Free Encryption Tools Alternative to TrueCrypt for Windows 7 and 8.1

TrueCrypt was an awesome open source tool that secures your data by encrypting them in a strong and safe method. But since the development of TrueCrypt was ended in May 2014, it’s no longer a secure product used to protect your data. Migrating any data encrypted by TrueCrypt into another encryption solution is a must-do task that should be done sooner than later.

Here are a list of free encryption alternatives to TrueCrypt that you can consider to use.

Alternatives to Disk Encryption

BitLocker is a perfect replacement to TrueCrypt’s disk encryption. It was first introduced since Windows 7 but unfortunately not every edition has this feature built-in. If you are running Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows 8.1 Pro, you should move to BitLocker right away. It’s easy and intuitive to use. Once it’s turned on, it works transparently and quietly encrypts everything written to the disk.

BitLocker

But if unfortunately you are not on these editions that support BitLock out of the box, DiskCryptor is probably your next stop to check out. It is an open encryption solution that offers encryption of all disk partitions, including the system partition. With the support of 3 encryption algorithms, AES-256, Twolfish, and Serpent, you can choose to use a combination of cascaded algorithms to provide extra safety to your data.

truecrypt-alternative-diskcryptor

If the disk was encrypted before by TrueCrypt, you will need to Permanently Decrypt System and data drive before moving to either BitLocker or DiskCryptor.

Alternatives to file level encryption

There are 2 encryption tools that we recommend.

AES Crypt, which we covered before, is a file encryption tool that uses the industry standard AES-256 to easily encrypt and decrypt files, right from the Windows Explorer Content Menu. It’s a completely free open source software that not only supports Windows but also Linux, and Mac computers.

Encrypt and Decrypt Files Directly from Right-Click Context Menu with AES Crypt  - 2015-02-06 14_00_22

AxCrypt is another file level encryption that’s free and easy to use. Same as AES Crypt, you can encrypt and decrypt the files right from the Context Menu. It uses AES-128 encryption algorithms but with local security policy integration it provides more protections to prevent data and encryption key from exposure. AxCrypt works on Windows from XP and up. It also comes with a portable version with limited features, which could be handy sometime.

AxCrypt

One other option is that if you are using 7-Zip as your zipping and compressing tool, you can actually use its encrypting feature to encrypt the whole zipped package. You can use Add to Archive option, select one of the two encryption methods, ZipCrypto and AES-256, to compress and encrypt the whole zipped file. I am finding it’s quite useful in situation where a confidential file needs to be sent via email.

7-zip encryption option

Encryption with the Cloud service

Utilizing the cloud service such as OneDrive and Dropbox has become a big part of our day-to-day computing life. To better protect our data sync’d to the cloud, we need a good, reliable, easy-to-use tool with solid encryption capability to work with these cloud services. If you are the one totally hooked up with what cloud offers, make sure check out these Top 5 encryption solutions for the cloud.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 02/06/2015

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