Do you know that Microsoft offers two types of encryption on Windows? It offers both Device Encryption and BitLocker to safeguard access to your data. In this guide, we explain to you what they are and the difference between Device Encryption and BitLocker.
What is Device Encryption on Windows?
Device Encryption on Windows is a security feature that encrypts your drive and protects the data. Only authorized individuals can have access to your device and data, once it is enabled. It will protect your data from unauthorized access in case your laptop or device is lost or stolen.
When you lose your laptop, no one can access the data on your system and secondary drives, except for you with the password. All the data gets scrambled. Device Encryption is by-default available on every Windows device.
Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro allow automated device encryption and its encryption is more efficient and quicker than BitLocker encryption.
Read: Device Encryption not showing or working in Windows
What is BitLocker?
BitLocker is a full device encryption tool with management controls that is available in Windows 11/10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education edition. If you are a Windows 11/10 Home edition user, you won’t find it on your PC.
It is built into Windows OS to give complete protection to your data in drives with encryption. You can enable it on selected drives or all drives on your PC.
Read: How to create a BitLocker Drive Encryption shortcut in Windows
Difference between Device Encryption and BitLocker
Both are fundamentally the same, but there are some differences between Device Encryption and BitLocker on Windows. The limitation with Device Encryption is that you have no options to configure and no way to require preboot-authentication – you have to rely on the TPM chip alone. However, both are similar and work to secure your data; the difference being when and how to utilize them.
- Device encryption is available on every Windows edition, provided your hardware supports it. You can find it in the Settings app under Privacy & Security menu.
- BitLocker is not available on Windows 11/10 Home edition. You need to upgrade your PC to Pro, Enterprise, or Education edition to be able to get the BitLocker and use it to protect your data.
- Device Encryption is automatic and requires an active TPM and user to be signed in to a Microsoft account. The recovery key gets uploaded to your OneDrive account. It is better suited for consumer end users.
- BitLocker is more suitable for business and it’s best to configure this feature via GPO and back up the BitLocker recovery key to a suitable location of their choice.
Your PC needs to meet the below hardware requirements if you want to use Device Encryption on your PC,
- The device contains a TPM (Trusted Platform Module), either TPM 1.2 or TPM 2.0.
- UEFI Secure Boot is enabled.
- Platform Secure Boot is enabled
- Direct memory access (DMA) protection is enabled
Your PC needs Windows 11/10 Pro, Education, or Enterprise edition to see the BitLocker feature. In addition to that, your PC needs to meet the following hardware requirements.
- Your PC must have Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2 or later with Trusted Computing Group (TCG) compliant BIOS or UEFI firmware.
- The hard disk must be partitioned into two drives at least, the Operating system drive or boot drive and the system drive.
- Device Encryption encrypts your system and secondary drives completely. You don’t get to exclude a drive or partition.
- With BitLocker, you can encrypt a single drive or all the drives and you get a set of management tools to protect your data. In short, BitLocker encryption is full device encryption with management controls as is a comprehensive volume encryption technology.
- If Device Encryption isn’t available on your device, you can turn on BitLocker encryption
Read: Change how BitLocker unlocks OS Drive at Startup
Which is better Device Encryption or BitLocker?
Device Encryption and BitLocker are almost the same and good at their levels of encryption. Additionally, BitLocker comes with extreme protocols and management tools to safeguard your data.
Related read: Turn On or Off use of BitLocker on Removable Data Drives.