Truecrypt Free open-source disk Encryption Software Reviews

Any/all software programmers are welcome to contribute to this open-source disk encryption software in order to make it better. The free Truecrypt disk encryption software is an open-source for systems using Windows 7/Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux. The software has been developing in different versions with the latest being the 7.1 version.

Encryption software is an important protection to be used to secure medical information in compliance with encryption security requirements of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, passed as part of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Under the HITECH Act, unencrypted information is defined as unsecure protected health information. In connection with the HITECH Breach Notification Interim Final Rule, covered entities are required to notify affected individuals or participating agencies only when the information is considered "unsecured".

Some of its features include:

  • Creation of a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mount it as a real disk
  • Encrypting a storage device such as a USB flash drive or hard drive or an entire partition
  • It does a pre-boot authentication by encrypting the drive or partition where Windows is installed
  • The encryption is done on-the-fly that is, automatic, transparent and real-time
  • Data can be read and written as fast as if the drive was not encrypted due to pipelining and parallelization
  • On modern processors, the encryption ca be hardware-accelerated
  • It provides plausible deniability that is steganography (hidden volume) and hidden operating system in case one is under duress to reveal the password.

The new TrueCrypt 7.1 is fully compatible with 64-bit and 32-bit Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. It has bug fixes for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X with minor improvements from the previous version of 7.0a.

Version 7.0a’s major improvement was the workaround for a bug initiating hibernation on TrueCrypt-encrypted operating systems. Some custom (non-Microsoft) drivers for storage device controllers caused systems to crash. This for the most part, affected Windows Vista / 7/2008/2008R2.

Version 7.0 came with the greatest improvements and new features. Some of these are:

  • AES Hardware-acceleration
  • Automatic configuration of a Windows volume mounted whenever the host device has a connection to a computer as long as the password and/or keyfiles were correct.
  • If caching of the pre-boot authentication is enabled, TrueCrypt does not prompt for a password
  • For Windows and Linux, partition/device hosted volumes created on drives with sector size 4096, 2048, or 1024 bytes. This was not supported before on such drives
  • It has a favorite volumes organizer for Windows used to set various options for each separate favorite volume. These are mounted upon logo as removable medium or read-only and sometimes, assigned special labels excluded from the hotkey mount.
  • Non-system favorite volumes are mounted on the favorites menu
  • File-hosted TrueCrypt volumes on floppy disks can be created but device-hosted volumes located on floppy disks are no longer supported by TrueCrypt
  • The major security improvement is the API encrypts (Windows) for hibernation and crash dump files in a safe documented way. This is a public API for encryption of hibernation files on Windows Vista and later versions of Windows. This fixture came about due to public outcry.