USB drives have become indispensable to us for storing all kinds of data and carrying it along wherever we go. Most people use USB drives to store media files or information that isn’t sensitive in nature, but if the data you want to store is confidential, such as your financial documents or other personal info, you wouldn’t want this info to be exposed to anyone in case your USB drive gets lost or stolen. Fortunately, there are a variety of tools available for creating an encrypted volume on a USB thumb drive, and one such Windows-based app I recently came across and really liked is Granite Portable. The app provides 2-layer protection for your data by letting you store items in an encrypted vault. Details after the jump.
As its name implies, Granite is a portable application and requires no installation; all you need to do is download the app, extract the contents of the downloaded ZIP archive to your desired USB drive (or even any other location on your computer), and run the tool – simple as that.
In the extracted items, you will notice a ‘Vault’ folder, which acts as the protected and encrypted storage location for your confidential data, while keeping the rest of the USB space usable for regular items like movies, music and images etc. You can set a custom username and password for your vault using the tool, and the protected folder can’t be open in any way without providing the password.
The first time you run the tool, Granite Portable asks you to choose a user name, as well as enter and verify a password of your choice. After that, accept the terms and conditions by marking the check box, and hit Login.
Once you have logged in to your vault, Granite Portable displays small G icon in the system tray area, clicking which opens up the main interface of the app. The icon also denotes that you can now open the folder and save any type of files in it such as portable apps, files and bookmarks. It also comes with a few popular bookmarks for services like Facbeook, Wikipedia, Google and YouTube etc., and shortcut links for system programs like Control Panel, Sounds, Fonts etc. already configured. You can click the Vault button to open your encrypted folder, save your desired items and Exit the app to secure them.
The application works on both 32-bit and 64-bit variants of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.