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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > Media

Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Ricoh EncryptEase

1. Introduction

Ricoh recently announced a new product, aimed at professional and corporate users who want to protect their valuable data against unwanted access. The product is called "EncryptEase" and claims to prevent un-authorized access to sensitive data. Most users are probably aware of the fact that there is no protection scheme that can't be broken, which makes it almost impossible to guarantee 100% unwanted access to your data. But you can make it very difficult and in some cases, impossible to all but the most ingenious of intruders. We will try to explain how EncryptEase works, if it works as it is intended and if we found any holes.

What is ?

EncryptEase is an intelligent data protection hybrid CD-R with built-in security and writing software, on one disc. Auto-run system for your easy data protection - The security software automatically launches when the disc is inserted, guiding the user step by step through the program with three supported languages:

  • English
  • German
  • French

  • EncryptEase protects your confidential data by using a strong security function.
  • EncryptEase saves cost, because you don’t have to buy any additional security software or writing software or other special hardware.

Product summary

  • As the product has all functions, such as encryption and decryption, data compression, writing and copy guard, in its ROM section, you do not need to install any applications.
  • It has a simple design with user-friendly operation, and anyone can handle it with ease.
  • You can append data up to 20 times. It is designed to be simple, with a new tab added to facilitate data management each time data is appended.

Disc specification

Recording capacity: Approximately 600MB
Maximum write speed: 40x



Windows 98SE
Windows Me
Windows 2000 Professional [ServicePack4]
Windows XP Home Edition
Professional [ServicePack1/ServicePack2]


Windows 98SE/Me :

150 MHz o. more [64 MB or more]

Windows 2000:

133 MHz over [128 MB o. more]

Windows XP:

300 MHz over [128 MB o. more]


Encryption (write):

Free capacity of 1.5GB or more

Decryption (read):

Free capacity of 800MB or more

* When you try to encrypt (write) data to the disc, its free capacity must be at least about twice the size of the data.


Any drive that supports CD-R disc write and read operations
* Note that you cannot use an NEC ND-5100A.

What is a hybrid disc?

A hybrid disc is a single CD that unites a CD-ROM and a CD-R/RW. An obvious advantage of the hybrid disc is that you can write data to a specific area on the disc, although it looks like a CD-ROM.

On the writable area, users can not only write their routine data to it, but they can also use it as an authentication area. This helps to manage and control the content of the disc by using the authentication mechanism.

History: Hybrid disc in which Ricoh's optical disc technologies are mobilized

Ricoh has been tackling the development of recording materials for use with optical discs since the 1980s. As a result, Ricoh launched the world's first write-once recording discs (WORM) that adopted pigment recording films in 1987, and CD-R discs in 1992. In addition, they also developed CD-RW discs ahead of the competition and launched them in 1997.

Ricoh's own material and stamper technologies, that have been built up through developing these optical discs, have been used for the development of the latest DVD+RW/+R media.The hybrid disc has been developed by mobilizing the above-described optical disc technological resources Ricoh has built up over many years.

Present: Hybrid CD-R born through a newly developed hybrid stamper technology

When Ricoh created a ROM area using any of the conventional stamper technologies, it couldn't provide sufficient recording compatibility because the groove shape in the R area was different from that of a normal CD-R. For this reason, Ricoh developed its own hybrid stamper technology. The technology provides recording compatibility and playability equivalent to those of conventional CD-Rs by realizing a highly accurate groove shape.

Future: Moving toward hybrid DVD

Currently developed Ricoh hybrid discs, only include hybrid CD-Rs and CD-RWs, but Ricoh intends to use the technologies built up through the development of hybrid CDs to develop hybrid DVDs as well.

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