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Advanced Encryption Plug-In for Windows Explorer - Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Take a full security control over your sensitive data

Several words before

Compiled on March 18, 2001 by Michael Lediaeff

What is AEPE?

Do you have confidential documents? Reeaally? Tired to worry about safety of your top secret documents? With Advanced Encryption Plug-In for Explorer your confidential information remains confidential.

The answer is there. Get AEPE. Install it. Run. It will not take a lot of time, actually. Now you can protect your documents by password. Encrypt/Decrypt it, Shred it and even make Self-Extracting encrypted executable files!

What are the advantages of AEPE in comparison to other similar programs?

Well, we would not like to tell anything bad about our competitors... Each program has his own "pros" and "cons". We hope that you'll like APE just because of the following reasons:


  • Based on a non proprietary, open source, public domain encryption algorithm BLOWFISH. It is thought to be one of the strongest in existence and requires relatively little computing power (practically a 1 Mb file can be encrypted in 30 Seconds or less on most desktop machines).

  • Statistically impregnable against brute force attacks

  • Built in file shredder - i.e. wiping the contents of the original pre-encrypted file beyond recovery to make sure that not even a trace remains after shredding. (matching and exceeding the specifications of the U.S. Department of Defense) to stop hardware recovery tools.

  • Built in compression of files to reduce size in transmission.

  • No "back door" in the software - No access possible under any circumstances. If you do not remember the password you cannot access the encrypted contents. There is no special procedure, secret code, or hidden entry method to fall back on.

  • AEPE encrypts every kind of file on every kind of medium, whether floppy disk, removable hard drive, zip drive, tape drive or other.

  • Ability to make self-decrypting files for sending to people who do not have AEPE. The program can be used to create self-extracting files. The recipient can unlock the data by just starting the self-extracting file within Windows and entering the combination.

  • The only requirement for self-extracting files is that the recipients must be running some form of Microsoft Windows. All they need is a key to access the contents i.e. a totally secure system is possible without any modification of existing mail systems using any mail system that supports file attachments.

  • Intuitive interface (Windows Shell Integration)

  • Designed to hide the complexities of encryption technology from the end user.

  • And much more!

Why should I register?

First, because AEPE is not a freeware. It is a trial software and protected by USA and international laws. You may use it during the evaluation period (30 days); after that, you either have to register, or stop using it. Second, the unregistered (evaluation) version has some limitations.

In addition, only registered users get the complete technical support (by email).

What are the limitations of unregistered version?

Well, here they are:

  • displaying the nag screen on start
  • the maximum length of a password for document is 3 character
  • the following options are disbled:
    • Ability to shred files larger than 200 Kb

How do I register?

Simple. Just visit our registration page; follow the link Order the Fully Licensed Version of AEPE on Advanced Encryption Plug-In for Explorer page. You have to have a valid credit card for the registration. After you'll register, we'll send you the key which will remove all limitations.

I don't have a credit card or would not like to use it in the Internet. How do I register?

No problems. Drop us a mail; we'll give you an address to send the check (by snail mail); or you can make the wire transfer to our bank account. Please don't send us the banknotes - it's a very bad chance that we'll get them, due to a "nature" of  post service!

Can I get the site license?

Yes, you can. Site license costs $540. Also, we do have a volume discounts; the price may be as low as $9.00 if you purchase a few copies at a time.

Will my registration work for the future version of AEPE?

Yes, of course! The registration key you'll receive will be valid for all future versions of AEPE (or we may provide you with the new one, if the registration method will be changed), even if we'll decide to increase the price, make a "professional" version or whatever else.

Do you have 16-bit version of AEPE?

Sorry, no. Microsoft almost stopped supporting this operating system. Also, Windows 3.1 (and so the applications for it) cannot use the full power of the new CPUs, PCI bus, graphics accelerators etc. It's is too slow and unstable, and it is not multi-threaded. Did I mention ugly user interface?

Does AEPE work under Win32s?

Sorry, no. We're using a couple of features which are specific to Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0. In addition, Win32s has a lot of serious bugs, and it's really hard to support it. And of course, Windows 3.1 (which Win32s is working on) cannot give you the high performance as the "real" 32-bit operating system does.

Does AEPE work under Windows NT 3.51?

Sorry, no. We're using common controls (tree and list views etc.) which are available only in Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000  (and in Windows 95, 98, ME, of course).

Can I make the suggestions for the future versions?

Of course! Actually, you should do that!! Your comments make the program better. Please write use what you'd like to see in AEPE, and we'll probably implement your suggestion already in the next version. If you know about other good programs of this kind and they have any useful facilities not existing in AEPE (yet), please let us know. Thanks beforehand.

How often are you making the updates?

Usually, once in two weeks. First, we're fixing the bugs (you know, every program contains at least one bug, due to Murphy's law). Second, we're implementing your suggestions and want you to have them as soon as possible!

Can I get a notification message each time when the new version is there?

Yes, you can. Just subscribe to AEPE mailinglist on bottom-left corner of this page.

The new version seems to be working slower than the previous one. What is going on?

This is not true, actually. We're adding the new features, however; for example, new options, it will not slow the program. Well, almost the same, because the brogram becomes larger and so works a little bit slower (just a few percents decrease, so don't worry about that).

What if AEPE would not even like to install?

First, get the latest version -- we're improving the installation program as well. Second (if you're running Windows NT) be sure to have the Administrator priviledges; otherwise, the setup may fail when trying to modify some setting in Registry. If the above recommendations did not help and the setup still hands, just terminate it (using Ctrl-Alt-Del under Windows 95 or Task Manager under NT) and run again. If you still have problems, get the detailed description of the problem (see an answer on the privious question) and contact us.

Should I uninstall an older version of AEPE before installing the newer one?

Yes, you SHOULD do it! we recommend you to do that. 

How do I uninstall an older version?

As usual, from the Control Panel. Look at the Add/remove programs applet; find the Advanced Encryption Plug-In for explorer entry and simply click on Remove.

How do I submit bugs?

Well, if you've encountered a bug, please inform us about it immediately! You'll help us a lot if you'll give the detailed information how to repeat it; we also need to know something about your system (Windows version, what service packs installed -- if any -- etc.). And of course, AEPE version. BTW, you may wish to visit our site to get the latest version (if there is one), or at least check More information link on AEPE page -- the file available there contains the information about the bugs fixed in each version; so your one might be already fixed too.

Help! I cannot understand hot to use this program!


AEPE does not have main dialog. It is not usual program. It is plug-in - special small program that adds itself to Windows Explorer Context menu (Pop-up menu). Just select several icons on your desktop (or in My Documents, My Computer windows) and click it by right mouse button. In context menu you will find Advanced Encryption Plug-In menu item with subitems: Encrypt, Decrypt, Make SFX, Shred. It is easy as 1-2-3!

I've seen a crack or serial number for AEPE in the Internet. Can I apply it?

If you are a registered user, or a legitimate evaluator, my apologies for bringing this up. You can skip right over the discussion of cracks if you wish.

You can. Please note, however, that this will violate the license agreement and strictly prohibited by international laws. Also, do it on your own risk: "cracked" program will not work as it should -- we have built-in some protection routines into AEPE. Your computer will not crash (AEPE doesn't run any destructing routines, even if it detects that it has been cracked), but don't ask us why your database cannot be loaded, or something else goes wrong after such cracking... Moreover, you will not get any technical support for the cracked program.

By the way, some of such cracks (kicking around the pirate/hacker's newsgroups) contains viruses or troyans, and running such crack may result corrupting your data. You may think that we're making such cracks ourselfs -- sorry, this is not so. After all, we don't worry too much about hacker's and will not report anything to BSA, FBI or KGB. We have a lot of registered users, and they're quite satisfied with our program and technical support, and they don't worry about $29.95 they spent to register.

As for the "free" serial numbers (nothing can be free in this world, actually)... I would like to assure registered users and evaluators, and warn others, that we have taken some steps to ensure that unauthorized registration numbers in circulation will not work. We're tracking all of them and have a black list: the program will accept the numbers listed there, but will not work properly (again, absolutely nothing destructive). So please don't disturb us if you've entered one of those numbers and cannot understand why do you have any troubles now. There are only two sources of valid serial numbers: the authors of AEPE - Secure Action Research., and the companies which handle our registrations using credit cards -- RegNow, ShareIt!. All other numbers are invalid -- use them on your own risk.

Also, the numbers we're providing will work for all future versions (or we may give the new ones to registered users). Of course, for free. But we cannot say the same about the cracks and serials from Internet/UseNet -- you'll need to search for new ones. This is troublesome, as far as we update the program quite frequently...

So, that's up to you. The registration costs only $20.00, even when you're paying with the credit card (is it too much?), and you may loose much more if you'll use the crack or invalid serial. At least your time -- if the database will be corrupted. Please think about that before cracking. Think twice. And join the community of registered users of AEPE -- you will not be disappointed!

Thank you for reading! If you have a question which is not answered, please don't hesitate to ask us. You're always welcome!