AxCrypt FAQ

All about AxCrypt[2], Axantum and Xecrets[1] File

Unfortunately it may be confusing to understand what is the difference between the software and services provided here, and the software and services provided by AxCrypt AB.
This pages tries to explain it all, so read on!
First some history and background to set the stage, then there is a list of frequently asked questions, an FAQ, below.

Executive Summary

My name is Svante Seleborg, and I am the founder of Axantum Software AB, a company providing professional services, as well as various softwares since the beginning of the century.

In 2001 I created AxCrypt 1.x, a file encryption software exclusive for Windows as a freeware, asking for donations. It was very successful in impact and numbers, but generated very little revenue.

In 2014 I formed the company AxCrypt AB together with what I thought was an ambitious entrepreneur. In 2016 after rewriting AxCrypt we launched AxCrypt 2.x. It was also technically successful, but did not generate enough revenue to actually live on.

In 2020, I departed from AxCrypt AB.

In 2023, after repurposing the open source GPL parts of AxCrypt 2.x, I released Xecrets Ez and Xecrets Cli, an AxCrypt[2] compatible free software based on the same core code, but much slimmer and back to the core of my vision of this software - and also finally available for Linux as well as Windows and macOS. In addition to the free version, there's also a premium version at a low cost.

2001 - The beginning version 1.x

The original file encryption product AxCrypt was released in 2001 by myself, as freeware, written in C++ for Windows desktop only. This software is historically referred to as AxCrypt 1.x . It sports right-click integration with explorer, password-based encryption with AES-128 and fairly convenient opening and editing of encrypted documents. The most recent iteration, which still runs fine on modern Windows versions, is version 1.7.x . It's entirely free to use, although donations are appreciated.
Axantum and Svante Seleborg holds all the rights to this software, but it is not actively maintained except to update tooling and fix any critical security issues should they be found. We also provide access to legacy versions for older versions of Windows.

2012 - Start rewrite version 2.x

In 2012 I started rewriting AxCrypt from scratch, with some new design goals, in C# for .NET. The idea was that it should be possible to run on more platforms, i.e. Windows, macOS, iOS, Android and possibly even Linux using essentially the same code base.
I also wanted to improve the file format of the encrypted files, help the user avoid some mistakes by improving the user interface, and to make it use a web server infrastructure in order to facilitate payment for advanced features as well as making it easy to share encrypted documents with others.
This is what in the end became AxCrypt version 2.x .

2014 - AxCrypt AB, the company

AxCrypt AB is the company I co-founded in 2014 to commercialize and develop version 2.x of AxCrypt. I was spending more and more time developing, and I had difficulty making the life puzzle work so I wanted a way to actually make a living working with AxCrypt.
In 2014, I co-founded AxCrypt AB, with the intention of continuing to lead the technical development while the other founders would add marketing and commercial business competence.

2016 - Release of AxCrypt 2.x

Finally, in 2016 AxCrypt AB thus released AxCrypt version 2, commonly referred to as AxCrypt 2.x . This software is very different from AxCrypt 1.x, although the main function remains the same - encrypting files in an easy fashion. It was initially supported only on Windows, but was prepared for other platforms. This is essentially the same software that is currently being offered by AxCrypt AB, with graphical user interfaces for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android.

2016 to 2019 - Market woes and development

During the period 2016 to 2019, I spent almost all of my time developing AxCrypt for new features and new platforms, with some coding being done by external consultants and also a small team of developers in India.
However successful the software was from a technical standpoint, we were still struggling with making it grow the actual business, and I was nowhere near being able to lift a reasonable salary. So I was financing this period with contract work.

2019 to 2020 - Separation

In 2019, after years of very slow business development, I came to the realization that the path for the future of AxCrypt AB and AxCrypt 2.x was not how I wanted things to go. I was spending huge amounts of time, with little financial return. This was not sustainable for me. Disagreeing with the other founder about the management of the company, and the future development of the products and services, in the end we came to an agreement and settlement and I left AxCrypt AB in 2020.

2021-2023 - Status quo

At this time, Axantum was providing access to legacy versions of AxCrypt 1.x for older versions of Windows, consisting of the original software download packages that were available at that time, as well as the most recent version of original AxCrypt 1.7.x for Windows - but now recompiled and renamed to Xecrets File Classic 1.7.x . It is however to all intents and purposes identical. Remember that none of these are in any way related to products or services provided by AxCrypt AB.

AxCrypt AB is continuing development of AxCrypt 2.x . The focus is on business users, although they offer a subscription for private use as well. Please visit their web site for details.

"AxCrypt" is a EU trademark of the company AxCrypt AB, so that name can't be used by anyone else. In legacy software downloads it appears, but only as a historical reference. See the download section for details.

Neither myself personally, nor Axantum Software AB are in no way affiliated with AxCrypt AB and we do not in any way endorse their products or services.

2023 to now - Reboot as Xecrets Ez and Cli

After some deliberation and consideration, I realized that I wasn't entirely done with encryption after all! I wanted to work back to the origins of AxCrypt, making something really simple, free and useful without the complexity that had crept into AxCrypt with server infrastructure, user management, business account management etc. I want to make something free, but with some additional premium features available at a really low cost for the individual user.

Just a desktop encryption tool built with modern tools! Said and done. Taking the GPL open source code of AxCrypt 2.x, where the cryptography still is sound and straightforward, we rebuilt it into a pure command line tool without all the complexity of server interaction and a graphical user interface. Enter Xecrets Cli! Of course it's still all GPL free open source software, available at GitHub!

On top of the command line tool, we then built a very clean desktop app, with all the basic functionality for encrypting, decrypting and conveniently open and edit files, but none of the bells and whistles and running on macOS, Linux and Windows. This is Xecrets Ez. It's 100% free with basic encryption and decryption functions, premium features are available at a low cost.

If you're an AxCrypt user using it primarily for desktop computer encryption, or just looking for something doing just that, check out Xecrets Ez. If you're a developer and need to integrate file level encryption into your processes, take a look at Xecrets Cli.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Still confused? Check out if your question is answered below!

AxCrypt is several things. It's a EU trademark of the company named AxCrypt AB. It's the generic term used for the primary software provided by AxCrypt AB, also called AxCrypt 2.x since it's version two of AxCrypt. AxCrypt can also refer to the original version of the original software, version 1 which is also referred to as AxCrypt 1.x

Xecrets is a name used by Axantum for various security related softwares and services. There used to be a Xecrets Password Manager for example, which is now part of the offering by AxCrypt AB under the AxCrypt name. Xecrets Ez is a new streamlined desktop app for file encryption. Xecrets Cli is a comprehensive command line file-oriented cryptographic tool. All interoperable with AxCrypt! Xecrets File Classic 1.7.x is a recompiled version of the original AxCrypt 1.7.x software for Windows, where all references to the name AxCrypt has been removed, provided by Axantum Software AB. It is functionally equivalent to the most recent AxCrypt 1.7.x software. In the future there may be other products and services using the Xecrets moniker.

We provide AxCrypt because it's the last version to run on Windows 95 etc. We provide AxCrypt 1.7.3180 because it is the last version to run on Windows XP. We feel it is important that old softwares do not disappear, as there are special circumstances under which they are needed, even many years after they have become obsolote.

Svante Seleborg is me, and the author of all core code for all versions of AxCrypt and Xecrets File Classic. I am the founder of Axantum, my company which provides contracting services and other services and softwares. AxCrypt AB is the company I co-founded, and later left, which is now the owner of the AxCrypt trademark as well as the code for AxCrypt 2.x . There is no longer any relation or any ongoing agreements in effect between AxCrypt AB and Axantum or Svante.

No, I do not recommend or endorse AxCrypt AB or it's products. They may work well and as advertised, after all I wrote all or most of the cryptography-related code still in use ;-) . However, one of the reasons I left AxCrypt AB was because of different opinions on how to go forward. I personally do not use any products or services from AxCrypt any more. Do your own due diligence and make your own decision.

Yes it is, it's licensed under GPL Version 2 or later, and you can access the source on Github.

It definitely used to be, but now I'm not really the right person to ask. You should ask them. They do provide source code on request as a zip-file at least in August 2022 they did, but as far as I can determine that source is a little bit dated and does not fully represent the code used in their current commercial product but rather an older snapshot. Still, the core cryptography-related code there is solid, the problem being that you can't use that source to validate their products, since apparently it's not the same version of the code they use. For undisclosed reasons they do not provide a public repository which is the common way to do it, although as of August 2022 the AxCrypt website claim that the Windows client and core libraries are open source under GPL.

Yes, we do maintain a separate repository of our own that we update every now and then by asking for code from them, you can find that on GitHub. Remember that it's not necessarily a fully up-to-date version.