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Review: The best password managers for PCs, Macs, and mobile devices

Tim Ferrill | June 18, 2015
10 local and cloud-based contenders make passwords stronger and online life easier for Windows, OS X, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone users.

PasswordBox allows users (free or premium) to share saved login information seamlessly between accounts, even without the passwords being visible. Shared log-ins persist even through password changes, and they can be revoked at any time. An interesting and unique feature of PasswordBox is the Legacy Locker, which allows you to designate one or more responsible parties who get access to your account information in the event of your death. Account transfers using Legacy Locker are not performed until a death certificate is provided and validated.

PasswordBox is now part of the Intel Security Family, meaning its future is in a state of flux. For now Intel Security is offering free premium subscriptions to both new and existing users.

SplashID Safe

SplashID has been in the password manager business for years. Its product, SplashID Safe, has been particularly popular on mobile devices. Currently SplashID Safe supports access through the Web and client apps for Windows desktop, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, BlackBerry 10, and Windows Phone.

Where other password managers are either local or cloud-based, SplashID Safe supports either option. SplashID has simplified its licensing structure somewhat in version 8. A basic SplashID account is free, but limits you to one device and doesn't allow sharing or backup. A SpashID Pro account allows you to synchronize your password vault for $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year. SplashID Pro supports unlimited devices, synchronization over the Internet or Wi-Fi, sharing, and automated backup. It also comes with customer support.

For an additional $5 per user per month, families or businesses can leverage SplashID Safe Teams edition, which adds an admin panel that allows you to control who has access to each record, either by assigning a record to an individual user or a group of users.

SplashID Safe has at least one feature we wish all the cloud-based services would implement: the ability to configure a login as local only, giving you the ability to prevent your most sensitive data from being stored on the Internet. The idea is that if you have certain login information or other sensitive data you don't trust to the Internet, you can prevent this information from being uploaded to SplashID's servers.

SplashID Safe supports two methods of sharing login information. When sharing with a user who has a SplashID cloud account, the login information is imported directly into their account. Users without a SplashID cloud account will receive an email containing a link to securely retrieve the information. Links to shared information are secured with a password (which can be included in the email or shared using another method), are valid for only 24 hours, and expire after the first use.


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