BoxCryptor: Dropbox and Co Realtime Encryption

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 8, 2011
Updated • Jul 18, 2019
Encryption, Software, Windows software

BoxCryptor is a encryption software that encrypts cloud storage files and folders to protect them from unauthorized third-party access.

Update: Boxcryptor is still available as a free service that users may use to protect data on up to two devices and one cloud storage provider. End

Some users who store files online on file storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive, encrypt these files to protect them from unauthorized access.

Dropping an encrypted VeraCrypt container into a local online file sharing folder is probably the most used solution. Its main advantage is its multi-platform support, its disadvantages the complicated setup and resizing issues (see Resize TrueCrypt Volumes With Extcv, Increase Size Of True Crypt Container Instantly and TruPax, Create TrueCrypt Containers Without True Crypt for software solutions that improve the usability of the encryption software).


Setting up an encrypted BoxCryptor folder is a lot easier. BoxCryptor is available for the desktop operating systems Windows and Mac OS, the mobile operating systems Android and iOS, and as a Chrome extension.

Setup requires that users create a BoxCryptor account before they may use the software to create encrypted storage folders on their devices. You may choose to stay on the free plan or upgrade to a personal or business plan.

The free plan allows you to use BoxCryptor with one cloud provider on up to two devices. The Personal plan lifts those limitations.

BoxCryptor picks one of the available cloud providers automatically if you are a free user. You may change the provider in the settings under locations.

The app maps a drive letter to its virtual location and is accessible in Explorer and other file managers from that moment on. A click on the drive or the sidebar entry displays the connected storage locations, and a click on any of those opens it.

You can create new folders or files using the method. BoxCryptor prompts you whenever you do so to find out whether you want to encrypt the data or not. Note that you need to use the BoxCryptor link to get the prompt.

The application displays the same prompt when you drop files into its folder structure. Right-click on existing files or folders and select BoxCryptor to encrypt these as well.

It is possible to move, copy, create and delete files in the folder without container size limitations. That's one of the strengths of the software. The size of the folder is only limited by local storage capacities and the available space offered by the file storage service.

BoxCryptor has been designed with ease of use in mind, users of all experience levels should not have difficulties setting up and using the application.

The encryption software had several limitations when it first launched for Windows but many are a thing of the past. BoxCryptor is no longer available only for Windows but also other platforms. Windows users may pick a portable version of the application instead of one that needs to be installed before it can be used.

The requirement to create an account is a downside, especially for free users. You may want to check out the free alternative Cryptomator, especially if you dislike the account requirement or need support for multiple storage providers or more devices.

The developers have improved the program significantly in other areas. The application detects popular cloud storage providers such as Dropbox automatically, and supports context menu operations as well as drag and drop to move files around and work with files.

Closing Words

BoxCryptor is an easy to use service to encrypt files and folders at cloud providers without losing access locally or making it difficult to access these files locally. The free version is limited but is probably sufficient for the majority of users out there: you could use it on a desktop PC and a mobile.

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  1. Wolf said on April 22, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    BoxCrypter beta is now cross-plattform and compatible with EncFS. For my windows/linux/os x uses, this is *the* solution. I just hope the beta is as stable as it looks… I’m definately counting on this!

  2. John said on February 11, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    For Ubuntu I use Cryptkeeper which uses EncFS

  3. frad said on February 10, 2011 at 1:46 am

    I’d be interested in this service if it were cross platform. That’s one of Dropbox’s greatest features. I rely on it daily.

    If you don’t have dropbox and would like to give it a try please feel free to use my referral link. You’ll get an additional 250 MB when you sign up… and so will I :-)

  4. TRY said on February 9, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Unfortunately, the limitations and issues of BoxCryptor are its shortcomings for most of us.
    Micro Application’s ArchiCrypt 5 is a nice alternative to TrueCrypt and BoxCryptor but it’s not free.

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