In today’s world, our computers are the storage room for our valuable files and data. These data are always at a risk of getting stolen, hacked or been seen by an unwanted or unauthorized person. So to protect your data, you need to encrypt them using Encryption Software. So, here is a list of the Top 10 Encryption Software for Windows OS available in 2019.
Windows openly save your data in drives that are not protected by encryption so that anyone can access your personal or confidential data very quickly. This could also lead to hacking or theft of data, and thus, you can lose your files and folders forever. This is why you need encryption software to make sure you protect your files and documents from being stolen and misused. Maybe you also need a Password Manager to remember the passwords.
Encryption software converts any file or data into secret codes that help you hide the actual files from prying eyes and hands. Only the user can decrypt encrypted data using specific keys.
- 1 Top 10 Best Encryption Software for Windows 2019
- 1.1 1 – AxCrypt
- 1.2 2 – DiskCryptor
- 1.3 3 – 7-Zip
- 1.4 4 – Bitlocker
- 1.5 5 – Cryptainer LE
- 1.6 6 – CryptoForge
- 1.7 7 – Gpg4win
- 1.8 8 – CryptoExpert 8
- 1.9 9 – LastPass
- 1.10 10 – Windows 10 Device Encryption
- 2 How to Encrypt Hard Disk Drive Using BitLocker
- 3 Summing Up
Top 10 Best Encryption Software for Windows 2019
The following listed 10 encryption software are the best that the market can offer. These are the best tools to help to build a wall to secure your personal and confidential info and data.
1 – AxCrypt
AxCrypt is one of the leading encryption software compatible with Windows. It is effortless and easy to use software that responses quickly and is very useful in encrypting you files.
AxCrypt is very convenient to work with. You can view an encrypted file with just a double-click and the pass-phrase/code. After making changes to an already encrypted file, it gets automatically re-encrypted, so your data remains protected that too without much effort.
You can download AxCrypt for free, but the free version is suitable for personal use only. AxCrypt offers a paid version for commercial use which provides more features like key sharing, cloud storage support, anonymous file names, a password generator and much more.
Specifications of AxCrypt
- Easy to use
- Both personal and commercial version available
- Compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10.
- Very fast
- License: freeware
2 – DiskCryptor
DiskCryptor is free software available for full-disk encryption for Windows. It is open-source software, so it is accessible from anywhere. This software helps you to encrypt your whole hard disk or different partitions of the hard disk whereas most other software can encrypt only files or folders.
DiskCryptor also helps to put encryption on an external storage device that can be connected to the PC.
Specifications of DiskCryptor
- Creates back-up on cloud
- Full-disk encryption
- Encrypts file transfer
- Encrypts external devices such as CDs, DVDs, USB drives, etc.
- License: Open ( GNU GPLv3)
- Encrypts external devices as well as internal ones
- Can encrypt more than one partition simultaneously.
- Very small download size.
- Supports pausing encryption to reboot or transfer the drive to another computer.
- Custom keyboard shortcuts can be used for quickly mounting/dismounting drives.
- Works with dynamic disks and RAID volumes.
- It can automatically dismount volumes on logoff.
- Able to encrypt ISO images to make encrypted CDs/DVDs
- Has some major bugs.
- Not very many help files/documentation.
- No updated since 2014.
3 – 7-Zip
This encryption tool is well-known because it helps you compress files along with encrypting them. It can compress files 2-10% more in size than other software. 7-Zip is very simple and easy to understand and even more comfortable to use. With 7-Zip you can protect your files and folders with a password.
Specifications of 7-Zip
- Simple interface
- Free tool
- High Compression tool
- License: Open ( GNU GPLv3)
- Can extract or de-crypt data
- Solid encryption for archives, and also works with top cloud storage and social networks for proper encryption during file sharing.
- Comes with a revamped user interface that is very intuitive.
- A much faster-zipping service when compared to the in-built Window utility.
- Plugin for Microsoft Outlook users.
- ZipSend feature that allows huge email attachments to be zipped and transfer.
- Convert from Microsoft Word to PDF.
- Create self-extracting ZIPs. Hence the recipient of files doesn’t need any Utility to extract the files.
- It does not offer some online storage systems such as Box and iCloud
- It is very expensive.
4 – Bitlocker
It is full volume encryption software suitable only for certain MS Windows OS. It is straightforward to use and can encrypt an entire drive or partitions of the hard disk in one go. The powerful encryption tools on this software help you to keep your file and folders absolutely free from intruders.
- Encrypt external devices
- Deploy encryption on the hard disk
- Supports both file and disk encryption
- Preboot data
- Easily manageable PINs and passwords
- License: Windows
5 – Cryptainer LE
Cryptainer LE is a free encryption software that is very small in size (448 bits). It is straightforward and easy to use the software.
Cryptainer LE creates small (100 MB) encrypted “vaults” or drive on the hard disk. You can store or delete or modify data in/from these vaults as per your requirement.
You can also put passwords to create a strong protection guard over your data.
Specifications of Cryptainer LE
- Can encrypt external devices
- Password protected
- Works on any Windows PC
- License: Freeware
6 – CryptoForge
CryptoForge is very strong and powerful encryption software. Is very still to install and even simpler to use. You can right away encrypt a file by just directly clicking on it and then all you have to do is select ‘encrypt’ and enter a password. You can also decrypt or shred files using this software.
It is slower and takes more time to encrypt files than most software, but it provides much secure encryption which is very tough to crack. It is best suitable for Windows 10 but works on some other OSs too.
Specifications of CryptoForge
- Multiple encryptions at once
- File shredder tool (built-in)
- Support large files
- Built-in compression tool
- Can encrypt the file name
- Command-line interface
- CryptoForge is easy to install and start using.
- It takes a while to encrypt files.
7 – Gpg4win
It is the ultimate application software to encrypt not only files and folders but also your emails, chats, etc. It provides a public-key cryptography system that allows you to encrypt your emails or files. It gives you a personal key and a public key; you can share the public key to others and give them secure access to the encrypted data.
It is a very complex software suitable for both personal and commercial use. You can also compress files and folders using this software.
Specifications of Gpg4win
- GnuPG: the encryption tool
- Kleopatra: certificate manager
- Plug-in available for MS Outlook (GpgOL)
- Plug-in available for MS Explorer
- GPA: another certificate manager
- License: Freeware
8 – CryptoExpert 8
CryptoExpert 8 is considered as one of the best encryption tools for your Windows PC. It offers an absolutely free version for the home user and a paid version for corporation and businesses.
With this software, you can create a vault and store all your important files and folders. It supports all kind of data, and you can also back up the data in these vaults at any time.
You can also add, delete or modify the files inside the vault as your requirements at any time.
Specifications of CryptoExpert 8
- Simple Interface.
- Small size.
- Large vault size (10 GB or more).
- A different choice of encryption algorithm available: BLOWFISH, CAST, 3DES or AES-256.
- An unlimited number of vaults.
- Compatible with Windows 7, 8, 10.
- Keys can be securely stored on a USB protected by a Master password.
- License: free/paid.
- Creates secure storage for sensitive files. Easy to use. Two-factor authentication.
- Lacks secure deletion. Displayed some odd error messages in testing.
9 – LastPass
LastPass is ranked as one of the best password managing tools for its excellent easy to use interface and strong security system. It is free, and you can also save your passwords on this software. Once you have locked you files, you cannot change your password.
It also has a premium version, but it is not much more impressive than the free one.
Specifications of LastPass
- Fingerprint log-in
- User vault
- Two-factor authentication
- Secure digital-wallet app
- Random password generator
- Auto form-filler
- License: free/paid
- Easy to use. Works on both desktop and mobile so you don’t have to choose. Sharing passwords is easy.
- The ability to get a quick report on all the activity and status of each user is awesome! I know how often the IT staff is using the last pass and if everything is secure.
- Lastpass eliminates the needs to share and save passwords manually. The password shared folder makes it very easy to share logins without showing the passwords to other users.
- The ability to manage a team with shared passwords – Allow access to passwords without the ability to see them – Create shared folders for specific teams – The password generator – The Authenticator app which auto logs you in without entering a code.
- The mobile version at times doesn’t work seamlessly with apps requiring multiple login attempts.
- When you want to retrieve passwords for things NOT tied to a specific website, it can take more clicks and time than one would want.
- Sometimes the Chrome extension can be slow. Lastpass on Android requires enabling permissions every time the autofill feature is used.
- Sometimes the mobile app stops filling, and I have to re-enable accessibility options on android, the fill window won’t let me properly paste in info.
10 – Windows 10 Device Encryption
It is not particularly an encryption software; instead, it is a pre-built in feature in Windows 10. You can encrypt your hard-drive or the different partitions by enabling this feature. To enable this, you have to sign in to Windows using a Microsoft account. Your recovery key is automatically uploaded to the Microsoft servers.
To find this feature on your Windows 10 PC, you can follow the given steps: Settings → Update & Security → Device encryption.
- Free No License\CAL Cost.
- No one can access HD or USB without Recovery Key in the event of stolen.
- No 3rd party intervention\integration required.
- Integrate with AD for Corporate\Enterprise Environment.
- Protection from any offline attacks.
- Special TPM chip requires for encryption, but it is available now on most of the branded Desktops\Notes like Dell, Lenovo, HP.
- Encrypted drives can not be accessed from non-MS OS like Linux, Mac, even like Windows XP.
- If Recovery key lost, then forget about DATA.
- May not protect your data from the network or local attacks when your computer is functioning normally.
- May degrade slight Disk Performance while Encryption\Decryption.
How to Encrypt Hard Disk Drive Using BitLocker
BitLocker Drive Encryption is a feature found in Windows 10 that allows you to put encryption on the hard drive to protect it from the prying eyes trying to sneak-a-peek into your sensitive/private data.
Here are the steps to turn-on Encryption on your hard disk drive using BitLocker
Step 1: Press Windows key + X to open the shortcut to Power User.
Step 2: Select Control Panel.
Step 3: Click on System and Security.
Step 4: Select BitLocker Drive Encryption.
Step 5: Click on Turn on BitLocker.
Step 6: Choose how you want to access or unlock your drive: Enter a password or Insert a USB flash drive. (Select Enter a password for the purpose of this guide to continue)
Step 7: Enter a password of your choice. Make sure to choose a strong password.
Step 8: Different choices for saving a recovery key will be displayed next. Such as saving to Microsoft account, save to a USB flash drive, Save to a File, Print the recovery.
Step 9: Choose the suitable option and click on Next.
Step 10: Select the suitable encryption option among New Encryption mode and Compatible mode and Click on Next.
Step 11: Check on the Run BitLocker system check option and select Continue.
Step 12: Restart your PC to start the Encryption process.
Step 13: Insert password after the reboot.
The time taken for the completion of the encryption process depends on the size of the drive. Once the process is completed, you will find a lock icon on the drive. This verifies that the BitLocker is turned on and the drive is safely encrypted.
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Nowadays, it is essential to take steps to shield your sensitive and crucial data, especially on your laptops and tablets. Your files might be in danger of falling into the wrong hands. So you are required to protect them using encryption software.
But sometimes just encrypting data is not enough; make sure you also protect it with one or several passwords. Use any of the above-listed software to make sure your data stay secure and sound.