FileVault - Is there a consensus?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by sabester24, Dec 12, 2015.

  1. sabester24 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    #1
    I turned FireVault on for my brand new iMac 5K and at first, everything seemed to be working smoothly. After a week or so, I started to notice that my system was responding very slowing waking up from sleep and login into my user account. I also started noticing other strange slowdowns that seemed to happen randomly. At first, I thought I may have installed faulty 3rd party RAM from Crucial, but after doing some research, I found that some users reported that FireVault was causing similar problems to what I was experiencing. Sure enough, I turned off FireVault and the problems stopped.

    I like the idea of FireVault for an added layer of security, but the performance issues and glitches were very frustrating. What's the consensus...is FireVault faulty by nature? Are people using it knowing that it slows down their machines and causes problems? Or was I doing something wrong?
     
  2. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #2
    Some users don't have issues with Filevault (not FireVault :D ) - no notable slowdowns or system lags.
    My expectation (and my experience) was that there can be some system slowdown for the first day or so, which could include the normal adjustment with the Spotlight database while that builds, and Time Machine, too. After that first day or so, the system settles back to nice performance. It shouldn't be much different with FileVault.
    Others do seem to struggle. So, hard to say if something else that you do is affecting FileVault. Maybe someone else will add to this with their views.
     
  3. zhaoxin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2015
    #3
    I think FileVault does affects the system's speed. As it encrypts the files to disk automatically. However, how the performance loses depends on you cpu speed and the disk speed. So if you have an SSD, then you experience will be much better than a hard drive.

    I have FileVault enabled in my Macbook Air 2013, and everything seems no change. However, when I enable it on my Mac mini 2012, which is with a 1TB hard drive, when I download by utorrent, everything seams halted. I have to stop using FileVault on it.

    My conclusion:
    1 If you are using a SSD, you can enable FileVault.
    2 If you are using a hard drive, especially you are downloading large files, like HD movies or games. You may not want to enable it.
    3 Since FileVault asks you to input your password every time the system starts locally, if you want a remote server, you can not use FileVault. The remote desktop can't run until you computer goes into the desktop on FileVault.
     
  4. class77 macrumors 6502a

    class77

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    #4
    Maybe I'm being naive, but if you're not going to be traveling with your iMac(27" in tough to tuck under your arm) or it's in your home, there's no need encrypt your hard drive. If you're traveling with it, I can see why you might want to
     
  5. sabester24 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    #5
    I hear ya...And that's what I'm learning towards. However, I could think of a few "worst case scenarios" in which even my iMac could be compromised. All else equal, I'd rather be over protected than not protected enough. I'm just trying to weigh the performance issues. I would've thought that a new iMac 5k with 24 GB's of RAM could handle even the most demanding applications...
     
  6. class77 macrumors 6502a

    class77

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    #6
    I think the iMac performance also depends on the speed of your hard drive to access your data. I think that's why people are down on this year's iteration of this year's fusion drive. By moving it from 128Gb SSD to a 24GB SSD in tandem with your spinning drive, it slowed the transfer of info/introduced a bottleneck that was not there last year.
     
  7. zhaoxin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2015
    #7
    I do use FileVault with my iMac 5K 27" last month. As there was dust in it and I needed it to be replaced the screen. So I FileVaulted and sent it to Apple. I unFileVaulted it after it was repaired and sent back to me.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    I store a lot of confidential material on my iMac, including my taxes, bank and credit card info. If I'm at work on any given day, and someone breaks into my house, they have all of the data at their finger tips, and yes at the point it would be fairly easy for them to tuck it under their arms.

    While the risk may be less then that of a MBP, there is a risk and the work effort to protect my identity after a theft is exponentially higher then before, this is a small thing I can do to avoid that mountain of work, headaches and hassles.


    [MOD NOTE]
    Putting on my moderator hat, I corrected the title to avoid confusion, i.e., the title now states FileVault nor FireVault
     
  9. Buerkletucson macrumors 6502

    Buerkletucson

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    #9

    I would think the password protection on MS Office applications would protect spreadsheet or document information pretty well.
    That's what I do.......

    I'm debating turning on FileVault on a desktop at this point.
     
  10. sparkie1984 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Location:
    a small village near London
    #10
    I run FileVault on my mac pro 2009 with a pci e ssd I've fitted myself and it runs just fine.

    It is base spec with 3gb ram
     
  11. sabester24 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    #11
    That's why I went with the 2TB Fusion- to get that 128 of SSD. And I installed extra RAM for a total of 24 GB's so I was surprised that I was experiencing slow downs using FireVault. Then again, maybe something else is going on with my computer that I'm not aware of.
     
  12. sabester24 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    #12
    My thoughts exactly...If there were a break-in (knock on wood), I'm sure the iMac would be a top target, in which case added encryption would be key.

    Sorry for incorrectly calling it "FireVault"...I was tired last night when I was posting this...
     
  13. jazzer15 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    #13
    Perhaps I don't fully understand how Firevault works, but is there really any benefit to using it vs. just encrypting/password protecting an important folder on the iMac? I have FireVault running on my late 2009 iMac but I was wondering if it really makes sense. I do have some sensitive information on my computer, but the vast majority of it is media (photos/music, etc.). Why not just encrypt the folder with taxes/business files?
     
  14. class77 macrumors 6502a

    class77

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    #14
    I understood that you had 24Gbs of RAM, but I was under the impression that your iMac was the 2015 model which only has 24Gb SSD on the Fusion drives. If that was the wrong impression, I apologize
     
  15. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #15
    The SSD is the small 24GB only on the 1TB Fusion. The 2 and 3TB Fusion options include the 128GB SSD.
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #16
    I don't think password protecting office docs is sufficiently strong enough to give me peace of mind. There's also the issue that my personal data exists in other formats, including PDFs and turbo tax files. With my data encrypted its going to be harder for anyone to crack it. The common thief will all but give up.

    FileVault encrypts the entire disk and the beauty of the setup is that once you're authenticated, it automatically decrypts your files, so you don't need to do any extra steps.

    With an encrypted folder, you need to manually decrypt them, and its quite possible in time that you miss putting some files into that folder. Then there's the issue of emails, and other data that could be problematic. Encrypting everything gives you the peace of mind that its all done, and there's no extra work for you.
     
  17. Buerkletucson macrumors 6502

    Buerkletucson

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    #17

    Just an FYI...


    The 128-bit key AES protection employed in newer Office 2007–2010 remains secure.
    In fact, the distributed.net RC5 project has been trying to brute force an RC5 72-bit key since 2002, and has not successfully done so yet.
    Furthermore, even utilizing all known breaks (that speed up brute force attacks by a factor of about four) it would take a typical computer millions of years or longer to break a 128-bit AES key of sufficient length and complexity.

    Source:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Office_password_protection
     
  18. GIZBUG macrumors 65816

    GIZBUG

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
  19. zhaoxin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2015
    #19
    I don't know. But at least Apple hopes so. FileVault is shown when you open a new mac or upgrade into the latest macOS, and if you are a majority user who just clicks next, it is enabled.
     
  20. Easttime macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2015
    #20
    I finally got everything filevaulted. Macs (desktop and laptop), time machine external hard drive and carbon copy clone external hard drive. Nice to have the piece of mind. Not noticing any interface slow downs. (mid-2010 MacBook and 2014 Mac Mini).

    Note that special procedures are required when setting up FileVault for time machine and carbon copy clone.

    I don't know what the hardware considerations are using FV. For example wear and tear on spinner and SSD hard drives.
     
  21. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #21
    Who knows, but its the best option in all honesty.
     
  22. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

    b0fh666

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    south
    #22
    mandatory for me. too bad it won't work in my hackintosh, can't encrypt the boot drive on that one. but the data drive is encrypted.

    disk encryption yields almost zero performance hit. it does not use more memory, it does not matter if the disk is fast or not. all it uses is a little CPU to do the encryption/decryption at the block level, and all modern processors have specific instructions to handle the AES encryption.
     
  23. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #23
    If I'm taking my Mac out of the house I'm enabling FileVault. If it's sitting at home, I wouldn't bother. Whilst there must be some performance hit, I don't think its noticeable and much prefer the protection it provides.
     
  24. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #24
    What happens if a thief breaks into your house, steals your iMac? They'll potentially have a lot of sensitive data, i.e., possible tax returns, credit card info etc.
     
  25. rshrugged, Nov 12, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016

    rshrugged macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    #25
    I have a Mini, not an iMac, with an SSD. FV is working well. No performance impact. The only problem I had with it had to do with multiple, USB keyboards being simultaneously attached. One directly attached, one to an external hub. That created a boot problem, doesn't sound as if that's the OP's problem.

    I'm wondering if, in the OP's case, the encryption process ever completed, whether because of the "awake time" period of the computer, data amount, competition for resources, etc... If that wasn't checked, might want to try again and make sure it has actually completed before continuing any troubleshooting.

    Edit: oops, the OP was in 2015. So, advice to retry and monitor is general advice.
     

Share This Page