AxCrypt is an open source encryption tool that integrates directly with the Windows operating system so I can see the appeal. It has both a free and premium version (you can also test the premium version without paying or giving any card details).
The way AxCrypt works is that you right click a folder or file on your computer and click encrypt from the AxCrypt menu. It really is as simple as that. You can also add the file from within the software’s window. Unlike the other competitors, by default AxCrypt leaves your file names exposed. So while people won’t be able to see the content of the files themselves, they can still see the file names. In the premium version of AxCrypt you can also set it to hide files.
While I really do respect this software, I prefer NordLocker (despite NordLocker having less features). First of all, I find it slower than its competitors (though granted it still doesn’t take long at all). Another thing I dislike is that while a folder of images is encrypted, you cannot use the next and previous buttons of your image viewer (a common problem). AxCrypt has a password manager, which is a nice thought… but I prefer things to be simple. I like my password managers to be password managers and my file encryption software to be file encryption software. That’s a bit petty of me but I genuinely mean it. I believe these products should just do their job well. Password management has nothing to do with file encryption, so I really don’t see the point of it in a piece of software like this. However if you’re the kind of person who likes to have one piece of software do many things this might appeal to you.
AxCrypt has an enthusiastic user base however and is an open source option, so I have no problem recommending it.
- Integrates very well with Windows OS
- Open source
- Available cross platform
- Free version is quite good
- High level of encryption
- Easy to use
- Has a menu when you right click files on your computer
- Leaves file names exposed by default
- Inability to use next/previous buttons in image viewers while files are encrypted
Score: 8 / 10
Reviewer: Adam Rouge