/ software

Safely storing passwords: LastPass

For a long time now I've been using Biowallet and Biowallet2browser for my password storage needs. I really liked the idea of having all of my passwords, credit card information, etc. stored encrypted on my phone but still available in the browser with the click of a button (and confirming access on the phone).

However, the last couple of weeks their chrome plug-in stopped working. I hoped for the longest that it was a simple problem that would be fixed soon, but after having to type all of my complex passwords manually for over a week I decided it was time to move on. I did a fair amount of research, and decided to try keeper by callpod. Their service seemed to be, after reading their website, exactly what I was looking for. So I went ahead and ordered. It turned out, however, that I was wrong. Their user interface is not good at all, their service limited, and some of the features most important to me, that they advertised on their site didn't work at all. After about 5 minutes, I removed all of their software from all of my devices and computers. I sent them an email asking for a refund, but still haven't heard back from them, which worries me a bit, since they automatically set up a recurring charge to your credit card, and the only way to cancel it is to contact them. Oh well, fortunately there is the possibility of a charge back through the credit card company. I now turned to my second choice (which should have been my first choice all along): LastPass and immediately fell in love with their service. Not only do they offer every feature you can imagine a password storage service could have, they offer lots of features that you could hardly dream of, and their user interface is wonderful. I cannot come close to mentioning all of the features they offer, but some of them are great enough that they have to be mentioned: not only do they offer automatic single-sign-on password auto-complete and the ability to automatically generate passwords on sign-up and password change forms, but they automatically detect when you change a password that has been stored and offer to update the entry for you. They offer storing credit card information, notes, and auto-form-fill of any information on any site you like. And like I said, all of this comes wrapped in a good and very intuitive user interface.

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They also have software for almost every platform you can images. Their Android software, for example, has a really nifty feature that allows you to use their auto-fill-features and single-sign-on features in a really simple and ingenious way. And you can synchronize all of your clients with no effort whatsoever. They even support fingerprint or card reader authentication. Not to mention rule based filtering. And one time passwords? Naturally. They also offer import and export of data, which is nice as I feel more comfortable if I can store an encrypted copy in a safe place. And how about an on-screen keyboard to avoid keyboard-loggers when on a non-trusted computer? They have that as well. Finally they support the YubiKey, which I will get back to in a later post. Also I have yet to find a single site that LastPass did not function with. This was one of my major annoyances with biowallet2browser. It simply didn't work with about 1/5 of all of the sites I use. Now here is the kicker. Through a promotion I got two years full access to LastPass on an unlimited amount of devices as callpod charged me for a single year limited to two devices. Even without the promotion (a YubiKey bundled with a years subscription to LastPass), LastPass on unlimited devices still only cost half as much as keeper limited to two devices. Oh, and you only have to pay if you need their advanced features. In other words, if you are looking for a password storage solution, look no further than LastPass. My only regrets is that I didn't start using their service a long time ago.

Photo by John Salvino / Unsplash