CNET Editors' review
With its effortless operation and thorough setup, GPG Suite for Mac represents a solid solution for encrypting e-mail. Its ability to work with the Mac Mail application, seamlessly, is an advantage over other programs.
GPG Suite for Mac's wizard walks the user through the initial steps to set up encryption. Users must designate e-mail addresses and enter a passphrase for use. It's a small touch, but we liked that the program warns you if your passphrase is weak. While creating a new e-mail in the Mail application, the user sees additional icons for encrypting and signing the e-mail. Note that you can't encrypt a message until the recipient is added, but this doesn't reduce the program's functionality. GPG Suite for Mac allows you to export a key phrase pair, allowing someone on the other end to decrypt the message by entering it. From the setup menu, which is well designed, users can select buttons on the top for importing and exporting phrases, as well as creating new ones. The main part of the window displays a listing of created keys, along with the associated e-mail, date created, and a short identification code.
For those users who want a basic and easy way to encrypt e-mails, GPG Suite for Mac fits the bill and performs well.
GPG Suite (formerly GPGTools Installer) is an open source initiative to bring OpenPGP to Apple OS X. The project originated from efforts to revamp GPGMail development in 2010. The personal privacy is one of the most underestimated goods everyone of us has. By encrypting your data before sending them over the internet you prevent others from reading them during the delivery process. Where the "others" can not only be negligible hackers but more important criminal individuals, business companies or even governments interested in your personal information for various reasons some of them you can't even imagine. Another point is the origin of information. Every piece of information has its source that inseparably belongs to it. The source of an information is almost as important as the information itself. By using GPGTools the receiver of an email or file can be sure the information has been sent by only you. He even can tell if the content has been altered on its way through the internet and is therefore not valid for you. PGP messages cannot be faked.
What's new in this version: See https://gpgtools.org/ for details.
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All versions:4.2 stars
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"Keeps getting better!"
Version: GPG Suite 2013.07.31
Using this has become much easier.
Non really. The NSA can't read your mail content anymore, but I guess that's a good thing.
Version: GPG Suite 2013.05.20
* new version is very stable for me
* lot's of bugs were fixed
* the setup process could still be a little easier but here's a nice tutorial, that helped me: http://support.gpgtools.org/kb/how-to/first-steps-where-do-i-start-where-do-i-begin
"Review of GPGTools 2013.5.20"
Version: GPG Suite 2012.03.18
1) Digital signing of your email with a verifiable signature through the use of shared public keys.
2) Unbreakable encryption of any file and any email, as long as the email receiver also has a public encryption key.
This is a free and critical method of ensuring your US 4th Amendment constitutional rights on the Internet.
It's geek ware, meaning that it is difficult to setup and use by an average Mac user. Changes in OS X will also break the compatibility of GPGTools, especially GPGMail. When these OS X compatibility breaks occur, it can take a lot of time for the open source project to provide workarounds and update.
Gnu Privacy Guard remains geek ware, meaning that it is difficult to set up and use by an average Mac user. The learning curve for new users can be extremely steep with a lot of questions asked along the way. However, patience provides rich rewards because GPG lets you:
1) Digitally sign your email with a verified public key. This let's receivers verify that you, and only you, have sent them an email. This can be extremely important.
2) Use unbreakable encryption on any file and any email. You can even use overkill encryption if you wish to be especially careful. With in already incredible amount of cybercrime and cyber-espionage on the Internet, this can be profoundly important.
If you use the email features, keep in mind that encrypting email on your end requires the use of a source email address associated with your GPG key AS WELL AS a receiving email that ALSO has its own publicly available key. Otherwise, no encryption is allowed. However, digital signing is always available.
I have so far tested the current versions of GPGTools and GPGMail with OS X 10.7.5 and had total success. The new version of GPGMail provides support for OS X 10.8. I will be testing these current versions with 10.8.3 and 10.8.4 beta. If there are issues with either, I will post here in another message.
Installing GPGTools/GPGMail is extremely easy. The hard part begins when you have to create your first key, upload your public key to the public server, and begin to use its features. Never be stymied by the learning curve. All of the features work. It simply takes patience and time to figure them out and gain enough experience to be comfortable with them. Excellent documentation is now available. You'll find links to the docs at the end of the installation process. Read them carefully through, then use them step-by-step to get yourself going.
The effort put into creating GPGTools and keeping them compatible with ever changing OS X is slow and painstaking. Please appreciate these efforts by putting GPG to work for you and by donating to the open source project. GPG is entirely free for all Mac users and it works beautifully once you understand the geeky details involved. Thank you to everyone who contributes to this terrific and critical project!
If you are a USA citizen and need a reminder of what GPG is for, here is the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
Here is what Benjamin Franklin had to say about liberty and safety::
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
"Too complicated for me."
Version: GPG Suite 2012.03.18
It was free.
Too complex to use for it to be of any use to me.
"Working Great Again"
Version: GPG Suite 2011.02.14
GPG provides free and Open Source equivalent of PGP encryption and services on the Mac OS X platform. Recent bugs have been overcome, restoring it to vigor once again.
There is a steep learning curve to understand and properly use Gnu Privacy Guard (GPG).
The GPG project needs developers! It also needs donations!CORRECTION: I have installed MacGPG via *MacPorts*.
I have to thank those on the GPG Mac teams for responding to the need for updates to all the GPG tools. The result is a return to full functionality. I have it working beautifully.
I recommend the entire GPGTools package. Here is where you can read about it and download it:
This site has an excellent introduction to cryptography and digital signatures. It explains why they is CRITICAL for the modern world of computing. If you are serious about computer security this is well worth reading and thoroughly understanding.
What remains confusing is that there are two branches, v1.x and v2.x, in the MacGPG project. Theoretically, the two branches can both be installed and run together without conflicts. However, my problems late in 2010 were directly attributable to the two branches NOT being compatible at that time. Therefore, I STRONGLY suggest picking one or the other and ONLY using that branch on into the future, despite arguments to the contrary. If I had followed this advice I'd have saved myself months of suffering.
Personally, I am sticking with the current v1.x version 1.4.11 and not installing the v2.x branch, which was previously the source of bugs. I have installed 1.4.11 via MacTools and have it running great with all the other GPG tools.
The complete current package of GPGTools includes:
- GPG Keychain Access (for creating, sharing and storing keys)
- MacGPG2 (the underlying process for Gnu Privacy Guard)
- GPGMail (which works with Apple Mail)
- GPGServices (sign, verify and key sharing via the Services menu)
- GPGPreferences (a System Preferences pane)
- EnigMail (which works with Mozilla eMail, i.e. Thunderbird)
Get the entire package, learn and use it. It's stupendous stuff and well worth supporting, back in action all thanks to some very dedicated recent work.
Updated on Feb 23, 2011
You can read about and download MacPorts at:
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