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Other Encryption Alternatives

Not comfortable with EFS? A raft of other encryption products are available, many specifically designed to protect laptops and other portable devices. They range from free utilities to commercial products, and they do the job in a variety of ways.

Encrypted Disk Hardware

Seagate has released a line of hard disks with built-in encryption. The Momentus 5400 FDE comes with built-in features that automatically encrypt content. The 2.5-inch disks are designed for laptops and come in 40GB to 120GB capacities. Everything from key management to encryption itself is built into the drive and ready to go. In addition to convenience, the encryption function in the FDE disks is separate from the operating system, which makes it even harder to crack.


PGP has begun offering a series of full-disk encryption products for laptops, desktops, and enterprises. Called "Whole Disk Encryption," the products are designed to lock down external drives, including USB flash drives, as well as laptops and desktops.

PGP also publishes its source code for peer review, which adds a level of confidence that the product has been scrutinized carefully for security holes.


WinMagic’s SecureDoc offers a number of ease-of-use features, including a password-rule base to help users choose passwords that conform to your security policies, support for encrypted disk defragmentation, and the ability to prevent unauthorized copying of data to removable drives.


TrueCrypt is a free, open source disk encryption utility that encrypts everything from individual files to entire disks on the fly. The program includes a number of innovative features, including the ability to create hidden encrypted disks that cannot be detected by examining the file system or the disk sectors. Version 4.2 allows encrypting Windows paging files on the fly, which plugs a possible security hole.

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