Amazingly, it is only a few days back that I had written about Protect Exe, a utility that allowed to encrypt executable files and today I have found another one which is
much far better in terms of features, flexibility, convenience and reliability. The main limitation of that utility was that it only allowed to encrypt executable files but not everyone is interested in just encrypting exe files, as some also want to encrypt pictures, movie clip, documents and other type of files.
File encryption utility that I am talking about is called AxCrypt. It is open-source, so you can download the source code and review it for any weakness or backdoor if you are paranoid about your security. This is an important aspect and one of the reasons that we put more trust in open-source security software. As I said, it allows to encrypt any file regardless of it’s type and as a bonus it will automatically register itself as the default shell handler for the encrypted files (.axx extension). In case of an executable file it will be directly executed of course otherwise file will be decrypted automatically after you provide the correct password and run with the associated shell application. All the features are quickly accessible from the AxCrypt explorer context menu as you can see below:
A very useful feature that is worth mentioning is that if you have encrypted a document(a doc file etc.) then on double-click it will open it in the default application such as MS Office and after you finished editing the document and close it, all the changes will be automatically propagated the original encrypted document that you had opened. This way you don’t need to first decrypt a document, edit it and re encrypt again. All the changes will be automatically saved to the encrypted document. If you want to permanently decrypt a document that you had already encrypted, you can do it as well through the Decrypt option in the context menu. I think this feature alone is sufficient for many of us to give this software a serious consideration.
If you don’t want to reveal the name of the encrypted file then select the Rename option form the AxCrypt context menu for an already encrypted file and the file name will be replaced with a garbled random name(don’t worry as the original name is still kept intact in the encrypted file). It is also possible to select multiple files or a folder to encrypt with a passphrase (password). Note that all the selected files or the files in a selected folder will be encrypted individually on a file by file basis(not in a single file to encompass all the source files).
Almost all the features of the software can be accessed from the command-line which may be useful to control it from another application or automate some functionality through a batch file etc. Key files are also supported(optional) and will provide even higher level of security. This software uses AES encryption with 128 bit key length and that should be sufficient for most of the purposes unless CIA or any other powerful security agency is after you(with powerful supercomputers to mount a brute force attack on your encrypted data)!
One last notable side feature is the file shredding/erasing/wiping support, although it is just single pass shredding and as a result do not comply with the DOD or Gutman standard for erasing data on the magnetic harddisks. But this is sufficient to keep almost all the software based data recovery utilities at bay. Of course as before if the strong adversaries have the facility of electron microscopy or other advanced hardware features then the situation could be entirely different!
This is the best utility that I have discovered so-far for the file based encryption and I highly recommend this to anyone whose needs align with it’s feature set.
You can download the latest version from the official website here.
You Might Like:
Get Free Email Updates
Inspired Geek is your primary source for latest tech news, guides and articles on Windows software, games, Apple and Android devices.
- Get extensive coverage on latest tech news.
- Exclusive guides on rooting, jailbreaking and unlocking mobile devices.
- Useful apps and tips&tricks for your iOS and Android devices.
- Exlclusive Top Countdowns for the best software.