Can I say that full disk encryption can be handled by bitlocker while storage encryption is something like self-encrypted drive?

I am not sure what does storage encryption means

2 Answers 2


Full disk encryption allows all the files on the disk to be encrypted, including the Operating System. This means a decryption key is needed to unlock the drive and then all the files can be accessed.

Storage encryption is used for file level encryption, commonly when the file is to be backed up and stored. In this case to access the file a piece of software is commonly used to allow the encryption and decryption of the files within the OS.

  • Could you provide some examples of storage encryption?
    – Shawn Sim
    Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 7:55
  • 1
    No problem. Off the top of my head simple example: You may have a backup piece of software installed, that runs everyday, this sends the backed up files up into the cloud. The software encrypts the files as part of the backup process before it is transferred up into the cloud. Assuming you safely store the key, you could move the files around between different cloud providers while they are encrypted and bring them back down from the cloud and decrypt them at a later date. You could have different algorithms/keys for different groups of files.
    Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 12:13
  • Isn't this kind of a duplicate answer? :)
    – Tobias
    Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 21:05

Full disk encryption refers to sector-level encryption of an entire disk, which can be provided by BitLocker and other solutions.

Storage encryption usually refers to encryption of archive data (anything meant for long term storage), both in transit and at rest. Because of this, the files themselves are encrypted, not the media.

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