Experience with FileVault with Base Model 2011 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by turbobass, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. turbobass macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1
    Hello iMac-ers,

    I was considering turning on Lion's FileVault whole-disk encryption for my base-model 2011 iMac but since I have read some horror stories about encryption making disk-recovery difficult I wanted to hear if you had any

    My questions are:

    • Did you notice any slowdowns accessing or writing files to your HDD, or with launching any favorite apps (or any other performance related issues)?
    • Were their any apps (besides Starcraft II lol) that were ncompatible with the FileVault encrypted drive?
    • Did you ever have your iMac stolen and make you WISH you had encrypted it (i.e., is this even really necessary?
    • I guess That's it!
     
  2. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    I use FileVault II on all of our Macs. Other than the sequence of the boot procedure, using it is completely transparent.

    I originally installed it just our MBAs as they are by far the most likely machines to be stollen. We travel a lot, and often there is no good choice but to leave our MBAs in hotel rooms. After we saw how well FV2 works, we installed it on our iMacs as well.

    When you first install it, it will take a while before all your data is encrypted. You can continue to use your machine during the process, and you can even shut it down between uses. FV2 is integrated into the file system and it keeps track of which data has been encrypted, and which has not. During the encryption processes, you will feel some slowdown. However, once that is complete, then you will not feel any slowdown. A lot of data may take several hours to encrypt, but it will likely complete overnight. System preferences will indicate a progress bar.

    I have not found any program incompatibility. It is a file system function, so applications will have no clue that the data is encrypted.

    Regarding our individual history of having a computer stollen, but that does not mean encryption is not necessary. Personally, I do not use FV2 because I am afraid to I will lose access to my data. That is what backup is for. I use FV2 to minimize identity theft or other bad things if my data ends up in the wrong hands.

    /Jim
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #3
    I use it on my base 2010 27" iMac and after the initial encryption, it is totally transparent. I don't notice any slowdown and have had no incompatibilities.
     
  4. turbobass thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #4
    Thanks for taking the time to write that detailed response -- I am trying to use it for the same thing ... just in case someone makes off with my iMac I don't want them to access the files on it!

    And just because I'm somewhat of a n00b -- does the file system (specifically thinking of file transferring around to various devices / servers) transfer applications at the Shell (via Terminal.app) layer exist "above" this encryption layer too?

    I read that dropbox worked but just wanted to make sure that stuff like ssh was still going to go down OK if I initiated a file transfer at that level...it should right?

    I've read a lot of threads (googling) about people complaining that ssh wasn't working right after installing FileVault but all of those threads seem to be older and referring to a mechanism different than the current one.

    Thanks!
     
  5. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    There is a huge change (and improvement) between FV1 and FV2. FV2 was introduced with Lion, and performs full disk encryption. By contrast, FV1 only encrypted the users home directory.

    The file system encrypts data into and out of the disk drive. All other times it is open. I googled the SSH/FV issues and from the dates that I saw, they seem related to FV1 time period.

    /Jim
     
  6. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #6
    FileVault2 (Lion and after), there is no issue with running games when your disk is encrypted. There will be some slowdown during the initial encryption, but not as much as one might think.

    If you're running SSH on the Mac, there are zero issues here, no matter which version of OS X you're on. And if you're running SSH to access your Mac, I think all the issues that you were hearing about were around FV1. FV2 should fix a lot of those issues.
     

Share This Page