Encrypt USB Drives To Secure The Data You Carry On The Go

Last Updated: January 5, 2016

When it comes to carrying digital data on the go, or even transferring files between computers, there’s hardly a storage medium more popular than USB flash drives. And why shouldn’t that be the case. After all, USB flash drives are pretty reliable, extremely convenient, and of course, portable. However, this portability also means that they can (and do, more often than not) easily get lost, or damaged. And that’s not a good thing, especially if you use them to store important and confidential information, which can land into the wrong hands.

Fret not, as there are numerous encryption tools available out there, geared at securing USB flash drives (and the data stored on them). Sounds like something you (and your flash drive) can benefit from? Let’s take a look at the 7 best USB encryption software.

Best Encryption Software for USB Flash Drives

1. VeraCrypt


Picking up where the hugely popular (but now defunct) TrueCrypt left off, VeraCrypt is an extremely feature rich encryption tool. Although it’s primarily geared towards encrypting hard disks, VeraCrypt plays equally nice with USB flash drives.

VeraCrypt basically works by creating password protected disk volumes, which are encrypted with industry standard encryption algorithms like AES, Serpent, and Twofish. It also lets you further secure the encrypted volumes via the use of passwords and keyfiles. All you have to do is plug-in the flash drive, and follow the steps mentioned in the volume creation wizard. You can either create an encrypted volume of a specific size on the flash drive, or encrypt all of it. The USB flash drive (and the data on it) thus encrypted can only be accessed by mounting it through VeraCrypt, once you’ve entered in the specified password and/or keyfile.

If you’re looking for a USB encryption software that includes top-grade encryption prowess, and is totally gratis, go for VeraCrypt. However, it’s worth noting that using VeraCrypt involves a bit of a learning curve.

Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP; Mac OS X 10.6 and above, Linux.

Price: Free.


2. DiskCryptor


Want something that’s (almost) as robust and feature laden as VeraCrypt, but a bit easier to use? DiskCryptor is exactly what you need. Just like VeraCrypt, it’s also mainly concerned with securing data by creating encrypted volumes on hard disks, but can be used just as well for USB flash drives.

Getting started with DiskCryptor is a walk in the park. Plug in the USB flash drive you want to encrypt, specify the necessary parameters such as password, encryption algorithm, and key-file to be used, and DiskCryptor will take it from there. It supports a bunch of popular algorithms, such as AES and Twofish, and they can be applied in conjunction with each other too. The encrypted USB flash volumes need to be mounted via DiskCryptor in order to be accessible. Other notable features of DiskCryptor include the ability to encrypt optical discs, and also the system boot-loader.

DiskCryptor will serve you just fine if you’re on the hunt for a simple yet capable USB encryption software. However, bear in mind that it can’t create encrypted volumes of specific sizes, and the encryption speeds are a bit on the slower side as well.

Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.

Price: Free.


3. Rohos Disk Encryption

rohos disk encryption

Not only does it have all the bells and whistles that you’d expect from an excellent USB encryption software, Rohos Disk Encryption also packs in some really nice extras that make it even more awesome.

The core functionality of Rohos Disk Encryption is centered around creating encrypted volumes. When you plug in the USB flash drive, it automatically determines the best size of the encrypted volume (container) to be created on it. Of course, it’s also easy to specify a custom volume size, along with other parameters like encrypted volume’s container file location, and mount point letter. Once created, the data stored on the encrypted volumes can be conveniently accessed by mounting them. Rohos Disk Encryption lets you dynamically enlarge the size of the encrypted volumes, as per requirement. Not only that, you can also encrypt installed programs and custom folders on your computer, so that they are accessible only when a USB flash drive having an encrypted volume, and the auto-configured portable Rohos Mini Disk companion application, is plugged in. Then there’s the ability to hide encrypted disks in media container files (e.g. AVI, MP3). Dope, right?

In a nutshell, Rohos Disk Encryption is a lightweight USB encryption solution that also throws in some extremely useful goodies into the mix. When compared to VeraCrypt and DiskCryptor it’s also fairly easier to use. However, it supports just one encryption algorithm, namely AES 256.

Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.

Price: Paid version licensing starts at $35.00, 30 days trial available.


4. Gilisoft USB Stick Encryption

gillisoft usb encryption

Having a pretty funky UI, complete with glossy buttons and a brushed metal finish, Gilisoft USB Stick Encryption is undoubtedly a looker. But good looks are just a part of the picture, and are complimented by simple but effective encryption features.

Gilisoft USB Stick Encryption is ridiculously easy to use. Simply plug in the flash drive, and it is automatically detected. After that, all you have to do is specify the size of secure (or encrypted) area that you want to create on the drive (via the handy slider), along with the encryption password, and the application will take care of the rest. The secure partitions are encrypted using the AES 256 algorithm, and are accessible after being mounted through the program. There aren’t too many unnecessary extras here, just great encryption goodness. If the companion secure access application on the encrypted USB drive is accidentally deleted, it can be easily recovered too. So there’s nothing to worry about!

If all you need is a no-fuss USB encryption software that doesn’t contain too many additional options, Gilisoft USB Encryption is just the thing to go for. But it does have some disadvantages, such as the 10 time usage cap for the free trial, and an annoying nag screen that pops up more often than it should.

Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.

Price: Paid version costs $49.95, 10 time maximum usage limit on the trial.


5. LaCie Private-Public

lacie private public

Coming from the Seagate owned French manufacturer of digital storage devices, LaCie Private-Public is an extremely straightforward, yet surprisingly good USB encryption software. It doesn’t try to do too much, but works great for what it is.

LaCie Private-Public makes encrypting USB flash drives a breeze (it works equally well for regular hard disks too). And being a portable app, it can be run straight off the flash drive, since no installation or anything of that sort is required. Just specify the disk size of the flash drive to be encrypted, along with the password, and the utility will encrypt the drive (space) using the standard AES 256 algorithm. Once done, the encrypted flash drive space (and the data) can be accessed only after being mounted. Can’t get any easier than that, right?

LaCie Prave-Public is perfect if you’re looking for a reliable and fast encryption tool to use on the go. What’s more, it’s available for both Windows and Mac OS X, and is backed by the name of Seagate, which just makes things better.

Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP; Mac OS X 10.5 – 10.9.

Price: Free.


6. Kakasoft USB Security

kakasoft usb security

It’s easy to dismiss Kakasoft USB Security as yet another run-of-the-mill USB encryption software, given its diminutive size and a (fairly) limited feature set. But if you’re looking for exactly that, and don’t care for the other twenty five thousand extra options, it’s hard to go wrong with it.

Just like LaCie Private-Public, Kakasoft USB Security is also completely self contained on the USB flash drive, and can thus be used anywhere. The utility installs on the USB flash drive itself, and can be configured to run automatically everytime the drive is plugged in. Like similar applications, it also supports other flash based memory devices such as memory cards and external disks. All that needs to be done on your part is to specify an encryption password, and Kakasoft USB Security will encrypt the entire drive, as well any data that is stored on it. Encrypted disks are accessible using the same method of unlocking and mounting through the application.

However, Kakasoft USB Security, while pretty good at what it does, is pretty restricted when it comes to features. Then there’s also the fact that it doesn’t explicitly mention the encryption algorithm(s) it utilizes to secure the data.

Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.

Price: Paid version costs $22.95, Feature restricted trial available.


7. BitLocker To Go

bitlocker drive encryption

Want a robust and capable USB encryption solution but don’t want to bother using yet another software for doing that? Not a problem, as BitLocker To Go has you covered.

Built right into certain versions of Windows, BitLocker To Go is an extremely handy encryption utility that lets you easily secure the data stored on your USB flash drives. It can be configured in mere seconds, using the BitLocker Drive Encryption applet of the Control Panel. The USB flash drives are encrypted using the AES 256 encryption algorithm. Also, if you forget the unlocking password, the same can be recovered via the automatically generated recovery key, which itself can be saved to a file, or synced to your Microsoft Account.

All in all, BitLocker To Go is an extremely reliable method of encrypting USB flash drives, if you don’t want to mess with any extra software. But it’s only available in certain versions of Windows, so that’s a bit of a bummer.

Note: If your choice of Operating System is Mac OS X, don’t worry. You can use the built in FileVault utility to encrypt USB flash drives. FileVault also uses AES algorithm to encrypt disks, utilizing the login password as the encryption pass-phrase.

Platform Availability: Windows Vista & 7 (Enterprise and Pro editions), Windows 8 & later (Pro and Enterprise editions).

Price: Free.

SEE ALSO: 7 Best Encryption Software For Windows

Secure your data while on the go!

USB encryption software offer a convenient and reliable method of securing USB flash drives (and the data stored on them) against unauthorized access. And as discussed above, there are plenty of utilities available for the same. Want full featured encryption solutions that go beyond simple encryption? Go for VeraCrypt, DiskCryptor, or Rohos Disk Encryption. Looking for something a bit simpler? BitLocker To Go or LaCie Private-Public are going to work great. Take them all for a spin, and mention your favorite(s) in the comments below.


From Automotive Design to Cosmology, and from World Music/Movies to Psychoanalysis, Rajat has a lot to call his avocations. A self-professed grammar Nazi, he's an atheist who believes science has/will ultimately have answers to everything, and that everyone should question their very existence, if they don't know their purpose in life. Oh, and he's also quite an aficionado of gadgets and tech, but you already know that, don't you?


  1. You are a moron.

    The whole point of putting data on a flash drive is…portability. Meaning, if you want to access flash drive data on another PC, especially a public PC, you’ll need most of the s/w listed above to be installed on the target PC or the flash drive. Which requires s/w that can be installed on the flash drive and that doesn’t update WinReg.