2012-04-27

Using encfs4win for encrypted storage on cloud drive

1. Get and install the software

  1. Go to http://members.ferrara.linux.it/freddy77/encfs.html and download encfs.zip
  2. Download Dokan (there is a link on the first download page). Install Dokan. Dokan is a user mode file system, like FUSE for linux.
  3. Unzip encfs (there is no installer) and copy the exe-files to a folder of your choice, e.g. C:\usr\bin

2. Run the encfs windows application

Note: This is the simple way. You can do a lot more by using the command line options.

  1. Open Windows Explorer. 
  2. Go to where you put the binaries (C:\usr\bin).  
  3. Right-click on encfsw.exe. Choose "Run as administrator". 
  4. You will get a key in the system tray area

3. Set encrypted storage folder

  1. Create a folder where you want to put your encrypted files. In this case, I call the folder for my new drive "Test" under "Vault\fs" inside my cloud drive area. Typical values for my scenario:
       C:\users\username\Google Drive\Vault\fs\Test
       C:\users\username\Dropbox\Vault\fs\Test
  2. Click on the key icon in the sys tray. Click Open/Create. Select the Test folder in the encfsw dialog. Select the drive letter, e.g. "X:". Supply the password and confirm it.

4. Mount the disk

  1. Click on the key in the system tray. Select the folder you want to mount, e.g.
       C:\users\username\Google Drive\Vault\fs\Test
  2. Select the drive you want to mount it to, e.g. "X:". This is where your files will be in their decrypted form. Supply the password you set earlier. Your encrypted X:-drive should show up.

Issues

As of now, it seems that most documentation is in pre-alpha, so you have to do some searching yourself to find good examples. Especially on how to use the command line. I will update this post later.

You won't get much in way of feedback when something goes wrong. Try to run encfsw.exe without admin privileges and see for yourself. To go for something more mature, you can also opt for the payware version of encfs from BoxCryptor in Germany.

Thanks


  • Frediano Ziglio for porting encfs, See http://gitorious.org/encfs4win
  • And all contributors to the mother project and the port
  • Oliver Heller that wrote the blog post that made it work for me

Warning


The software used in this guide is newly developed and perhaps not in a production quality setting. I take no responsibility for whatever happens to your files. I'm still going to have other backups using more mature technology.

As with all crypto-software, you have to trust those who wrote it, or make the effort of validating their code and  algorithms.