We have started off with speed. But it also has very powerful encryption algorithms which make it iron clad.
BCArchive is an unheralded and relatively lesser known file security tool. When it comes to file archiver tools, there are plenty to pick from. WinRAR is top of the pile among sharewares while 7-Zip might be the freeware choice. Every program does its own bit.
BCArchive’s facet is that it makes it easy for a newbie to create password protected archives without getting into the whys and how’s of encryption protocols.
To start off, BCArchive (v.2.02.7) is a free 2.93MB download. It is supported on Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2008 Server, 2003 Server, 2000, NT, ME, 98. It installs in a jiffy and you can access it from the desktop or take one of its three functions via the right click menu.
Let’s Archive & Encrypt A Bunch Of Files
The quickest way to archive and password protect a single file or bunch of files is from the right click menu. You can also do it from the main program window. Drag and drop is also supported. Select the files you want to compress and right click to see three options ““
Create A BCArchive
Create and store your files in a secure encrypted BCArchive file. While creating a new archive file, you need to put in your password twice. Advanced users can set other encryption parameters and also choose public key encryption.
BCArchive prompts you to make random movements by mouse to generate a unique encryption key (random seed buffer) to complete the archiving.
Once your archive is created, you can keep on adding files to it. BCArchive encrypts them on the fly. BCArchive dynamically compacts the files. In case, you are adding or modifying the files in a large archive, you can turn it off and choose manual compact when you are done.
You can send the archive to your email program as an attachment.
Create A Self Extracting Archive
Create a self-extracted program containing the encrypted archive. You can take this with you or mail it to someone. You don’t need the program to extract all the files, just the password to unlock the executable file.
Create An Archive Using Public/Secret Keys
A key is a piece of code that locks or unlocks using a specific rule i.e. the encryption algorithm. BCArchive allows the use of key pairs (a public key and a secret key) to securely transfer files between two or more people. A Public key is used to encrypt data so that only an owner of the corresponding private key can decrypt the data.
With your own public/secret key pair, others can send you data encrypted by your public key which only you can open with your secret key.
To better explain it, here’s an example – You want to send a file to Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith has a public key which he sends to you or you can also access it from an internet location where public keys are stored. Once you have the public key, you can encrypt the data with it and send it to Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith then proceeds to open it with his unique secret key.
Public/secret key pairs are an extremely secure way of transmitting files. In case this is the first time, BCArchive helps you to create your own public/private key pairs.
Among other key algorithms, BCArchive supports PGP (Pretty Good Privacy). It’s not a pun, but probably the best military grade privacy and data encryption method you can depend on.
You don’t need to go to public key servers to get the encryption keys everytime. BCArchive has a local database (BC Key Manager) which stores the public keys of your contacts.
The highlights of the freeware make this an appealing option for compressing and transferring files. BCArchive has a detailed Help file which you can fall back upon. BCArchive mentions that it is limited to compressing up to 2 terabytes of data. But I think it would be a rare need for everyday use.
BCArchive is not only for the paranoid but also for us, as data hacking is almost a side industry. Let us in on your opinion on this freeware.
Image Credit: Grant MacDonald