I have a LaCie 2big, connected via Thunderbolt 2.

When I select as a disk-partition MacOS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted), does that uses some type of hardware encryption or is it all software?

  • What are you trying to figure out in the end? In one sense all encryption is hardware since code runs on a CPU and everything is software since without programming or direction a digital computer does nothing.
    – bmike
    Jun 27, 2014 at 13:25

1 Answer 1


Using this option, you'll endup with a whole disk encryption.

It uses OSX CoreStorage volume management technology and XTS-AES 128-bit encryption, so it's software.

Edit : As pointed Alan Shutko, since 2011 Intel added an Intruction set to intel processor to do AES encryption.

  • 3
    Unless you have a suitably recent Intel Core processor with built-in AES, in which case the AES will be done that way. In any case, it is never done by hardware in the drive. Jun 26, 2014 at 14:27

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