drive encryption for laptops and desktop

shpresa used Ask the Experts™
What is a good free software to download and encrypt drives for laptop and desktop?

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Top Expert 2015

What OS?

If you use Windows 7 ent, 8.1 pro use bitlocker. Part of the Windows.
Top Expert 2015


Both the above-mentioned tools are also freeware and works on the ideologies they have borrowed from TrueCrypt.


windows 7 .

is bitlocker free?
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Top Expert 2015
If you have Windows 7 ent or ultimate, you can use bitlocker, bilocker is integrated in the Windows OS.

yes and it's free
Bitlocker comes with Microsoft Windows. It is considered best practise to use Bitlocker if you are using Microsoft Windows.

VeraCrypt is the most accepted fork from TrueCrypt (which has been discontinued). VeraCrypt is available for Mac, Windows, Linux systems and is open source.
Brian MurphySenior Information Technology Consultant
Free or good?

Microsoft Encryption File Service (EFS) is free.  Software Restriction Policy is free and easy to configure.  It might work better for you depending on your goal.

Now there are several free tools that use MD5 hash or SHA256 hash against the file system.

This is not encryption but creates a digital fingerprint for every single file.

If a single file changes, it won't run.

You can do this with Windows 7 and up using local group policy MMC and Software Restriction Policies

Start, Run, type mmc.exe, click on File, Add\Remove Snap-in, left pane - click on Group Policy Object Editor, Click ADD, Choose "Local Computer", Click OK

Left Pane
Expand Local Computer Policy
Computer Configuration
Windows Settings
Security Settings
Software Restriction Policy
Right Click "Add Software Restriction Policy"

Click on Additional Rules
New File Hash
New Registry Hash
New Certificate Rule (Bind SSL Certificates)
New Path Rule
New Network Zone Rule

Example attached
Just a quick note that MD5 is completely and utterly broken.
Brian MurphySenior Information Technology Consultant

Again, depends on goals but this is Microsoft OS.  You did not specify.

In that same area you can do IPSEC Wrapper Policies, set audit levels higher, custom Microsoft FW rules, a lot more.
Senior Information Technology Consultant
Native is now SHA256.  That is why I asked free or good?
Brian MurphySenior Information Technology Consultant

Also, you have low level drive encryption which is actual drive encryption.  Don't lose the passphrase. McAfee is an example.  Or, Bitlocker aforementioned from Microsoft started with Vista I think.  

Then you have file system encryption, aka NTFS file system encryption such as EFS and forward.  EFS is not disk, that would be Bitlocker.

Then you have 1-way hash, aka SHA256.
Brian MurphySenior Information Technology Consultant

Depends on your goal.  None of the above would protect your from SSL 1, 2 or 3 protocols and RC2 and RC 4 cipher suite attacks with browser.

There is a tool, or was a tool from SSLABS


I used this to remove all the low ciphers and disable SSL 2, and 3 which some sites still try to use.

Only TLS 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 is enabled as protocols and I reorder the cipher suite by preference.

So, the file encryption or disk encryption comes in handy if you have confidential data and lose your laptop.  Or, USB Drive, etc.
Brian MurphySenior Information Technology Consultant

If you don't think the aforementioned is a problem.  Just go here:

Mine is all green, and no vulnerability on every test, only 9 cipher suite combinations and first 4 support forward secrecy.

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