USB flash drives are very popular due to their size and affordability.Since these drives are portable, lightweight and have a lot of storage capacity, they can transfer data conveniently.
However, with data comes security concerns -- especially a small USB drive that can easily be lost or stolen.To protect the data inside the USB drive, you need USB drive encryption software.Here, we will learn how to encrypt a USB drive in Windows.
What is USB encryption?
Encryption is a way of dealing with text that becomes unreadable after encryption.For example, the encrypted phrase "Let's meet at Starbucks" might appear as "SBdas3q323bhdbash44234" after encryption.So if you lose your encrypted USB and someone tries to view your USB device history, they may not be able to access the data.
There are several ways to implement encryption, and various algorithms make it possible.There is some software that can use these algorithms to encrypt your USB drive.When you encrypt your USB drive, reading the data will require a secret key, which gives you a complete advantage in terms of data security within the USB drive.
But how does this help you, you ask?Well, if you lose your USB drive or someone steals it, you won't have to worry about the data as it will be in an encrypted format.The person holding your USB must provide a secret key to decrypt and read the data.They can still format your protected USB, but at least they can't get your information.
5 Best USB Drive Encryption Tools
AxCryptThe encryption software has a decent user interface and is suitable for individuals who are not used to such programs.It uses AES-256 encryption and is available for download on macOS and Windows.
AxCrypt is just one of two encryption programs in this list that support macOS.There are business and personal editions, the main difference being that the business edition offers better customer support and a master key.The software also allows automatic encryption and caching of passwords.
DriveCrypt is the best option for encrypting sensitive files on USB drives.This tool is considered to be one of the best cryptographic security providers on the market as it allows you to encrypt with high security of 1344 bits.
DriveCrypt also allows selective file encryption and allows you to hide files completely.Finally, it's one of the few software that is capable of fingerprint scan authentication.Its only downsides are that it's a bit pricey compared to other options on the market, and it only supports Windows devices.
Download: DriveCrypt for Windows ($43, free trial)
rohosIt's very simple to use, as it will automatically handle the most tedious and time-consuming parts of the encryption process and allow you to encrypt things other than USB. Rohos has two main products. Rohos Disk Encryption, for encrypting your USB drives, hard drives, and even cloud hosts, and Rohos Login Key, which can make your USB stick or smartphone a security key for Rohos Disk Encryption.
Its main feature is the use of AES 256 algorithm, which allows you to create encrypted volumes and also allows you to mount data on other volumes. Rohos Disk Encryption is only available for Windows operating systems, but Rohos login keys are available for both Mac and Windows.
Download: Rohos Disk Encryption for Windows (Starting at $35, free trial)
4. Gilisoft USB Encryption
Gilisoft probably has the best user interface design because it is very user friendly.It has excellent encryption features that make it easy for inexperienced users to encrypt their USB drives.It allows you to encrypt with AES-256 algorithm and provides data recovery.
An important thing to know is that this software is highly specialized, so it only encrypts USB drives.And just like most of the other software on this list, it's only available for the Windows platform.
Download: Gilisoft USB Encryption for Windows ($49.95, free trial)
The last in the list isVeraCrypt, formerly known as TrueCrypt.It is a first-class encryption tool that uses the open-source USB encryption algorithm.To guarantee the quality of its encryption, its algorithms are regularly audited by an independent research team to ensure that the security quality remains above the standard.
With VeraCrypt, you can choose to encrypt with AES-256, Twofish and Serpent algorithms.It also allows you to create hidden volumes of encrypted data. VeraCrypt is compatible with macOS, but more importantly, it's the only encryption tool on this list that supports the Linux platform.
Download: VeraCrypt for Linux | Mac | Windows | Raspberry Pi (Free)
How to recover data after encrypting USB drive?
What happens if you lose the data on the encrypted USB drive?You may be due to any of the following reasons:
File failure on USB drive
operating system failure
System crashes suddenly
All you need is your encryption key or password for the USB drive andWondershare RecoverySoftware for Windows and Mac (unless you choose to pay for Gilisoft USB encryption, which also offers data recovery).Now, just follow these two simple steps below to quickly recover your lost data.
1. Once you have downloaded and installed Wondershare Recoverit on your computer, insert your USB stick and select it on the program.
2. Once selected, click Scan Your System. Wondershare Recoverit will then start scanning the selected hard drive for deleted items.
Now, all you need to do is be patient, as the scan will take a while, depending on your computer's hardware.Once the recovery process is complete, you will see the files in the location where you saved them.
Encrypt your USB drive for safer transfer and use
Despite the popularity of cloud storage in recent years, USB sticks and external hard drives will continue to be used to move data and information.They're easy to transport, in some ways more secure than cloud or on-premise hardware, and if you encrypt them, they're even more secure.And, even if they get damaged, or if you experience other types of data loss on an encrypted USB drive, you can recover it.
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