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anonguest

Encrypting A Portable Usb Hard Drive

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I have a 1Gb portable USB hard drive (old fashioned spinning platter type, not solid state) that we use for backing up stuff from our desktop PC and laptops.

I'd like to encrypt all the contents. Nothing special to a level intended to defeat MI5 or the CIA. Just some sort of way to ensure that if it fell into someone else's hands they would not be be able to read the contents of any of the files/documents/photos/etc by just plugging it into their own PC. The encryption doesn't necessarily need to be such that even the filenames are made unintelligible, just so that without some sort of 'key' nobody else will be able to read a file.

Ideally I want something that won't be inherently 'tied to' the PC that does the encrypting - so that if that PC is lost or destroyed then the means to decrypt is also lost.

Also not wanting to get to bogged down with techie stuff it would be nice for it to be a user friendly method,

So what's the best way to do this?

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Why not buy an encrypted drive? They are a bit more expensive, but they have a keypad on them, on which you type in your password before it will work. :wacko:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/iStorage--DG3-128-500-diskAshur-External-Ultra-Secure/dp/B007RZDWQU/ref=sr_1_15/278-1948535-2012661?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1457168178&sr=1-15&keywords=encrypted+hard+drives

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Why not buy an encrypted drive? They are a bit more expensive, but they have a keypad on them, on which you type in your password before it will work. :wacko:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/iStorage--DG3-128-500-diskAshur-External-Ultra-Secure/dp/B007RZDWQU/ref=sr_1_15/278-1948535-2012661?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1457168178&sr=1-15&keywords=encrypted+hard+drives

Interesting. Thanks. I may consider something like that for future purchases.

But.....it don't solve the quest for my current hard drive though. The question posed still remains.

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Veracrypt is all you need. It's a free software. It will encrypt the entire disk and you can protect it with a password.

Pin listens to words of wisdom.

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Hmm - just a little warning - if you get a standalone solution then if the box fails in some way (not the disk itself, the encryption circuit) then you'll probably not be able to recover the data. Not a problem if it is just used to transfer data, but I'd worry more about it used for data backup etc.

Probably the best solution is to use bitlocker - this is the Microsoft built in solution, and it is very good... but it only works if your computers are up to it (I think it is only on pro / enterprise OS and you'll need a computer which supports it (IIRC it has to have a 'TPM').

Otherwise I'd use Truecrypt. This has the advantage of being usable on lots of different systems, and of being free... Anyway, Ttuecrypt is a bit odd, as it was officially discontinued in 2014 for undisclosed reasons - but it has been audited as 'good' and I'm happy to keep on using it. You'll have to look for version 7.1 as this works, rather than the 7.2 which is only for decrypting your encrypted drives.

There is also Veracrypt and Cipershed, which are the 'sons of Truecrypt'. Pretty much the same in use, and free etc, but I've not used them...

Eds - if dev suggests Veracrypt then I'd look at that first.

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I've encrypted my whole life. :unsure:

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Thanks all for replies so far.

Forgot add (lest it be of significance) I am using Windows7 Professional 64-bit.

(I have no intention of using any later Windows OS - and will try to keep using this for as reasonably possible. As/when I change the OS being used on our computers it may well end up being a Linux OS of some sort)

Also......I will want to be able, at some point, copy the encrypted contents on the hard drive straight over to a new replacement/backup drive in due course (as the original one in question here is getting on a bit). I may well opt for a solid state hard drive replacement.

Just mentioning that in case it has any relevance to the solutions mentioned thus far.

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As is reflected in your frequent cryptic replies to endless number of threads......

I am the light at the end of the bell. :huh:

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If you can install additional software on the computers where the drive needs to be used, then something like veracrypt will be ideal. However, you do need administrator access to the computer to be able to access the locked files.

If, however, you need to access the encrypted files on any computer (where you may not have the option to install the veracrypt software) then the only real practical option is a hardware self-encrypting drive.

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If you can install additional software on the computers where the drive needs to be used, then something like veracrypt will be ideal. However, you do need administrator access to the computer to be able to access the locked files.

If, however, you need to access the encrypted files on any computer (where you may not have the option to install the veracrypt software) then the only real practical option is a hardware self-encrypting drive.

Why not print out all your data and shred it?

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Another fan of truecrypt here, very nice bit of software, as others have said, veracrypt is worth looking at too, it's a fork of truecrypt

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Thanks all for replies so far.

Forgot add (lest it be of significance) I am using Windows7 Professional 64-bit.

Well, if you're just using win7 pro then use bitlocker...

FAs/when I change the OS being used on our computers it may well end up being a Linux OS of some sort)

In which case use Truecrypt/Veracrypt as there are clients for win/mac/linux

Also......I will want to be able, at some point, copy the encrypted contents on the hard drive straight over to a new replacement/backup drive in due course (as the original one in question here is getting on a bit). I may well opt for a solid state hard drive replacement.

You could just do a clone of your drive (using ghost,dd, whatever)

But whenever I've had to do that I've connected new and old drives to the same computer and then done a (decrypt-encrypt) copy.

It is old fashioned and slower but it is an easy and dependable approach.

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