How to Encrypt an External Hard Drive

Your USB stick gets lost or stolen... Are you safe?
Watch this video to learn how to encrypt an external hard drive, such as a USB stick, with BestCrypt Volume Encryption.

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Encrypt External Hard Drive - How-to Video

In this video tutorial, we’ll show you how to encrypt an external hard drive with BestCrypt Volume Encryption. Here we’ll encrypt a USB stick.

BestCrypt Volume Encryption is a unique tool for superior whole disk encryption. With this software, the user can encrypt old MS-DOS style partitions as well as modern disk volumes residing on multiple physical disk devices, for example Spanned, Striped, Mirrored or RAID-5 volumes.

Open BestCrypt Volume Encryption. You will be asked for elevation. Click 'Run as administrator'. BestCrypt has a simple and easy interface, which provides you with instant encryption. Below the icon bar you can see the descriptive view of all your volumes and their current encryption status. It also shows the algorithms used for encryption once the process is complete. 

To start the encryption process simply right click on the desired non-boot volume and select 'Encrypt'. BestCrypt offers four different encryption algorithms with XTS mode. You can choose as you desire. Here we’ll select AES 256 with XTS mode.

BestCrypt also provides three different formatting options for non-bootable volumes.
1. If you want to encrypt an existing volume that already has data stored on it, select 'Encrypt all sectors. Do not format the volume'. All the sectors of your volume will be encrypted, without formatting or erasing.
2. If you want to encrypt a new volume, where no data is stored, select 'Format the volume. Minimal initial encryption'. This will format the volume and encrypt the filesystem data. The rest of the encryption will be performed as you add your data.
3. BestCrypt can make the difference between the encrypted and non-encrypted area undetectable. To use this feature select 'Erase whole volume. Format. Minimal initial encryption'. The software will fill the volume with random data before formatting. Make sure to backup any existing data on this volume before choosing this option.

After selecting the formatting option, enter a unique password. After you are done click 'OK'. Move your mouse around this window or type anywhere on the keyboard to generate random data for the encryption key.

The encryption process has now started. The time it will take to complete depends on the size of your volume and the hardware setup. You can always stop the encryption process in the middle and continue later. Every time you stop the process, you will be prompted to store the updated Rescue file. Please do not ignore this message, and store the rescue file in a secure location. 

CONGRATULATIONS! You have successfully encrypted your external hard drive with BestCrypt Volume Encryption. Thank you for watching! We hope you will be satisfied with our software.