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I have some files that need to be accessible from multiple computers, but encrypted on each computer. Something like the 'shared folder' feature on Dropbox, but with the folder encrypted locally on each computer.

What I'm looking for:

  • A folder shared between multiple computers running Vista or Mac OS X
  • This folder is encrypted of each of the computers
  • The unencrypted files are accessible when logging in to the Dropbox homepage.

Basically, I guess I am looking to encrypt the Dropbox folder on each of the computers, but only having Dropbox syncing the unencrypted content.

Is this possible? And please ask if the above is unclear.

Cheers!

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Are you looking to have the data encrypted so that people at Dropbox cannot access it? Or only as a preventative in case your local hardware is lost/stolen? –  DMA57361 Sep 10 '10 at 12:30
    
Only the case of stolen hardware –  trolle3000 Sep 10 '10 at 13:30
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4 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'd guess that if any TrueCrypt or OS X encrypted folder is accessible before Dropbox starts (maybe Dropbox will even keep trying if access fails initially), then Dropbox might very well be oblivious about the fact that its local storage is actually encrypted?

Then all there's to do: set up an encrypted folder, and then make Dropbox use that folder. The latter is simply a preference (on a Mac: "Dropbox Folder Location").

(On a Mac, such folder will not be backed up by Time Machine until you log off. But as Dropbox is keeping revisions as well, I guess that can be used as a backup.)

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"Then all there's to do: set up an encrypted folder, and then make Dropbox use that folder. The latter is simply a preference (on a Mac: "Dropbox Folder Location")." - thanks! –  trolle3000 Sep 10 '10 at 13:34
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http://wiki.dropbox.com/TipsAndTricks/IncreasePrivacyAndSafety

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That link is non-functional now. You may want to update it or remove it. –  Alex Mar 30 '12 at 12:04
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Edit to add: This does not allow for file access through the website. /Edit

Here's what I do:

  1. Create a TrueCrypt container volume file and put it in your dropbox folder.
  2. Have TrueCrypt.exe accessible on each compute (could be in your DropBox folder as well).
  3. When you need to access it, mount the file as a drive on the hosted computer.

Several things to know:

  • DropBox will not update the file until TrueCrypt has dismounted it.
  • if you end up mounting it at two locations, DropBox will call them "conflicting versions" and you'll need to resolve their differences. (When I've done this, I mount both files at the same time and diff them using BeyondCompare3.)
  • The fact that DropBox save historical versions of the container file could theoretically compromise the encryption (though I can't back that up with a citation right now).
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+1 for a solution that hides it from DropBox as well :) –  GWLlosa Jan 3 '11 at 17:05
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  • A folder shared between multiple computers running Vista or Mac OS X
  • This folder is encrypted of each of the computers
  • The unencrypted files are accessible when logging in to the Dropbox homepage.

I don't get what is the point in encrypting them, if encryted data is available in an unencrypted format over the Internet. I don't think DropBox ( or any other tool, for that matter) can decrypt files encrypted by another tool, sync them, and have it automagically encrypt it.

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If I'm wrong in my understanding - please do correct me. –  Sathya Sep 9 '10 at 16:49
    
According to them, Dropbox stores your files on their servers in an encrypted format - and presumably moves them encrypted on the wire as well, though I don't recall offhand if that's the case. So Dropbox covers encryption in the cloud; the OP is looking to add local encryption as well. –  Dan J Sep 9 '10 at 19:46
    
Precisely, I'm looking for local encryption. –  trolle3000 Sep 10 '10 at 13:32
    
@djacabson @trolle Ah, I wasn't aware of that. Makes sense then. –  Sathya Sep 10 '10 at 13:35
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