Best Encryption Software 2018 – Encrypt Files on Windows PCs

How much does encryption software cost?

Most encryption software costs about $40 and can be used on multiple devices. If it only comes with one user license, look to see if it includes self-extracting files. This allows you to send encrypted files to another user or to yourself through email and open it on another device that doesnt have the same program installed on it. Usually this is done by providing the receiver with a password that unlocks and decrypts the file.

Key Features of Encryption Software

Version CompatibilityIf your computer runs an older version of Windows, such as Vista or XP, make sure the encryption program supports your operating system. On the flip side, you need to make sure you choose software that has changed with the times and supports the latest versions of Windows, including 8 and 10.

While all the programs we tested are compatible with every version of Windows, we feel thatSensiGuardis a good choice for older computers because it only has the most essential tools and wont bog down your old PC. Plus, it is easy to move to a new computer if you choose to upgrade. However, it takes a while to encrypt and decrypt files.

If you have a Mac computer, you need a program that is designed specifically for that operating system none of the programs we tested are compatible with both Windows and Mac machines. We believe Concealer is the best option for Macs, but Espionage 3 is also a good choice.

Mac encryption software doesnt have as many extra security features as Windows programs. They typically lack virtual keyboards, self-extracting file creators and password recovery tools. Mac programs also take a lot more time to secure files compared to Windows software.

SecurityEncryption software uses different types of ciphers to scramble your data, and each has its own benefits. Advanced Encryption Standard, or 256-bit key AES, is used by the U.S. government, including the National Security Agency (NSA), and is one of the strongest ciphers available. It scrambles each bit of information. Blowfish and its newer version, Twofish, are encryption algorithms that use block ciphers they scramble blocks of text or several bits of information at once rather than one bit at a time.

The main differences between these algorithms are performance and speed, and the average user wont notice the difference. Blowfish and Twofish cant encrypt large files, so if you need to secure gigabytes of data, use AES encryption. Blowfish and Twofish algorithms are considered practically unbreakable, though given enough time and computing power, both could theoretically be broken.

AES has long been recognized as the superior algorithm and is required for financial institutions, schools, government agencies and healthcare facilities that deal with sensitive personal information. Because of this we preferred programs that use it and ensured these were included in our final choice of the best encryption software.

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Best Encryption Software 2018 - Encrypt Files on Windows PCs

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