Review free encryption software: File Encryption 2.1

Not the most original of the names, File Encryption is an open source program using symmetric encryption to make sure your files are safe from prying eyes, and best of all it is free.

File Encryption also allows for full encryption of the data contained inside a directory, but not the directory itself, this is called “Enable encrypting entire directories” inside “Settings” and it is not enabled by default. The name is highly misleading because the folder never gets encrypted, it is only the data inside which does, creating an encrypted file for each one of the files you have.

You can password protect the encryption software too, if you are sharing computer nobody will be able to open the encryption software without your password but I fail to see how that helps much, anyone can download it off the internet for free.

File Encryption good stuff

This security software is free and open source and it includes an amazing number of encryption algorithms to choose from. You can encrypt your files with Blowfish 448, Twofish 256, Cast 256,Ice 64, Mars 1248, Tea 128, Serpent 256, AES256 and many more.

Encrypted files are given the extension .enc and coloured red in the navigation panel, this makes them to stand out, hidden files are also showed. This encryption software also includes a basic file shredding utility and allows for automatic deletion of the data once encrypted.

Files can be marked as hidden after encryption, one of the best features, files marked as hidden can not be seen in the computer unless it is with specialist computer forensics software and will fool Joe Doe. File Encryption navigation panel shows all of the hidden files making it easy for you to see your hidden encrypted data.

File Encryption software

File Encryption software

File Encryption bad stuff

The help file is only available online and it is very poor, with very ambiguous information no specifics or screenshots at all are included in File Encryption online help “manual”, if it can be called that.

All of the decrypted files are created with the extension .dec if you decrypt a picture you will find this is created as name.jpg.dec making it impossible to open until you manually change the .dec extension to .jpg

There is no password strength indicator, nothing tells you if the password you are using is weak or strong. File Encryption is a Windows only software.

Conclusion review File Encryption

I was pretty disappointed that this security software only works for encryption of single files and that the navigation panel is archaic, you need quite a few clicks to get to your file. My biggest problem was that every single decrypted file was presented to me with the .dec extension and I had to manually change it to the original file extension in order to view it.

File Encryption usability and help manual need to improve a lot, I think you can find better free encryption software than this one. I only found two reasons why someone might want to use File Encryption over something else: the wide selection of encryption algorithms available and being able to hide the files in Windows after they are encrypted.

I got an overall feeling of a very basic encryption program, my main concern was not with security, it was with usability and the lack of a proper help manual.

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