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Passwarden review: An interesting but flawed password manager for OS X

Marco Tabini | Oct. 11, 2013
Passwarden is an OS X app built by DAR Software that promises to help you manage every last bit of sensitive information, in a secure way, with as little complexity as possible.

On the good side, Passwarden's developers have made an effort to ensure that the app's functionality is never too far from your fingertips. In addition to it main window, you can access Passwarden through a systemwide menu, as well as from within Safari, Firefox, and Chrome thanks to available browser extensions.

Pricing and sync
While each of the Passwarden apps (Mac and iOS) is free to download, their functionality is relatively limited without paying for a sync subscription: You can store only ten different records for each device that you add to your account, and you can take sync across devices for only the first month.

Once you go over the limit, or beyond that one-month trial period, things quickly get confusing. You can extend your sync privileges, and increase the number of records you can store, using in-app purchases, but because these two limits—storage capacity and sync subscription—are handled separately, you have to choose from a list of ten different in-app-purchase packages!

Confusion aside, Passwarden's plans are reasonably priced: Even the most expensive package, which gives you one year's worth of syncing and 500 record slots, costs only $16, which compares favorably to most competitors that offer similar features. The complex web of purchasing options, however, is bound to scare potential customers away simply by overwhelming them with too many (confusing) choices.

Bottom line
Ultimately, Passwarden is a good app whose usefulness is limited by a user experience in need of polish. The software itself works well, has a few interesting features, and, in my testing, was rock solid when it comes to performance and stability. With a little help in the usability department, it could become a contender in what has rapidly become a crowded market space.

 

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