Tales from the crypt commands

Making a Choice

So which encryption command should you use for files? The answer depends on your needs. On the one hand, for home users, bcrypt may be enough – assuming that your distribution still includes it or lets you encrypt with it. On the other hand, if you have some knowledge of encryption issues, mcrypt is most likely to give you the fine-tuned control you prefer.

However, for most users, ccrypt provides reasonable security and a reasonable set of options. Its inclusion of the --brave option suggests that it is designed for users who want to at least experiment with encryption but are not necessarily serious about it.

Yet, no matter what your choice, deciding which to use to encrypt files requires a clear definition of your intentions. Once you have that definition, the choice should be easy.

The Author

Bruce Byfield is a computer journalist and a freelance writer and editor specializing in free and open source software. In addition to his writing projects, he also teaches live and e-learning courses. In his spare time, Bruce writes about Northwest coast art. You can read more of his work at http://brucebyfield.wordpress.com

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