Main function of the BCArchive is to provide the user with a tool for compressing and encrypting files
and/or folders to a single archive file. From one hand, BCArchive provides a number of ways to create such an
archive file and put sensitive data into it, including Windows shell extension commands and support of
drag-and-drop operations. From the other hand, BCArchive utilizes strong and proven encryption algorithms and
standards to provide high security level for the data stored inside the compressed files.
The section lists main BCArchive functions and gives references on other chapters in the documentation for more
Compressing and Encrypting Data
- Create new archive file.
To get group of files/folders encrypted and compressed into a single archive file, you should make two steps.
First, create new archive file where your data will be stored. At that step you choose public key or enter
password, which will be used further to extract the data from the archive. Second step is to place files you
have selected into the archive file. Several ways are possible here, including drag-and-drop selected
files/folders to the BCArchive window or running BCArchive Add Files/Add Folders commands.
- Open/View/Edit existing archive.
Once you have created BCArchive file, you can access the data stored inside it in compressed and encrypted form.
To open the archive for access just double-click on the archive file in My Computer window or run the
Open command in the main BCArchive window. The program will ask you to enter
password and then show the contents of the encrypted archive. After that you can add new files and folders
to the archive, remove some old files from the archive, extract selected files and even open files directly
from the BCArchive window without the step of extracting it in decrypted form from the archive.
- Add Public Key/Password to existing archive file.
You can create compressed/encrypted archive for your own use. If so, you can make the archive accessible
with a single password (it may be the password for your secret key or just a password for the concrete archive).
From the other hand, if you wish other people were able to access the data inside the archive, you can add a
number of passwords to the archive. Besides, if some person has his/her own public/secret key pair, you can
add public key of the person to the archive. There are many servers in Internet where public keys of
thousands of people are stored. BCArchive allows you to run searching for userís public key in Internet and
add the key to the archive you have created. Since BCArchive supports PKCS #12 and X.509 standards,
you can use existing public key servers to download and use the keys of other people.
- Make Self-Extracted archive file.
To use all the functions available in the BCArchive software you should have the program installed on your
computer. From the other hand, you may wish to create encrypted/compressed archive file for backup purposes
or for sending it to another user. It is possible that the person who will try to extract data from the
archive has no the BCArchive program installed. In this case you can transform the archive file to
self-extracted executable file (i.e. program file that contains executable code and encrypted/compressed data).
As soon as some other person runs the self-extracted program you have created, the program will ask him/her
to enter an appropriate password and extract the data in decrypted form on the userís computer.
- Synchronize, Import, Export functions.
The contents of the archive can be synchronized with the contents of a non-encrypted folder. As well,
Import from... and Export to... functions are also available.
- Encode text or clipboard contents.
BCArchive includes BCTextEncoder utility intended for fast encoding and decoding text data. Plain text data are compressed, encrypted and converted to text format.
The result of such conversion may be copied to the clipboard or saved as a text file.
Local Public Key Database and Key Management
- Create Secret/Public Key Pair.
A lot of people around the world have their secret/public keys. They make their public keys opened for
everyone and keep corresponding private keys in a secure place. Public key is used to encrypt data so that
only an owner of corresponding private key can decrypt the data. You may also wish to create your own
secret/public key pair so that other people can send you data encrypted by your public key. BCArchive allows
you to create the key pair and store/send it in a standard PKCS #12 format as well as issue corresponding
public X.509 certificate.
- Add Public Key to Local Public Key Database.
BCArchive supports its local database for public keys of other people you may wish to correspond with.
For example, you decide to send encrypted and compressed archive to your friend John. John may have his
public key created earlier and stored on many Public Key Servers in Internet. If so, you can run
BCArchive Add Public Key command and find Johnís public key in Internet.
Then you can add the public key to BCArchive file and send the file to John. John will be able to decrypt
the archive with his secret key. Since you have saved Johnís key in BCArchive local Key Database,
next time you decide to send encrypted archive to John, you wonít need to access Internet Key Servers again,
you will simply get the key from your local database.
- Backup/Restore Local Public Key Database.
BCArchive database of public keys of other users saves your time, because when you add public key of
other user to encrypted archive, you do not need in accessing Internet to download the public key again.
It is recommended to backup (or export) the database file regularly and save the file on a reliable
storage medium. If in future you decide to change your computer or reinstall the software, you
can restore (or import) the BCArchive database from the backup copy of the database.