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Password Protect External Drive/Folder


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#1 jimbb

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 13:29

Hi guys,

Does anyone know of any good programs (ideally freeware) that can password protect an external drive (3TB) or 2.5TB folder within the drive?

I have read lots of good things about truecrypt but I am worried it will be too slow; i havent read any reviews of people encrypting over 1TB of data. Has anyone here used it for 3TB worth of data? any impact on drive speeds?

I have als read good things about a paid app called Folder Lock, but again not sure on the speeds.

Thanks the help


#2 Open Minded

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 13:33

I don't think True Crypt is slow. It's free and it's one of the best encryption programs you can use.

#3 ZakO

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 13:34

TrueCrypt. I've got two external 3TB drives, one uses TrueCrypt to encrypt the whole drive, the other has a 2TB TrueCrypt container on it. I get ~95MB/s over USB 3.0 while writing to them and haven't had any other speed issues.

#4 +BudMan

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 13:53

And what type of data is on there that warrants encryption? Just curious.

#5 xamolios

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 13:53

are you sure TrueCrypt cannot be broken through disk management by changing the letterpath? because that's what usually happens to easily access a password protected hard drive!

I think the key here is by only just giving it file access permissions read, write execute etc...

#6 Kami-

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 13:54

And what type of data is on there that warrants encryption? Just curious.

His pr0n, obv.

#7 OP jimbb

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 13:57

ok true crypt sounds like the best option then.

is their any other freeware option available? doesnt necessarily have to be as advanced as true crypt...

Its a large mixture of files - work files, music, videos etc. im making a backup of all my personal files basically

#8 +Nik L

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 14:00

Music, video,etc? Why does this need such encryption? Back it up and store it.

#9 OP jimbb

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 14:06

ya true only the work files need encryption. the other doent actually need encryption but would like to password protect it at least.
can truecrypt password protect files only?

#10 Open Minded

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 14:08

is their any other freeware option available? doesnt necessarily have to be as advanced as true crypt...


It might seem a little overwhelming at first with all the options, but the step-by-step help they give is pretty good if you get stuck. I'd use TC over anything else that's free to protect my data... if I were so inclined. :shiftyninja:

#11 Teebor

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 14:16

I can't find a link at the moment but if you have a look around there are some really neat external HDD that I've used which have a built in keypad. You use the keypad to enable access to the drives and without the code you can't get in. There is a master code however using it wipes the drive.
Also if you remove the drive from the caddy you cannot access the data as it is encoded in hardware so you would have to attempt to decode the whole drive.

They also do not require and special software to work, which is why we looked at using them for a secure storage medium for a customer.

Google istorage disk genie
Pretty sure it was one of those

Not sure if they go up to the capacity that you want, and they are slightly expensive.
But if you are open to the option it is there :)

#12 +BudMan

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 14:19

So this external disk sits where? In your house? Do you move around with your backup where you might loose it?

If you don't move about with the disk, you have physical security of the device - who in the house that also has physical access to the device are you worried about seeing the files?

I bring up these topic because in all honesty its rare that files actually warrant encryption - yeah its cool! Yeah you should secure your files, but the issue is more often than not encryption secures them from the owner of the files more times than securing them from unauthorized access ;)

If you have some sensitive work files - sure by all means put them in an encrypted volume. But do your other files warrant encryption, keep in mind that if something goes wrong, you forget your password, loose the encryption key file, etc.. You have no loss access to these files as well.

You mention they are backups - in the same house I assume, so the originals are encrypted? Kind of pointless to have files encrypted in the back, next to the originals - if the originals are not encrypted.

What encryption do you use for the originals - why not use the same for your backup?

Look around even just the threads on neowin, you get people jumping on the encryption band wagon because well it's cool ;) Next thing you know - how do I access my files, I used EFS and then reinstalled my OS - but didn't bother to read all the details and never backed up my encryption keys. Now I am F_cked!!! ;)

Here is a basic question before use of encryption -- would you rather loose the files, then someone access them?

#13 ingramator

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 14:32

So this external disk sits where? In your house? Do you move around with your backup where you might loose it?

If you don't move about with the disk, you have physical security of the device - who in the house that also has physical access to the device are you worried about seeing the files?

I bring up these topic because in all honesty its rare that files actually warrant encryption - yeah its cool! Yeah you should secure your files, but the issue is more often than not encryption secures them from the owner of the files more times than securing them from unauthorized access ;)

If you have some sensitive work files - sure by all means put them in an encrypted volume. But do your other files warrant encryption, keep in mind that if something goes wrong, you forget your password, loose the encryption key file, etc.. You have no loss access to these files as well.

You mention they are backups - in the same house I assume, so the originals are encrypted? Kind of pointless to have files encrypted in the back, next to the originals - if the originals are not encrypted.

What encryption do you use for the originals - why not use the same for your backup?

Look around even just the threads on neowin, you get people jumping on the encryption band wagon because well it's cool ;) Next thing you know - how do I access my files, I used EFS and then reinstalled my OS - but didn't bother to read all the details and never backed up my encryption keys. Now I am F_cked!!! ;)

Here is a basic question before use of encryption -- would you rather loose the files, then someone access them?


100% Correct. Encryption usually just becomes a hindrance to the encryptor for no real reason! If you're on Win 7/8 I suggest Bitlocker for portable drives, its simple and forgiving unlike other encryption sweets that will lock it away forever in the event of a software issue!

#14 OP jimbb

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 16:56

Teebor - thanks. that drive is pretty nice. expensive but the numberpad is pretty cool.

+BadMan -

very informative post. your are right, encrypting all the files is overboard. the only files that require encrypting are the work files.
the other personal files (pics, videos and other random data) will be remaining in the house at all times. I dont encrypt them at all currenlty i just password protect access to my pc. I intend to move the majority to the external drive.

Work Files - will encrypt them with truecrypt
Other Files - encryption not needed but would like to password protect access. Anything free you could rcmd that does this?

Paid ones that seem to do the job are - IObit and Folder Lock...

ingramator - bitlocker looks great but seems to be only for the ultimate version of windows....



thanks again

#15 +Xinok

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 19:44

If somebody breaks into your home and steals your laptop or external disk, they're probably looking to sell it off to somebody. Whomever they sell it to may be involved in identity theft and know how to extract information from a disk. There's a real market for this and people with the motive and expertise to do so.

So you could painstakingly pick your system apart, putting sensitive files into an encrypted container. Then you have to deal with the inconvenience of mounting that container each time you need to access one of those files and wiping all free space each time to ensure nothing leaks out onto the hard disk unencrypted, such as through a temporary file or the paging file.

... or you could encrypt the entire disk, only typing in your password once at each boot, and be rest assured your information is secure. This is why full-disk encryption makes sense, it minimizes the chance of any information being stored unencrypted.

I prefer TrueCrypt over Bitlocker because it's multi-platform, so I can mount any volume from a Linux LiveCD to gain access to my files, should things ever go kaput.

@BudMan: The difference between myself and the average person, I know what I'm doing! As for EFS, I think the implementation is wrong for the average user. A TrueCrypt container is portable; it can be decrypted using the same password on any system. If the same was true for EFS, then it would be as simple as setting the same user password to gain access to those files. Unfortunately, a person must know how to backup and restore the user credentials, which isn't very user-friendly.



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