SafeHouse Personal Edition
• Save encrypted files in a new drive
• Quick to encrypt files and folder
• Supports all file types
• No file shredding system
• No self-extracting file system
If you are looking for a simple and quick way to keep folders and files encrypted in their own separate security volume, SafeHouse provides the answer. Easy to use though lacking in features, SafeHouse Personal Edition is a good entry-level data encryption product.
The SafeHouse company produces this Personal edition of its encryption software, along with a Professional edition for people who need more control over how to manage multiple protected files and folders. We looked at SafeHouse to see where it stands out in file encryption technology.
The Personal Edition of SafeHouse’s software uses the strong Twofish 256 bits algorithm, which is an industry standard and protects your files fully. SafeHouse protects files by creating new places in your computer into which you deposit the items you want to encrypt. You can put anything into the “vault” – called a “volume” by SafeHouse – from documents to videos, spreadsheets to photos – and you will only be able to open the volume with a password. You can create as many volumes as you like and they can be as big as you want. You can create a volume on a USB drive, DVD, CD, or wherever you want to open your secure files from – the process of creating the secure drive on a USB is the same as creating one on your PC.
The encryption and decryption process on your PC is effective and it works – no one will be able to access your folders without your passwords (and there is a password strength checker to keep an eye on how effective your passwords are).
However, you cannot send files to people who don’t have the SafeHouse software installed as there is no self-extracting file system or transfer system between different computers. So long as you all have SafeHouse installed you can securely send and open files, but without it you have a problem.
There is no digital shredder to completely remove deleted files from the machine, which is a pity as that is one security feature you’ll definitely need to use if you are concerned about files ending up in the wrong hands.
You can create a “virtual smartcard” to store all your login details and passwords, which you can then save to a USB memory stick or to a place on your computer.
Ease of use
The basic concept of the SafeHouse system is simple to grasp – instead of saving files to your C drive or wherever, you save them to the SafeHouse volume. You access files from within the volume simply by double-clicking on them. But the program is not the easiest to use with its rather bewildering array of dropdown menus and options. The interface will be familiar to any Windows user but there could be a more intuitive way of working through the processes. However, the drag-and-drop utility to safely put files within the SafeHouse drive is useful and quick.
You can use the trial version for 30 days with the only limitation being that you can only use very short passwords for your volumes.
Help & support
SafeHouse only offers email support unless you have bought an extended support plan from the company. Email is probably all you’ll need, however, as there are plenty of articles and links in the user manual describing the various features within the product.
SafeHouse lacks a digital shredder and a way of easily sending encrypted files to people without a SafeHouse software installation, but it offers heavy-duty protection for files in their own hard drive volume.
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