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View Full Version : Do you use FileVault 2?




Eradik
Jul 29, 2011, 05:07 PM
Just curious... I am thinking of using it on my MBP. I'm just wondering who uses it just because, or if they have a reason.



Nielsenius
Jul 29, 2011, 05:31 PM
I would use it, but I've heard that encrypting the disk causes significant performance degradation. Can anyone confirm this? I'm using a SATA II SSD.

jc1350
Jul 29, 2011, 06:52 PM
I use FileVault 2 on my laptop. I also use encrypted disk images for sensitive info on all my systems including the laptop. They are set with different passphrases so there are multiple layers for some dirtbag to have to go through.

I used PGP Whole-disk encryption up until a few days before Lion's release, but I'm tired of paying yearly for it (it is for personal use and I can't expense it or claim it as a tax deduction). Plus, now that Symantec owns PGP, I'm sure it's only a version or 2 away from being totally screwed up. Oh yeah, and that Symantec states it will not have a Lion-compatible version for "a few months."

The only reason it's not enabled on my desktop is because I'd be stuck if I had to reboot it remotely.

The key to not losing your data with encryption is BACK IT UP!!! I use time machine and superduper for different reasons/purposes.

SaintsMac
Jul 29, 2011, 07:06 PM
I would use it, but I've heard that encrypting the disk causes significant performance degradation. Can anyone confirm this? I'm using a SATA II SSD.

I would like to know that as well.

Tearabite
Jul 29, 2011, 07:10 PM
I use it on my 2008 McAir w/SSD in case it should ever fall into the wrong hands..
No performance degradation that I can see..

87am
Jul 29, 2011, 07:24 PM
I would like to know that as well.

Just the other day a read a pretty thorough article with benchmarks on File Vault 2. The degradation was enough that i decided against turning it on, I want to say around a 7-10% slow down. I will try to locate it and post it.

Here it is: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4485/back-to-the-mac-os-x-107-lion-review/18

cschmelz
Jul 29, 2011, 07:28 PM
Just the other day a read a pretty thorough article with benchmarks on File Vault 2. The degradation was enough that i decided against turning it on, I want to say around a 7-10% slow down. I will try to locate it and post it.

I used it on my Rev B MacBookAir. Notice ZERO change at all.

Nielsenius
Jul 29, 2011, 07:34 PM
Just the other day a read a pretty thorough article with benchmarks on File Vault 2. The degradation was enough that i decided against turning it on, I want to say around a 7-10% slow down. I will try to locate it and post it.

Here it is: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4485/back-to-the-mac-os-x-107-lion-review/18
Thanks! Well, it doesn't look like I'll be encrypting my disk any time soon. I doubt if there's anything on my Mac that anyone would care to steal, anyways.

ideal.dreams
Jul 29, 2011, 09:28 PM
I want to but I don't want to lose computer performance nor do I want to lose functionality of Time Machine.

Eradik
Jul 29, 2011, 09:45 PM
Thanks! Well, it doesn't look like I'll be encrypting my disk any time soon. I doubt if there's anything on my Mac that anyone would care to steal, anyways.

I'm the same way, but am considering it because I just don't like the thought of someone going through my stuff. Granted, all it would be is school papers and family pictures, but its still creepy.

I want to but I don't want to lose computer performance nor do I want to lose functionality of Time Machine.

I do know you can still use TM. You can encrypt the TM backup as well for extra security.

Thanks for that link 87am!

HiRez
Jul 29, 2011, 10:30 PM
Just the other day a read a pretty thorough article with benchmarks on File Vault 2. The degradation was enough that i decided against turning it on, I want to say around a 7-10% slow down. I will try to locate it and post it.

Here it is: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4485/back-to-the-mac-os-x-107-lion-review/18

According to that it's a 20%-30% hit to I/O (although how much you'd notice it depends on what you're doing of course). Too much for me as I tend to manipulate a large number of files, hard disk access has always been a big bottleneck for me, especially on laptops. I'll leave it off for now. Glad it's there if you need it though, seems to work well.

crashmaster1
Jul 29, 2011, 10:41 PM
You could always set up multiple partitions - I have an encrypted boot partition, a non-encrypted working file/scratch partition, and an encrypted document storage partition. Honestly, I didn't notice any speed decrease at all.

crash

ideal.dreams
Jul 29, 2011, 11:16 PM
I do know you can still use TM. You can encrypt the TM backup as well for extra security.

I know it can still be used but from what I read is that it only backs up when you start your system up and not every hour like it does normally. Is this true?

damson34
Jul 30, 2011, 02:16 AM
Just the other day a read a pretty thorough article with benchmarks on File Vault 2. The degradation was enough that i decided against turning it on, I want to say around a 7-10% slow down. I will try to locate it and post it.

Here it is: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4485/back-to-the-mac-os-x-107-lion-review/18

He was doing tests while it was still encrypting files in the background. So there is going to be a performance hit. It's like with spotlight when it is indexing. After it finishes encrypting files there is barely a performance hit at all if any.

AlexH
Jul 30, 2011, 02:44 AM
I want to but I don't want to lose computer performance nor do I want to lose functionality of Time Machine.
A. If you are using a fairly recent model, you won't notice any change in performance.
B. You will not lose Time Machine functionality. In fact, you can encrypt your Time Machine hard drive as well. After all, what's the point of encrypting your Mac's hard drive if someone can simply pick up your backup drive and access any file they please?

Just to note, I encrypted both my Mac's internal hard drive and my Time Machine drive. My machine is a late 2008 MacBook Pro (Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM, 750GB 7200rpm hard drive) and I have not felt any performance hit at all. Overall the system feels snappier since I've upgraded to Lion. I'm pushing a lot of files around (RAW image files) and haven't felt a difference.

basher
Jul 30, 2011, 02:52 AM
I like Lion a lot, but it's not perfect. Given that the idea of using FileVault 2 scares me.

damson34
Jul 30, 2011, 03:53 AM
I like Lion a lot, but it's not perfect. Given that the idea of using FileVault 2 scares me.


And thats the same thing people said when FileVault was first launched Panther. There is no more chance of FileVault messing up your system then there is of any full encryption software messing up your system. And as I said there is negligible performance hit when using it. The article above didn't take into account it takes about 9 hours to encrypt a 320 GB HD and it is doing it in the background so you can continue to use your computer. Within those 9 hours of course there will be a performance hit but after it is fully encrypted there is pretty much nothing.

jmmo20
Jul 30, 2011, 04:45 AM
I use FV2 on my early 2011 MBP and even with FV2 turned on, Lion is faster than SnowLeopard running with NO filevault.

diamond.g
Jul 30, 2011, 05:54 AM
I know it can still be used but from what I read is that it only backs up when you start your system up and not every hour like it does normally. Is this true?

Not true.

cubbie5150
Jul 30, 2011, 06:35 AM
I just can't get myself to trust it after some horrible instances w/ earlier iterations of File Vault. Maybe I'll give it a shot down the road if I keep seeing reports of good results

Eradik
Jul 30, 2011, 08:53 AM
He was doing tests while it was still encrypting files in the background. So there is going to be a performance hit. It's like with spotlight when it is indexing. After it finishes encrypting files there is barely a performance hit at all if any.

Really? Wow, that's pretty bad for a reviewer to do that. Maybe it's time to finally flick the switch then....

One question... anyone use FileVault with a Momentus XT? Any problems with the sad cache on that drive and it impacting the drives performance?

FranzMarc
Jul 30, 2011, 09:01 AM
A. If you are using a fairly recent model, you won't notice any change in performance.
B. You will not lose Time Machine functionality. In fact, you can encrypt your Time Machine hard drive as well. After all, what's the point of encrypting your Mac's hard drive if someone can simply pick up your backup drive and access any file they please?

.

I'm curious about this. Isn't the Backup file that is stored on your whatever external drive or time capsule also an encrypted sparse image already if you turn FV2 on?

diamond.g
Jul 30, 2011, 09:31 AM
I just can't get myself to trust it after some horrible instances w/ earlier iterations of File Vault. Maybe I'll give it a shot down the road if I keep seeing reports of good results
Since it is FDE, it is transparent to the system (more or less). That is the beauty of it. CoreStorage is pretty slick.
CoreStorage logical volume groups (1 found)
|
+-- Logical Volume Group ABA40676-353A-4C30-923B-1DC16E38024F
=========================================================
Name: Macintosh HD
Sequence: 1
Free Space: 0 B (0 B)
|
+-< Physical Volume 775898EA-A045-4E71-B5F0-4E86C6CC325D
| ----------------------------------------------------
| Index: 0
| Disk: disk0s2
| Status: Online
| Size: 749296615424 B (749.3 GB)
|
+-> Logical Volume Family F665F8C7-E6D5-412A-B0F0-8E2D6E6BB2DC
----------------------------------------------------------
Sequence: 22
Encryption Status: Unlocked
Encryption Type: AES-XTS
Encryption Context: Present
Conversion Status: Complete
Has Encrypted Extents: Yes
Conversion Direction: -none-
|
+-> Logical Volume 4E0E416B-F743-4194-B3F0-83F11E7ED6EC
---------------------------------------------------
Disk: disk1
Status: Online
Sequence: 4
Size (Total): 748977844224 B (749.0 GB)
Size (Converted): -none-
Revertible: Yes (unlock and decryption required)
LV Name: Macintosh HD
Volume Name: Macintosh HD
Content Hint: Apple_HFS

I'm curious about this. Isn't the Backup file that is stored on your whatever external drive or time capsule also an encrypted sparse image already if you turn FV2 on?
No. You have to encrypt it as the files that are getting backed up are the unencrypted versions.

xesf
Jul 30, 2011, 11:34 AM
I'm new to Mac and FileVault but I notice some lags after enabled it. I'm thinking about turning that Off because of it.

singhjeet29
Jul 30, 2011, 11:47 AM
Just the other day a read a pretty thorough article with benchmarks on File Vault 2. The degradation was enough that i decided against turning it on, I want to say around a 7-10% slow down. I will try to locate it and post it.

Here it is: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4485/back-to-the-mac-os-x-107-lion-review/18

And with that I've stopped using FileVault 2. Thanks for the link!

Phil A.
Jul 31, 2011, 03:39 AM
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I've got FDE and encrypted time machine backups enabled on both my MBA and iMac and as far as I can tell there is no performance hit at all (once the initial encryption was finished).

AlexH
Jul 31, 2011, 08:10 AM
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I've got FDE and encrypted time machine backups enabled on both my MBA and iMac and as far as I can tell there is no performance hit at all (once the initial encryption was finished).
I wonder how many that are experiencing a performance hit are still going through the initial encryption process...

redlob
Jul 31, 2011, 10:40 AM
I enabled FileVault 2 last week and so far I don't notice any performance hit at all. Even during encryption, the system was perfectly usable.

SavMBP15
Aug 7, 2011, 10:03 PM
And with that I've stopped using FileVault 2. Thanks for the link!

So let me get this straight. You were using FileVault 2 and now because some article claims large performance reduction you are no longer using it? Do you make decisions for yourself?

I could see if you had not been using it and decided not to based on that review, but this is like buying a car, using it and then Road & Track magazine comes out and says that its actually 10mph slower, so you go sell it.

Boggles my mind why people allow others to influence them so much when they were perfectly happy otherwise.

CyBeRino
Aug 8, 2011, 05:32 AM
I just can't get myself to trust it after some horrible instances w/ earlier iterations of File Vault. Maybe I'll give it a shot down the road if I keep seeing reports of good results

FileVault (original) and FileVault 2 are entirely different beasts. Nothing at all is the same about them, apart from their purpose: encrypt your crap.

I didn't trust the original FileVault either, because of how hacky it felt. I've been running FV2 since the GM was available though and have had no problems at all.

reputationZed
Aug 8, 2011, 05:37 AM
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Using it on my MBA, no loss in performance that I can see. Not using it on my MacPro as of yet

reputationZed
Aug 8, 2011, 05:39 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

I use FileVault 2 on my laptop. I also use encrypted disk images for sensitive info on all my systems including the laptop. They are set with different passphrases so there are multiple layers for some dirtbag to have to go through.

I used PGP Whole-disk encryption up until a few days before Lion's release, but I'm tired of paying yearly for it (it is for personal use and I can't expense it or claim it as a tax deduction). Plus, now that Symantec owns PGP, I'm sure it's only a version or 2 away from being totally screwed up. Oh yeah, and that Symantec states it will not have a Lion-compatible version for "a few months."

The only reason it's not enabled on my desktop is because I'd be stuck if I had to reboot it remotely.

The key to not losing your data with encryption is BACK IT UP!!! I use time machine and superduper for different reasons/purposes.

1+

JabbaII
Aug 8, 2011, 12:47 PM
Does time machine work with Filevault 2? Are backed up files encrypted or decrypted?

maril1111
Aug 8, 2011, 12:53 PM
FileVault 2 is a lot safer and seems to be working fine without any problems on my machine

basher
Aug 8, 2011, 01:10 PM
Does time machine work with Filevault 2? Are backed up files encrypted or decrypted?

Yes.

Encrypted.

JabbaII
Aug 8, 2011, 01:56 PM
Yes.

Encrypted.

Cool.

jc1350
Aug 8, 2011, 02:20 PM
Yes.

Encrypted.

You have to enable encryption on the time machine drive. It's not on by default. It's a checkbox in the "select drive" dialog window if I recall.

ac3320
Aug 21, 2011, 12:18 PM
Really? Wow, that's pretty bad for a reviewer to do that. Maybe it's time to finally flick the switch then....

One question... anyone use FileVault with a Momentus XT? Any problems with the sad cache on that drive and it impacting the drives performance?

+1

I would like to know how FileVault 2 performs with the Momentus XT :)

tblrsa
Aug 21, 2011, 12:27 PM
FV2 was one of the main reasons for me to upgrade to Lion. Everything working perfectly fine on my MBP 13". I´ve encrypted my Time Machine Volume too.

ac3320
Aug 21, 2011, 12:36 PM
FV2 was one of the main reasons for me to upgrade to Lion. Everything working perfectly fine on my MBP 13". I´ve encrypted my Time Machine Volume too.

So no noticeable slowdowns (or increased boot times)?

Cromulent
Aug 21, 2011, 12:39 PM
I use encrypted disk images instead. That means I can keep all my sensitive files protected without having to suffer the performance degradation of full drive encryption. For me it is a win win solution.

ac3320
Aug 21, 2011, 12:46 PM
I use encrypted disk images instead. That means I can keep all my sensitive files protected without having to suffer the performance degradation of full drive encryption. For me it is a win win solution.

Is it not kind of cumbersome to do things that way? I tried doing so for my ~User/Documents folder but it of course mounts the image every time you want to use it, and then you have to eject it when you're done. Can you save items to that location from, say, Textedit or something, or do you have to manually copy that file over after mounting the DMG?

pcmxa
Aug 21, 2011, 12:53 PM
So no noticeable slowdowns (or increased boot times)?

On my 2009 MBP the boot time is noticeably longer with Filevault 2 enabled. I haven't noticed a performance loss, but I haven't been working with large files lately. Mostly using it to browse the web...

echo.park
Aug 21, 2011, 01:22 PM
Because it's there and all my bought music is on my Macbook. A do also use FileVault for my Time Machine backup.

ac3320
Aug 21, 2011, 01:25 PM
On my 2009 MBP the boot time is noticeably longer with Filevault 2 enabled. I haven't noticed a performance loss, but I haven't been working with large files lately. Mostly using it to browse the web...
How much of a boot time increase? It's not a SUPER big deal, but i was so sad about the boot time increase with my initial Lion install (upgrade), and I was so relieved when the boot time was down to like 28 s (clean install), that i'm scared to turn it on (though the security it provides is awesome).

Because it's there and all my bought music is on my Macbook. A do also use FileVault for my Time Machine backup.
See, I would be so inclined to NOT encrypt my Music, since who cares if someone gets access to that. I would like to just encrypt several ~User folders, but then you're DMGing folders and that's kind of cumbersome...

Eradik
Aug 21, 2011, 01:33 PM
+1

I would like to know how FileVault 2 performs with the Momentus XT :)

I ended up using FileVault 2 on my Mac, which is using an XT. I have had zero problems. It's worked great and I still get the benefit of the flash storage.

In general I have noticed not a single problem with FV2. Love it.

ac3320
Aug 21, 2011, 01:38 PM
I ended up using FileVault 2 on my Mac, which is using an XT. I have had zero problems. It's worked great and I still get the benefit of the flash storage.

In general I have noticed not a single problem with FV2. Love it.

I seem to remember something about how the i5/i7 chipsets can deal with FV2 (in Lion) much better than the Core 2 Duo processors (like what I have).

I assume with a 2010 model you have at least the i5? That *could* be a reason why your performance has not changed.

It's hard to synthesize everyone's advise! haha... one guy said he had noticeable boot time increases, but i never did ask what processor he's running..

Eradik
Aug 21, 2011, 01:45 PM
I seem to remember something about how the i5/i7 chipsets can deal with FV2 (in Lion) much better than the Core 2 Duo processors (like what I have).

I assume with a 2010 model you have at least the i5? That *could* be a reason why your performance has not changed.

It's hard to synthesize everyone's advise! haha... one guy said he had noticeable boot time increases, but i never did ask what processor he's running..

Quite possible. I am running the i5. Boot times for me are also hard to judge, giving the Momentus XT and that it has shortened them quite a bit.

This was the article (http://osxdaily.com/2011/08/10/filevault-2-benchmarks-disk-encryption-faster-mac-os-x-lion/) that finally made me turn on FV2 for good. Unfortunately, the bottom of the article states: Bottom line: if you have a Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7 processor, you’ll barely notice the impact of disk encryption.

If your torn, I'd say run some tests and time them, then turn it on and then wait for it to finish. Then, run the tests again. The worst you're out is a day of turning encryption on and off, but you can do that in the background so not even too big of a deal. :)

ac3320
Aug 21, 2011, 01:48 PM
Quite possible. I am running the i5. Boot times for me are also hard to judge, giving the Momentus XT and that it has shortened them quite a bit.

This was the article (http://osxdaily.com/2011/08/10/filevault-2-benchmarks-disk-encryption-faster-mac-os-x-lion/) that finally made me turn on FV2 for good. Unfortunately, the bottom of the article states: Bottom line: if you have a Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7 processor, you’ll barely notice the impact of disk encryption.

If your torn, I'd say run some tests and time them, then turn it on and then wait for it to finish. Then, run the tests again. The worst you're out is a day of turning encryption on and off, but you can do that in the background so not even too big of a deal. :)

True that. I actually DL'd Xbench and tried to get Geekbench but it's not free. I figured i could use Xbench to compare before and after FV2 on, and just manually time boot (POA) times with FV2 on and off.

As another sidetracker: i know that each of the popular benchmarking apps have different things they look at...would Xbench be a reasonable one to test FV2's effect on the system?

Eradik
Aug 21, 2011, 02:02 PM
True that. I actually DL'd Xbench and tried to get Geekbench but it's not free. I figured i could use Xbench to compare before and after FV2 on, and just manually time boot (POA) times with FV2 on and off.

As another sidetracker: i know that each of the popular benchmarking apps have different things they look at...would Xbench be a reasonable one to test FV2's effect on the system?

I have no experience with XBench, but after looking at it I don't see why it wouldn't. Yes, it does suck that Geekbench is not free. It does let you use the 32bit as a trial, but since Lion is a full 64 bit OS it kind of makes it useless. Though it would still give you an idea.

It also depends on what your expectations are. If you're mostly opening Safari and Word, boot times (of the programs) will be all you need to measure (which could be done manually). If you're using Aperture/iPhoto or do a lot of work with videos, etc. it might be worth running a benchmark program since those programs open/close files (sometimes) rapidly, and that could affect your performance.

Also, once you enable FV2, you'll want to reboot 5 times, opening your programs 5 times as well to re-teach the Momentus XT. I know the XT just looks at location on the hard drive platter, and I'm not sure if FV2 reorganizes them so it might be worth doing just in case it does move things around.

tblrsa
Aug 21, 2011, 02:24 PM
So no noticeable slowdowns (or increased boot times)?

No, my book runs fine. I carry the book with me a lot, so i value the extra security FV2 does provide me with. About time Apple equipped the OS with a FDE, they neglected security for quite a while.