While I appreciate all the work that went into developing version2, my current preference is to use version 1.7 specifically because I can apply different passwords to files as needed (or just use the same one). I like having the choice. But I do need to use 256-bit encryption. If I sign up as a Premium member will version 1.7 employ 256-bit encryption or is version 1.7 limited to 128-bit encryption? Thanks!
Version 1.7 is deprecated. It is unmaintained. It is unsupported. You are free to use it, but discouraged to do so for the named reasons. It does not support 256-bit encryption.
As for the the multiple password requirement – you should not be using that either, especially if you are keen on real security which seems to be the case.
Please read my blog post about this, here: https://www.axcrypt.net/blog/use-of-different-passwords/ . The gist of the article is that using different passwords for private files “at best it adds no security and at worst it causes a situation with *less* security“.