Few things in the world of bits-n-bytes seem more alluring & intriguing than encryption algorithms .. with colorful names such as Blowfish (named after a deadly delicacy), Serpent (which took down mankind) & Rijndael (pronounced 'rain-dahl') .. conjuring up images of clandestine transactions being conducted by rogue spies and covert agents.
A slippery slope it was. First I learned about the Caesar cipher, which Julius used in ancient Rome to communicate with his generals waging campaigns out in the field. (Cool, yet hardly seems secure.)
But what about us? What ciphers should we be using today to protect our valuable data & sensitive files?
I downloaded a copy of both programs and took each for a test-drive around the digital block. Most surprising was how little CPU resources these programs use .. to encrypt (and decrypt) files on-the-fly. We're talking negligible .. even with my battered 5-year old laptop ( .. that's missing an i-key).
These programs work by creating a file on your hard drive (however big you want) that looks (and is used) like a typical/standard logical drive, which you can use to both store and retrieve files as needed. [ I made each of mine 2-gigs. ]
They can also encrypt an entire logical drive, including your system/boot drive (where Windows resides).
An algorithm is simply a sophisticated mathematical formula for scrambling the bits associated with the files on your hard drive (.. so nobody can read them). The hard part, it would seem, would be the subsequent reassembly.
The next question you might have is » What's considered the 'best' encryption algorithm? .. seeing the program will ask which one you want to use. The word 'best,' as you know, can mean different things to different people (who have different priorities).
People intimately familiar with encryption algorithms have declared (drum roll, please) » Rijndael = 'best.' It's the current Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Note that AES is NOT an algorithm, per se, tho the term is often used that way (.. as a synonym for the Rijndael algorithm). Rather it's a standard. Rijndael is the actual algorithm used in/by/with the AES standard.