Protecting confidential data from unauthorized usage is topmost priority of every PC user. No matter how many directories and files you hide, there’s always a chance of a security breach. Perhaps that’s the reason Windows 7’s BitLocker feature makes a lot more sense. BitLocker Drive Encryption is a robust Windows feature that lets you encrypt local as well as removable drives, but when it comes to creating encrypted virtual disks, users need to create a virtual drive using Disk Manager and then encrypt it with Bitlocker. A couple of months ago, we reviewed Toolwiz BSafe, which hosts a number of features to secure your data by allowing you to create virtual disks. Developed particularly for creating and managing encrypted virtual disks, R-Crypto is a powerful drive encryption tool that lets you easily encrypt your files and folders, and save them in virtual containers.
The interface looks quite conventional and may remind you of those Window XP days, but the sheer power under the hood is something to brag about. The Pick a task section lets you manage your created drives, for instance, connecting, disconnecting, configuring etc. To get started, click Create New Disk under the General pane, followed by clicking Next.
The Disk Creation Wizard comprises of a few simple steps. In the first step, type in the container name and select its location on your hard drive. Make sure the selected volume has sufficient empty space to store the container. Next up, choose the Disk size of the container. Either use the slider or input the volume size manually in the disk size field, and then click Next to continue.
R-Crypto lets you choose among different AES algorithms to encrypt the drive. Typically, SHA-1, AES-256 and SHA1-AES 192 provide protection against hacking and cracking, but you can click the Custom button to use other encryption algorithms as well. The Custom settings allow you to specify Provider, Hash, Cipher and Key length of the encryption method you want to use.
Continuing to the proceeding step of the wizard, you can select the drive letter to be allocated to the virtual disk, as well as the file system (NTFS or FAT). In conjunction, you can toggle a trio of other options, like Encrypt empty space of this disk while creation, Automatically connect this disk and Emulate fixed disk – the latter of which is used to make the disk shareable to Windows XP and later Windows versions. When done, input the password for the container file in the next step to complete the wizard.
The newly created drive will appear under Connect encrypted disks and Recent Encrypted Disks on the main screen. Here, you can mount/unmount the drive, change its password, Resize, Re-Encrypt or Wipe the the container from your hard drive.
Mounted disks can be accessed from Windows Explorer. You can use these virtual drives similar to any physical drive. The files you create or save in the virtual drive are automatically encrypted, saving you the hassle of working with each file individually. When you have finished working with the files under the virtual drive, simply disconnect it from within the application interface.
If you like BitLocker Drive Encryption feature and want to tinker around with advanced Disk Management options then a third-party application might not gain your interest. However, if you have been looking for an easy to use encryption utility, then R-Crypto is definitely worthy of a try. It works on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.