Filevault question?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by H.Finch, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. H.Finch macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2013
    Hi all,

    I'm debating doing a clean install of El Cap tomorrow, and I'm also debating turning on Filevault. Maybe someone can help me with these small questions before I do that:

    1: Will it slow down my SSD a lot? I hear people say 'not much’ everywhere, but, if were talking percentages... Anybody know that?

    2: I have Dropbox installed on my two Mac's. Will the files in Dropbox change as a result of turning on Filevault? And do I need to turn on Filevault on my second mac also? So that the systems with Dropbox in between are similar? And will the files on Dropbox servers be encrypted as well?

    3: If I backup a Filevault protected folder of Macintosh HD to an external disc. Will that be encrypted on that external disc? Or Do I need to turn on Filevault on the Disc as well?

    If someone could shed a bit of light on this I'd be very very happy,

  2. mfram macrumors 65816

    Jan 23, 2010
    San Diego, CA USA
    Can't give you exact performance numbers of "before" and "after". I will only say that I don't notice any lag while running FileVault. Once it is running, nothing much changes. You need to give your password early in the boot sequence instead of later when you normally log in. But once you type in your password, you really aren't going to notice any difference in how the machine behaves. Files you copy to external places are not encrypted. Time Machine backups are not encrypted (unless you specifically enable that in TM prefs).

    FileVault is protecting against the case where your laptop is stolen. An attacker is not going to be able to get to your data without your password. Even if they remove the drive from the machine and put the drive in another machine, they can't access the data without your password.

    Your data is as protected as your password is. If you use a bad password that the attacker is going to be able to guess, then your data won't be protected at that point.
  3. H.Finch thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2013
    Hi mfram,

    Awesome man, thanks for the info! That really cleared things up. Good point about the password early in the boot sequence... I didn’t think about that one yet. I’ll get a tougher password for that… Which means leaving my Mac on all the time instead of turning it on and off each day will become a little more attractive. I’ll have to think about that one..

    Thanks again man!
  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    1. If you have a newer Mac (i5 CPU and up), there will be very little slow down. Here are some tests.

    2. No... nothing will change as far as Dropbox goes It will work exactly the same and it does not matter what you do on the second Mac. FV2 will not encrypt files sent to Dropbox servers. They will be the same as before.

    3. No... backup encryption is separate and can be enabled in Time Machine settings.

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3 September 30, 2015