I've just bought a 4T 2.5 inch Seagate external hard disk. Can anyone recommend which software is good to password protect the disk and encrypt data?

I am looking for a free software.

I use both linux and windows, so it's better if the software can work on both OS. It will be great if the software can just add an executable file to the harddisk so that I need only to execute it to unlock the disk in any OS. That means there is no need to install software in every OS.

  • 5
    Read: meta.softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/336/… Where is your research? You are already active on 10 other Stackexchange sites - you should have learned to ask proper questions by now.
    – user416
    Feb 25, 2015 at 16:35
  • 2
    For what operating system? What is your threat model: theft of the disk, or something else? Why would you want to use something other than your operating system's built-in disk encryption feature? Feb 25, 2015 at 17:08
  • Personally, I picked up a hardware encrypted USB external drive housing for about $25 on eBay. When you unplug the date are encrypted until you plug it in again and enter your pin using the keypad build into the case. Just for fun, I then encrypted the entire disk using TrueCrypt :-)
    – Mawg
    Feb 26, 2015 at 9:05
  • I don't think there exists an executable that could run on both Linux and Windows without emulators. Cross-platform software have different builds for different operating systems. I think it's easier to lock individual folders with sensitive data in Zip or RAR archives. If you want to secure the entire medium on any OS, there are special drives for that
    – Tymric
    Feb 26, 2015 at 14:08

2 Answers 2


The software TrueCrypt has been one of the only cross-platform software to encrypt the entire hard disk and it was free. Recently the project became inactive, but the software is still stable and good.

You can have a partition that is not encrypted and have the portable version of TrueCrypt on it, so that you do not need to install the software on every computer.


TrueCrypt is obsoleted by VeraCrypt (see documentation).


"VeraCrypt is a software for establishing and maintaining an on-the-fly-encrypted volume (data storage device). On-the-fly encryption means that data is automatically encrypted right before it is saved and decrypted right after it is loaded, without any user intervention. No data stored on an encrypted volume can be read (decrypted) without using the correct password/keyfile(s) or correct encryption keys. Entire file system is encrypted (e.g., file names, folder names, contents of every file, free space, meta data, etc)."

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