The Best Open Source Alternatives to TrueCrypt

Update: In April 2015 Phase II of the TrueCrypt audit was completed, effectively giving TrueCrypt a clean bill of health. We now therefore recommend using VeraCrypt, a TrueCrypt fork which has fixed most of the weaknesses found during the audit, and is under active development. Please see VeraCrypt & how-to basics for more details.

The sudden demise of TrueCrypt under very suspicious circumstances came as a shock to many who had come to rely not just on its secure file or full disk encryption, but its practical functionality, and the fact that it was a mature product whose open-source code was being carefully audited at the time of its demise with promising results.

While conspiracy theories abound over what happened, the practical problem is finding a secure alternative. Unfortunately this is not as easy as it sounds, as no true drop-in replacement for TrueCrypt exists.
In this article we will therefore we look at what secure open source encryption options are available for those wanting to secure their files.

It should be noted that while all the programs listed here are open source (the notion of using the closed source Microsoft Bitlocker, as suggested by the devs when they pulled the plug on TrueCrypt is so ridiculous and bizarre that even our hard-bitten and cynical ProPrivacy team starts to reach for their tin hats just at the thought), but none them have been nearly as extensively vetted as TrueCrypt (if at all).

Being open source and at least open to auditing, does however makes these programs the most secure options available.

AES Crypt

Platforms: Windows, OSX, Linux (Crypt4All Lite for Android is compatible)
Encryption: AES_256
Pros: Per file encryption, very easy to use
Cons: individual file encryption only

AES CryptThis very easy to use Java based file encryption program integrates with the OS, providing simple file encryption using the right-click menu button (Windows and Linux, or drag and drop for OSX). File decryption is performed by simply by double-clicking the encrypted .aes file, and entering the password you supplied when creating it. A command line interface is also supported.