Choose A Virtual Strongbox For Your Android Passwords
It’s hard to name all the services you use with a password each day. Your phone with a PIN code, your email, social media services, bank cards and apps, online stores, cloud services, even your Apple, Google or Microsoft accounts require the right password.
Of course, you can memorize your passwords if you only use two or three of them. But it’s not recommended due to safety issues. Using the same password for all your accounts is the most careless thing to do.
Oh, wait; there are more careless things, like using “12345” or “QWERTY”, writing your passwords on stickers or storing them all in an unencrypted .txt file. So stop this kind of livin' la vida loca as it brings you no pleasure.
The best solution today is a password manager, an app that stores all your passwords in an encrypted file. All you have to remember is your master password, and if you suddenly forget it, you can restore it via your email or phone.
There should also be cloud syncing across your devices, automatic form filling, inner sections structure, built-in strong password generator creating real random passwords as security requires and some other features.
And of course, it should be cross-platform. A perfect case would be a special app for each mobile or desktop OS.
We’ll review some apps that would serve you as your password keeper. Most of them propose free basic pack of features and paid extras, and it’s up to you to decide whether your security is worth this, as these extras can save you time and nerve cells.
When speaking about password managers, we often start with LastPass, so does Google when you enter “password manager”. This app is a cross-platform one, so no matter whether you use iOS or Android, your vault is at your disposal.
The app automatically fills the forms you have to enter your data into in your browser. Well, had it been only about browsing, you would have used built-in password managers every modern browser has, but password managers are about more.
If you can’t invent an original password, you can use an internal password generator. It takes a split second to generate a strong password with different characters and store it in the app’s memory. And when you store the passwords you have made yourself, LastPass checks the base and finds out whether you have used the same password elsewhere.
There’s also a password change reminder. It’s another security rule to change your passwords from time to time, and the app will alert you when your current password gets insecurely old. LastPass has an easy-to-use interface basically common for all platforms.
All the local features of this app are free. But cloud syncing between all of your devices will cost you about $1 monthly.
Last but not least: we must warn you that LastPass is a huge and sweet attraction for hackers with its enormous popularity. The developer has reported about several breaches found out and blocked recently. For example, there was a phishing attack based on an email database leak. So always keep in your mind that no password manager will replace your own head.
This password manager is also free and cross-platform. Even if you have never used password managers before, you’ll easily make it all out. It has all this kind of app should have. A strong password generator helps you invent really random passwords that can’t be hacked with social methods like trying your name, birth date, family members’ names and so on.
The vault stores all your passwords and applies the records in the right places when it detects the forms to fill. All you really have to remember is your master password. But it’s the one you better memorize. Don’t record it anywhere and don’t forget it.
There is also a special section for bank accounts data that lets you do your online shopping easily. This digital wallet can also be used for storing digital copies of your receipts you can make with a little help from your camera and a scanning tool.
Dashlane practices the same policy as LastPass. Well, you can use its app for free on all your phones, tablets, and PCs. But if you want to sync your data, you’ll have to activate your cloud features for $3 a month.
Yes, its' cloud service is 3 times more expensive than LatsPass, but it’s much more secure. For example, it doesn’t store password hints that can unwillingly reveal your password if it’s social-hackable. So these vulnerabilities won’t cause your sleep deprivation.
For the most concerned here’s a real open-source password keeper. It’s not always safe with open-source software, but when it comes to security as it is, it may be better to have access to the source code than to trust the developer blindly. You don’t have to flick through endless code pages yourself, it’s just enough to know there are sources available for checking by anyone who cares enough.
Well, if you’re a corporate user, you can even pay some time and funds to audit it and make sure it’s really secure to use. This transparent way is a big part of KeePassDroid’s success. It also allows third-party developers to create miscellaneous plugins, and some of them may be of good use. The Android and iOS apps are, in fact, work based on that open source.
Yes, the app has all it takes to bear the Password Manager name. It stores your passwords and pulls it out at the right moment. It generates strong random passwords for you and stores them. And you can create a backup database to restore all of your passwords after switching to a new smartphone.
The undebatable advantage of KeePassDroid is being completely free though it has its dark side. If you want to sync your password between your devices, you’ll have to upload your passwords base to Google Drive, Dropbox or some other cloud drive. So responsibility for its security is on you. At least, legal agreements of free cloud services claim this.
This free app has its underwater reefs, though. The user interface is not as elaborate and smooth as commercial analogues propose.
Another app made for storing and syncing passwords is named Sticky Password. It’s rather alike to LastPass or Dashlane, as it’s also commercial and protected. Just like that, you can use this app on your phone or PS with no limitation, the paid thing is in the cloud.
Yes, it does all the things a password manager should. It stores your passwords and applies the right one wherever it finds a form to fill. It generates strong, virtually unbreakable random passwords and doesn’t let you lose or forget them.
Paid options of Sticky Password are not strictly cloud-based. You don’t have to trust the clouds and nay sync your devices via a direct Wi-Fi connection. You can encrypt your database and store it online for urgent recovery if you have to switch devices unexpectedly.
There’s another cool feature that will be more demanded as hardware solutions spread. On mobile devices, you can use your fingerprint for authenticating. But this option is also included in Premium package.
The price seems medium between two other commercial apps: $20/year, no monthly subscription option.
The app with the simplest name seems one of the most interesting options. Yes, it has all it takes to be among the best. Your passwords are sorted by their function websites, bank accounts, private files and folders, email services and so on, so you can easily reach the account you need with automatic or manual filling.
There is a social element that allows Keeper users to share records with each other. It’s important as all the data in your wallet is encrypted with strong AES-256 algorithms.
The additional security element is named Keeper DNA. You can make all your logins and transactions safer by applying an additional security grade. It can be based on SMS single-use codes, fingerprint authentication or confirmation by wearable devices two last ways require specific hardware.
The cloud syncing across your devices is paid like with other services, but you have a 30-day trial period. And Keeper has a cloud storage proposition that guarantees you safety and encryption of all your data, from 10 to 500 GB. So there’s a great variety of subscription plans, from $9.99 up to $399.99/year.
The Bottom Line
Like Leo Tolstoy said, all the happy families are the same, so it is with good password managers that share the same features set. The basics are virtually the same, except for open-source KeePassX and its forks. So you can select by your user experience.
When it comes to paid features you better consider all options available. If you need to store large files online with maximum security, we recommend you select Keeper. If you want it the easiest way, there’s LastPass. Other apps also have its pros, so make your choice.