Secure Archive is a file encryption, data compression and file wiping utility suitable for individuals and businesses alike, it is simple and easy to use with right click integration and drag and drop, unlike other compression programs with encryption, like WinZip or WinRar, Secure Archive allows for high customization of encryption, you can choose to secure your files with Advanced Encryption System (AES), aka Rijndael, Blowfish, a patent free encryption algorithm, or NASCLL which appeared to be a proprietary encryption cipher of which the help file did not included any information at all, you will be better off using one of first two ciphers as they are tried and tested.
This free file encryption program options allow you to choose by how much data should be compressed (none, low,high), I failed to see its usefulness as I would imagine everyone wants it set at a high compression, the default setting, but no harm in including that. When you encrypt a file Secure Archive will let you know the password key strength in bits as you type together with a message saying if it is an acceptable password or not, in advanced options you can select what metadata should be saved together with the encrypted file, for example, time stamps, file attributes, CRC file integrity, you can choose to wipe the original file after encryption too.
The only shortcomings I found in Secure Archive is that the help manual failed to mention anything about their NASCLL encryption method, the secure wipe window could not be resized and it did not have a progress bar, it puzzled me that the developers claim that file wiping is being implemented using the standard US Department of Defense 5220. 22-M method which consists of a three wipe pass, but Secure Archive data wiping window indicates a single secure delete pass by default, my wild guess here is that it could mean a 1 time US DoD 5220.22-M data wiping pass but I can’t really be sure.
Secure Archive can be a good alternative to AxCrypt, useful for anyone in need of a free program to secure single files before emailing them, the .SAef file extension will confuse the other end, you both will have to be using the same software unless you create an encrypted self-extracting file which Secure Archive can do, data compression appeared to perform well, it managed to reduce my the seize of my WordPerfect document by 70%, I compressed the same file using WinZip .zip method and it compressed it by 71%, pretty much the same result.
If you are afraid that someone can guess your password using a brute force attack, Secure Archive lets you create what they call a HardKey, called keyfile in other software like Truecrypt, you can secure your compressed file with a password and a HardKey needing both to open it, something you know and something you have, but this HardKey can not be anything you like, it needs to have been created with the Secure Archive and anyone coming across it will know what it is for but it can enhance your security when emailing confidential documents if these happen to get intercepted or end up in the wrong inbox.