Windows 10: VHD(X) versus 3rd party software - looking for views/recommendations

Discus and support VHD(X) versus 3rd party software - looking for views/recommendations in Windows 10 Virtualization to solve the problem; Up front: I am sorry when posting in the wrong forum. Could not a find a suitable one. For more than 20 years I have been using 3rd party software... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Virtualization' started by tfwul, Jan 7, 2021.

  1. tfwul Win User

    VHD(X) versus 3rd party software - looking for views/recommendations


    Up front: I am sorry when posting in the wrong forum. Could not a find a suitable one.

    For more than 20 years I have been using 3rd party software that creates/uses an encrypted container. It is on a subscription basis, roughly Usd 85 every 2 years.
    It is fairly user friendly: just r-click the toolbar button and select which container to open.

    Recently I have also created a VHD on an external backup SSD drive. That went and works fine.
    It took a while though: from start (empty partition) to finish (encryption completed) it took about 8,5 hours.

    Now, I am very much hesitating as to whether or not I should extend the subscription, or switch to VHD(X).
    Having multiple encrypted containers, a switch will be quite a workload, requiring my PC to run probably for days.

    I vainly searched for articles comparing 3rd party encryption software with Windows 10 native VHD/VHDX.

    Maybe there are pros and cons that I am not aware of...
    (That is: besides the price. The price includes quick and good email support when necessary)

    What can be said about the stability?
    The 3rd party software that I am using (BestCrypt) is quite stable, no issues over the last year.

    Note: the VHD(X)'s are meant for storage only: Office documents are being saved to a location within the encrypted containers. Outlook data files as well. Applications are installed outside the container. Applications are launched -after- mounting the container.
    They will not exceed 2TB.

    Appreciate any views.

    Thanks.

    :)
     
    tfwul, Jan 7, 2021
    #1
  2. tfwul Win User

    VHD(X) versus 3rd party software - looking for views/recommendations

    Up front: I am sorry when posting in the wrong forum. Could not a find a suitable one.

    For more than 20 years I have been using 3rd party software that creates/uses an encrypted container. It is on a subscription basis, roughly Usd 85 every 2 years.
    It is fairly user friendly: just r-click the toolbar button and select which container to open.

    Recently I have also created a VHD on an external backup SSD drive. That went and works fine.
    It took a while though: from start (empty partition) to finish (encryption completed) it took about 8,5 hours.

    Now, I am very much hesitating as to whether or not I should extend the subscription, or switch to VHD(X).
    Having multiple encrypted containers, a switch will be quite a workload, requiring my PC to run probably for days.

    I vainly searched for articles comparing 3rd party encryption software with Windows 10 native VHD/VHDX.

    Maybe there are pros and cons that I am not aware of...
    (That is: besides the price. The price includes quick and good email support when necessary)

    What can be said about the stability?
    The 3rd party software that I am using (BestCrypt) is quite stable, no issues over the last year.

    Note: the VHD(X)'s are meant for storage only: Office documents are being saved to a location within the encrypted containers. Outlook data files as well. Applications are installed outside the container. Applications are launched -after- mounting the container.
    They will not exceed 2TB.

    Appreciate any views.

    Thanks.
     
    tfwul, Jan 7, 2021
    #2
  3. VHD(X) versus 3rd party software - looking for views/recommendations

    tfwul, you may be aware of this already, but I just want to be sure...

    A VHD or VHDX is simply a virtual disk stored within a single file. By itself, it is NOT encrypted. This means that if someone can get access to your VHD(x) file, they could easily mount it and get at the contents UNLESS you are taking extra steps to encrypt it.

    That said, you have a number of options available.

    Your computer info does not indicate if you are running Win 10 Pro, Home, Education, etc. If you are on Windows 10 Pro, you could use the built-in BitLocker encryption to encrypt your VHD(x) file(s). Effectively, this would be like having an encrypted disk drive.

    If you do not have Windows 10 Pro and are looking for another 3rd party free solution, VeraCrypt is one such package (VeraCrypt - Free Open source disk encryption with strong security for the Paranoid).

    A couple of additional notes about BitLocker specifically...

    Since you are using an external SSD and creating a VHD(x) file on it, you could certainly continue the same strategy but make sure that you are encrypting the VHD(x). You could also simply encrypt the entire SSD and then you would not have a need to create seperate encrypted containers.

    Finally, there is another option that I personally am not a huge fan of, and that is EFS (Encrypting File System). Again, this is built-into Windows. Rather than creating a seperate encrypted volume or container, this would encrypt individual files or folders. For example, you could create a folder that is encrypted and set it so that any files or folders placed inside of that folder will be automatically encrypted.

    Let me know if you need any additional info. I can provide more detail or try to answer any additional questions that you may have.
     
    hsehestedt, Jan 7, 2021
    #3
  4. MySQLGeek Win User

    VHD(X) versus 3rd party software - looking for views/recommendations

    MySQLGeek, Jan 7, 2021
    #4
Thema:

VHD(X) versus 3rd party software - looking for views/recommendations

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