5 Best TrueCrypt Alternatives to Safeguard Your Data

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For a long time, lots of us folks used full disk encryption technology to encrypt our sensitive data from praying eyes and other so-called government agencies. Whenever we talk about full disk encryption or file encryption, most of us remember TrueCrypt for its flexibility and strong encryption methods. All that has changed when the anonymous TrueCrypt team seemingly posted a kind of shutdown message in their Sourceforge website. To confirm the events, they have even updated TrueCrypt to version 7.2 which is solely modified for decrypting the already encrypted files and file systems. i.e, you can no longer use TrueCrypt to encrypt your files and folders. As said by Matthew Green, the founder of OCAP (Open Crypto Audit Project) – Maybe this is TrueCrypt’s way of saying goodbye.

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That said, maybe it is a good time to seek alternatives for TrueCrypt so that we won’t be left in the wild without any protection. Here are some of the best free and premium encryption software that can be used as TrueCrypt alternatives.

Note: We won’t be discussing Windows BitLocker or the Apple’s FileVault 2 here as they are bundled with the operating system and cannot be installed separately.

Symantec drive encryption is probably the best drive encryption software if you are into premium products. In fact, Symantec is the leading provider in the encryption market with easy to use interface and strong encryption technologies. Just as other proprietary encryption software, Symantec drive encryption is also closed source but comes with lot of features like strong PGP encryption, local policy management, reduced data loss, resource management, etc.

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That said, the main strength of Symantec drive encryption comes from its easy administration and as of now, it supports PC, Linux (command-line only) and Mac environments. If you don’t mind spending a few bucks in the name of safety, SDE would be a good choice.

DiskCryptor is just like TrueCrypt, open-source and free file and drive encryption software with all the whistles and bells you will ever need. Just like in TrueCrypt, DiskCrypror can encrypt any of your files, system drives and other external devices like CD’s and thumb drives. Moreover, DiskCryptor can encrypt your data with different encryption algorithms like AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), Twofish, Serpent and also uses a combination of cascaded algorithms for increased security. If you are previously using TrueCrypt for your encryption purposes, then DiskCryptor is the closest free option available with active development and support.

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The only bad thing about DiskCryptor is that it is Windows only software. i.e, DiskCryptor doesn’t support Linux or Mac platforms.

VeraCrypt is most probably a true replacement for TrueCrypt as it is developed based on TrueCrypt by IDRIX. Even though it is based on TrueCrypt and has the same features and user interface, IDRIX certainly increased the security enhancements by increasing the number of iterations per encryption. Of course, the downside of increased security is that the read and write time is now longer than that of TrueCrypt. Just like TrueCrypt, VeraCrypt supports different encryption algorithms like AES, Twofish, Serpent, and a combination of these algorithms.

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That said, the only bad thing about VeraCrypt is that it is incompatible with the TrueCrypt storage formats.

BoxCryptor is another encryption software which comes in both free and premium versions. BoxCryptor is a file based on the fly encryption software which supports AES – 256 and RSA encryption technologies. The best part of BoxCryptor is that it supports many cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, etc., so that it can encrypt all the data before uploading it to your favorite cloud storage service. Apart from their cloud storage support and strong encryption algorithms, BoxCryptor is cross-platform and supports PC, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS platforms.

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AxCrypt is also a free, lightweight and open-source Windows only file encryption software, and it needs zero configurations. To encrypt a file using AxCrypt, just right click on that file and select “encrypt” option. Your file will be encrypted with AES – 128 bit encryption immediately. It is the easiest to use encryption software among the rest.

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If you want a simple encryption software to encrypt a bunch of files, then AxCrypt will be a good choice.

If you are a TrueCrypt user for a long time, then DiskCryptor is probably the best alternative. However, if you love, and want to retain the TrueCrypt’s user interface, then Veracrypt is the closest you can get.

Which of the above TrueCrypt alternatives are you using now? Did we miss out on another encryption software? Do share your thoughts and experiences below.

28 comments

  1. For now I stay with TrueCrypt as another group has picked up TrueCrypt and are handling things better then ever on the original TrueCrypt site. It seems that VeraCrypt wants to join up with them. And check the forums… some nice threads there if TrueCrypt is really unsafe….

    https://truecrypt.ch/

  2. The article writer apparently doesn’t keep up with the others that are employed with MakeTechEasier, as a similar article was done not but a couple of months ago and covered opensource far better (this article covered *ZERO* opensource!). This article also doesn’t seem to have looked too deeply into what happened to TrueCrypt and that it’s still just fine to use…just don’t use the latest 7.2!

    • Hi Yochanon, Thanks for your opinion!!!!

      I’ve covered 3 open source projects – Diskcryptor, VeraCrypt and AxCrypt. So this article is not ZERO open source.

      When we say its fine to use, we should also consider Open Crypto Audit Project. According to their audit, they found 4 low and 4 medium vulnerabilities and they tagged it “Under Risk”.

  3. I have been using TrueCrypt, Cr!ptAES, and Omziff for a long time.
    No installation needed on any of them (portable applications).

    Lately, however, I have been using Cr!ptAES for individual files and folders, which has various choices of encryption formats (AES 256-bit, Blowfish 448-bit, and Serpent 256-bit).

    I still use, and I do like, TrueCrypt for the fact that you do not need to encrypt or decrypt individual files and folders. Just mount and access the main folder or partition with your password (the internal password, of course), and that is it.

    TrueCrypt is also very convenient to me in the fact that I do not need to encrypt any new files or folders. Just drag & drop them in the TrueCrypt folder or partition, while it is mounted of course.

    I use passwords between 35 and 45 mixed characters for Cr!ptAES, and a minimum of 64 characters for TrueCrypt.

    A side note: Generally speaking, it would be nice if people actually read articles before launching attacks, and embarrassing themselves! I have seen this happening a number of times here.

    • “TrueCrypt is also very convenient to me in the fact that I do not need to encrypt any new files or folders. Just drag & drop them in the TrueCrypt folder or partition, while it is mounted..”

      Can anyone that has used it verify whether or not VeraCrypt retains this functionality?

      • Never used VeraCrypt, but it should support. Once your encrypted volume is open (mounted), it looks and behaves just like another drive on your system, where you can transfer files from or to it (or delete, or edit files, etc.). Just drag & drop. There should be no restrictions on the volume once it is open (aside from the size, an issue that is obvious, and it is not limited to VC or TC).
        Hopefully you have a fast machine if you go with VC. I’m sticking to TC, at least for now.

      • Yes, I’ve been using it for a month or so and it works just the same as TrueCrypt although it does take longer to mount a volume. I have been told (don’t really know) that the extra time is because of the increase in security over TrueCrypt.

  4. I have used TC for 5 years, and use TrueCrypt 7.1a now. It is very comfortable to have a big file with any extension to store the data here. But I don’t want surprises. Now I need simple, free application to replace TC. I need open disk to be visible in Windows explorer. I need to copy the disk on USB drive and open it directly on every computer without installation. So, I need portable version to be included. BTW, it must be fast, with data-restoring procedure. Has anybody any experience with Rohos Mini?

    • Look for VeraCrypt. It originated from TrueCrypt. Looks and feels the same, and it is also safer than TC.

  5. Are you really refering to Symantec or are you kidding me? Symantec is an USA based company and so they have to implement a backdoor in all of their software products. It is US law and you can look it up in the national security act.

  6. “Symantec is an USA based company and so they have to implement a backdoor in all of their software products. It is US law and you can look it up in the national security act.”

    This is a very blanket statement that seems open and shut, but leaves us readers with no assurances that you actually know what you are talking about.

    The FBI Director was just on 60 Minutes complaining about how the new iPhone is locked to government agencies. Therefore, I suspect it is not the law that every USA based company has to “implement a backdoor.”

    • “The FBI Director was just on 60 Minutes complaining about how the new iPhone is locked to government agencies.”

      Poor US citizen, so brainwashed, my advice would be firstly to throw your tv out the window.
      Secondly have a really close look at the official 9/11 story, then have another think about what you think is reality, its not what I’m seeing from over here.
      cheers

      • wintah mute,

        If your intention was to have a reasonable discussion, I would refer you towards my second post (Oct 22). It does not appear you have read it.

        If your intention was merely to be passive aggressive and get into a typical internet flame war, then sorry, ain’t nobody got time for that! I bid you good day.

        “Cheers.”

  7. McLovin,

    You are gullible. You believe what the FBI director says to the public. PLEASE, wake up.

    Bro is right. Never use any software produced by US companies and not even companies from other countries where any US company has ANY, no matter how small, owner rights of that company. In those cases US terrorist organizations like NSA, CSI and all of the others have a right to have access to all data.

    WAKE UP !!!

  8. What are you all afraid of? Going places on the net where you should not be? Afraid your porn will out you? I don’t get all the paranoia. The government isn’t perfect but then are you really that important? If you don’t have anything to hide why the paranoia?

    • It’s not paranoia it’s respecting your freedom of privacy period. Bring up porn and nothing to hide makes you sound foolish.

      • So true. We should be able to do what the hell we want without the GOV dictating us.

    • You SHOULD be paranoid even if you don’t have anything to hide. Criminals can be working within the government too. Maybe your porn DID out you to some Christian hate monger somewhere and now they’re targeting you for political destruction and oppression. NO ONE is exempt from criminal behavior and it’s quite the scary thought to think about what they’re doing with that much power and access to all our personal lives (and whether someone might slip up and use that access for their own personal gain). Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  9. Perhaps I could have phrased my thought more clearly.

    I do not trust what the FBI Director says (of course he would want to create the impression US does not have a backdoor into the new iPhone).

    I merely brought up his quote to point out that Apple claims their new iPhone is designed in such a way as to not have a backdoor.

    If it were publicly accessible US law (as Bro claims- “look it up in the national security act,” he says), then Apple would not claim that. No company would claim they are breaking the law.

    Therefore, either there is no backdoor, or there is a secret backdoor that the US government has secretly created.

    I remain unconvinced that it is “US law” that every company needs to give the US government a backdoor.

    • Not US law, but, the NSA supposedly “asks companies nicely” to add vulnerabilities to their code. Either way, if you want true security, you should use carefully reviewed code that you compiled it yourself. Anything short of this, cannot give you any guarantees (even the official builds of the same code, since they could have had backdoors added that are not present in the source).

      Now if I may add one more thing, to the people saying that the Government should be able to access your data: it’s very tricky. In some situations yes, in some others: there absolutely must be encryption standards that are secure. At the very least, if your encryption has backdoors, then it means that your data is not actually secure, regardless of who put the backdoors in place.

  10. Would love for you to check out Sookasa at sookasa.com—we work with Dropbox and encrypt at the file-level. It’s also safer than a lot of alternatives because we’re not just encrypting on the server—information is protected no matter where it ends up—and because we don’t store files on our servers, we’re able to easily separate the data and the keys.

  11. Thank you for this most useful article. I have one question, though, before I try some of the options.

    If I install, say, AxCryptor, and then decide at some future point that I want to get rid of it, will its uninstaller decrypt/unencrypt my files, or will it leave me with encrypted files I can no longer open?

    • The files that you have encrypted via AxCrypt will remain unchanged and still protected. You could always re-install AxCrypt to view them.

  12. Truecrypt was great because it was free and it could do anything. Sometimes I want to create a container to store files, other times I want to encrypt a partition or external drive, and once in a while I need something that works on Linux. I tried all the replacements, and in the end I opted to split these functions up into different apps. All of them are free, so don’t waste your money until you try these out. For containers, I like R-Crypto. Much nicer interface than TC. For partitions and disks, I use DiskCryptor (simple and incredibly fast), and for Linux I went with VeraCrypt. This last one is almost identical to TC, but it is very slow because it adds extra iterations. Nevertheless, it’s the best app for Linux right now, until Cipher Shed gets going.

  13. Great alternatives! I am currently using Lock My Folders – A program works in a similar way as EFS. I just want to encrypt some folders/files, not the whole hard drive or partition.

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