Ricoh's EncryptEase is a new solution for those who wish to protect their data from unauthorized access. An EncryptEase disc is a combination of a -ROM and -R disc that includes built-in writing/encrypting/decrypting software. The user has to install a driver before being able to use either the write or extract functions. The included software works only under Windows so Mac/Linux users are out of luck for the moment. The installation procedure is simple and after rebooting, you will be able to use all the disc's functions.
In our tests, the EncryptEase disc worked perfectly with an NEC ND-3500 drive. Ricoh suggests that there might be some drives that aren't compatible with the EncryptEase technology, so check first before buying. We don't know what kind of encryption is being used (48/56/128bit key) since Ricoh will not disclose this information, for obvious reasons. The disc needs a master password which, if forgotten, means your won't have access to your data.
We don't know if the protection scheme will be strong enough for experienced coders, but we couldn't view or gain access to the encrypted data, despite the fact that we could copy files to our HDD, without using the built-in wizard.
The price for a 5 disc pack is around €34, or €6.8 per disc, (excluding shipping). It's not cheap, but if you need to protect sensitive data, price is not really an issue. Apart from big corporate users, Ricoh's EncryptEase will also be handy for ordinary users wanting to send document files or distribute programs without worrying about it falling into the wrong hands. Each EncryptEase disc can be used up to 20 times (sessions), depending on the size of the data compilation. We believe that an EncryptEase DVD disc would be more appropriate, in terms of having more storage space available.