capsule review

Cryptainer LE

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Cryptainer LE

Cryptainer LE encrypts your data and stores it in a large file that, once you've provided a password, mounts as a virtual drive. You may use the virtual drive as just as you would any other drive under Windows: drag and drop, copy, delete, move, and so on. Cryptainer LE also provides a program interface to configure the program and enable the drives.

The first time you run Cryptainer LE, you set the location for the encrypted file, provide an eight-character (or greater) password, select between Blowfish 448-bit or AES 256-bit encryption, set the volume drive letter, and you're good to go. You can create additional encrypted files/volumes, but Cryptainer LE keeps track of the default volume's location only. There is no default file extension, so I recommend that you create a folder for your additional volumes and name it in a suitably memorable fashion.

Cryptainer LE is easy to use, and not all that much slower than using an unencrypted drive. It wasn't as transparent as I hoped it would be: You must run the program to enter the password to mount drives every single time you run Windows. I would much prefer an option to bypass the program interface, mount volumes at boot time, and be asked for the password the first time they're accessed per session. Modus operandi aside, the program worked as advertised--and it can even be used from a USB thumb drive.

The free LE (short for Light Edition) version of Cryptainer is limited to 100MB, which is enough for your volumes if you're not dealing with images or video. However, when you start storing audio, images, or video, 100MB won't cut it. Not to worry, Cryptainer comes in more versions than you can shake a stick at. Besides LE, Cypherix sells ME with 2.5GB volumes, PE with 25GB volumes, and Cryptainer 9.0 with 1TB volumes. SE provides 1TB volumes and supports multiple users. You 'll pay from $30 to $70 for these more capacious and capable versions. SE starts at $65 per user.

Cryptainer LE is a very handy program, and major kudos to Cypherix for not nagging you to upgrade or making it a trial. It's a worthy download.

--Jon L. Jacobi

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At a Glance
  • This free security app protects your files in encrypted virtual drives.


    • Encrypts sensitive data; easy to use; free, no nags


    • Limited to 100MB volumes; not transparent
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