What they are:
Both TrueCrypt and Free OTFE are completely free disk encryption solutions. And both are free tools. They both allow you to encrypt data inside of a file or partition located on your hard drive. And they both allow you to hide the encrypted file or partition. While there are a number of similarities between the programs, there are also a number of notable differences as outlined below.
Both TrueCrypt and Free OTFE offer these features:
- Transparent, “On the fly" encryption of files and partitions.
- “Plausible Deniability" by hiding the file inside of another file or partition.
- Both offer AES, Twofish, and Serpent cyphers.
- Both can be ran from USB drives (although there are differences).
- Both offer Comprehensive documentation.
- Both will allow you to mount files from CD/DVD and network locations.
Free OTFE features:
Free OTFE offers these features in addition to those mentioned above:
- Portable mode can be ran by non-Administrators from USB drives.
- Includes the Blowfish cypher as an option.
- Encrypts PDA’s and other Windows Mobile-based platforms.
- Supports more hash algorithms than TrueCrypt.
- Offers Free OTFE Explorer which can be ran on public computers without the use of drivers.
TrueCrypt offers these features in addition to those mentioned above:
- Ability to encrypt the Operating System partition.
- Runs under Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
- Offers Parallelization and Pipelining to speed up access to encrypted drives.
While these are the highlights, you’ll want to explore both programs more in depth to decide which one you prefer. Both are free, and both are open-source. Each one has features that make it more appealing to certain users than the other. In the end, it will depend on what you require in your encryption software, and which one provides most, if not all, of the needs.