When it comes to securing your data, TrueCrypt is popular choice for those who want to create encrypted storage to save sensitive files. This powerful open-source encryption software supports most of the desktop operation systems; alas it lacks support for mobile platforms. Android application called Encrypted Data Storage or simply EDS will give you access to the encrypted data on your Android phone or tablet.
What is Encrypted Data Storage?
EDS is an Android app that will store your files in the secure container encrypted using AES-256 algorithm. The application uses file format that is compatible with TrueCrypt, so you can open the container created on your Android device with your desktop computer and vice versa.
Encrypted Data Storage comes in two versions: free EDS Lite that supports all general data protection functions, and a paid version, called EDS that features many advanced features.
Features of the Lite version
EDS Lite allows you to create encrypted storage files, open them and work in so-called “normal” mode. In “normal” mode EDS Lite will open encrypted container, but it won’t provide “on-the-fly” encryption. You’ll have to decrypt files to a temporary location on your device to open them in external application. This is a less secure approach, than TrueCrypt’s “mounted” mode, when you can work directly with encrypted files in any application. You have to remember that while container’s encryption is strong and cannot be easily compromised, a full copy of a document will be created outside the container. This file if it has not been securely wiped could be recovered and compromised.
Although EDS Lite cannot mount containers as a system-wide folder it does have an integrated file manager to browse content of a storage files.
Lite version has limited support for container files created with TrueCrypt. It will only open a file that has been encrypted with the following settings:
- Encryption Algorithm: AES
- Hash Algorithm: SHA-512 (note that TrueCrypt uses RIPEMD-160 hash algorithm by default)
- Filesystem: FAT
Benefits of the Pro version
Though EDS Lite is a powerful application there are even more improvements and additions in Pro version including:
- Support for a wide range of encryption and hash algorithms.
- Support for NTFS, EXT2, EXT3 and EXT4 file systems.
- You can create and access hidden volumes that are created within another volume.
- Containers can be protected not only with password but also using keyfiles.
- Support for “mounted” mode with “on-the-fly” encryption. However this mode requires root access on your device.
- You can synchronize your container files using Dropbox.
There are two main alternatives to Encrypted Data Storage:
- Cryptonite – open-source application that brings EncFS and TrueCrypt support to Android. Cryptonite is a powerful application but it isn’t very user-friendly at this moment and is intended for experienced Android users only. Some of the application’s features require root access. TrueCrypt volumes can be mounted using command-line only.
- LUKS Manager – another app that provides on-the-fly encryption but it is not cross-compatible with TrueCrypt. LUKS Manager requires root access and will not work on non-rooted devices.