By Jetico, Inc.
The documentation is straightforward and gives step-by-step instructions for creating new encrypted archives.
BestCrypt's documentation claims it can make 65GB NTFS archives, 4GB FAT32 archives, and 2GB FAT16 archives, but I was unable to make NTFS archives when I tested the program.
The mounted drives aren't visible on My Computer. In order to see them, you have to type the archive's drive letter in the Address Bar or use the Folders pane in Windows Explorer. This adds a measure of security, but the mounted drives aren't identified by name, letter or number, making it hard to differentiate one from another if more than one is mounted.
BestCrypt gives you a choice of algorithms. One archive I made with the Twofish algorithm became permanently stuck as read-only, even though none of the archive options indicated it was set to read-only. A glitch like this could cause a huge problem if you create a single archive for your entire hard drive. (You would be unable to make any changes to documents on the drive without first deleting the archive and all the data in it.) Fortunately I was able to convert the "read only" archive to a write-able form again by using BestCrypt's handy encryption conversion tool. I used it to convert the Twofish-encrypted archive to a Blowfish-encrypted archive.
For the most part, this program seems effective and the user interface is somewhat intuitive. Although I had to spend some time familiarizing myself with the program, I did not need to consult the Help file to figure out the basic program operation. However, the program has some bugs that make it a bit of a pain to use. If you try the shareware version of BestCrypt, I recommend you also try some of the other encryption programs before spending money to purchase BestCrypt.
The installer prompted me to select an installation directory and required me to restart the computer before launching the program.
BestCrypt does not encrypt individual documents or email messages. It lets you create an encrypted archive for your files, and mounts this encrypted archive as a drive that you can open. (The encrypted drive is listed along with your hard drive and any other drives, such as your floppy drive or DVD-ROM drive.)
Once I had formatted and mounted the archive, I located it in Windows Explorer in the Folders pane. Although I had labeled the volume "BestCrypt" when I created it, neither the name nor the drive letter that I had assigned it showed up in Windows Explorer, or in My Computer's listing of hard drives. To access the archive, I had to type the drive letter I had assigned to it into the Address Bar. If you don't use the Address Bar or Folders pane, you have to open the BestCrypt control panel, right-click the archive, and select "Explore." This is a real impediment to use since many users never use the Address Bar or Folders Pane. Worse, since no volume label or drive letter appears next to the icon in the Folders pane, there is no way to distinguish one archive drive from another if you create more than one.
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