Another one! This time with a theme – Password Protection tools. I tend to gravitate towards free tools – but if, for some reason a tool is not free – I will point that out and fill you in on pricing details. Today I look at tools such as Keepass, 1Password, and LastPass.
1. Keepass – Open Source – Desktop/Cross-Platform Utility – Find it here
Probably one of the best computer-based tools you’ll find, this one is a must. Keepass is intended to keep your sensitive information protected. The beauty of Keepass is in it’s simplicity, portability (your database will be only one file), and in it’s flexibility. You can place information about your credit cards, web passwords, email passwords – really, anything you can think of that you might want to protect on your computer. Another amazing thing about this project is that it is being developed on more than one platform. On Windows, you can get KeePass, On Linux or Mac, you can try KeePassX, there are also versions of Keepass for PocketPC, iPhone, Blackberry, Palm, and Android. Truly versatile.
2 – 1Password – $39.95 – Desktop/Smartphone tool – Mac/iPad/iPhone, Windows (beta) – Find it here
Long a utility of Apple users, 1 Password has recently been making progress into creating a Windows version of their application. 1Password may remind you of a Roboform -Type of application in how it allows you to auto-fill passwords into websites. The similarities stop there, however. 1Password is designing to protect your online identities by (1) creating impossible-to-guess passwords (2) checking URLs of site you login too and (3) keeping track of all this in a local database.
3 – LastPass – Freemium ($1/month pro version), Cloud/Browser Plugin – Find it here
If you tend to believe that storing passwords works best when combined with the power of “The Cloud” (or, storing the password data on someone else’s computers) – LastPass may be exactly what your looking for. The platform support is quite impressive too, pretty-much any browser and smartphone is supported (yes, there is also a desktop application). What you get for free is lacking if you want smartphone support – but the common use of this utility is going to be more than enough for most. At $1 a month, the added features won’t break the bank either.
That’s it for the Password Storage tools list. Among the ones I listed above, I use the Keepass utility quite extensively and have recommended that to many clients looking for a locally protected way of storing passwords on computer or USB stick. If you’re looking for something even more powerful, you may be looking to move into something like TrueCrypt – what have you used in the past to protect your sensitive data?