Even if you’re the only one using the computer at home, it doesn't mean it can’t be accessed by others as well, and you surely have some important files that nobody should access. Storing them on a USB flash drive might be a solution, but for more security, you can rely on specialized applications like Advanced File Vault to encrypt content and add a password.
The first time the application is launched, you’re asked for an administrator password, which it’s best to remember, because it’s the only way you can access files later on. Once configured, the main window shows up, letting you get familiar with the set of features it puts at your disposal. The accommodation process is a walk in the park, thanks to the clean, intuitive layout. Make sure .NET Framework is installed on the target PC.
Advanced File Vault puts a couple of security solutions at your disposal, one being to lock a selection of files, while the other is used to hide them. Adding target files is only done by dragging them over the main window, with no limit to file type. Unfortunately, you can’t create more vaults, or even separate folders for easier identification.
When files need to be locked, you need to either write down a new password to be used in the encryption algorithm, or rely on the administrator security key. The process is done on the spot, and if you try to run the target file, you notice content is scrambled, or either inaccessible, because of applied encryption algorithms.
Another method of securing files is to hide them, being a different process than the default Windows method of hiding them. What’s more, unlocking and revealing files needs to be done through the main window, with the corresponding password. The application’s set of features can also be accessed through the context menu.
Bottom line is that Advanced File Vault wants to make important files difficult or impossible to access by those that don’t even have to. The overall process lasts only a little while thanks to the intuitive design. However, the application feels a little rough around the edges, with the hiding component not always doing its job, while encryption is done with a single algorithm.