Home Encryption / Decryption Cryptomator – An Open Source Client-side Encryption Tool For Your Cloud

Cryptomator – An Open Source Client-side Encryption Tool For Your Cloud

By sk
Published: Last Updated on 1.5K views

Cryptomator is a free, open source, lightweight and multi-platform client-side encryption tool for your Cloud data. It uses Advanced Encryption Standard(AES) method to encrypt your data. And, Your passphrase is protected against brute-force attacks using scrypt, a password-based key derivation function. It encrypts each file individually, so if you edit just a small text file, only the corresponding encrypted file is changed. Since it is open source, anyone can download the source code and verify it. Cryptomator has won the special award for usable security and privacy at CeBIT 2016. If you're looking for an easy and reliable way to secure your Cloud data, Cryptomator might be a good choice.

How Cryptomator works?

Cryptomator saves your sensitive data in a virtual drive called Vault. You can use this drive like using a regular USB flash drive or hard disk drive. Anything you put in the vault will be encrypted and secured with a passphrase. Cryptomator encrypts all data you put in the drive on-the-fly. You can store these vaults in your local hard drive, or Cloud, or any external hdd or USB drive of your convenience. If you put vault on cloud such as Google drive or Dropbox, you can access the data from all Internet-enabled devices using Cryptomator desktop application or mobile client. Please be aware that Crypotomator does not connect directly to a cloud storage service. If you want to use Cryptomator to encrypt your cloud storage, you must either install a synchronization client (eg Dropbox, Google Drive etc.) or mount the server as a network share.

Install Cryptomator

The Cryptomator developers have packaged it to almost all modern operating systems, such as GNU/Linux, MS Windows, Mac OS X, and also Cryptomator mobile clients are available for Android and iOS. So, the installation wouldn't be much hassle.

For Arch Linux and its derivatives like Antergos, Manjaro Linux, Cryptomator is available in AUR. So, you can install it using AUR helper tools such as Yay.

$ yay -S cryptomator

For Ubuntu and its derivatives like Linux Mint, Elementary OS, use the following PPA to install it.

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sebastian-stenzel/cryptomator
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install cryptomator

For other Linux distributions, head over to the Downloads page and download the installation file and install it.

Cryptomator Usage

Once installed, launch Cryptomator from menu. It is usually found under Menu -> Accessories -> Cryptomator.

Here it is how Cryptomator looks like at the first launch.

Cryptomator interface

Cryptomator default interface

As you see in the above screenshot, there are no vaults right now. Let us create one.

Create a vault

To create a new vault, click on the + sign on the bottom left corner and choose "Create new vault". And then, choose a location and enter a name for the new vault and click "Save".

Create vault

Create a new vault

Now, a new vault has been created. Let us secure it by giving a strong password. Make sure the password contains at least 10 characters.

Enter vault password

Enter vault password

The vault is secured. Similarly, you can create as many as vaults you want.

Access Vaults

Choose the vault to open and enter its password and click "Unlock Vault". Click "More Options" below to the password field to choose additional options, such as saving password (No need to enter password every time to access vaults), auto-unlock vaults on start-up, mount/unmount vaults, reveal drive etc.

Access Vaults

Access Vaults

The vault will be mounted as a virtual drive and visible in your file manager. You can use this drive as the way you use your local drive and save your confidential data.

cryptomator virtual drive

Cryptomator virtual drive

If a Vault is already unlocked, search it on your file explorer. Also, you can display it using Cryptomator. To do so, choose the unlocked vault in the list, click on the small down-arrow next to “Lock vault” and choose “Reveal drive”. You can also copy the WebDAV­URL from the drop-down list and use it with the WebDAV client of your choice to access the vault.

Lock Vaults

Once you're done with Vaults, you can safely lock it by clicking on the "Lock Vault" option.

Remove Vaults

Choose the vault that you want to remove from the list and click (-) sign on the bottom.

Remove Cryptomator Vault

Please note that this option will only remove the vaults from the list, not from your system.

Delete Vaults permanently

To delete vaults permanently from your system, go to the vault location in your file browser and delete the folder that contains the masterkey.cryptomator file as you would do with other files and folders. The storage location is displayed in Cryptomator below the vault name or when hovering the vault. The symbol “~” stands for your user directory.

Cryptomator vault location

As you can see, Cryptomator is very user-friendly, easy to use and setup. Even a newbie can easily understand how to install and use it in few attempts. If you're looking for a simple, user-friendly and fully-functional cloud encryption tool, give Cryptomator a try.


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