This review focuses on the current topic of encrypting personal data on a computer and using a special program for this. For such purposes, you can use TrueCrypt. So let’s see what kind of program it is and why it is convenient to use to protect your data, namely to encrypt it.
What is TrueCrypt
TrueCrypt application is a specialized encryption software for computer devices running on Microsoft Windows, Linux and Mac OS X operating systems on 32 or 64 bits.
So what is truecrypt used for? The purpose of using such a program is to create an encrypted virtual disk that will store all the data you need, and will be displayed on the computer as a simple file. For example, use TrueCrypt to encrypt information from a hard drive or data from a USB flash drive or any CD. Encryption applies to absolutely all information, including file names and directory names. Working with an encrypted disk is performed as usual, you can use standard utilities and defragment the file system if necessary.
In practice, the license of the program had a free status, but in 2008, when TrueCrypt was checked in the Fedora distribution, contradictions were identified, as a result of which the license was adjusted.
Since May 28, 2014, the project has been completely closed with the removal of old versions and clearing the repository. However, nothing prevents TrueCrypt from downloading to your PC and use it to encrypt files and hide personal data from anyone who`s trying to collect your data.
This project was created on the basis of the Encryption for the Masses (E4M) program, which gained popularity due to on-the-fly encryption. But E4M existed only until the year 2000, as its creator decided to develop in the field of commercial development.
But in 2004, the first version of TrueCrypt appeared – the first open-source application for encryption on the fly and adapted for the Windows XP operating system, and it had a very high fault tolerance. Until the end of the year, the developers managed to release two more versions, each of which was an improvement of its predecessor.
In 2008, a radically new 5th version of the program with the following advantages was released:
- system drive encryption on Microsoft Windows;
- GUI for users in TrueCrypt linux;
- creating hidden volumes on NTFS volumes.
In May 2014, the last update was released, but there is no official list of innovations for it. It is known that only the decryption option remained, and data encryption was already impossible. Also, rumors appeared on the network that TrueCrypt carries danger and threats. Presumably, the program was hacked, but there is such a version, supposedly pressure was put on developers to force the completion of the project. You can search for TrueCrypt analogues or install the program without problems when you need to perform encryption.
How to use TrueCrypt
Since now nothing is stopping you from installing and using an encryption application, we’ll take a closer look to find out how truecrypt works with it and what is required for this.
We go to the website http://www.truecrypt.org/downloads and download the application for free. It can be used on platforms such as Windows XP, 7, 8, Mac OS X and Linux.
After downloading, you open this startup file and follow the instructions, that is, accept the license agreement, click the Next button and wait for the full installation. The program is developed in English, but you can download other languages by using this link http://www.truecrypt.org/localizations.
Unpacking is as follows:
- download archive;
- unzip all files and specify the location in the folder with the TrueCrypt program;
- launch the application, go to Settings and select the appropriate language of use.
When the installation and all the preliminary settings are completed, run the program itself and the first operation is to create the volume using the special Wizard.
You will be offered several options, as shown in the image below:
It is recommended to choose the option of an encrypted file container (cryptocontainer), since this method is the easiest and most convenient for a beginner who uses the program for the first time.
Next, you choose which volume you want to create – normal or hidden. Under each there is a description to understand the essence of the data disk being created. Choose the option that suits your needs and needs.
Next, specify the location address of the volume – on which drive and in which folder it will be stored.
But here you need to specify the exact file itself, since this corresponds to the file container that we chose to create.
Click on the File button, enter the desired name and save. It is important to specify the extension .tc.
Now we configure the settings for encrypting the system drive. Here we are limited to the standard settings that the program itself offers.
Specify the size of the encrypted volume so that all the data you want to store in it fits.
Create a password to protect the file container from unauthorized access. Follow the recommendations from the dialog box.
When the formatting step takes place, a command will be displayed to move the mouse around the window to generate random data – this is a special procedure that increases the strength of encryption.
Then click the Place button and you will see the finished volume. You can exit the program.
How to Encrypt a Folder Using TrueCrypt
Encryption of an existing folder using TrueCrypt is not possible, since you can only encrypt the system drive into which you will then place your personal data. In fact, this is the encryption of the information folder. Similarly, the encryption of the USB flash drive, which is a removable disk.
So, when you’re in the program, click the Create Volume button.
Choose the option Create an encrypted file container and perform all the steps described in the previous section.
When the encryption of the hard disk is complete and you have the volume ready, you can mount it on the system. Click the File button.
In the main window of the application, select the drive letter – it will be assigned to the encrypted storage, then click the File button and specify the path with the extension .tc to it. Then click Mount, specify the password already invented earlier.
When the process completes, the volume will be displayed in the TrueCrypt main window. You can use the Explorer option or open My Computer to see the created virtual disk.
What is VeraCrypt – Veracrypt Review
VeraCrypt is a software add-on in the form of a free and open source project. It was created in 2013 as a truecrypt alternative
VeraCrypt has not been updated since the end of encryption support.
In the appendix, cryptographic algorithms such as AES, Serpent, Twofish, Camellia, Grasshopper are used and their combinations are possible.
Encryption Mode – XTS.
VeraCrypt aims to support simultaneous operation on multiprocessor and multi-core systems, while effectively utilizing the hardware encryption acceleration available on processors with the implementation of the AES-NI instruction in order to increase overall performance indicators.
Since 2015, the utility has been licensed under Apache License 2.0.
This fork is based on TrueCrypt source code, so it obeys all the provisions of TrueCrypt License 3.0.
We examined the main features and purpose of the program for TrueCrypt encryption, the procedure for using and creating a virtual disk as a storage for your personal data.
Only in practice, you will be able to understand and evaluate how this application suits you and find out who is the winner in truecrypt vs veracrypt encryption challenge, whether it is convenient to use, or if you should look for a worthy TrueCrypt alternative. Decide for yourself – try and experiment.