Boxcryptor gives client-side encryption for sensitive data stored on Dropbox

Alastair Aitken 27 April 2012 0

Dropbox logoDropbox is very much the flavour-of-the-day application. It allows storage and access to your documents from a wide variety of operating systems, both mobile and desktop. A considerable number of applications integrate with Dropbox, e.g I’m writing this on iA Writer on an iPad, saving it to Dropbox and later I’ll open it from Dropbox and format it on a Mac.

Whilst the security of my blog articles is not a concern, I’ve steered clear of storing personally identifiable information on Dropbox; not because it’s insecure – files stored on Dropbox are encrypted on the server – but because I want my files encrypted before they get to Dropbox. Boxcryptor allows me to do this.

Boxcryptor logoWhilst there is a Boxcryptor client for Windows there is no official Boxcryptor client for Mac or Linux yet. However it is compatible with EncFS and the Boxcryptor site provides a relatively simple installation guide for what can sometimes be a tricky installation process.

The free Boxcryptor iOS app comes with a few restrictions but these are fine for testing purposes. Only photos and video files can be directly uploaded from an iOS device – although in some applications such as Fast Keyboard you can use the “Open in..” option to upload data directly into a BoxCryptor folder – and the Boxcryptor client won’t allow me to upload a photo without giving it access to iOS location services which is an iOS restriction.

However, the real restrictions to integrating Boxcryptor into my personal workflow lie outside the reach of Boxcryptor. Through no fault of its own, Boxcryptor is a little bit limited on iOS, e.g. I can’t use Boxcryptor for creating and editing files via iA Writer; if I attempt to edit a file in iA Writer then it has to be copied to iCloud first.

Despite the iOS client restrictions, for helping to ensure that I control remote access to my information, Boxcryptor certainly adds an additional layer of confidence.

[Note: edited on 1 May 2012 after Sébastien from Boxcryptor pointed out that there are iOS applications that happily interact with Boxcryptor]

Alastair Aitken (124 Posts)

As a contract developer and manager I’ve worked in a wide range of enterprises in a variety of countries where I’ve encountered everything from great work, awful work, bizarre work, all the way down to quasi-legal work. If you think that you recognise your own organisation within my articles then you’re undoubtedly wrong, where you work isn’t that unique.

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