For software that isn't tied to one machine.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hash Review

First, clearing up one confusion: Hash is both the name of the software and what it does: creates hashes.

Hash (the file output) - what are hashes?

Hashes (a.k.a. "digests") behave like a file fingerprint that help identify a file as authentic. This has many uses, such as when trying to determine that a file downloaded online is the one you're looking for and hasn't been corrupted. They are versatile, appearing as groups of numbers and letters that can be posted anywhere ("E55DA1922211").

Different file hashes have different advantages on a scale: security versus speed:
  1. CRC32 - fastest
  2. MD5 - seems to be the most popular
  3. SHA1 - most accurate and longest
SHA1 might be thought to be taking ALL a person's fingerprints to verify with absolute certainty that the file is what its supposed to be. This is important if getting the right file is mission-critical. CRC32 meanwhile are usually used by internal programs such as DoubleKiller (also in the Kitchen Sink), to help discover files that are not just similar in name or size, but are identical. Torrents, meanwhile, automatically use the SHA1 protocol to verify downloaded data.

More on hashes from Wikipedia.

Hash (the software) - features

Provides a long list of file data about a given file or files by default -- all three hash types, as well as file version, size, and date. Can un-check boxes to gather less data.

  • Drag-and-drop friendly.
  • Does multiple, even 100s of files automatically (if you do "Browse" hold CTRL or SHIFT to select multiple files)
  • Progress bar to let you know how far along the process is and a "stop" button to cease progress.
  • Absolutely tiny! Low footprint, low ram usage.

  • No automatic file verification. To do this, I recommend creating a "torrent" using uTorrent or a similar program. Just ignore "tracker" information, since it won't be for sharing.


Version: 1.04
Size: 28k megs
RAM Usage: 1.6 megs
License: Freeware (takes donations)
Score: 8 out of 10 - The best portable hash program I've yet found, but has no automatic checker. Who wants to read those long strings of text?
In Kitchen Sink Collection: Yes

No comments:

Post a Comment