B6Z Review: Encrypt Files and Folders

B6Zip is open source software that is used to archive and compress files into b6z format with encryption.

When sending or emailing files that may contain private information or confidential data, you may want to encrypt the files to make sure that they are protected from unauthorized viewers.

B6Zip creates a contained file called an archive which bundles together files and folders into one encrypted file protected with a secure passphrase.  B6Zip is free and will allow you to open and create b6z archives which feature both high ratio compression and strong encryption.

B6Zip can be obtained from the official website http://b6zip.com and is available for macOS.

Once you have downloaded the software and installed it, follow these steps to compress and encrypt your files.

Step 1: Select files you need encrypted/compressed in Finder.
Step 2: Right click and select "B6Zip" and then "Archive Files".
Step 3: In the next window enter the name and destination of the b6z archive you wish to create.
Step 4: Under options, check Encrypt and enter a strong passphrase (at least 15 characters with special symbols).

By default B6Zip will use AES256 to encrypt your files but other algorithms can be added, though this is currently the state of the art encryption algorithm.

It is recommended that you do not send the password to anyone the same way you sent them the file as this can compromise the security.  Always remember that the weakest link will be your password strength so a long password should always be used.

The advantage of using B6Z archives over other formats such as zip are that you will get a much better compression ratio and encryption algorithm.  Zip files have a weak encryption scheme that is easily cracked, and the compression ratios are less than 50% of what the b6z format offers.  Also, you will find that you can compress large files up to 9 million petabytes in size with b6z. 

Although zip files sometimes have built in native support on many operating systems, this is changing as more developers are embracing the b6z format.  This is because b6z is an open source standard that anyone can use in their software free of charge based on the general public license.  B6Zip also provides a developers sdk to integrate the features of b6z into their software packages.

These features together are why many users especially on mac are moving over to the b6z format to archive their files.  In the future we expect b6z adoption to increase to the levels seen by 7zip or even rar.  When it comes to the software world, the open source projects do not always have the widest adoption even though they are technically better.  We can only hope that more people recognize the benefits of protecting their file archives with strong encryption.


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