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Keeper password manager is powerful and simple, but pricey

Marco Tabini | July 12, 2013
Keeper helps you keep your logins safe from prying eyes with a simple and effective user interface that works across just about any platform you can thing of. Unfortunately, syncing -- a feature that just about everyone needs these days -- comes at a steep price.

Lately, it feels like not a week goes by without a new password management solution for both desktop and mobile operating systems making an appearance on my radar. Personally, nothing could make me happier, both because I happen to believe that at least one of these app belongs on everyone's devices, and because, despite an increasingly crowded market, each entrant brings something unique to the table.

But I digress; let me instead tell you about Keeper, which is designed to offer a complete array of password management features for all your computing needs.

Security for everyone
Like an increasing number of apps in this space, Keeper supports practically every major operating system in existence; on the desktop, this means that you can download and install versions for OS X, Windows, and even Linux, with browser extensions available for Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.

Similarly, on mobile, the software is available for iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, and Symbian OS. In practical terms, if you have a computer, phone, or tablet made in the last five years, you will be able to run Keeper on it.

The apps themselves can be downloaded at no cost, and you are free to use the basic functionality they offer without having to ever pay a dime—never a bad thing, particularly if you are still on the ropes about acquiring a password manager and this is your first foray in this kind of software. More advanced functionality, such as syncing your data across multiple devices and backing it up to the cloud, come as part of a subscription package that costs $10 per device per year.

An effective data vault
Keeper uses a military-grade AES encryption algorithm to keep your data safe from prying eyes; according to the company, this method is approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the safeguard of information.

Your data vault can only be unlocked using a master password that you choose when you first create your account. I was happy to see that Keeper prefers long passwords, and won't let users get away with simple four-digit combinations, which are easier to remember but, unfortunately, also much easier to crack.

As a supplemental safety mechanism, you can also enter a security question, which you must answer whenever you log on to the app. This will likely feel a little overkill to many users, but I think that it speaks to the developers' commitment to security: Even if a third party were to somehow gain access to your master password, they would still be unable to log in without knowing a number of intimate details about your personal history.


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