At TechShow, everyone seemed pretty impressed with Viivo, which can encrypt files and store them in the four most-popular cloud services: Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, and Drive. Viivo is free for personal use, and you only have to pay a pretty-reasonable $4.99/month if you want mobile access.

Viivo is really simple to use. Once you download and install the software, you get a Viivo folder in the user directory on your computer and a Viivo-Encrypted folder in your Dropbox/Box/OneDrive/Drive account. Anything you put in that folder is encrypted and synced up through the cloud.

If you try to access the encrypted files by going in through your Dropbox folder, you will see a lot of files with the .viivo extension, and you won’t be able to read any of them. If you ever wondered what an encrypted file looks like if you try to open it, here’s one of mine:

(Those readable text strings aren’t in the actual file I encrypted with Viivo; they must be related to the encrypted file’s meta data.) You can only read your encrypted files if you start in the Viivo folder on your computer or in the Viivo apps.

Viivo’s security looks rock-solid. Your data is encrypted before it leaves your computer, and you keep the encryption keys. From the FAQ:

When you create your Viivo account, public and private keys are generated to secure your private data and files. Because your account is created on your device, the chances of your data being prone to attack and exploitation are next to none. We have designed our system so that any account information that is stored in our servers is nearly impossible to retrieve by anyone other than you.

(Emphasis added.) Viivo also has a more extensive security fact sheet, and if you want lawyer-specific information, you can get that, too. At TechShow, I also learned that it is even eligible for HIPAA compliance.

The only downside to all this security is that you cannot access your files through a web browser. I think that is a fair tradeoff for the impressive security Viivo is offering, but it might get in your way from time to time. You can still share encrypted files with other Viivo users, though.

To be frank, I’m sold. I’m moving a bunch of directories into Viivo as I write this.


  1. Bart Torvik says:

    If you encrypt your MS OneDrive files using Viivo, can you use the iPad Office apps to edit them?

    • Sam Glover says:

      Sort of.

      The Office for iPad apps won’t be able to read your Viivo-encrypted files, but you can open files from the Viivo app, which will send them to Office for iPad. From there, you can drop the files back into an unencrypted OneDrive folder.

      At some point in the future, Microsoft may decide to play well with others and enable the “Open in …” functionality that most apps have. Then, when Viivo allows you to encrypt files within the apps, you’ll be able to open files from the Viivo app, edit them in an Office app, then send them back to Viivo. That will be a little clunky, but not bad.

  2. Vinnie James says:

    I would steer clear of Box and BoxSync. Their software deleted 4gb of client files from my hard drive. The only solution was to download the files back from Box which took all day. I have had numerous other problems with their software including. Box Support instructed me to reinstall the software which then began duplicating over 100,000 files. Their solution to this was “go through them one-by-one and delete the duplicates.” Terrible software and terrible customer support

  3. Pat says:

    Will true crypt and viivo work together with Dropbox? I have true crypt on my laptop and desktop, but a security friend tells me that my files with drop box are not encrypted in the cloud.

    • Sam Glover says:

      You could use TrueCrypt with Viivo, but you probably don’t need to. Viivo encrypts locally, and you keep the encryption key. That’s basically what you get with TrueCrypt, but TrueCrypt makes the whole thing a lot less convenient.

      Dropbox does encrypt your files on its servers, but the reason people are concerned about it is that Dropbox keeps the encryption key. Also, the data is not encrypted locally — Dropbox only encrypts your files once they land on its servers.

  4. VPN Verge says:

    viivo can’t detect my OneDrive folder.

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