Gpg4win Review – Secure email and file encryption


Gpg4win is an open source application for encryption and digital signing of files and e-mails with OpenPGP and S / MIME. Although Edward Snowden proved that OpenPGP was not cracked by the NSA and therefore still offers real privacy, it is not used very much. Encrypting, certificates and additional passwords also sound quite complex, but Gpg4win does a good job by making it simple and understandable.

OpenPGP uses asymmetric cryptography. In addition, each participant has a public and a private key. The public key is shared with everyone, the private key is not. If you send someone a message, you encrypt it with the public key of the recipient. To make the message readable, the recipient uses his own private key, only that is possible. Nobody else can read that message. If the sender also sends the message again with his own secret key, the recipient can check the sender’s authenticity with the sender’s public key. After all, only the sender has the private key and only he can have the document sealed.

Changes on the way

Furthermore, OpenPGP checks whether a message has not been changed along the way, and in certain cases can not deny the consignor nor recipient to have sent the message and to have read it. In short, maximum privacy and security. The juggling with keys and passwords for many as an obstacle to OpenPGP to use, but Gpg4win helps . Gpg4win consists of GnuPG that controls cryptography, Kleopatra that manages the digital keys, and GpgOL and GpgEX for integration with Outlook and Windows Explorer (which also simplify the encryption and protection of files and messages).

In the new version 3.0, especially the Outlook plug-in has been improved, with fewer pop-ups and even more automation, the decryption of messages is automatically started. Also mail in html format is now supported. If you do not have Outlook, copy the message to the Windows Clipboard and Kleopatra can also encrypt and sign it there. Furthermore, Kleopatra recognizes relevant file types and automatically starts the corresponding actions. Finally, GNuPG has been upgraded to version 2.2, so that it now also supports Web Key Directory and therefore searches the right public key online at a specified e-mail address.

The integration with Microsoft Outlook has been further improved in Gpg4win and html mail is now fully supported.


The quality of Gpg4win lies in the ease of use of key management and the removal of a lot of technology when encrypting and decrypting. Pgp4win is free and fully open source. Everyone should try it at least, it brings safe and unspoken communication within everyone’s reach.

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