Viivo encrypts files automatically before they are synced with the cloud

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 1, 2015
Updated • Mar 4, 2019

Cloud storage and security has certainly come a long way since its humble beginnings. It is appreciated by users across the globe as a way to sync data between devices, and to make data available on the Internet so that you or others can access it at anytime.

One of the main issues that I have with cloud storage is that you give up control of your data. Companies like Google, Dropbox, Amazon or Microsoft promise to keep your data safe but most appear to scan your data for a variety of reasons.

Update: Viivo is no longer available. We suggest you use BoxCryptor or the self-hosted solution OwnCloud instead. End

Microsoft for instance banned users of its SkyDrive service (now called OneDrive) in 2012 after automated scans found partially nude pictures uploaded to a private folder of the user's account.

But encryption does not only prevent services from scanning or accessing files uploaded to their servers. It is also preventing third-parties from accessing them should they be able to hack into the account or servers.

Back in 2011 I suggested that users either encrypt important data before they upload it to the Internet or, and that may be the better solution, don't upload it at all.

One of the services I recommended back then for the encryption part was SecretSync. The service, now called Viivo, is still around; reason enough to take another look at what it has to offer.

Viivo is offered as a free, pro and enterprise version. The free version supports most features with the exception of multi-factor authentication, extended customer support an administrative console access.

You do need to create an account to get started, but that can be done during installation. Please note that you need to verify the email address to complete the process (and thus the installation. The password you set during setup will be used to encrypt all files so make sure it is a secure one.

Viva supports the popular cloud syncing services  Dropbox, OneDrive, Box and Google Drive.

To create your first locker (out of five supported by the free version), select one of the supported providers from the list, pick a source folder that you want to place the encrypted contents into, and click next.

You are then asked whether you want to keep decrypted copies of your files on the local system.  If you select that option you are asked to pick a location to sync the unencrypted files with.

synced folder

The program displays an overview of the selected settings on the last page of the process before it takes you back to the lockers screen of the application.

Syncing encrypted files with the cloud

This is actually very easy. Simply copy files into the folder that you have selected as the locker location in the cloud. Viivo detects new files and folders automatically and will encrypt those before they are uploaded to the service.

If you have selected sync, decrypted versions of all files and folders are copied to the selected location as well.

All synced files appear with the .viivo extension while folder names are not changed at all.

Accessing files

encrypted files

You can access files directly by executing them, just like you would do normally. If you have synced an image for instance, you can simply double-click on the file to open it in the default image viewer of the system provided that Viivo is running on it.

This works well for standalone files but you may run into compatibility issues. That's one reason why Viivo added a filter option to each locker. You can use it to prevent that certain files are encrypted by the program.

Another option that you find there is to enable filename encryption on top of that. This can be useful if you don't want others to see names of encrypted files in that folder.

Sharing and Security

Other users can be added to lockers so that they can access contents of them as well provided that they too use Viivo.

Viivo provides the following information about security:

  • Each Viivo user has a Private Key that is encrypted with AES-256. The key is generated from your password using PBKDF2 HMAC SHA256
  • For shared folders, there is a Share Key that is exchanged via RSA encrypted 2048
  • All of your files are encrypted with AES-256

Viivo states that it cannot reset passwords that a customer has forgotten or cannot remember. There is however an option to reset the password, but it only works from previously authenticated devices.

Closing Words

Viivo is an easy to use product that works automatically once you have set up at least one locker. What I like specifically about it is that you don't have to juggle around with files as you work with the local cloud folder just like before. All the encrypting and optional syncing happens in the background.

Viivo is available for Windows and Mac OS X desktop operating systems, and iOS and Android.

Check out: BoxCryptor, another program that encrypts data before it is synced.

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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

  10. Anonymous said on September 28, 2023 at 8:19 am

    When will you put an end to the mess in the comments?

  11. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Ghacks comments have been broken for too long. What article did you see this comment on? Reply below. If we get to 20 different articles we should all stop using the site in protest.

    I posted this on [] so please reply if you see it on a different article.

    1. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  12. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  13. Mystique said on September 28, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Article Title: Reddit enforces user activity tracking on site to push advertising revenue
    Article URL:

    No surprises here. This is just the beginning really. I cannot see a valid reason as to why anyone would continue to use the platform anymore when there are enough alternatives fill that void.

  14. justputthispostanywhere said on September 29, 2023 at 3:59 am

    I’m not sure if there is a point in commenting given that comments seem to appear under random posts now, but I’ll try… this comment is for

    My temporary “solution”, if you can call it that, is to use a VPN (Mullvad in my case) to sign up for and access Reddit via a European connection. I’m doing that with pretty much everything now, at least until the rest of the world catches up with GDPR. I don’t think GDPR is a magical privacy solution but it’s at least a first step.

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