On any given installation of Windows Vista or 7 Ultimate or Windows 8 Pro, there is a neat little built-in feature for encrypting drives called BitLocker. Although it has its uses, like operations involving the encryption of your system drive, a Trusted Platform Module or TPM chip is required. Some business-grade laptops and desktop motherboards supply this hardware, but not everyone has access to a TPM.
Perhaps full disk encryption is not the goal here, and you want to encrypt files on an individual basis rather than partitions, or you want to create virtual mountable "encrypted disk" files that you can tote around and attach at will, whenever you need to drop or grab a file. Whatever your end goal, I will show you five apps for disk and file encryption that will get the job done handily, no matter the task.
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An avid technology writer and an IT guru, Matthew is here to help bring the best in software, hardware and the web to the collective consciousness of TechRepublic's readership. In addition to writing for TechRepublic, Matthew currently works as a Customer Success Professional for Ultimate Software in Santa Ana, California.