Review: 7 password managers for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android
1Password and KeePass lead the field in features, flexibility, browser integration, and ease of useFollow @syegulalp
LastPass, available in a free version or a premium version that costs $12 per year, is also a top-notch product, falling behind KeePass and 1Password only because using any mobile version of the product requires the paid account. That said, what it provides even in the free version is hugely useful, as long as you don't mind working directly in a browser to manage your passwords (I imagine most people won't).
The other password managers reviewed here are less compelling. Password Safe isn't bad, but it falls short in a lot of little ways compared to KeePass and especially 1Password. SplashID and Keeper are the weakest of the bunch; SplashID is only slightly more useful thanks to its Internet Explorer plug-in.
The big appeal of 1Password lies in its excellent browser-integration features and its ability to store more than just password data. A 1Password repository can hold wallet items (credit cards, bank accounts), software licenses, user-identity credentials (vCards), and so on. While KeePass has a vaguely similar feature that allows you to attach arbitrary string values to a given database entry, 1Password implements this sort of safe-storage function a lot more effectively out of the box.
1Password's database can be populated either by inputting entries by hand or by having 1Password's browser plug-in add them automatically whenever you log into a site. This last mechanism most closely resembles the automatic password-saving feature that already exists in Firefox and Chrome; if you're familiar with how that works, then using 1Password will be a snap.
When you want to automatically supply a username and password for a given website, you press a special global command key. It's normally Ctrl-\, but you can change that to most anything. If there's no direct match for the site in question, 1Password lets you pick an existing username/password pair or create one.
Browser plug-ins are available for Internet Explorer 7 and up, Chrome "stable" versions, Firefox 3 and up, and Safari 5.1 and up. When the plug-in's icon is clicked or when it's summoned with 1Password's master keystroke, you can automatically paste the username/password pair for the site you're browsing or perform a number of other management tasks. The plug-in for Chrome is by far the snazziest of the bunch, while the Firefox and IE versions appear to be ancillary pop-ups from 1Password's main program window. Best of all, the plug-in installation process is handled entirely from within 1Password itself; it's totally painless.
1Password has some intriguing password-generation functions. The Chrome plug-in, for instance, lets you generate pronounceable passwords if you want to make the generated passwords a little easier to memorize. (KeePass has a plug-in that provides this function.)
The only drawback to 1Password is the small number of mobile clients: iOS and Android only. If those are enough for you, the program is solid gold.
Cost: Free trial; $49.99 single user. Platforms: Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7.
The excellent 1Password stores more than just passwords. It has prebuilt templates for keeping other kinds of sensitive information as well.