5/5.0 (5+ reviews)
MEO has a bare-bones interface that puts those new to the encryption game at ease. Encryption and decryption are simple processes that take only a couple of clicks, either from the MEO interface or from a Windows context menu. MEO allows you to create self-extracting encrypted folders. The program provides the option to encrypt an email, though novices may find MEO’s method of doing this hard to follow. The product’s main demerit is its advertising; MEO will prompt you to install additional software during installation (though you can opt out). MEO employs the Triple DES 256-bit algorithm.
MEO can be downloaded directly from the publisher.
- Fully integrated into Windows
- Includes file shredder and self-extracting file creator
- No support for 256-bit encryption
Top Review Sources:
- CNET: 5.0/5.0 “AxCrypt is both powerful and easy to use, and we think that it’s a great way to keep files secure for users of all experience levels”
- Lifehacker: One of the “Five Best File Encryption Tools”
- PC World: “A simple, free way to encrypt individual files”
Axantum’s AxCrypt provides a free and easy way to deploy AES-128 encryption on your PC. Fully integrated with Windows, AxCrypt is operated exclusively via the context menu—there is no other user interface. The program supports the creation of self-extracting files, plus includes a file shredder for secure deletion. You can set a passcode on encrypted files, or you can create a key file. A key file is typically stored on removable media such as a USB flash drive. When you insert the drive into the computer, it will allow decryption. AxCrypt’s online help file is thorough and quite useful for both new and experienced users.
You can download AxCrypt from the publisher’s site.
- Easy-to-use interface
- Strong, flexible encryption
- Only one encryption algorithm
Top Review Sources:
- Softpedia: 4.5/5.0 “Very Good”
- digZIP: “SafeBit Disk Encryption is uncomplicated software with an attractive interface that securely converts files unnoticed”
- rbytes User Rating: 3.5/5.0
NeoByte Solutions’ SafeBit employs an intuitive, clean interface, helping make file encryption tasks go quickly and smoothly. Advanced users will appreciate the plethora of customization options. To encrypt your data, SafeBit requires you to create a password-protected virtual drive (called a “safe”). You may create as many safes as you’d like. Users are able to save their passwords on external memory—such as a flash drive—to create a key they can use to unlock and lock their safes. The program operates transparently, encrypting your files automatically as you work within a virtual drive. In the process, SafeBit will not drag down the speed and responsiveness of your system. SafeBit makes use of a single encryption algorithm: AES-256. AES-256 is an effective algorithm, but some reviewers express disappointment in it being the only one offered, given the cost of the program. SafeBit includes a virtual keyboard as a safeguard against keyloggers. The help files are robust, and allow a beginner to get up and running quickly.
You can purchase SafeBit on the official website.
1 thought on “Top Rated File Encryption Software For PCs”
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