Are you searching for encryption software for your system? Or do you want free, open-source encryption software for Windows? Then this article gives you good information about PGP encryption software because data encryption and decryption are essential in today’s world.
Phil Zimmermann developed Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) Encryption software in 1991. It is used for various purposes like encryption, decryption, signing, directories, whole disk partitions, etc. It works on the cryptology technique.
What is Cryptography?
It is also termed a synonym of encryption. It is a set of protocols studied and practiced for secured communication in an adverse environment. This technique prevents third parties from reading private messages.
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PGP Encryption can be done through various steps. The algorithms support each step. These steps combine hashing, data compression, symmetric-key cryptography, and public-key cryptography. Each public key consists of two variables, i.e., username and e-mail address.
Background procedures for PGP Encryption are as follows:
- Data is entered, and a random key is generated in the system.
- Then, this random key encrypts the data.
- This random key is also encrypted using a receiver’s public key.
- Next, the encrypted message is generated, consisting of encrypted data and a random key.
- Then, this encrypted message is sent to the receiver.
PGP encryption is beneficial to all users. It secures the message you are sending and the data, files, and folders stored in the network. Some applications of these are:
- E-mails and attachments
- Digital signatures
- Disk encryption
- Security of files and folders on the network
- Batch file transfer and many more
Now, we will discuss in detail the best 8 PGP Encryption Software for Windows, which is open-source software and free. You can download it and use it for prevention and security purposes.
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8 Best PGP Encryption Software for Windows
Here is some best PGP encryption software that is used ordinarily across the world:
It is a very trusted PGP encryption software. BitLocker was developed and designed by Microsoft Windows to encrypt volumes of data. It started from the Windows Vista version of Microsoft Windows.
It uses only AES encryption algorithms in CBC and XTS mode. BitLocker works with 128-bit or 256-bit keys. It is designed in such a way that it will protect your data in the device, even if your device is missed or lost. It is available on Windows Server 8 and all the above versions.
If your PC has a platform with a trusted module or TPM chip, then BitLocker is available with the latest and most updated security features.
So, check whether your PC has a TPM chip or not, and then set up a BitLocker for encryption at all levels.
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Follow these given steps to encrypt files and folders using BitLocker on your Windows 10 or above version:
Step 1: Press the shortcut windows key + X from the keyboard.
Step 2: The ‘Power Menu’ opens on the screen.
Step 3: Then go to control panel icon >> system and security option >> click BitLocker drive encryption
Step 4: Click Turn on BitLocker given in “BitLocker Drive encryption.”
Step 5: Set a password and click ‘next.’
Step 6: The procedure of encryption is complete. Now you can save your recovery key to recover your files or apply for a new password if you forget a password.
Step 7: Select any option from the following and click ‘next.’
- Save to Microsoft account or
- Save to a USB flash drive or
- Save to a file or
- Print the recovery
Step 8: Now, choose the space in your drive to encrypt. Select one of the two options:
- The entire drive
- Only used space disk drive
Step 9: Other two options are also given. Select any one and click ‘next’:
- New encryption mode
- Compatible mode
Step 10: On the next screen, test the Run BitLocker system check option and click on continue.
Step 11: At last, restart your computer. After rebooting the PC ask to enter the encryption password to unlock. Type the password and press ‘Enter.’
Step 12: Also, verify the drive’s status (on/off) by looking at the padlock of an encrypted drive.
Now your file gets encrypted using BitLocker. If your device has an older version of windows, download BitLocker from here: Click here.
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It is open-source software that is freely available. It started operating on 22 June 2013. This software creates its virtual disk, which works similarly to a regular disk within a file. It is used in Windows to encrypt a partition, a system partition, or the entire data drive with pre-boot authentication.
It also includes optimizers that improve the performance of the CPU. Some cryptographic hash functions used in VeraCrypt are SHA-256, Streebog, SHA-512, Whirlpool, RIPEMD-160, etc. The cipher mode of VeraCrypt operates in XTS mode and generates header and secondary header keys by using PBKDF2 with a 512-Bit. These keys are stored in RAM and DRAM, which save the content after a power cut.
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Follow these given steps to encrypt data using VeraCrypt:
Step 1: Open VeraCrypt and click create volume.
Step 2: Then, VeraCrypt creation wizard for volume creation, screen pop-up, and you must choose the volume type. Select ‘create’ for creating an encrypted file container and then click ‘next’ to proceed.
Step 3: Then, two options are given to select. Click on either of them to proceed:
- Standard VeraCrypt volume
- Hidden VeraCrypt volume
We default select ‘Standard VeraCrypt volume’ and click on ‘next.’
Step 4: Then, a volume location dialogue box opens, select the file, and specify the path and file name in the given dialogue box. Then click on the ‘never save history’ option and click ‘next’ to proceed.
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Step 5: Next is the encryption options screen. Here you choose Encryption algorithms and hash algorithms and click ‘next’ to proceed.
Step 6: Next is the ‘volume size’ screen. Select whether the size is in KB, MB, GB, or TB, and click on ‘next.’
Step 7: Now, enter the strong password. Please enter it in the password dialogue box and confirm dialogue box (Choose a strong password, maximum of 20 characters).
Both passwords must be the same. Once you have finished the password confirmation, click on ‘next.’
Step 8: Now select the type of ‘filesystem’ you want in volume format. Then click on ‘format.’
Step 9: Now your volume is created, click ‘next’ and then ‘exit.’
Now your files get encrypted using the VeraCrypt encryption program. If you don’t have VeraCrypt, download it from this link: Click Here.
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3. Box Cryptor
Box Cryptor is also an encryption program that encrypts and syncs your essential and sensitive data, files, and folders in Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc. It creates an additional virtual drive in the system, parallel to the original drive, allowing the user to encrypt the data.
Box Cryptor will help the user to encrypt and store data in the cloud. It offers online data storage and portable clients to Windows users. Secombe GmbH develops it.
This software works on Windows 10 and all the latest versions. Box Cryptor uses AES-256 and RSA-4096 as encryption algorithms. It is also a user-friendly encryption software with very high-security standards.
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Follow these given steps to encrypt files and folders using Box Cryptor:
Step 1: First, browse the files and folders that are to be encrypted.
Step 2: Then right-click on the selection.
Step 3: Choose Box Cryptor >> Encrypt in the selection panel.
Step 4: Wait for the client to sync all your data
Step 5: After sync, rename the files
Now your file gets encrypted using Box Cryptor. If you don’t have Box Cryptor, download it here: Click Here.
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4. Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) Crypt
Although it is simple to understand, it provides the most robust encryption of all other encryption programs. It secures the files using a 256-bit algorithm.
It is also free and open-source software. Its standard consists of FIPS PUB 197: AES and ISO/IEC 18033-3: Block ciphers. It is a symmetric-key algorithm which means a single key is used for both encryption and decryption of the data.
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Follow these steps to encrypt files and folders using AES Crypt:
Step 1: First, locate the file you want to be encrypted.
Step 2: Right-click on that file, then select the AES Encrypt option.
Step 3: Then, AES Crypt asks for the new password. Please enter the new password and make it confirm. Give a strong password and remember it forever, as the same password is required for decryption.
Step 4: Click OK, and your file gets encrypted.
Now your file gets encrypted using AES crypt. If you don’t have an AES crypt, download it here: Click Here.
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5. PGP tool
It is an encryption tool in which each party has both public and private keys, but they use public-key cryptography for encryption and use the corresponding private key for decryption. It uses SHA-256 with DSA-2014 algorithms to encrypt the data.
Follow these given steps to encrypt files and folders using PGP tools:
Step 1: Download and open the PGP application.
Step 2: Trigger encryption action from the application.
Step 3: Browse the source file and the target file.
Step 4: Select the recipient for the encryption and click on the encrypt option.
Step 5: Open file explorer, locate the unencrypted file and delete it.
Step 6: Locate the encrypted file.
Now your file gets encrypted using the PGP tool. If you don’t have a PGP tool, download it here: Click Here.
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Kleopatra is an entirely free, open-source PGP encryption software. It is also a certificate manager and stores OpenPGP certificates and keys.
It is a part of the Gpg4Win suite and works with additional software with GnuPG, GPA, Gpg OL, and Gpg EX. Kleopatra works similarly to all other encryption software, and keys are generated.
Follow these given steps to encrypt files and folders using Kleopatra:
Step 1: Open the software and click the ‘sign/encrypt’ button.
Step 2: Then, choose the file for the encryption.
Step 3: Choose the settings per your choice and select the appropriate key for encryption.
Step 4: Click the ‘Sign/encrypt’ button, and your file gets encrypted.
Now your file gets encrypted using Kleopatra. If you don’t have Kleopatra, download it here: Click Here.
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7. pfPGP Encryptor
It is also an entirely free, open-source PGP encryption software. It encrypts the data using hash, compressed, and Cypher Algorithms. The encryption is in the form of binary or Ascii Armored text. The keys used for encryption are not connected to the username or PC, but you can grant access to these keys, and you will view, modify, add, and delete keys.
Follow these given steps to encrypt files and folders using pfPGPEncryptor:
Step 1: Create a new key by clicking on tool >> key store manager.
Step 2: A pop-up box opens, providing the required information, such as username, password, etc.
Step 3: Now open the software’s main interface and submits the new critical path to ‘Path to the key file.’
Step 4: Set algorithms such as hash, cipher, and compression.
Step 5: Set the file path and press the encrypt button.
Now your file gets encrypted using pfPGPEncryptor. If you don’t have the above-given software, download it here: Click Here.
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8. Go Anywhere OpenPGP Studio
It is a free tool to secure your business and personal files. Your file will be secured throughout the process of transfer or sharing. Unlike traditional encryption systems, it uses dual keys for better safety and easy authorization.
This software is also used for the verification of digital signatures and documents. The public key is used for encryption and verification, while the owner uses private keys to decrypt and add a digital signature.
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Follow these given steps to encrypt the file using Open PGP studio:
Step 1: Create a key pair or button, provide information such as username and password and select the key size, key expiry date, etc.
Step 2: To encrypt the file, open the PGP task tab and browse the files you want to encrypt.
Step 3: Then, on the toolbar, click encrypt button.
Now your file gets encrypted using Go anywhere open PGP studio. If you don’t have the above-given software, download it here: Click Here.
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Selecting the right PGP encryption software is very important because it is a matter of security and privacy of the data. The above encryption software is mainly preferred and trusted by the people. So, apply these tools to your system and secure your network, data, files, folders, etc., from harmful cyberattacks.
Hello Friends! I am Himanshu, a hobbyist programmer, tech enthusiast, and digital content creator.
With CodeItBro, my mission is to promote coding and help people from non-tech backgrounds to learn this modern-age skill!