We have looked at DESlock+ before, with its DESkey USB tokens and file encryption software. And while the previous version impressed us enough to win Best Buy in our Data Encryption test last year, it is safe to say that the product has been improved by leaps and bounds since then.

The system comprises hardware tokens which are used to store keys, and a suite of desktop software. The tokens can be set up for individual users or, more suitably for enterprises, in a corporate fashion with a master key that controls which features are available to users.

We are delighted to note that a software-only version is now available free for limited use, so people can can read DES-locked files you send them without having to buy into the system.

Setting up the tokens is easy – the software generates keys and prompts for passwords, and can create backup tokens in case you lose one (the box contains two tokens for this purpose).

Tokens configured, we were surprised at how far the software has come from its previous version which, while very good, was essentially limited to file and folder encryption and mail encryption through an Outlook plugin.

There are now facilities to create encrypted files and mount them as removable drives – an obvious use for this is to create such a partition on a USB drive or CD-R. It took less than a minute to set up a 1GB encrypted file.

On-the-fly encryption of the clipboard is an option, but we were more impressed with being able to encrypt and decrypt selected text in any active window, something we had only glimpsed in an early beta of this software, meaning bits of documents and emails can be encrypted. This is very useful, and having the ability to assign hotkeys to these actions really helps.

We are delighted with DESlock+. Only, please could we have a Mac or Linux version too?

Product title
Product info
Name: DESlock+ (Group Test: Mobile data encryption) Description: Price: $47 for software version, $80 inc. tokens; free for personal use
Excellent desktop software.
A server backend for token management would be nice.
Definitely our top choice for Windows local data encryption.

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