I believe this is a more specific question than Alternatives to TrueCrypt? with different answers.

I have USB flash drives which I carry around and use on various computers at work and at home. I would also like to be able to use this on computers belonging to friends and on public computers where I don't have administrator rights and/or cannot install software.

Operating systems I would like to be able to use would include:

  • Windows 7 starter edition 32-bit
  • Windows 7 home premium 64-bit
  • Windows Vista 32-bit

And other popular variants of Windows (perhaps even some old Windows XP variations)

The content might include photos or other personal data that I would like to be protected in case I lose the USB flash drive (e.g. by dropping it, not by leaving it in a computer - I suspect the latter is too difficult to defend against).

I have tried U3 and TrueCrypt. I believe U3 encryption is easily circumvented and there are clearly some concerns currently about TrueCrypt. I worry that FreeOTFE appears to have been abandoned by its authors and its website taken over by spammers. Bitlocker-To-Go seems to be read-only or unavailable for the operating systems I am interested in.

  • +1 I am looking for this too & will get back to you if I find something. However, there is not reason not to continue to use TrueCrypt until something else comes along. That would also cover your second point "leaving it in a computer". If removed, the volume is dismounted & safe, as would all solutions be, I imagine. However, look at the TrueCrypt menu Settings/Preferences and "auto-dismount volume after no data has been read/written to it for X minutes" (configurable). Even if you leave your USB stick in an unattended PC, that ensures that no one can access your data after X minutes.
    – Mawg
    Jun 3, 2014 at 6:15
  • I am also considering springing for one of those USB drives with extra firmware which handles the encryption, such as worldsbestflashdrive.com I know it's not a generic solution, but it is worth considering
    – Mawg
    Jun 3, 2014 at 6:17
  • As Mawg suggested you can buy USB drives that require a fingerprint to access. Usually these can store 5-10 fingerprints from people who can then access the drive. I know from way past that some of these could be circumvented, so you'd have to check reviews/tests first.
    – user416
    Jan 8, 2015 at 16:29

3 Answers 3


In the free arena, Veracrypt is still an excellent choice and is being maintained with both patches and improvements, and is cross-platform.

In the paid area, software like Checkpoint can do (for Windows, at least) what you want - including software on the USB drive that can both use Active Directory integration or a password entered when the drive is encrypted, and that software can be run on any other Windows machine (even ones without Checkpoint installed).

Definitely do not use Truecrypt - it has escalation of privilege vulnerabilities.


One solution that would work on Windows is SecurStick. Don't let the German website scare you, the actual program will be English (except on German and Italian Windows installations, where it will be German or Italian, respectively).

Biggest pro: All you need is a Windows PC and a web browser. Caveat: Windows won't know how large your drive is and assume it is the same size as C.

There are also Linux and MacOS versions, but I have not tried them, so I can't recommend them.


GiliSoft USB Stick Encryption is especially designed to create password protected USB memory sticks. It creates protected areas on the disk that is needed to enter password to see contents. Data on the protected areas are encypted by 256-bit AES on-the-fly encryption.
Protected USB stick is fully autonomous and does not need any special software installed on computer.

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