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EncFSMP: a real cross-platform encryption tool

18 May 2015, Mike Williams

EncFSMPEncrypting your most confidential files can be very easy, at least with the right application. Create a container; choose a password; drag, drop, done.

Sharing those containers is often more difficult, especially if the recipient needs to install a copy of your original encryption tool, and it’s not available for their platform.

EncFSMP is an open source package which offers an interesting solution. The program creates, mounts and edits standard EncFS (encrypted file system) folders, which it can decrypt on Windows and Mac, but you can also access on Linux, Android, and anywhere else that has third-party EncFS support available.

EncFSMP

The interface is very basic, but easy enough – you’ll be encrypting files in a couple of minutes

If you’ve barely heard of EncFS, don’t worry, it really doesn’t matter. You can use the program much like many other encryption tools.

Create a “New EncFS”, point the program at an empty folder, enter a password and that’s about it. Mount the folder to get a virtual drive which you can treat like any other; unmount it and your data will be inaccessible to anyone who doesn’t have the password.

But the real benefit appears when someone else needs to access the data, maybe over the network, or if you’ve created your folder on a removable storage device. They don’t need to have EncFSMP installed, or even know that the program exists: as long as they understand it’s an EncFS folder, have a platform or application which supports it (Linux, Android via Cryptonite etc), and you’ve told them the password, everything should work just fine.

We need to emphasise that “should”, because EncFSMP is still a beta right now, so we wouldn’t use it to hold your only copies of anything important. It’s also lacking some time-saving extras, like the ability to auto-mount folders. But there’s a lot of promise here, and if you need to share encrypted files with anyone then this is a project to watch.

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