Dropbox and TrueCrypt: Easy and Secure File Synchronization
Dropbox is a well-known platform independent file synchronization service that allows you to sync one Dropbox-folder on your filesystem with their webserver. Installing the Dropbox service on multiple computers you can
- almost instantly synchronize between Dropbox-folder on all computers,
- browser-based access to your files from any computer,
- share subfolders with friends,
- access via iPhone or Google Apps and
- go back to previous versions of your files.
But there are some drawbacks:
- You are limited to 2 GB with the free version. For me this is more than enough for those files and documents I need regularly. I do not want to sync all my music, photos and stuff. (You can buy up to 100 GB.)
- All depends on a reliable internet connection. It might not be the right choice for people traveling around a lot with long offline periods.
- Private or sensitive data is stored “in the cloud”. The transfer is done SSL encrypted, but then who knows who can hack into your data. Therefore I found a quite simple and secure solution.
- Sign up for a Dropbox account and install the client.
- Download and install TrueCrypt (opensource, all platforms).
- Run the TrueCrypt Volume Creation Wizard to create a new virtual encrypted disk within a file (default option). When selecting the volume size be sure to keep it small depending on your internet connection speed as this will have to be transfered to the Dropbox server at least once. The updates are probably done incremental.
- Uncheck the option Settings > Preferences > Security > “Preserve modification timestamp of file containers” to notify Dropbox when your secret content has changed.
- Save the virtual disk file to your Dropbox.
- Place your secret files within the virtual disk and mount/unmount as needed.
- You can “Open with…” the virtual disk with
- Dropbox follows symbolic links. So you can sync other folders like
/var/www/by creating a link to it.