Cypherus 2.0 review: Cypherus 2.0

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Takes the mystery out of creating and sharing encrypted files; improved e-mail support; easy installation.

The Bad Clumsy interface; no on-call tech support; unresponsive e-mail tech support; can't create digital signatures.

The Bottom Line This encryption software works particularly well for storing and transferring sensitive files, but its e-mail support falls short of downloadable PGPfreeware's.

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With sophisticated viruses such as SirCam on the loose, it's more important than ever to protect your PC. You already set booby traps around your workstation and pride yourself on updating your antivirus software regularly, so why not beef up your security with encryption software? Cypherus 2.0 is an easy-to-use system for encrypting your files and folders so that they're safe from prying eyes, and it goes a long way toward battening down security hatches. Although Cypherus 2.0 finally integrates popular e-mail clients (version 1.5 did not), it still comes in second behind downloadable PGPfreeware, which offers more e-mail features, such as digital signing. With sophisticated viruses such as SirCam on the loose, it's more important than ever to protect your PC. You already set booby traps around your workstation and pride yourself on updating your antivirus software regularly, so why not beef up your security with encryption software? Cypherus 2.0 is an easy-to-use system for encrypting your files and folders so that they're safe from prying eyes, and it goes a long way toward battening down security hatches. Although Cypherus 2.0 finally integrates popular e-mail clients (version 1.5 did not), it still comes in second behind downloadable PGPfreeware, which offers more e-mail features, such as digital signing.

Pure wizardry
Cypherus's magic is born of two well-respected algorithms, or mathematical procedures. The Blowfish algorithm provides Cypherus's symmetric key encryption of files and e-mail, with a security strength ranging from 128 bits (for normal folks) to 448 bits (for the more paranoid among us). The Diffie-Hellman algorithm backs up Cypherus's public/private key exchange so that you can share data with other users.

Thankfully, Cypherus lets you change encryption strength for both keys, although it's worth noting that the lowest settings--Cypherus's default--match the industry standard for strong encryption. If you choose a higher setting, you run the risk of slowing your machine down.

A set of slick wizards greatly simplifies Cypherus's complex digital key creation process. All you do to create your key--the code that unlocks messages you encrypt--is run the installation program from the CD, then set up an account with a username and a password. The program uses your active Internet connection to register your e-mail address and add your public key to its server so that other Cypherus users can send you e-mail and files that only you can unlock. Want to hide your settings from other folks who use your PC? Create multiple usernames and assign each user a key manager profile--accessed from the system tray--where he or she can securely store passwords for other e-mail accounts and online services.

Diligent archivist
Cypherus works particularly well for encrypting and archiving folders and files that live on your hard drive, so that, for example, you can make sure hackers don't find sensitive documents or your coworkers and boss don't see your current resume. Its Autoencryptaur tool lets you easily encrypt a file, a group of files, or a group of folders. When you need to unlock a file or a group of files, simply click the Key icon in the system tray and select the name of the file from the resulting menu, and the program automatically extracts it. After you're finished with said file, just select the name again to encrypt it and drop it into an archive. Cypherus automatically erases all traces of the file from the hard drive.

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Where to Buy

Cypherus 2.0

Part Number: CYP01201
Pricing is currently unavailable.