TrueCrypt: open-source encryption software
encryption on Windows-based computers. The ideal application should be
reliable, should be easy to use, should support multiple encryption
methods, should run and mount automatically when a configured removable
device (e.g., a USB Flash Disk or a mobile USB hard drive) is activated,
and should run self-contained (no software installation needed on the
Conclusion: Among the many free and commercial offerings, most appear to
offer solid, basic file and folder encryption. I am most impressed by
TrueCrypt, a free open-source disk encryption application for Windows
XP/2000/2003. TrueCrypt is easy to use, runs in a self-contained,
auto-mounting mode, supports a wide variety of encryption options
(including cascading options), and has good documentation and user
support via its forum web site.
Caveats: All solutions I found require administrator rights on the host
computer; so using these solutions on systems you have control (e.g.,
can install software on) should work fine, but they may not work well in
Internet Cafe's or on lab computers were user access is restricted.
For installation details, please see this document.