5 Free File or Disk Encryption Software
1, FreeOTFE

FreeOTFE is a free TrueCrypt alternative for Windows and Windows Mobile, you can encrypt your thumb/USB flash drive, external hard drive or local hard drive with it easily. If your usb stick does not support hardware encryption, FreeOTFE is a good alternative security solution.


FreeOTFE works on most popular Windows platforms including Windows 7, Windows XP, etc( 32 and 64 bit ).

FreeOTFE is a 2.83MB download available from CNET and the developer’s website.


If you are a seasoned Windows/Mac user, you probably already know that TrueCrypt is the most well-known free disk encryption program for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, but TrueCrypt has some inherent and significant drawbacks, for example, it doesn’t allow to expand or shrink the partition/volume/container.

KACE Virtual Disk Utility( Dell acquired KACE a year ago ), is a free, lightweight, easy to use and flexible virtual disk freeware. It lets users create a virtual disk which stores all your files and folders, the virtual disk itself is a single file, and the file system of the mounted virtual disk is platform neutral which is called “KACE Virtual Disk”, it’s not NTFS / FAT16 / FAT32 / ext2 / ext3 / ext4 / hfs / hfs+ / jfs / linux-swap / reiserfs / reiser4 / xfs, this gives you the ability to mount the same file as a virtual disk on both Windows OS and Mac OS X.

During the new virtual disk creating process, it gives you the option to enable encryption, KACE has not documented which the encryption algorithm is used, but when I opened the executable file “VirtualDiskService.exe” with Hxd – an excellent free large text file viewer & hexadecimal editor, I found the string “AES128″.

The size of the virtual disk does not need to be specified, after you’ve created a virtual disk, no formatting operation is needed, this is obvious different to TrueCrypt. A virtual disk uses the available space on a regular system disk where the .kvd file resides, and increases the capability of the disk dynamically as new files are added and vice versa..


Conclusion: KACE Virtual Disk Utility is a competitive alternative to TrueCrypt.

During the installation process on Windows 7, it may pop up a dialog saying “The installer has insufficient privileges to modify this file: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\KACE\Virtual Disk Utility.lnk”, you can take the ownership of the directory “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\” and create a new folder named “KACE” under it manually to solve this issue.

System Requirements: Microsoft Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, or Mac OS 10.5 or later.

Download KACE Virtual Disk Utility for Mac OS X, for 64 bit Windows, for 32 bit Windows from KACE.

3, AxCrypt

As we’ve covered before, TrueCrypt is the best disk encryption software, but if you have some very very critical and sensitive documents on your hard drive, you could encrypt them one more level with a file encryption program, for instance, AxCrypt.

AxCrypt is an open source file encryption application, it’s lightweight, easy to use and powerful.

Feature List

Once downloaded and installed it, you could right click on any file in the Windows Explorer and choose Axcrypt from the context menu.

You could double click to decrypt a file( or single click, depend on your personal settings in Windows ) in Windows Explorer, enter the password and decrypt it, that’s all!


If you have the need for uploading files to online drive / copying files to usb flash disk, and want to keep them from prying eyes, AxCrypt is a good safe solution.

AxCrypt works on Windows 7 ( 32bit & 64 bit ), Windows XP / Windows 2000 / 2003 / Vista / 2008.

Download it from CNET / sourceforge / the developer’s website. Product Homepage.

4, DiskCryptor

DiskCryptor is a free and open source encryption application, it allows you encrypt every partitions, it’s easy to use, efficient, stable, and supports encrypting USB flash drive and CDs/DVDs. DiskCryptor does NOT support creating file container for virtual drive, if you have this requirement, you could try Comodo Disk Encryption.

DiskCryptor is deadly easy to operate, just select one partition, then press the “Encrypt” button and follow the wizard steps, it allows you choose 7 different types encryption algorithm, set the password and keyfile. Then DiskCryptor will encrypt the whole volume, its speed is very fast, DiskCryptor will NOT delete the files and directories on the drive, it only encrypts them.

After you have encrypted one volume, it’s auto mounted, you could use it as before, the encryption and decryption is on the fly and transparent to you. After you unmounted the volume, it’s not accessible to anyone. If you click it in Windows Explorer, Windows says that “You need to format the disk in drive D: before you can use it. Do you want to format it?” and “Location is not available, The volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure that all required file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted.” You have to mount it and input correct password to gain the ability to use it again.

Feature List

DiskCryptor is compatible with Windows 7, Windows XP / Server 2003 / Server 2008 / Vista / 2000 ( x86 & x64 ).

Download diskcryptor from its developer’s website.

Product Homepage, FAQ.

5, Comodo Disk Encryption

Nowadays it’s very important to keep your sensitive data secure, you could encrypt files or folders with Windows’s built-in encryption or third-party applications, but if we encrypt entire partition or drive, then it’s more easy to manage our files, you can save/copy/cut/paste files on the fly, backup or synchronize files/folders easily.

Comodo Disk Encryption is a truecrypt alternative, it allows you to encrypt local hard drives or partitions, create new virtual drive which is saved in a single file, you can choose between several encrypt algorithms( AES, Serpent, Blowfish, 3DES, Twofish ) and hash algorithms( Whirlpool, SHA1, SHA256, MD5, RIPEMD 160 ).

The encryption progress is automatic, real-time and transparent to you, so you can manage files as if you were working in partitions/drives not encrypted. You can backup and synchronize files with FreeFileSync or other backup and synchronization software. If you stored a virtual drive in a solo file, then you could copy it to a removable media such as USB flash disk or CDs/DVDs, or upload it to an online hard drive such as Dropbox or Live Mesh, etc. Anyone who has no the password can not mount the file as a partition and cannot steal your data.


  • Keep data totally protected from hackers, thieves, and all unauthorized viewing.
  • You don’t want private data to be accessed when you’re away from your computer.
  • If your desktop or laptop is stolen, the thieves will not have access to personal data.
  • Share your computer with other people knowing that they can’t view your personal files.
  • To be the only person that is able to start a specific computer.
  • Operating systems supported:
    Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit)
    Windows XP (Service Pack 1 or later) (32 bit and 64 bit)
    Windows Vista (32 bit and 64 bit)
    Windows Server 2003 (32 bit and 64 bit)
    Windows 2000 (Service Pack 3 or later) (32 bit)

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