Emailing Files using SafeHouse

SafeHouse can easily be used to send protected files over the Internet by email. Whether nor not this makes sense for you or will be sensibly efficient depends on exactly what you're trying to do, the size of your files, etc.

Sending files is simply a matter of attaching a SafeHouse volume to your outgoing email -- the same as you would do for any other file.

Both the sender and recipient must have SafeHouse installed. If you're not sure if your intended recipient has SafeHouse, you might want to include a link to the free trial software at The trial version is freely distributable and can read any SafeHouse volume.

SafeHouse Explorer

You should also know that our SafeHouse Explorer software is freely distributable as live software which will not expire. Although SafeHouse Explorer does not include some of the extra features and conveniences of our commercial SafeHouse products, its Explorer-like user interface will be familiar to everyone who uses it. Since the file formats are identical between the products, SafeHouse Explorer is a very suitable alternative for giving other users easy access to your encrypted files.

Sending Files

Follow these steps:
  1. Senders should create a new volume just big enough to hold the files to be sent. Anything bigger than that will be wasted space and inefficient since you'll be sending the entire volume as an uncompressed attachment.

  2. This new volume is opened, filled with files, then closed. It's very important to close the volume before attaching it to emails.

  3. The sender must then find some way of telling the recipient what the password to the volume is. Obviously, it would be crazy to include it in the same email.

  4. This new volume file can then be attached to an email in the same manner as you would attach any other kind of file.

About Compression

SafeHouse volumes do not compress well. That is just the nature of encryption, because the data inside the volume is so random that common compression routines just don't have anything to grab on to (that's the point of encryption).

We're often asked if ZIP files might help. Generally, they won't help much, but they won't do any harm either. Feel free to try. But if you see that you're not gaining much on size, it's probably better just to send the stand-alone volume file.

Receiving Files

When you receive a SafeHouse volume as a file attachment, there are two primary requirements to view the files inside the volume:

Hopefully the sender communicated the password to you by phone or some other way (but never in the same email).

If you don't have SafeHouse installed, you can download a fully-functional trial copy from

To open the volume, either:

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