Do you ever have one of those moments where you think "Why didn't I think of this before?"
If you're looking for something to easily encrypt all your flash memory sticks, I can highly recommend Bitlocker. Here are the requirements -
Either Windows 7 Enterprise or Windows 7 Ultimate to create encrypted memory sticks with Bitlocker. Windows 7 Starter, Home and Pro can all use Bitlocked memory sticks fully once they've been created in Windows 7 Enterprise or Windows 7 Ultimate.
Please note on Windows 7 Starter, Home and Pro the Bitlocker service by default is set to 'Manual'. You can of course tweak this to 'Auto' manually or via GPO for Windows 7 Pro.
Here are the pros of it all:
- Compatible with all versions of Windows 7 x86 or x64 (once setup/created in Windows 7 Enterprise or Windows 7 Ultimate)
- Even with Autoplay disabled it still pops up automatically prompting for a password
- Nice clear graphics indicating the memory stick is protected with Bitlocker
- No mounting of a drive or container required as found with third party encryption software
- Compatible with all sizes of memory stick (it appears). Many third party encryption software have size limits and charge for larger sizes
- No messing around with the format of memory sticks FAT32/NTFS or other
- No additional licensing, limitations or costs as found with third party encryption software
- Compatible with Windows 8's Bitlocker
- Downloading Bitlocker to Go Reader, users can read/open their Bitlocked memory stick from Windows XP and Windows Vista. Users cannot edit/save data from their Bitlocked memory sticks when opened in Windows XP or Windows Vista.
- It can take some time to encrypt a memory stick! 8GB flash drives took 30 mins each, but you can do more than one at once!
- From Windows 7 Enterprise or Windows 7 Ultimate, users can manage/change their memory stick password. Unfortunately not possible in other versions of Windows 7, but in a way it means users cannot 'mess' with settings.
Windows Vista/2008 Server Gold - Could only encrypt the system volume
Windows Vista/2008 Server SP1 - Added support to encrypt any local volume
Windows 7/2008 R2 - Added support to encrypt local volumes and removeable volumes
Windows 8 - Supports data only encryption, rather than whole volume saving considerable amounts of time! This kind of reminds me when Windows 2000 setup formatted the whole drive during setup, whereas XP support Quick Format.
- Windows 8 Pro actually supports Bitlocker, unlike Windows 7 Pro
So there you have it! So long as you're running Windows 7 throughout, you only need one copy of Windows 7 Enterprise to setup encrypted memory sticks :)
I really like the way it works, just the lack of support on Mac OS X. So i use Truecrypt.
I agree, no OS X support can be a pain in a mixed environment. I did look at TrueCrypt and although I understand how it all works, getting users to mount a volume so it creates a virtual drive is beyond a lot of users.
Bitlocker is very close to 'plug 'n play' which is why I've not had to create any user guides!
Totally agree with the above, i wish MS would do something for Mac.