TrueCrypt is a completely free encryption software that can create virtual encrypted disks (volumes) on both internal and external drives and encrypt whole system partitions or disks (the ones where Windows is installed).
TrueCrypt is a very good program that helps to keep your data secure in case your computer or some external device (USB drive, for example) is lost or stolen: even the FBI has no capabilities to decrypt it.
Main features (copied from TrueCrypt home page):
- Creates a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mounts it as a real disk.
- Encrypts an entire partition or storage device such as USB flash drive or hard drive.
- Encrypts a partition or drive where Windows is installed (pre-boot authentication).
- Encryption is automatic, real-time (on-the-fly) and transparent.
- Parallelization and pipelining allow data to be read and written as fast as if the drive was not encrypted.
- Encryption can be hardware-accelerated on modern processors.
- Provides plausible deniability, in case an adversary forces you to reveal the password:
- Hidden volume (steganography) and hidden operating system.
TrueCrypt works on Windows, Mac and Linux platforms.
Despite all the possibilities, TrueCrypt is not difficult to learn and use: it requires just one-time configuration for each encrypted drive or container.
The links to installing and configuring TrueCrypt in Windows are provided below.