Most of the computers are connected to the internet. This is why they are more vulnerable to threats and data theft. Our computers often store our personal and confidential information, which we would not want to be compromised. Protection of your data and personal information is important and must be taken care of on priority. Data protection, however, doesn’t necessarily have to come at a cost. In this article we list some of the best free and paid data encryption software for Windows. These tools ensure protection of your data.
DiskCryptor is easily one of the most effective encryption programs for Windows operating system. It is available on a wide range of Windows versions starting from Windows 2000. DiskCryptor is completely free to download and use. This is another reason why it is such a popular encrypting tool. This software is very easy to use. It can encrypt all your important files, folders, and drives without any hassles. It is rich in features and yet incredibly lightweight. DiskCryptor is capable of encrypting the disk volumes. However, it cannot create new volumes.
Using DiskCryptor is easy, especially if you are familiar to such programs. All you need to do is choose the disk partition you wish to encrypt and then press a button. You can also change the default settings and choose your own. You can add a personal password to each encrypted file or volume. You can also choose the desired algorithms for encryption during the process. After encrypting a volume you can easily access or modify it by choosing the mounting points. This tool is also compatible with variety of advanced algorithms. You can choose one of them or use them together. In simple words, DiskEncryptor is a great encryption tool to have.
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VeraCrypt is built upon once very popular – and now discontinued – encryption service called TrueCrypt. The latter was discontinued as it some glaring security issues. TrueCrypt has been enhanced and rebranded as VeraCrypt. Thankfully, VeraCrypt has borrowed the best of TrueCrypt and fixed all those issues that plagued its predecessor. It offers you a more comprehensive and robust encryption solution. VeraCrypt easily protects your computer by encrypting the disk volumes and adding the access passwords to them. You can also use it to encrypt the entire hard disk and even the individual partitions. VeraCrypt is much like DiskCryptor with one big difference that it can also create new disk volumes.
VeraCrypt is also a very easy to use encryption tool. All you need to do is provide the volume details such as its size, the location where it must be saved, the encryption algorithm to be used, etc. It also allows you to set a password for the disk volume to provide another layer of security. In fact, you can also assign a keyfile which is used as for extra authentication. Just like DiskCryptor, in order to use the encrypted volume, you need to use one of the mounting points. VeraCrypt supports all the latest encrypting algorithms. It is available on Windows XP and later versions. It is also supported on Mac and Linux platforms. It is totally free to use without any in-software purchases.
3. Dekart Private Disk
Dekart Private Disk is another incredible tool you can use as the free encryption software for Windows. It is available on all the editions of the operating system starting from Windows XP. So, it pretty much covers all the OS in use these days. Private Disk is undeniably one of the most robust encryption tools. But, it is not free. You need to pay a onetime charge of $65 to buy the license. Before buying, you can use it in the 30-day trial period. Private Disk offers all the standard encryption features but also packs some advanced functions.
Dekart Private Disk is a very easy to use tool and can encrypt everything on your computer. The interface features a very clean and simple design making it very easy to use. The tool uses the latest algorithms to encrypt your volumes. It also has a Firewall feature that makes sure no unauthorized program can access the volumes you have encrypted. This tool also lets you create and encrypt the backups. You can also use the tool to permanently and irretrievably delete the encrypted data on your hard drive.
Gpg4win offers more comprehensive security to your data and computer than many other on this list. It not only protects the data and files on your hard drive but also encrypts your emails. Gpg4win may not be the easiest encryption tool to use. However, once you familiarize yourself with it, you may not want to use any other software. It uses the very effective encryption standard called OpenPGP through the implementation of GnuPG. Gpg4win is one of the most feature rich encryption tools you can have on your Windows operating system. It is also available on Mac OS. Gpg4Win is completely free to install and use.
Installing Gpg4win is also not as straightforward as installing most other encryption tool. You need to install GNU Privacy Assistant (GPA) at the time of the installation of this free encryption software. But, GPA sub-module adds an extra layer of security and thus offers better protection to your data. When you run the GPA after installing Gpg4win, you will need to create a password or key. This is the key which the tool will use to encrypt the emails as well as data saved on your hard drive. We would recommend you to explore the tool a bit to get the hang of it. It will thus be easier to use.
7-Zip isn’t quite like any other encryption tools we have laid down here. It is better known as the archival and compression software, with support for a wide range of formats. But, you will be surprised to know that it packs some really awesome encryption features as well. This is why 7-Zip makes it to the list. 7-Zip follows the popular and advanced encryption standard called AES-256 and lets you create encrypted archives protected by password. What we like the most about 7-Zip is that it is incredibly easy to use. All you need to do is run the program and then add the data, folders and files you wish to encrypt. This will create a new, encrypted archive for you. If you want, you can also make use of the advanced settings. For instance, you can specify the compression method while archiving. 7-Zip is available on Windows as well as Mac OS. It is totally free of cost.
6. BitLocker Drive Encryption
Do you know that some of the versions of Windows offer a native encryption tool? A lot of Windows users are not aware of it though. BitLocker Drive Encryption is a highly effective encryption tool that is built-in to Windows Vista and Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate Editions, Widows 8 and Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise Editions. Windows 10 BitLocker is by all means a great encryption utility. It protects your files and folders from unauthorized access. It is a great option because it offers solid protection without having to install any additional tool. Not only can you protect files or folders but you can also encrypt the disk volumes. And the tool is very easy to use. All you need is some clicks here and there are you are all set. But, it is supported only on the Enterprise and Professional editions. Users with personal or home edition of Windows will need to get some other encrypting program.
If you are looking for best free encryption software which is completely fuss-free and easy to use, AxCrypt could b e a perfect choice for you. We have some great tools like DiskCryptor and VeraCrypt that offer tons of features. But, most users do not need all the features and all they are looking for is a simple tool that can easily encrypt their files or folders. This tool is perfect for the laypeople. You can judge its simplicity by the layout of the interface. The tool features two vertical sections. The one on the left has your drives and folders arranged in a tree structure. When you click a particular drive, folder or file, the right column displays the encryption options. AxCrypt is available on almost all the versions of Windows. It is completely free of cost.
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