Should I be using FileVault?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jojoba, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2011
    Just wondering what the pros and cons are. I've read a bit about it on the internet but I don't really understand what it does/ whether it's something I should be using.
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2011
    If you like data loss then go for it.
  3. Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    FileVault is a stable option for those who wish to encrypt their drive.

    Personally, I have little desire to encrypt my drive, but there are those who want that level of protection.
  4. macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2012
    What do you want to use it for?

    I use an app called Espionage, it's excellent as it allows you to encrypt individual folders or just password protect them.

    I find this a much better option than encrypting an entire drive.
  5. macrumors member

    Mar 26, 2012
    Do you have any sources for your statement?
  6. Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I would agree with this action. Its better to encrypt only the objects you wish to keep safe and not the entire volume.

    FWIW, you can create an encrypted dmg and put any sensitive files into that as well. Perhaps not as seamless as the your suggestion but it is an alternative.
  7. macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    I use FileVault on both my MBA and MBP. No issues and both are still very fast (SSDs).

    I see no reason not to turn it on. A lost laptop these days can cause a lot of issues, banking, personal files (resume/photos), etc.

    Not everything you do will end up in an encrypted file if you go the partial encryption route and anyone with a little knowledge can find the pieces that land outside it (temp files, internet cache/history, etc).

    Desktops and such, well there is less of a risk that they'll be lost or stolen. But laptops, for sure.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2008
    I agree with this 100%. FileVault on a laptop just makes a ton of sense. There really is no reason not to use it.
  9. macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    And if you're worried about data loss, well you should be backing up your data anyways. Not that I've had any issues with FileVault turned on, but using Time Machine should make any risk of data loss a non-issue.
  10. macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2011
    Agreed with all on FileVault - it works seamlessly, and on something you carry around, why NOT use it?
  11. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2011
    Thanks so much, everyone. I guess it sounds like just turning it on is a good idea. But I like that other software, too.

    So, if I turn this on, will I notice any difference? Is there anything I will need to do on a regular basis that I didn't do before? Sorry if this is a stupid question, as is probably evident I'm a bit clueless with this.
  12. macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    Just save the recovery key that it provides you.

    The only difference you will notice is that the login prompt is immediate when the computer turns on. This unlocks the encrypted drive and then booting proceeds per normal.
  13. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2011
    OK, that sounds fine.

    Thanks for the input, everyone :)
  14. macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    FileVault 2 works just fine. I have no experience with the original FileVault so I cannot comment on how well it works.

    Also, a lot of issues that people have posted about with FileVault are for the original FileVault that just encrypted the home directory. FileVault 2 by the way it works does not have those issues. And unfortunately a lot of the posts aren't clear about which version of FileVault they are talking about.

    Lion (and after) have FileVault 2.
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2007
    Liverpool, UK
    Just my input, file vault does have an effect on computer performance but it is small.
  16. macrumors 6502

    Mar 17, 2012
    Does encruting your drive with filevault not slow down preformance with all that encrypting adnn decrypting going on everytime you access the disk ?
  17. macrumors P6


    Jan 23, 2005
    It does, but very little. Here is a test showing some slowing.

    I do not notice any slowing at all on my 13" 2011 MacBook Pro with a Samsung 470 SSD.
  18. macrumors member


    Jan 7, 2012
    I have turned on FileVault 2 on my iMac (2011) and my MBA 13" (2011).
    It works like a charm on the MBA.
    On the iMac I've had some weird bluetooth connection issues. I am not sure, if they are related to FileVault 2, but I didn't have them before. I also think, I've read something about that somewhere. Other than that, it works fine.
    No noticeable loss of performance.

    I wouldn't go without it to protect my data.
  19. macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    I had both of my Macbook Airs and other items stolen out of my car over the weekend. I can't tell you how much of a relief it was knowing both laptops and all hard drives were encrypted.

    Taxes, passwords, banking info, company security info (I'm an I.T. Manager) were on those laptops. I think not encrypting a laptop is a big mistake if you have any personal data on it.

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