Mac geeks usually have the Disk Utility placed somewhere within easy reach ready to be fired up to make encrypted disk images whenever needed. However, there’s a more elegant, not to mention easier, method of making encrypted vaults that comes with several handy features.
The tool I’m presenting here is Knox uses the technology behind FileVault and it makes many tasks easy – using 128-bit AES for creating encrypted images, scheduling automatic backups, formatting external drives and USB sticks as encrypted Knox vaults. This last feature is very handy if you have to, for example, carry external drives around on a regular basis. While the drive is connected to your machine running Knox, the encryption process is seamless and you work with it just like any other drive. When you attach it to a machine that does not have Knox installed, the files are still accessible by double-clicking the encrypted image and entering a password. A 30-day free trial of Knox is available for download and if you like it, a license of the application will cost you $29.95.
After install, you start Knox like any other software and its icon appears in your Dock. To integrate it more into your workflow you can have the Knox menu show up in your Menu bar instead.
Scheduling backups is simple as Knox offers a variety of options. Daily backups are a good idea for all users that have desktop Macs that don’t get turned off or put to sleep as frequently as laptops.
The vault creating process could not be simpler. You select the New Vault option from the drop-down menu and then enter some essential information. The password associated with this vault can be stored in your Keychain as well.
Every vault opens when you enter the appropriate password. Depicted above are the closed vault on the left and the mounted vault on the right. As you can see, the icons are very intuitive.
If you work with a myriad of files that you’d like to keep private at all times, you’ll be glad to know that Knox gives you the opportunity to store a Spotlight index in the vault and that makes searching inside your images a breeze. Naturally, the tool allows you to disable indexing for each vault separately. Keep in mind that this feature is available only to registered users so you won’t be able to try it out if you download the trial version.