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Another Pass at Password Managers

January 2016

By Tom Stibolt, MD, Mobile Musings Column Editor

I have been an advocate for LastPass as a password manager. To be fair, there are several alternatives, all of which are reasonable, and which may have features that make them a better choice for you. In this post I will focus on some popular options that are alternatives to LastPass.

KeePass Password Manager

KeePass is an open source application, meaning it is free and updated regularly. Passwords are encrypted using Advanced Encryption Standard and the Twofish algorithm. These are quite secure. KeePass is designed for use with desktop/laptop computers and supports Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Using it on mobile devices requires some work. There are versions available for iOS, Android, and Windows, but these may not support the full capabilities of the desktop/laptop version.

The password file can be shared by copying it to other devices. It can also be shared using a cloud storage solution, such as Dropbox, Google Docs, and Microsoft OneDrive. KeePass allows a lot of flexibility but at the cost of considerable complexity.

1Password Password Manager

1Password from AgileBits offers support for multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows. Passwords are stored in a local file which can be copied to other devices with a flash drive, CD, or similar technique. It also supports cloud-based sharing using DropBox or iCloud. Passwords can be securely shared between 1Password clients.

The app costs $49.99 for a single license, which allows use on a single desktop/laptop and multiple mobile devices. A combined license for both Windows and Mac OS is available for $69.99.

If you are looking for a cloud-based solution, a couple of choices are available.

Dashlane Password Manager

Dashlane supports both cloud-based and local password storage. If using Dashlane’s cloud storage, as with LastPass, all encryption is performed on your device. Your master password is not stored on Dashlane’s server. Instead, authentication of your device and account is made by an emailed device registration code. Passwords can also be securely shared between multiple app users. Dashlane is available as a free application, allowing use on a single device with no cloud backup and limited sharing of passwords. The full version is available for $39.99 per year and allows unlimited sharing and cloud backup.

Keeper Password Manager

Another cloud-based password manager is Keeper from Keeper Security. This application also does all encryption and decryption on the user’s local device. Keeper does not store any information about the user’s master password on their server. That information only resides with the user. Using an incorrect password will produce an error—the user has to figure out that this means the master password was incorrectly entered. Data can be shared between users, in which case Keeper uses a 2048-bit RSA key-pair. These are stored locally and encrypted with the user’s master password. Keeper is available for any current device, mobile or fixed. The cost is $29.99 a year.

We welcome your comments if there is a password manager that you feel deserves mention. Feel free to email us at: atsnews@thoracic.org.

 

Editor’s note: The ATS does not endorse any of the programs or products mentioned in this column.

Last Reviewed: September 2017