PGP Whole Disk Encryption is a client software application that provides whole disk encryption as part of PGP's suite of encryption products. The tool secures the entire hard drive and is available on a wide variety
of platforms, including 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 2003, XP, Vista and Mac OS X. Whole Disk Encryption can be installed standalone, but is most often managed by the PGP Universal Gateway, which manages the keys and other enterprise aspects of the platform.
For our review purposes, we did not test the PGP Universal Gateway. We installed the client software on Windows Vista and Windows XP SP2 machines. Installation of the product is one of the easiest around. Configuration of pass phrases, key management and setup of other features is easily accomplished through the interface. Although we did not specifically test on a 64-bit operating system, we were pleased to see that the product can make use of this technology.
From a performance perspective, it performs very well. Encryption of an entire hard disk is on par with most products in terms of overall time to encrypt, and management of the functionality is easy and advanced at the same time. Experienced users will appreciate the granular options, while more casual users won't have any trouble customizing their use of the product. Support for a wide array of devices for strong pre-boot authentication (USB) is impressive as well. PGP definitely shows why they are the industry leader in this space. Logging and auditing features for enterprise users who have compliance mandates is also a nice feature.
Documentation provided by PGP is top notch. PDF files contain adequate information, including indexed text and screen shots for every aspect of administration. The PGP website is also world class, with several support options for its users.
The product is priced at $119 per seat and includes fi rst-year support. Basic support is eight hours a day/five days a week and includes phone, email and web-based support options. Additional tiers of gold, premium and platinum support are available. We feel that PGP's pricing comes in around the average tier of pricing for the functionality. Coupled with feature sets and support, Whole Disk Encryption is our Best Buy.