Oct 1, 2014

Alternative To Truecrypt and Bitlocker For Full Disk Encryption

Cryptographically secure pseudorandom number g...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We all know that the original creators of Truecrypt jumped ship and instead of passing on the source code decided to make the latest version that will only decrypt, but not create new encrypted volumes. They also spouted some nonsense about how it is no longer safe.

Well, a new group has taken over the project but we don't know when they will have a new release out. Because of that some people don't want to use Truecrypt anymore and are looking for alternatives.

One I'm trying out now looks promising. It is called DiskCryptor. Here are the features from their page:

·         Support for encryption algorithm AES, Twofish, Serpent, including their combinations.
o   Transparent encryption of disk partitions.
o   Full support for dynamic disks.
o   Support for disk devices with large sector size (important for hardware RAID operation).
·         High performance, comparable to efficiency of a non-encrypted systems.
o   Support for hardware AES acceleration:
o   AES-NI instruction set on new Intel CPU;
o   PadLock extensions on VIA processors.
·         Broad choice in configuration of booting an encrypted OS. Support for various multi-boot options.
o   Full compatibility with third party boot loaders (LILO, GRUB, etc.).
o   Encryption of system and bootable partitions with pre-boot authentication.
o   Option to place boot loader on external media and to authenticate using the key media.
o   Support for key files.
·         Full support for external storage devices.
o   Option to create encrypted CD and DVD disks.
o   Full support for encryption of external USB storage devices.
o   Automatic mounting of disk partitions and external storage devices.
·         Support for hotkeys and optional command-line interface (CLI).
·         Open license GNU GPLv3.

The one thing it is missing that I used a lot with Truecrypt is the ability to make encrypted file containers which are great for keeping files encrypted over shared file storage like Google Drive. For full disk encryption though it works like a charm.

A thing that I liked about Truecrypt was you could easily install it on a Linux Live CD so you could perform offline maintenance if you needed to with an encrypted volume. Well you can't create a Linux Live CD for DiskCryptor, but you can create a WinPE live disk with it!

So far it looks good, and I boot up time doesn't appear any more impacted than it did with Truecrypt. For now, I think this one might be my choice for the best alternative.

What are you using for full disk encryption since Truecrypt went belly up for the time being? Let us know in the comments.

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