Last week I wrote about a couple of options Mac users have to encrypt and secure files from prying eyes. Both are relatively simple to setup and use, both are highly secure, and both are free.
Over the weekend I found yet another way to secure files on your Mac and give them yet another level of security, except in this case there’s a price tag for using what amounts to older technology. This is one of those rare apps that raises my eyebrows and starts my Spidey-sense tingling.
AES vs. 3DES: Does It Matter?
Both Encrypto and the Mac’s built-in Disk Utility use advanced AES 256-bit encryption to secure your files. That doesn’t make your Mac hack-proof or thief-proof, but it’s strong security for free.
Enter Vault 101, a handy and straightforward way to password and protect files and folders on your Mac. The two major differences between Vault 101, and the Encrypto and Disk Utility combo are price and encryption method.
Vault 101 uses 3DES, also known as triple DES, which is an updated version of the much older DES encryption method often used to secure hardware (StackExchange has a good view of both). I won’t debate the merits of one method vs. another, other than to point out that both are very secure, probably impossible to hack without some hefty hardware being applied, and every method is rather simple and straightforward to use to lock up files and folders.
Vault 101 is simple to use. Put the files and folders of files you want to secure into a folder, then drag and drop onto Vault 101. Add a password, click the Create button and you’re done. The app creates a secure ‘vault‘ file which can be stored on your Mac, copied to an external disk, shared with others, or even stored online in a cloud storage service.
Without the password the vault can’t be opened. To unlock the vault, drag it onto Vault 101 and enter the password. The vault is opened and files are available. It’s that simple. The original version was priced at $19.99, but is available at a more competitive price (as of the weekend), probably because so many other solutions to securing files and folders are similarly easy to implement, and priced far less.