TrueCrypt 7.0a - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

TrueCrypt

CNET Editors' review

The ultimate freeware encryption program, TrueCrypt is loaded with powerful features that users concerned with protecting data from prying eyes will find robust and comprehensive.

It has 11 algorithms for encrypting your private files in a password-protected volume. You can store your encrypted data in files (containers) or partitions (devices). TrueCrypt works hard to offer powerful data protection, recommending complex passwords, explaining the benefits of hidden volumes, and erasing telltale signs of the encryption process, including mouse movements and keystrokes. Though the interface may not be intuitive, its powerful, on-the-fly encryption for no cost still earns the freeware security tool a top rating.

The useful tips in the extensive help manual and volume-creation wizard provide excellent guidance. In fact, they're required reading, as TrueCrypt lacks any considerable in-program help. For instance, the tutorial explains the entire concept beyond "hidden" volumes, but it doesn't quite explain how to mount them. One obvious downside of any strong encryption program is if you happen to forget your lengthy, secure password, you should consider any protected files as good as gone. However, once files are mounted to a local drive with your password or key, they conveniently behave just like any normal files, allowing you to easily open, copy, delete, or other modify them another way. Dismount the volume, and voila--your previously accessible files are now safely secure from prying eyes.

The apps newer features include hardware acceleration for some Intel chips, auto-mounting, and convenience improvements for when you "favorite" an encrypted volume have improved both performance and usability. Users can even create a hidden operating system, encrypted away from nosy busybodies, but make no mistake--TrueCrypt is not for the casual encryption explorer. Be sure to thoroughly understand what you're doing with the program before you do something regrettable.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.3 stars

    out of 337 votes

    • 5 star: 226
    • 4 star: 57
    • 3 star: 11
    • 2 star: 11
    • 1 star: 32
  • Current version:

    4.1 stars

    out of 47 votes

    • 5 star: 24
    • 4 star: 14
    • 3 star: 2
    • 2 star: 4
    • 1 star: 3
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 47

  • 5.0 stars

    "Amazing Free Program"

    August 9, 2011  |   By svt2010

    Version: TrueCrypt 7.0a

    Pros

    I'm not sure what some people are experiencing but I've been using this program on x64 systems with 8 and 16GB ram without performance issues. This program does everything I need and is one of the first applications I install.

    Cons

    I have encountered no issues.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Nothing is better to secure a file or entire drive."

    August 9, 2011  |   By maine_scuba_diver

    Version: TrueCrypt 7.0a

    Pros

    Open source software has the advantage of knowing the program lacks a concealed back-door. The software allows absolute confidence in data encryption in the event of laptop theft or loss. The data is inaccessible to anyone without the password.

    Cons

    The free manual available from TrueCrypt Org. must be carefully reviewed prior to use. Never forget the password or the data is lost, remember, no back door.

    Summary

    Safer and far less expensive (free) then most commercially available encryption programs.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Ultimate freeware encryption program"

    August 2, 2011  |   By Vignesh92

    Version: TrueCrypt 7.0a

    Pros

    1. Powerful features
    2. Hardware acceleration

    Cons

    None so far

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Confused about how this really works for me"

    July 26, 2011  |   By Emeffel

    Version: TrueCrypt 7.0a

    Pros

    Seems to be a tight security, providing just what I wanted when I went looking.

    Cons

    I don't know how to take full advantage of it, as it does not clearly explain the options of use. There are clear instructions about how to create a secure file, and that's it: there is no real explanation of how to take advantage of it.

    Summary

    If you can figure it out, you might like it.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "A bit of work, but it works"

    July 20, 2011  |   By venn

    Version: TrueCrypt 7.0a

    Pros

    Encrypts your stuff for free.

    Cons

    I took a class to learn how to work with this software, where I got a booklet the teachers put together. Not sure I could do it without it - which is not available to everyone even if they knew where to go to get such training.

    Summary



    Updated on Jul 20, 2011

    You need to be careful with it: If you forget your password I think you have to delete the data you encrypted to make room for other data, there's no recovering the lost password, thus your data.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "What a Nightmare!!"

    June 30, 2011  |   By SteveNChamp

    Version: TrueCrypt 7.0a

    Pros

    It does system drive encryption.

    Cons

    It does system drive encryption, but...it slowed down my quad-core system in such a manner that it affected its performance no matter what algorithm was used. Definitely some major glitches in its pipeline to and from RAM and the CPU and HD's.

    Summary

    I cannot at this time recommend TrueCrypt to anyone. I found it to be "over-complicated" in its operation. It also had a bad tendency to "forget" how to even auto mount an encrypted drive, even after typing in one's password and getting to to load the keys. It's quirk to want to change the drive letter of an encrypted external and internal extra hard drive and list it completely as a virtual encrypted drive was a complete annoyance. Decrypting those drives was also a nightmare...the speed of the encryption was slow, sluggish, and reminded me of how the old single-core 64K systems worked. It completely bogged my performance down to the extent it wasn't worth encrypting my system for protection. Truly disappointed with this product...everyone raves about how great it is...but I have doubts as to whether quad-cores or higher, and folks with more than 4GB of RAM were even thought about (I have 12 GB of RAM, can go up to 24 GB RAM on my system). And I also have to wonder if 64 bit systems, like a lot of programs I've encountered that say they have 64 bit versions..wasn't created on the fly and in a hurry. I just found this product to create more problems than it supposedly was created to solve.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Does what I wanted"

    June 28, 2011  |   By jkaminski

    Version: TrueCrypt 7.0a

    Pros

    I have done a container on a USB stick and half a 1.5 Tb portable drive. No problems and it appears to be secure.

    Cons

    You actually have to read some of the instructions (;>)

    Summary

    Good addition for any portable storage.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Does exactly what I need"

    June 6, 2011  |   By Macekk

    Version: TrueCrypt 7.0a

    Pros

    Security of data

    Cons

    No obvious cons

    Summary

    I would recommend it

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Works great once you learn how to use it."

    June 6, 2011  |   By JoshESouthgate

    Version: TrueCrypt 7.0a

    Pros

    It just works!

    Cons

    Can't access encrypted hard drive on computer without TrueCrypt already installed or having USB drive with TrueCrypt installed.

    Summary

    Safest way to protect data.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "It is Fantastic"

    May 26, 2011  |   By sri420in

    Version: TrueCrypt 7.0a

    Pros

    Works as described. Nothing more nothing less.
    Totally hassle free.
    Simple to use.

    Cons

    None that I came across

    Summary

    It is a fantastic program, considering it to be a freeware. it simply does all that it says.
    Highly recommended

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Results 1-10 of 47

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