Add Premium/Enterprise features to XP or Vista

Scott dunn By Scott Dunn

In the last issue, I explained how to add Vista Business features to either Windows XP or Vista Home Premium.

But you can also add features that are unique to Vista Home Premium and Vista Ultimate if you have Windows XP or Vista Business.


Mix and match the features you need

If you’re satisfied with XP, or you just don’t want to pay the high price of Vista Ultimate, adding third-party equivalents of Vista’s special features to your OS can be a smart way to go. This is especially true if you only need a couple of features — and those features can be found in free or inexpensive products.

As with the previous part of my two-part series, I haven’t extensively tested the following products but am relying on highly positive reviews from reputable test labs and publications.

Get the advanced security of Vista Enterprise

Vista Ultimate and Enterprise have a few features not found in any other version of Vista. But, as with many Vista features, third-party solutions can be be as good or better without costing you very much.

Whole drive encryption. Vista Ultimate comes with BitLocker Drive Encryption to protect your data if your computer is hacked or stolen. At $99 for a perpetual license, PGP Desktop Home is a less-expensive encryption solution than buying Vista Ultimate. PGP that protects e-mail, lets you create encrypted .zip files, and automtically expands virtual disks to hold your sensitive data. (The more expensive Pro version of PGP has garnered excellent reviews from sites such as PC Magazine).

For a totally free product that’s comparable to PGP’s, check out TrueCrypt. This encryption software garnered the highest rating from SnapFiles, an independent software download site.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2007-07-19: