Opinions/Suggestions on Encrypting Main SSDs in Laptops & Home Server...

bob4432

Lifer
Sep 6, 2003
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28
91
I have been thinking about this for some time and am having trouble coming to a conclusion, so maybe the hive can help me out. Due to health issues, I have been a bit out of the tech loop for the last couple of years, so please bear with me. My wife and I have moved to using laptops as our main machines. For us, they have become desktop replacements - we are running Lenovo T440s units (w/ T450 touchpads) w/ i5-4300u cpus (mine 1920x1080, hers 1600x900) mine has a Samsung 860 Evo 500GB SSD and she has a Samsung 850 Evo 250GB SSD, both have 8GB of Ram. They are used from anything from web, email, normal web stuff up to and including 3d modeling (SolidWorks among others) along with circuit & pcb design and obviously no gaming. Most importantly, since these are used as daily use machines, they also contain personal, sensitive information that I would like to keep just between my wife and I. Nothing illegal, just personal, life planning type stuff that nobody needs to know about including banking, mining account keys, etc, stuff that if were to be compromised would be a real PITA to recover from. Both of us browse 'smartly' but as they say, stuff happens.

I am using the free version of Macrium backing up to the home server which has 1SSD w/ 2HDDs in a Raid1 array, and I am in the process of picking up a couple of external USB3 drives (deciding on 2.5 or 3.5"...) that will be rotated offsite, more than likely in one of our Credit Union's Safety Deposit Boxes.

The home server keeps digital copies of our most watched movies, digital copies of our music and also serves as the media server/player connected to the main TV, again also with the Macrium backups and since I am using the free version, they are not password protected.

My question for the hive, which HDDs/SSDs would you fully encrypt and using what tools? FWIW, all machines are running the most up-to-date version of Win10Pro. Also, how do you feel about Macrium? I have used Ghost (both corporate and home users) and Acronis, and unfortunately got bit by both.

Thanks,
Bob
 
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DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,730
670
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I haven't heard anything bad about Macrium. I've used it for some image backups but thankfully haven't needed to use them yet.

For encryption, I'd worry more about losing files after an OS crash more than I would about having them stolen, but I don't carry my home PCs around outside the home like the two of you apparently do. If I was leaving my PCs around where they could easily be stolen then I might consider it.

In case of fire, flood, etc. do you have an off-site backup strategy for the most important documents?
 

bob4432

Lifer
Sep 6, 2003
11,695
28
91
I haven't heard anything bad about Macrium. I've used it for some image backups but thankfully haven't needed to use them yet.

For encryption, I'd worry more about losing files after an OS crash more than I would about having them stolen, but I don't carry my home PCs around outside the home like the two of you apparently do. If I was leaving my PCs around where they could easily be stolen then I might consider it.

In case of fire, flood, etc. do you have an off-site backup strategy for the most important documents?

Appreciate your response. The laptops are under our control the vast majority or the time (I guess like everyone - up until they are gone), but there is the time when there is a small possibility that they could be stolen being they are what they are. It just turned out that we did not need a desktop that much anymore - I really do not game much anymore and I can take the performance hit w/ the modeling as the parts & assemblies I work with the laptop is g2g with them. When out and needing access, we will just use our phones to set up a hotspot, so we do not have to congregate around a bunch of people 'looking for a signal', therefore sitting in an area where a thief would be looking for an easy grab.

As far fire, flood, etc, that is being worked out. The plan at the moment will be acquiring a couple USB3 HDDs (debating on 3.5 or 2.5") that will be rotated placed in a safety deposit box in one of the credit unions we are members of, again, another question regarding the encryption.
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,730
670
126
As far fire, flood, etc, that is being worked out. The plan at the moment will be acquiring a couple USB3 HDDs (debating on 3.5 or 2.5") that will be rotated placed in a safety deposit box in one of the credit unions we are members of, again, another question regarding the encryption.

I'd say the risk of them being stolen from the credit union is too low to worry about.
 

bob4432

Lifer
Sep 6, 2003
11,695
28
91
why not just use windows bitlocker?
Knowing the specs in my first post, would you expect me to notice any performance degradation or is bitlocker done via dedicated hardware already on the laptop (TPM in bios?)?
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
96,003
15,705
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Knowing the specs in my first post, would you expect me to notice any performance degradation or is bitlocker done via dedicated hardware already on the laptop (TPM in bios?)?
You are not going to notice with ssd when you can't notice with a spinner.
 
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