Strengths: The software is fast, easy to install and use. It performed well in all categories
Weaknesses: Lack of free support on just about any level, slightly more expensive than similar products
Verdict: While it does not have some of the added features of other solutions in this category, SafeGuard Easy is a solid, fast and user-friendly whole drive encryption package. Improved support would make it even stronger
Utimaco SafeGuard Easy is just what its name promises — the package is easy enough to set up for the average end-user to do it. The 24-page installation manual is straightforward and covers both standalone and enterprise installation.
The product is applicable both to individual use and enterprise implementation. The latter version provides the user with additional audit logging capability beyond that offered in the standalone option.
Utimaco also provides online, email and phone support to registered users signed up to a contract. The company's website provides downloads of trial versions of the products. However, the installation guide and the software are easy enough to understand that in most cases additional support should not be necessary.
The package offers a range of encryption options, including AES 128- and 256-bit encryption, as well as IDEA (international data encryption algorithm) and several others. It is in the process of obtaining FIPS 140-2, as well as EAL-4 of the Common Criteria (ISO 15408).
SafeGuard Easy was tied for the fastest time to encrypt our 60-GB hard drive - one hour 40 minutes. Once the software was installed, PassMark's Performance Test reported no performance degradation. The de-installation of SafeGuard leaves the system in a clean state that can still boot. This is an important improvement over similar products we reviewed last year.
The available support at no cost is extremely limited and is restricted to downloads of manuals. We found that unacceptable for a product that, if it fails, could result in an individual or organisation losing crucial data.
SafeGuard Easy was the most expensive product we tested. We liked this product a lot, but found that it was a rather plain whole disk encryption product at a higher price than similar products. That said, from a technical perspective the product has no obvious weaknesses.