VeraCrypt for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux is a free disk encryption program. If your laptop or desktop system falls into the wrong hands, the thief will not be able to read anything that has been encrypted by VeraCrypt.
I had a Windows laptop stolen from the trunk of my automobile a few years ago. In those days, I wasn’t smart enough to encrypt files on my computer. As a result, the thief obtained full access to all the information stored in my laptop, including my credit card numbers, Social Security Number, and the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses of hundreds of my friends, relatives, and business acquaintances. Experience is a great teacher. Every laptop I have owned since that theft has had a disk encryption program installed immediately after I purchased the system. Anyone who steals my laptop today should not be able to obtain any information at all from my computer.
VeraCrypt is the most popular replacement for the now-defunct TrueCrypt. After all, it is based upon TrueCrypt but supposedly is even better. The encryption software is based on TrueCrypt code for the most part, but has been modified in the past two years of its existence to add, change or remove functionality. The improvements are described at: https://veracrypt.codeplex.com/discussions/569777#PostContent_1313325.
Version 1.18 has now been released and it fixes one significant vulnerability that allows attackers to detect the presence of hidden volumes on a device.
The new version of VeraCrypt also improves other features of the application. The new version supports the Japanese encryption standard Camelia for Windows system encryption (MBR and EFI), and the Russian encryption and hash standards Kuznyechik, Magma and Streebog for the Windows EFI system encryption.
On Windows, VeraCrypt 1.18 introduces support for EFI system encryption. The limitation at this point is that the feature does not support hidden operating systems or custom boot messages.
The new version ships with better protection against dll hijacks on Windows. VeraCrypt 1.18 fixes boot issues that were experienced on some machines, reduces CPU usage, and has a workaround for AES-NI support under Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 R2.
The command line version supports a new command to pass smart card PINs via the /tokenpin option, and a command line switch to hide the waiting dialog the program displays normally.
VeraCrypt is available free of charge although donations are encouraged. You can find VeraCrypt at https://veracrypt.codeplex.com.