Password managers – Keychain, Keeper and more

Password Mangers

From creating encrypted passwords to auto-filling forms, password managers can help you keep track of your online log-ins and secret codes.

Whether it’s viruses like Cryptolocker, bugs like Heartbleed or eBay being hacked, it feels like there are an increasing number of bad guys after our information. One of the best ways to protect your data is by using strong passwords that are unique to each site you use.

We’ve posted guides to creating secure passwords before, but keeping track of multiple complicated passwords is a pain. An increasingly popular solution is to use a central password manager that stores all of your different passwords together. These can make it easier to login – they’ll auto-fill your info – or can be used to retrieve forgotten passwords.

There are password managers that work as apps, and save your data to your phone, tablet or computer, while others work as online services, with your data saved in an encrypted cloud.  In both cases your data will usually be stored behind a single master password. Read on as we take a look at different options for Windows, Android, Mac and iOS.

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Password managers for PC, Android and iOS

iCloud Keychain (£free)

icloud keychain

Apple’s free password manager works across iPhones, iPads and Macs. Keychain can store your usernames and passwords, credit card information, and Wi-Fi network information.

It will also keep Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and Messages up to date across all of your Apple devices. As is often the case with Apple the main drawback is compatibility. Not only will you need to stick to Apple devices but it won’t work on Chrome, Firefox or any browser other than Safari.

Keeper (£free-£20.99 per year)

Keeper

For those who like to mix and match their devices and operating systems, Keeper is a better bet. From Mac and iOS to Android and Windows this password manager should run on everything you own.

Keeper will not only manage your passwords, but also let you share personal data as required. Everything is stored on your device behind a master password, although it can be backed up in an encrypted cloud. If someone enters the wrong master password five times, the data stored by Keeper will self-destruct. The downside is that it’s not free. You’ll need to cough up £20.00 a year if you want to use Keeper on more than one device. There are a number of similar services that offer compatibility across multiple devices, like Roboform, LastPass & Dashlane.

Passpack (£11 approx.)

Passpack

This online manager differs from Keeper in that it stores all of your passwords on a remote server, as opposed to on a local device. Passback claims that secure encryption ensures that your passwords are never at risk – even if Passpack’s servers are hacked.

Passpack supports all browsers and devices, can auto-fill forms once you’ve installed the toolbar and will help you generate secure passwords. In fact, it works much like the above apps for the most part. The only difference being you’ll have to get your head around the fact that all of your passwords are stored elsewhere rather than locally.

Password managers – what do you think?

Have you used a password manager at home or at work? If so we’d be interested to know which one you’re using and whether you’ve encountered any problems so far.

More on this

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Categories: Apps

29 replies

    1. I think we can. If not, whom can you trust? Do you trust Facebook they do not share your password to NSA and others? Do you believe Google they are not tracking you?

  1. I check the stated security of any Password Manager I use, but can we ever really know how immune they are against hacking?
    I do now use iCloud Keychain on Apple devices (why wouldn’t I?), it has all the normal advantages and limitations of any Apple product.
    I also use Roboform2Go on Windows PCs (as well as on Apple), because I have used it for quite a few years, have all my login, password..etc information already in place and it works really well.
    The only problems I have ever had have been when browsers are updated and Roboform fully compatible update have lagged a little behind.
    I guess we tend to choose a Password Manager because it is the best we find at a given point in time, then tend to stick with it as it is a real hassle to change.
    I would seriously struggle to manage without such a facility now.

  2. Great article, thanks. Yes, I use a password manager for both my personal life and work. So I have two identities and also different accounts. For all accounts I always generate strong and unique passwords for best security and privacy safety. I use Sticky Password, but as I can see there are also other which is great since you can choose which one do you like.

  3. I use LastPass which is cross platform.
    They keep your data, but encrypted with your master password, so it is not accessible to them.
    To their credit, they have disclosed security incidents, even if they did not affect your data.
    It is a matter of trust, but I think I can trust them.

    I also always use two factor authentication if possible.

  4. Lastpass is cloud based but does all encryption and decryption locally. It is cross platform (including mobile) and excellent. I can’t believe you haven’t included it – well worth a look.

  5. I guess Lastpass didn’t offer you money for writing a review; otherwise you must be bloody ignorant by not reviewing a top rated service in App Store and Google Play store and a browser extensions lists.

    1. Mikhail – Read the section on Keeper to the very end. LastPass is mentioned, albeit with much fainter praise than I think it deserves.

      I agree with the other comments recommending this password manager. It is available free of charge for PC’s, or users can pay $12 pa for a multiplatform version covering also ioS and Android.

    2. Mikhail, does rudeness come naturally to you or do you have to work at it? This is not a negative comment because, it comes with a complement because, if you do have to work at it, you are a very good student.

  6. LastPass is fantastic.

    I used to use Keepass which is offline, but LastPass lets me use it on my Windows 8.1 Tablet, my Windows 8 phone, my web browser (usually Chrome), and my Android tablets.

    I cannot recommend it highly enough.

  7. I would highly recommend Password Box. It is free up to 25 passwords. Is very easy to use and works across all platforms. Keeper was too complicated for me and I gave it up despite paying my subscription.

  8. I have been using Roboform for years, have hundreds of complicated passwords (different one for each site – and haven’t a clue what they are) as well as loads of Safe Notes (basically anything that needs to be remembered: bank, insurance details, Serial numbers, IDs, keys etc.)
    All I have to do is remember one (complicated) password. Can access passwords anywhere in the world on any computer, phone etc. Wonderful. If anyone cracks my master password I am doomed but hey ho – until then my brain can be used for more positive stuff!!

  9. I use Stefano password manager and have for years. This program has been ignored by most reviews, but it is very effective. My Only Problem With It Is The Inability To Export the password information as a file.

  10. I used to use Roboform, but couldn’t make it work with Chrome. Since then, I’ve moved to Lastpass. It is as secure as the password you use for it, as the data is encrypted on their servers. Steve Gibson (a security guru who coined the term “malware”) recommends it. It can generate pseudo-random passwords for all sites, which are virtually impossible to crack with today’s technology.

    As long as your master password is secure, it’s as good as you can get. My master password is made up of 5 elements, some with the keypresses shifted (so “dog” becomes “fph”). Makes it easy to remember, but difficult to crack…

  11. I’ve used RoboForm for several years and for $20 a year I find it’s excellent value for money, It switches seamlessly between IE, Chrome and Firefox.

    You have the option of storing your passwords on your own system, their servers, or both, so they can be accessible anywhere in the world.

    It’s hardly ever given me a problem and I’m now so attached to it I couldn’t imagine replacing it.

  12. So true! Very nice article indeed. It is hard to trust the internet, lot of security breaches taking place. Of Course password managers can be trusted more than anything, especially when you have the facility for offline local storage of your data. Password Depot is my favourite password manager out there. It provides many security features along with password generation, a person can have multiple passwords for multiple accounts. Thus, increasing the security. Most importantly, it has a very clear UI that enables users to understand the security features easily and use it comfortably. Autofill with target filling is one of my favourite options,..oh there are lot of features that I love about Password Depot!

  13. I agree that Password Managers are a good idea but how can we have confidence that the service providers don’t build in “backdoor” access to our data? This could be introduced in the initial purchase or a future upgrade. Are there any independent accreditations to demonstrate that products are safe from such malware?

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