File archivers such as WinZip and WinRar can compress files but they cannot really protect your files from prying eyes. Yes, these file compression tools may allow you to lock your compressed files with a password but this isn’t enough. If you want a better way to secure your private files, you better check out this program called BCArchive.
What Is It and What Does It Do
Created and developed by the folks at Jetico Inc., BCArchive is a free file compression and file encryption tool for Windows. What this program does is that compresses your files/folders into a single encrypted .bca file. This also means that aside from using a password to lock your compressed or archived file, you are also encrypting your files in such a way that they cannot be viewed by unauthorized users. So even if an unauthorized person manages to steal your files, they won’t be able to view what’s inside your archive even if they know a way to bypass your archived file’s password. What’s also great about this program is that you can create a self-extracting file. This means that there’s no need for your recipient to install the BCArchive program just to extract the files that you’ve kept inside your archived folder.
- Nice and neat UI, very responsive and stable, easy to use
- Can compress files or folders into a single encrypted .bca file that can also be converted into a self-extracting standalone executable file – you can protect these files by using a public key or password
- The program will automatically integrate itself into your computer’s system – this means that you can compress and encrypt your files directly via shell popup menu, file explorer menu or command-line prompt
- Supports public key encryption – you can also make use of your existing public keys such as those that you have already created using PGP
- Uses the following encryption algorithms:
- Symmetric algorithms: Rijndael (AES), Blowfish-256, Blowfish-448, IDEA, CAST5, GOST 28147-89, Triple DES, TWOFISH, SERPENT
- Secure Hash Algorithms: SHA-256, SHA-1, MD5 and RIPEMD-160
- Asymmetric (public/secret key pair) algorithms: RSA, ElGamal / Diffie-Hellman
- Specifications for public/secret key pair format: PKCS #12, X.509
- PKCS #5 recommendations for the implementation of password-based cryptography
- RFC 2440 specifications for session keys encrypted by symmetric or public key encryption algorithms
- Has a built-in Sync, Export and Import functions
- You can add more than one public key or password to your archived and encrypted files
- Does not have a built-in tool wherein you can generate a strong password – you must generate your own passwords
- In case of forgotten passwords, there is no way that you can recover the files inside your encrypted folder
- It could take some time for newbies to learn how to compress and encrypt their files and folders
- There is no option for securely deleting the original file
BCArchive is a great option especially if you are often dealing with private or confidential files. It is mostly applicable for people who are working in offices and even to those who are running their own businesses.
What sets this program apart from other file archivers is that it doesn’t just compress your files into a single archived folder. It also encrypts your files using its supported encryption algorithms such as Rijndael (AES), Blowfish-256, Blowfish-448, TWOFISH and SERPENT. In other words, even if your file gets into the hands of unauthorized users, they won’t be able to view what is inside your encrypted archive even if they could successfully bypass the password. What is also great about this program is that it supports encryption via public key so you can easily send your protected files to your trusted recipients.
Another good feature of this program is that your recipient does not need to install the BCArchive tool just so he or she could extract and view the files that you sent. All you need to do is to create a self-extracting file. This means that your .bca archive will be converted into an application (executable program – .exe) and for as long as your recipient knows the correct password, he or she can open the file.
For starters, the process of compressing and encrypting files may sound too confusing but there’s no need to worry. This program has an available Help file  that you can use as reference. Moreover, it also has a built-in public key and secret key generator so there’s no need for you to download a separate public encryption key software or program. It will also allow you to make use of your existing public keys so it’s totally okay to use the public key that you’ve generated using PGP. It’s just that when it comes to generating a password, you will have to create your own. Do take note that this program will not accept a password with less than eight characters. It is also important to note that this program does not provide any support for password recovery. Thus, it is strongly recommended that you keep a copy of your passwords. Just don’t blatantly write them down on a piece of paper.
All in all, I could say that BCArchive is a pretty stable and secure program. However, it is still your responsibility to create a secure public key or password. So far, I haven’t encountered any serious issues with this software. As for those who have zero knowledge about file encryption, I suggest that you do your research first before you even start using this program.
Conclusion and Download Link
BCArchive is definitely an interesting and useful program. While there are plenty of encryption tools out there — dotTech even has a review of best free encryption programs for Windows  — what I like most about BCArchive is it allows you to encrypt multiple files into the a single encrypted file and it has the ability to turn that encrypted file into a standalone executable that can be decrypted without needing BCArchive to be installed. Sort of like a bit of AxCrypt mixed with a bit of TrueCrypt. If you like the sound of that, check out BCArchive.
Version reviewed: 2.05.5
Supported OS: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8
Download size: 3.90MB
VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/48 
Is it portable? No