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Advanced Encryption Technology

WinZip®, 9.0 or later, and WinZip E-Mail Companion support 128- and 256-bit key AES encryption, which provide much greater cryptographic security than the traditional Zip 2.0 encryption method used in earlier versions of WinZip.

WinZip's advanced encryption (FIPS-197 certified) uses the Rijndael cryptographic algorithm which, in 2001, was specified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) Publication 197 as the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).

Encrypt Dialogue

After a three-year competition, the AES was announced by NIST as an approved encryption technique for use by the U.S. government, private businesses, and individuals. When properly implemented as a key component of an overall security protocol, the AES permits a very high degree of cryptographic security, yet is fast and efficient in operation.

WinZip's AES encryption is just as easy to use as traditional Zip 2.0 encryption: all you have to do is select the encryption method and specify your password.

In addition to the new AES encryption technology, WinZip provides a number of usability enhancements that make it easier for you to use encryption. Most noticeably, you can now easily encrypt the files that are already in a Zip file; previously, files could be encrypted only while they were being added to the Zip file.

Recipients to whom you send AES-encrypted Zip files must have a compatible Zip file utility in order to decrypt the files. We have published the full specification for creating WinZip-compatible AES-encrypted Zip files, and we expect that other Zip file utility vendors will provide support for the format.

WinZip is also able to read password-protected AES-encrypted files created by PKZIP for Microsoft Windows.

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