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Which method you are going to use much depends on whether or not you want to spend money to password protect a data DVD, or if you want to make a good impression by using a professional tool.
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Method 1: Zip / RAR
The first method of password protecting a data DVD is to zip its content, assign a password and the burn the archive to the DVD. Users of Windows XP can use the operating system’s built-in Winzip as explained in Bright Hub's second article of this series, How To Password Protect Folders in Windows XP. Unfortunately, this feature has been removed in Windows Vista so that for password protecting a compressed archive one has to have a utility such as the full version of WinZip, or WinRAR for example.
If you not sure what to use the I recommend WinRAR is a very capable and popular compression utility - the trial version has no limitations of any kind as far as I know. Upon creating a new archive go to the Advanced tab to define a password. Then burn your archive to DVD. Should you have something huge to store you can set WinRAR to span multiple DVDs on the General tab’s Split to Volumes, Bytes. On the General tab you can also instruct WinRar to make a self extractable archive (Cretae SFX Archive), the free analogon to Master Voyager’s Mount on launch Voyager Mobile.
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Method 2: Master Voyager
The second method of password protecting a DVD is Master Voyager. Master Voyager is a program which uses password protected 256 bit AES encryption for one or more partitions of a DVD. If you create your password protected DVD with Mount on launch Voyager Mobile activated then the software will automatically mount the DVD content when the DVD is inserted on any computer - provided that the correct password has been entered.
The program’s help file explains the use of Master Voyager 2.0.2 very well. The solution is recommended to non-tec savvy users, or those looking to make a good impression such as when sending secured DVD’s by snail mail to customers or business partners for example. Master Voyager licensing starts at $69.95, and the programs as well as protects data on CDs or USB drives, and so does method 1 presented in this article.
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The Bottom Line
Given that the password protected DVD content has first to be decompressed or mounted (decrypted) to be read explains why I have been emphasizing the term data DVD. While WinRAR/WinZIP or Master Voyager DVD password protection can protect anything which can be stored on DVD including, for instance, your private videos, they are hardly a viable solution for Hollywood movies sold on DVD.
- Author's own experience