Restricted Drive Access

very good
key review info
application features
  • Drive Encryption has ability to encrypt for each Logistic Disk
  • (5 more, see all...)

Data encrypting has been a concern for all of us at one moment. Sensitive data has to be protected against prying eyes. Now there is a software for everything. And the Internet can provide you the right tool for keeping all your data secure, from creating password protected virtual drives to encrypting the volumes installed on your computer.

Drive encrypting softwares available for a certain price can store large amounts of data like movies, or music and guard it under a password. Instead of encrypting the files (which can be deleted from your computer with a minimum effort, just like the virtual drives) you can restrict the access to an entire drive where you can keep all the data that is not intended for everyone else to know about.

Drive Encryption will offer a 256-bit AES encryption algorithm for security, which is actually safe enough for home use. The $29.95 price may seem a bit high to some users, but you can make a decision after the trial period.

The looks are nothing much, but the drawing is not bad at all. Some minor problems may prevent you from moving the application window on the desktop some time, but insisting will provide the needed result. Also, the password window cannot be moved in any way.

Leaving this minor problem aside (you will use the application only for encrypting and decrypting a volume on your computer, so there is not too much need to move the window on the desktop) working with the software is very nice and simple. There is no need for encryption knowledge as the software will do everything for you in a matter of minutes.

The screen displays all the available drives on your computer. I have to mention that Drive Encryption also works with removable storage devices like memory cards, USB memory sticks/flash disks, USB hard disks. If you connected such a device while the software is opened, then all you have to do in order to be listed in Disk List is click the Refresh button in the bottom left hand corner.

Floppy disks are also included in the software (I can't imagine someone could still be using this medium for data storing). Unfortunately, a test could not be performed using this device, but a slight inconsistency could not slip: my A:/ drive is displayed as having a 34 GB capacity. Despite this little mischief I do not think that encrypting a floppy disk would work otherwise than using a USB flash drive instead.

Disk List will provide three columns. Disk displays the volumes there are on your computer no matter if they are encrypted or not. The volumes that are protected will appear with a set of keys on the drive icon. Capacity tells the user the size of the volume while Status reveals if the volume is encrypted or not.

Some minimum information on the selected drive can be learned in the right hand panel (Disk Information). Details like name, status, disk format, number of heads, bytes per sector, sector per track and cluster are available only for the normal, unencrypted drives. Fore secured volumes it will show only the name, status and the number of bytes per sector. All the other information is hidden.

The process of encryption is as long as it takes you to type the protecting password. The two buttons at the bottom of the application window are all the settings you will get from Drive Encryption: Encrypt for setting a password and Decrypt for allowing the drive to be accessed. The moment the volume is encrypted there will be no access to it despite the fact it is visible. Of course, the protected drives will have to be subject to formatting before using.

No matter how good the encryption algorithm is, nothing can prevent formatting a Drive Encryption protected drive. Use the trivial formatting utility provided by Windows and format the encrypted volume. Re-gaining access this way usually implies that you have lost your password. The downside is that all the data will be lost.

For promotion purposes ActMask Co Ltd makes available installing another product, Document Converter Pro. It is designed to convert document or image file formats (PDF, TXT, TIFF, JPG, BMP, PNG, TGA, PCX). The price of the application is the same as in the case of Drive Encryption, $29.95.

The only limitation I could find was the watermark on the output result. The software acts as a virtual printer and the option is integrated in the file context menu. This application will not be installed by default and the user can choose not to install it. I did a little testing on this too, and to be frank, it works absolutely fine.

The Good

Small, light and easy to use. The batch encryption comes in useful when you want to encrypt more than one drive at once and protect them with the same password.

The Bad

More encryption algorithms and providing the option of creating an encryption key as well as embedding an option to hide the encrypted drives in some way. This way, malicious persons will no longer be able to mess with your data.

Minimizing from taskbar does not work.

The Truth

Drive Encryption is a very easy to use and light application. The price is not too high and working with it does not require encryption knowledge. Advanced users however will be disappointed by the features and options available.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:

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user interface 4
features 4
ease of use 5
pricing / value 4

final rating 4
Editor's review
very good