We regularly recommend the Cryptsync tool when it comes to storing a backup of your files securely encrypted in the cloud. The configuration is not difficult, but it has a few pitfalls. Here we show how to do it.
Saving data securely in the cloud: Tips for Cryptsync
What you need: The Cryptsync tool copies files to another folder and encrypts them in the process. Because Cryptsync uses the 7z zip pack format for this, the files are also compressed. In order to get the files from the new folder into the cloud, it should be located in the cloud folder on your computer. You determine where that is when you install the client for your cloud. These clients are offered by all major cloud services such as Dropbox, Onedrive or Google Drive. Once the client has uploaded the files, you have a securely encrypted backup of your data in the cloud. This way, they are retained even if your computer is destroyed by a tidal wave or fire.
That’s how it’s done:
After the installation, start Cryptsync from the Windows notification area by double-clicking the Cryptsync icon. Click on “New-Pair” and enter the folder that you want to back up under “Original Folder”. In the field under “Encrypted Folder”, enter the folder into which the encrypted backup should go. For our project, this folder must be part of the client for your cloud. By default, these are in your user folder (for example “C: Users
With Cryptsync you create encrypted copies in a second folder. If this is in a cloud storage area, the data migrates online.
First of all, it continues with the configuration for “New Pair”. Assign a password under “Password” and “Retype password” to enable encryption of the files. If you want to encrypt not only the content of the files but also their file names, check the box next to “Encrypt filenames”. In the input fields below you can exclude files or file types from encryption, compression or backup. This can be done using a file name, such as “Example.docx” or a placeholder, such as “* .RAW”.
Finally, enter the synchronization direction. In our case, in which we want to copy files encrypted to a cloud folder, select “unencrypted to encrypted” and confirm this with “OK”. The synchronization starts immediately and by default it restarts every two hours. If you want to change the time span, you can do this in Cryptsync under “Interval for full scans in minutes”.
If the original files are destroyed, download the encrypted copies from the cloud to a folder on your PC. You now have two options to decrypt the backup files. On the one hand, you can use the Packer 7-Zip to unzip the files. You will be asked to enter the associated password.
On the other hand, you can create a new synchronization pair (“New Pair”) in Cryptsync. The synchronization direction for this pair is from “encrypted to unencrypted”, ie from encrypted to unencrypted. Important: With this new pair you have to swap the folders. Although the encrypted folder is now the original folder, enter a new, empty folder into which the decrypted files are to be copied under “New Pair” in the first field under “Original Folder”. Under “Encrypted Folder” enter the folder with the saved, encrypted files. In addition, enter the password and click on “OK”. Cryptsync now decrypts the files.
In the Cryptsync software, you create synchronization pairs of folders and specify the direction in which the files are to be copied.
Of course, you can also use Cryptsync to encrypt your files on an external drive. Simply enter a folder on your external drive as the destination for “New pair”. However, this should then always be given the same drive letter. You can do this using Windows’ disk management. To do this, enter diskmgmt.msc in Windows search and then click on Disk Management. Now select the USB data carrier in the lower view and then click on “Change drive letters and paths” in its context menu. After the change, Windows will remember the new assignment for this disk the next time you connect it.
If you also want to use your data in the cloud on a mobile device, e.g. with Android, then Cryptsync is not suitable. In this case, it would be better to use Cryptomator. The Windows software is free of charge, but the costs for Android or iOS are around 10 euros.
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