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Ok, this is a tough one, and it might not even be possible, but no harm in asking I guess.

I have a Buffalo Terastation file server that I use for network attached storage. After a couple of phone calls to customer services I realised that there is no way to backup to disk encrypted. In effect, I would be carrying unencrypted company data off-site daily, which is obviously unacceptable.

I had a go at TrueCrypt, EncFS, and a few others, and as far as I could see all of them required that you install some software on the machine that is to use the file system, which makes sense. Unfortunately the firmware on the Terastation is closed and I cannot install any software (and I can't build from source either, since Buffalo didn't include a compiler).

Are there any ways to copy files to disk, where as soon as they are written to the disk they are transparently encrypted, without having to install additional software?

I'm not sure it matters too much, but the Terastation firmware is Linux based, although as I mentioned, closed.

Many thanks,


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You don't need installation for TrueCrypt. The only thing you need is root access. – petersohn Apr 12 '10 at 14:53

You don't need to install TrueCrypt on the Terastation. Install it on your main disk. You can then put an encrypted file system on the Terastation. If, for some reason, you cannot put an encrypted file system on the Terastation, you can still create a TrueCrypt encrypted file on your local disk (where TrueCrypt uses that file as a virtual encrypted file system), backup to that virtual encrypted file system and then copy the TrueCrypt encrypted file to your Terastation.

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Thanks Marnix, I'm not quite sure I understand the process you describe. Do I not need to install client software in order to access the TrueCrypt file system? – andreas Apr 14 '10 at 13:28
Yes, you would install the TrueCrypt software on your laptop or desktop. The easiest way to use it is to have it create an encrypted file on your terrastation with an associated password. Once that's done, you can "mount" that file and it will look like a file system (maybe E: if in windows or maybe /mnt/MyTrueCryptData in linux). You can unmount that file, then remove the terrastation from the laptop or desktop, move the terrastation to another desktop or laptop (on which you will also have TrueCrypt installed) and then startup TrueCrypt to mount the encrypted file again. – Marnix A. van Ammers Apr 14 '10 at 18:16
I see, however what I want to do is backup from the TeraStation to an external disk. I would not be able to mount the TrueCrypt filesystem onto the TeraStation without having TrueCrypt software installed on it, would I? It's all hassle because of the closed firmware. Thanks! – andreas Apr 15 '10 at 12:30
Oh, I thought the TeraStation was the external disk for a desktop or laptop. But I see you are asking about a disk drive that is hanging off of the TeraStation. All I can think of for you is to have one large TrueCrypt encrypted file on the TeraStation. Then when you back that up to an external disk, it will still be encrypted. – Marnix A. van Ammers Apr 16 '10 at 4:48

Apparently it is possible, but not easy of course.

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I can see myself spending half a year with those instructions. might have to find a workaround... thanks – andreas Apr 14 '10 at 13:30

I use PGP Desktop's PGP NetShare for this kind of purpose. The encryption is done by the client so it doesn't matter what you are storing the files on, you could even use a USB ThumbDrive. The files are stored encrypted, but the encryption / decryption is transparent to the user. They put in their password when the share or drive is mounted, and after that they access it like any other drive. Nothing has to be installed on the file server, all of the work is done by the client. The only drawback is that each client needs to have PGP Netshare installed, and there is a licensing cost per client.

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