The Cryptex is a multi-session disc, so you can keep archiving data to it until you've filled it up, or you can finalise the disc as soon as you've copied over what you need. If you want to read data from the disc, you need to enter the correct password, at which point you can access the files. Another nice touch is that when you eject the disc from the computer, the Cryptex utility will also erase any temporary versions of your files on the PC you were using. This "wipe" facility can also be used when archiving the data, thus erasing the original file from your PC and leaving only the encrypted copy on the CD.
If you're wondering what's stopping someone from using brute force to crack the password, there are some safeguards in place. First up, with up to 256 characters at your disposal you can make you password very strong indeed. Secondly, after every three incorrect attempts the disc is automatically ejected, so even if you're using a password cracker program, you'll need manual intervention after every three attempts. Obviously this doesn't make the password protection infallible, but someone is going to have to be very dedicated, and have a significant amount of time on their hands if they hope to crack your password.
I did have one issue where I couldn't burn to the disc from a machine that didn't have admin access. I asked the guys at TX about this and they assured me that you shouldn't need admin rights to use the Cryptex discs. Despite the issue I encountered with my review sample, I was told that retail discs will be universally usable, whether or not you have admin access on your PC. Oh and, unfortunately if you're a Mac or Linux user, you're out of luck because the discs only work on Windows, which is a shame.
At £24.95 plus VAT for a four-pack the TX CDSoft-R Cryptex discs couldn't be described as cheap, but whether that represents good value depends entirely on how precious your data is. If making sure that no one can gain access to your sensitive data is paramount to you, then that will be a very small price to pay. In fact, going back to my original example, I'm sure that those HMRC officials wish that they had spent £25 and saved themselves a lot of worry and embarrassment.
If you're not convinced on the merits of these self encrypting CD-R discs, for a limited time you can get a free sample, allowing you to try it out and see if it suits your archiving needs. I have also been told that DVD versions of the Cryptex discs are on their way, so if you have large amounts of data that you need to archive securely, they should suit your needs.
As with so many things, you either need this product or you don't. If you want to archive or transport data without fear of unauthorised access, the Cryptex discs are pretty much ideal. The fact that everything is embedded on the disc itself makes the whole process unbelievably easy, and even though they're not cheap, the cost of someone accessing your sensitive data could be far higher.