By ABI Soft
The installation was quick and painless. The user can specify where the program is installed or use the default directory. The program can be launched as soon as it is installed because the computer does not have to be restarted.
The user interface is straightforward: The program shows you a list of your files. You find the file you want, select it, and hit either "Encode" or "Decode." One drawback was that ABI's file browser doesn't recognize directories with custom icons. I had changed the icons for eight of the ten directories on my hard drive, and ABI Coder only located the two directories with standard icons. Since there was no way to enter other path and filename information, I had to copy the file that I wanted to encode into one of the two visible directories in order to select it.
ABI prompted me to enter a password of at least 8 characters. As I typed in a password, a progress bar appeared and started growing to indicate the strength of the encryption. My 24-character password just barely created the maximum allowable 192-bit key. (Eight characters creates a 64-bit key, the minimum allowable key length.) A password of at least 16 characters, which creates a 128-bit key, is recommended.
I had mixed results with the various program features. The Send Mail option launched my email program, but it didn't encrypt the selected file and attach it to the message. I tested the program by selecting several files and using the 'Secure Directory" menu option. I was able to encrypt and decrypt most of the files without problems. However, when I encrypted a very large MP3 file the progress bar froze when the file was around 30-40% encrypted, then flashed to the end without opening a window telling me encryption was completed. One drawback is that Secure Directory doesn't allow you to encrypt files in subdirectories within a selected folder, or group several files within a given directory and encrypt them as a group.
The Help files are straightforward and easy to understand. They include step-by-step instructions on how to complete specific tasks.
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