The Shareware Review People

Pretty Good Privacy

Type of Program: Security
Supported Platforms: DOS
Company/Authors Name: Pretty Good Software, Inc. Phil Zimmerman
Version: 2.6.3i
Price: Free for non-business use
Installed Size: 1.35MB


If you are looking for a secure way to email or send files to people that you choose, then PG is the answer. At this time, it is the most secure public encryption program available for "legal" use.

PGP works by using a public and a private key. Your friends give you their public key, and likewise, you give them yours. Messages are encrypted with your public key and then decrypted with the recipients private key. To keep things even more secure, the private key itself is encrypted using a password, and can only be unlocked by this method. The key lengths are quite large, ranging from either 256, 512, 1024 or 2048 random bit keys, 2048 bits being the most difficult to break. To use PGP, you need a good working knowledge of UNIX command line switches, and you really need to fully digest the README file first.

PGP is a great tool if you want to stop the NSA from reading your email. Frankly, however, if the NSA does want to read your email, then you've got more problems than we can help you with ! NB: This is the INTERNATIONAL version. You cannot use this version in the US. Exporting PGP 5 (The Windows 95 version) outside of the United States is against U.S. Statute 22USC 2778, "Control of Arms, Exports & Imports." (Yes, PGP is so powerful it's classed as a weapon.)

User Friendly:
Ease of Installation:
Reviewed by Steven Fletcher (

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