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

Tim Ferrill | June 19, 2014
6 local and cloud-based password managers make passwords stronger and online life easier for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone users

PasswordBox allows users (free or premium) to share saved log-in 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.

For truly cutting-edge security, PasswordBox has partnered with the soon-to-be-released Nymi authentication device. The Nymi wristband measures your cardiac rhythm to offer three-factor authentication to PasswordBox -- using your master password (something you know), your Nymi wristband (something you have), and your heartbeat (something you are). The Nymi can be pre-ordered for $79, and it will include a premium PasswordBox account for life.

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 8, Mac, iOS, Android, Blackberry 10, and Windows Phone.

Where other password managers are either local or cloud-based, SplashID Safe supports either option. The SplashID cloud service allows you to synchronize your password vault over the Internet for $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year. For users who don't want to store their password vault in the cloud, SplashID is available in a version that supports manual synchronization over Wi-Fi (for a one-time cost of $29.99) or a no-sync version for $9.99.

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. Note that the Windows 8 client is not currently supported in the Teams edition.

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 lets users share login information by sending an email containing a link to 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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