Passwords, passwords, and more passwords! How is a person supposed to remember all of those passwords? It used to be simple you could simply pick a birthdate or a pets name but that’s not secure enough now. Now we need to use secure passwords that include lower case, upper case, numbers, and special characters. You mustn’t use a real word in a password because those are too easy to hack. Don’t make it too short either. To top it off each site you log into must have it’s own unique password. Bottom line is there is definitely a need for good quality password managers. The iPhone has given us the ability to carry our password managers right in the palm of our hands. Therefore I thought it would be prudent to write up a comparison of five of the top password manager apps for iOS devices. Those five password manager apps are as follows: “Dashlane”, “1Password”, “Keeper”, “LastPass”, and “Lockit”. This order is not indicative of how I rank them it’s just the way I typed it at the time. So without further ado lets get started.
First Up! Dashlane
The first password management app I’ve decided to check out is Dashlane. When the app first loads you are asked to create an account. This account has a password. I highly suggest figuring out away for remembering the one password so that way you can access all your other passwords inside of the Dashlane app. The first screen you see once you have an account and have logged in is the Sharing center. From here users can share any of their saved passwords with someone else who needs access. Also from here at the bottom is a “Sync to computer” button. Users would need to install the Dashlane computer app to sync with the computer but it is an option available. At the top of the screen is a Menu icon (the 4 vertical lines..whatever you call those). Tap that button and it takes you to a menu to get you into the Passwords screen, password generator, password changer, and secure notes screen. Another feature from here is that users can enter the personal info screen, payments screen, and the ID’s screen. Near the bottom of the menu is a menu item to get you to the emergency screen. At the very bottom of the menu is the option to open up the apps built in browser, help screen, or settings screen. There is a lot of functionality inside of Dashlane so I’ll try to explain a few of the key features I see.
The Passwords and Password Generator – Obviously if you’re going to have an app that stores passwords this is a key feature. Have a good quality password generator is also a key feature to have. Dashlane’s is top notch in my book. Users can create passwords that are from 4 to 40 characters in length and that contain any combination of digits, letters, and symbols. Users can also choose to make the password pronounceable to make is more memorable for them.
The Payments Page – It is setup to securely store your payment type account information from it’s own page. Users can securely store credit card, PayPal, and banking information from this page using the same password security for other online accounts. Credit card and CVV codes are always encrypted so only you can access them when you are logged in.
ID’s page is a place where users can securely store their Identification information securely. Even if you don’t have your license you can have your information stored in Dashlane’s ID screen.
Fixes unsafe passwords. This is not something that is on the menu but it is something to consider when choosing an app. Dashlane is smart enough to sense when you are using a bad password. It will tell you it’s bad and offer to change it for you directly on the site. At the very least you will know when your password is bad and that you should fix it before it gets you intro trouble.
Dashlane’s screens are pretty easy to read and understand. There wasn’t anything in the app I was confused by and I do think that if someone wanted to use it to store their password and private data that it would certainly be a good choice as a password manager app. I would prefer not to have install an app to sync it up but the benefit to that is your data is only synced between your phone and your computer. It’s not stored someplace in the cloud. Some people might consider that a plus.
Next Up…1Password – Password Manager and Secure Wallet
The second password management app on my list is 1Password by AgileBits, Inc. First let me start by saying that there is a free version and a professional version of the 1Password software. Users can go free or upgrade for more power should they need it. According to the iTunes website here is what the free version includes:
Storage of usernames, passwords, credit card, address, and notes information in plain text
Log into websites without having to remember or type any passwords
Fills in password, credit card, and address info quickly
Mark items as favorites
Search of all entries to find info fast.
Syncs across all mobile devices and computers
In order to use 1Password users only need to create one password for their login and 1Password will help you store the rest of your logins so you never have to remember them. That password is encrypted using AES 256-bit encryption to keep it secure. Locking the app is automatic when you exit it so your data is safe even if your device is lost or stolen. Users can get quick access using the Touch ID and they can create unique passwords using the Strong Password Generator.
1Password Makes things Easy and Convenient
Users can log into websites with only a few taps. No more typing in user ids and passwords. If you are on a site where you need to enter in credit card information 1Password can do it for you. 1Password hooks up with Safari and allows users to create new login items from inside of Safari and other apps that participate as well. Users can use the “Go & Fill” feature to launch a browser and automatically fill in the fields for username and password.
Team Password Management
If you have other users in your family or on a team at work who need access to the same passwords you can use 1Password to manage and share security with them. You can use 1Password to do all the sharing from inside of the app.
Make it easy to add team accounts by doing a QR code scan from 1Password for iOS
Complete access to all team info vaults
Move or copy vaults between teams
Share important information between team members with full encryption from beginning to end.
With 1Password free version I would be completely satisfied that my data was safe and secure. To add to that if I felt the need to add more power I could upgrade to the professional version and get these added features:
Time sensitive one-time password generation
Added features for Apple Watch
Personalization with multiple URL’s, custom fields, and more
Folders and tags for better organization of large amounts of data
Multiple password vaults for better sorting and organization
Bottom line is 1Password is a fine piece of software and I think AgileBits did a fine job and creating and amazingly solid product. It has tons of features, solid password generation that takes into account repeat passwords, stores logins, credit cards, and identities too. It’s a great manager too!
Next Up…Keeping your Passwords safe with Keeper
The next app up in our list of password managers is Keeper Password Manage & Secure Digital Vault by Callpod Inc. The Keeper app has a free version and a paid version similar to the 1Password app. The cool thing about Keeper is users pretty much get the same features in the free app as they do in the paid app. The difference between free and paid is more about backing up the data and where the data is stored. The free version gives users storage of password and security data on one device only and it only stores is locally on that device. There is no backup other than the iTunes backup itself. Other than that is offers users the same features as it does for paid users. Here are a few of the highlighted features:
All data is encrypted in the vault
Strong password generator
Save private files, photos, and videos in the vault
Customize field templates
Finger Print Login with Touch ID
Email support for users
And there’s much much more…
Some of the reasons users would pay for a paid account are these:
Unlimited devices and sync between those devices
Secure backup to cloud
Secure sharing of records
Fingerprint Login with Touch ID
Web app to access vault on the web without installing app on your computer
Support 24 hours a day / 7 days per week
Not that this matters but one of the cool things I saw inside of Keeper was the ability to change the theme of the app to one of many built in themes the authors have included with the app. Another nice feature is the ability to set a timer to automatically log you out after so many seconds or minutes after you switched to another app. There’s an automatic self-destruct feature to destroy all data after 5 failed login attempts. The keeper app also has two factor authentication to provide even more security when activating a new device.
There was one annoying thing about the free version of Keeper. The app kept reminding you that you were using a free version and that you could upgrade if you wanted to by showing you a popup window that told you so. I didn’t mind it the first time it happened but after seeing the same popup several times I think there should be a way to turn it off. I know they want to make money but bugging the user is not the best way of getting them to upgrade in my honest opinion. Other than that I really liked the Keeper app alot. I especially liked the fact that you could customize it. It’s a nice refreshing change of pace from most password manager apps.
Number Four on the List…LastPass Free Password Manager
The LastPass app by Marvasaol Inc (DBA LastPass) is one of my favorite password manager apps. It’s actually the app I use personally and so do millions of other users for good reason. First of all it’s entirely free. Yes there is a paid enterprise version that can be used for entire companies but most people never go that far and in this review since it’s about iOS apps I’m thinking the free version is what most people who read this will use. Some of the key features of the LastPass app are:
Software for iPhones, iPads, and Personal Computers
Syncing of passwords on all your devices
Easily search for password info
Store loyalty car memberships, ID’s, and more
Store secure notes with photos and audio clips in them
Get emails when sites you belong to have been hacked
Emergency access given to trusted friends in case of emergency
Priority tech support
The LastPass interface is clean and easy to use. At the top of the screen is a search bar where users can search for previously entered items or enter a URL to go to a site to create a new password for it. There is also a 3 vertical dot menu icon at the far top right of the screen that takes users to a menu where they can enter their vault, look at sites, secure notes, form fill profiles, add new items, generate a password, enter settings, check the security challenge, enter the tools menu, enter the emergency access screen or simply log out. At the bottom of the screen is a button bar that has icons for sites, secure notes, form fills, and settings.
In user settings users can update their LastPass account, change their security settings, go into actions page where they can clear the LastPass cache, clear the device clipboard to avoid a password being accidentally given out, clear out browser cache and cookies and all browser tabs. Users can also recommend LastPass to their friends from the Settings page as well.
Finally the Last App…LockIt
I have already reviewed the LockIt App so some of this might seem like repetition if you’ve read that review already. For those of you that haven’t read it that’s fine. You’ll see the same things here too!
With LockIt users can manage the accounts of banks, contacts, credit cards, ID’s, memberships, product keys, rewards programs, and websites. From this list alone you can see that it’s a very comprehensive app. Users can also create uncategorized entries as well for those items that don’t quite fit into a category on the list. What’s really cool is entering passwords for specific accounts is made super simple because there are a ton of company logo’d entry categories to choose from. For example I bank with Wells Fargo. I can log into LockIt, go to the “Bank Accounts” section on the menu, and tap the Wells Fargo logo to enter my banks personal information. I can even use LockIt to generate my password because it has an awesome strong password generator built in. Once it’s in it’s locked up nice and secure. With LockIt I can store my email, Facebook, Twitter, and other such id’s by simply going to the websites section and then tapping on the logo for each site I want to store. I can even add my own login to the list if the icon for the one I want isn’t there. The great thing is there are 60 sites on the list to start with so it’s very likely you will find the one you want right from the start.
When dealing with something as important as a password manager people tend to ask what kind of security does the app have. I’m not expert in password app security so I had to trust the developers information on their iTunes page. So here is what it says:
Military-grade AES 256-bit encryption protects your private information
Your master password and encryption key are never stored so only you have access to your information
Remotely wipe any device that is ever lost or stolen
Self-destruct allows you to delete all data on your device after 10 failed login attempts
Two-factor authentication securely authorizes new devices
Industry-leading 50,000+ iterations of PBKDF2 prevents unauthorized access and brute-force attacks
In Conclusion…It’s Up To You
So there you have it folks. The top five password manager apps for iOS. All of these apps will basically do the same thing. They will all allow you to secure your password data, safely and securely. They all will give you one password to remember instead of hundreds. All of them usually have some form of password generation and data encryption. They all have their own look and feel but for the most part you would be fine using any of them! They are all fantastic pieces of software that are rock solid, secure, and kept up to date by great developers. My advice would be to get them all, take them all out for a “test drive” and choose the one that feels right for you! Whatever you do make sure you get one of them because remembering hundreds of passwords is just plain silly and seriously inconvenient!