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PeaZip free archiver and file compressor, Open Source WinRar, WinZip alternative tool for Windows & Linux.
Compress to 7Z, ARC, BZ2, GZip, PAQ, PEA, self-extracting archives, TAR, WIM, XZ, ZIP files.
Open 150+ file formats, including ACE, CAB, DMG, ISO, RAR, UDF, ZIPX archives.
Extract, create files, split / join, strong encryption, encrypted password manager, secure data delete, find duplicate files, compute hash, export scripts to automate backup and restore tasks.

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Encrypt 7Z ARC ZIP files, set encryption password

How to apply encryption password protection to .7z .arc .zip archive file formats

How to apply encryption password protection to .7z .arc .zip archive file formats

What is archive files encryption

PeaZip is focused on security and supports multiple strong encryptionpassword protected archive files standards, optionally using two factor authentication (password and keyfile *) for increased security against means like social engineering or dictionary based attacks (that can considerably reduce the effort of brute-forcing a textual password or passphrase).
Use of end-to-end cryptography, in which sender and recipient are in charge of encrypting and decrypting the encoded data, is strongly recommended each time data is sent to (or through) external servers, even if the service is advertised implementing cryptography measures.
In example, creating encrypted mail attachments (and to encrypt uploads to cloud services) preserve data secrecy against any unauthorized access to user's private information and data even in case the service is compromised, either by successful attack, insider breach, or plain change of policies granting access to unwanted subjects.

email attachments encryption

Cryptographic protocols supported by PeaZip are:

  • 7Z
    • Read/write .7z files under 7-Zip / p7zip AES256-based encryption
  • ZIP
    • Read/write .zip using WinZip AE (Advanced Encryption), AES256-based
    • Decrypt (read only) .zip PKZip encrypted archives (AES-based encryption)
    • Read/write .zip files protected with ZipCrypto, for legacy compatibility purpose only as the algorithm is considered weak under today's standards
  • ARC
    • Read/write .arc format (by FreeARC) implementing encryption scheme that supports AES256, AES contest finalists Twofish256 and Serpent256 algorithms, and classic Blowfish algorithm
  • PEA
    • Read/write PeaZip's native .pea file format, supporting AES256 EAX-mode authenticated encryption (enforcing cryptographically strong data secrecy and verifiable autenticity)

How to create password-protected encoded archives

To password protect files within archives, chose an archive type supporting encryption, as ZIP, 7Z, ARC, and PEA, add files to the archive being created as explained in the FAQ page, then click on the padlock icon encrypt zip files to set a password and optionally a keyfile * for the archive - the icon is in the status bar in the file/archive browser, and under the output file name in the archive creation interface.

PeaZip's password manager is available from main menu, Tools > Password manager.
The password list file is saved in private user's path, allowing each user to maintain a personal password manager containing different passwords or passphrases not accessible to other standard users of the same system.
Optionally, the user can decide to encrypt the password list with a master password, making the passwor manager private even to administrative accounts of the same machine, being the data file unreadable until the correct password is provided.

Some archive types, like 7Z and ARC, support encrypting the names of files being added to the archive: in this case it will not even be possible to see the list of archive's content, file and directory names, without knowing the password.
7Z, ARC, and ZIP archives support file level encryption, so each file in an archive could have, if desired by the archive creator, a different password.

In "Advanced" tab of archive creation interface users can chose encryption method to apply to the archive: by default the recommended method will be displayed.
If a password is already set (i.e. because adding files to an already encrypted existing archive) it will be reported to the user in the archive creation interface.

For increased security, PeaZip supports secure file deletion to erase tracks of unwanted data.

* PeaZip has an integrated utility to create random keyfiles and passwords sampling entropy from the system and from user's interaction.

Topics: create encrypted files, NIST Advanced Encryption Standard, Rijndael/AESwikipedia aes128 cipher, EAX mode, Twofishtwofish cipher encoding, SerpentSerpent cipher algorithm, cryptography, symmetric key block cipher, encode / encrypt files on Microsoft Windows and Linux systems, create password protected encrypted archives, encoded data, set encryption password protection wiki, random password generator, password manager, open source strong encryption software, encrypt ZIP archives, how to encode 7z files.

Related articles: How to extract encrypted archives, Protect files, Secure file delete / overwrite free space, Create, open extract 7Z files, PEA file: pack, encrypt, authenticate, How to create RAR files?, Create, open extract ZIP files

FAQ > Security > Encrypt files: create encrypted archives, set password protection

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