Why Does Microsoft Charge $100 for Encryption When Everyone Else Gives It Away?


Every other platform—Mac, iOS, Android, Chrome OS, and Linux—offers full disk encryption. But, if your PC doesn’t ship with encryption, you’ll need the Professional version of Windows 10—a $100 upgrade from Windows Home.

Why Disk Encryption Matters

Disk encryption is extremely important, especially for laptops. Even if someone steals your laptop or you misplace it somewhere, people can’t view your private data without permission as long as your disk is encrypted.

This isn’t about stopping the government from spying on you. It’s about protecting any sensitive information you might have on a laptop against thieves and other threats. Regular computer users might have sensitive financial data, business documents, saved passwords, or just private communications and photos on their PCs. Encryption prevents anyone who gets their hands on the laptop from snooping on that data.

Microsoft added a disk encryption feature named “BitLocker” to Windows a long time ago, but if you use the Home edition of Windows, you’re pretty much out of luck. Unless, of course, you’re willing to upgrade to the Professional edition.

RELATED: How to Enable Full-Disk Encryption on Windows 10

Only Windows Professional Includes BitLocker, and It Costs $100

The BitLocker feature has been part of the Professional edition of Windows ever since it was introduced with Windows Vista. Typical PCs you buy come with Windows 10 Home, and Microsoft charges $99.99 to upgrade to Windows 10 Professional.

Microsoft wants to charge more for business features, and that’s fine. Average home users don’t need Hyper-V virtual machines, a remote desktop server, or domain join. However, BitLocker is unusual among the Professional-only features. It’s something that every Windows user would benefit from.

It’s especially silly that BitLocker is a Pro-only feature when Windows 10 even makes Storage Spaces drive pooling available to Home users. Home Windows users can mirror data across several physical disks (an arguably more business-focused feature), but they can’t enable encryption.

Some (But Not All) New PCs Have Device Encryption

A Microsoft spokesperson told us that “Windows…

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.

I have a crazy passion for #music, #celebrity #news & #fashion! I'm always out and about on Twitter.
Sasha Harriet

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