This question requesting a "Free alternative to BitLocker" is a typical product recommendation and is as such out of topic here.

The "product recommendation" closure standard text already points to a SE blog article helping to reformulate the question in order to make it more appropriate.

However, the SE community already has a website fully dedicated to software recommendation which may be unknown to newcomers.

Wouldn't it make sense to put a link toward this site in the standard closing message, letting newcomers choose between either reformulate their question here, or asking for a recommendation at the appropriate place?


1 Answer 1


If Software Recommendations is mentioned anywhere, please prominently mention the question quality guidelines. Software Recommendations does not accept just any question that asks which software to use, we insist on questions with a clear list of requirements and a well-defined purpose.

This goes for anyone mentioning SR.SE in a comment. Please always link to the question guidelines, and the answer guidelines as well if necessary.

https://security.stackexchange.com/q/96600 is ok, because it describes a precise use case (full disk encryption under Windows) and explains why the obvious solution (Bitlocker) isn't applicable. But please don't drive crap like we see sometimes (“Alternative to Bitlocker? I don't trust Microsoft”) to SR.SE.

Note that while SR.SE accepts questions about almost any kind of software, we only do well for generalist software (end user tools, common administration tools, common developer tools). For specialist software, we usually lack the requisite audience. So it's ok for software like Bitlocker, SSH, GPG, etc. but please keep questions about specialist tools on specialist sites. For example, when the use case is pentesting or forensics, Security.SE is the best place for the question. You may still want to refer to SR.SE's question and answer quality guidelines to judge such questions and their answers.

  • @TildalWave That close reason would have to be rethought. If a software recommendation is on-topic for Sec.SE (i.e. concerns software specifically for security professionals) and of good enough quality, it should stay here. The reason the Bitlocker question is off-topic is that it's a general computer setup question, which should be on SU if SU didn't have this “shopping question” nonsense, so goes to SR instead. Aug 14, 2015 at 7:19
  • So tl;dr: Bad questions are bad question anywhere, please stop sending them to us!. I have been guilty of this and will stop. I'm sorry. Aug 24, 2015 at 19:59

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