Does full-disk encryption on SSD drive reduce its lifetime?
I would like to encrypt an entire USB flash ("thumb") drive (as
cryptsetup. Will this encryption adversely affect the life of the drive or its reliability by interfering with the wear-leveling?
From a discussion about encryption on solid states drives:
The makers of the open source encryption software True Crypt for instance recommend that "TrueCrypt volumes are not created/stored on devices (or in file systems) that utilize a wear-leveling mechanism (and that TrueCrypt is not used to encrypt any portions of such devices or filesystems)".
My interest is regarding the reliability of the drive over time, rather than potential security leaks which may result from encrypting a USB flash drive.
- A similar question on Security.SE includes a link to a discussion on wear-leveling on the TrueCrypt web-site.
- Durability and performance testing of TrueCrypt on an SSD. The recommendation is to leave unpartitioned space on the drive for wear-leveling.
- Another TrueCrypt/SSD discussion which mentions leaving unpartitioned space. The author reports that encrypting the whole drive is the same as completely filling it with data. That is not my understanding on whole-drive encryption.
After further thought, the solution may be to create a single encrypted file container on the drive, rather than encrypting the entire drive. If this file did not occupy the entire drive, then (presumably) the drive's wear-leveling process would work as normal.