I grew up on that wild, uncontrollable thing Al Gore created.
Back then, the internet was new, cool and scary. A million places to visit, and then some. I did what a lot of folks did then: I used one password for all my login sites. Don’t judge; it was just easier.
By the time I had gravitated to BlackBerry OS, I had begun to select passwords with more complexity than my favorite meal. One problem though… selecting unique passwords all but meant that I would need to keep a record of all these new passwords I was creating. Paper and pen was out, as was recording it in note-taking application. Thankfully, BlackBerry devices had a stock password keeper app that worked great.
But ah… another problem. For someone who likes to dabble into everything mobile, a proprietary app had its drawbacks. By this time I had determined to use a cross-platform offering for my next password management app, and then I stumbled on Ascendo DataVault Password Manager.
It’s a simple mobile solution: a password vault and generator all in one. Since I can use it on mobile devices and desktop, I have access to all my devices on the go and at home, and better yet, I can really go to town with regards to creating unique passwords with its built-in utility. Further, it can be used to store more than just passwords; it has templates for all sorts of information, from banking data to auto information. I also use it to keep notes.
Now, its syncability is huge. it can be used with Dropbox, and for those reticent about cloud based syncing, it provides folks with the ability to save to local SD or across devices using local wi-fi.
When talking about anchor apps, this one has long since become one of my anchor ones.
At this point, we hope that the need for a good password manager is akin to common sense. We’re regaled with stories of database intrusions daily; it’s smart to protect one’s self with the basics of password security: using different unique password for different websites. Also, passwords should be changed to new unique ones at regular intervals.
But, if one even has only a dozen websites to log in to every now and then, those passwords start to blend together; that’s where mobile password keepers shine. Keeper Password Manager looks to be another option in this category, and we got to take it for a spin.
First thing to do is to to sign in with a master password. Off the bat, I liked the UI options; who says a productivity app can’t have some personality? It’s possible to change the main color, and while this isn’t life-changing, I feel that one can’t put a price tag on the ability change up looks.
But a UI that can be adjusted visually is still only as good as the overall product; Keeper tends to work because it feels intuitive. Towards the bottom of the main screen, there are navigational buttons here, marking quick-add, sync, settings, help menu and one to re-lock the app with one button press.
Data entry is easy to perform via the “+” icon. One gets to list data by file, and then add name and password. For the latter, I liked the dice roll functionality; when tapped, the software generates a random password for that item. Something that was of special interest to me is the app’s ability to store files and photos; this could come in handy. Additionally, websites can be added and acted upon from within Keeper; the FastFill” option is speedy entry method I enjoyed, as is the share functionality.
The premium add-on allows one to use Keeper’s Cloud Based backup, secure sharing, multi-device sync and a web-based desktop client. Features like auto-locking and multiple wrong password data destroy go hand in hand with the 256-bit AES encryption.
All in all, it’s a robust option, with a lot of functionality, and it easily lends itself to one’s productivity flow. Some might not prefer the premium subscription model, but with a 30 day free trial, there’s no excuse to not give it a try, especially with the cross-platform functionality.
When we first looked at Ascendo DataVault, it was hard to knock it. As a mobile digital password safe, it mostly had the pieces to be a relevant tool for the professional on the go. As our individual online profiles grow, we need good, unique passwords to maintain safety and security for each footprint. DataVault not only helps to secure and mobilize these passwords, it helps generate them.
Thankfully, Ascendo doesn’t just sit back and rest on its laurels; its recent update to DataVault brings in some pretty cool features.
The basics are still there: optional desktop companion, password generation, the ability to auto-destruct after multiple wrong log-ins, AES encryption, SD card, cloud, WebDav server and local wi-fi backup/sync functionality and more. Version 5.1.16 brings in a refreshed look, with a cleaner menu interface. Most prominently, though, the app now offers additional premium features from within the app.
The first listed new feature is advanced AES 256-bit encryption. It also has a bunch of new icons (200 of them), which help with more accurate labeling, and it allows for linking and backup via Dropbox. It also has better tablet support and bug fixes. The new features more or less create a more vibrant app, and greatly increase usability.
In practice, I did like the updated app; it feels snappier, syncs flawlessly, and retains the basic security functions it is known for. The password generator is one of my favorites, allowing one to randomly select a password based on criteria like length, letter case, numbers, punctuation marks and estimated strength.
I would still love a smoother, more organic sync procedure; tighter cloud syncing (like what is available for iOS) would be definitely welcome. Still, the app keeps on getting better, and is a great mobile tool.
These premium offerings can be unlocked via in-app purchase for $4.99. DataVault itself is available on the Play Store for $9.99.
Digital password safes are almost necessities for the productively mobile in this day. There are several options available to Android users, and this is a good thing, as this means only worthy candidates will survive in the ring.
Sticky packs AES encryption, and boldly looks to be the consummate password solution; off the bat, I like having the choice if either using the app as a standalone option, or getting in on cloud sync on one or more devices for $20 a year. Signup is a breeze and can be done on mobile device or the web.
The opening UI is clean and minimalist, with a reliance on cool blue as most of the background coloring. The layout of the data conforms to these ideals; by default, the app splits data into five broad but usable categories: app accounts, web accounts, internet bookmarks, identities and secure memos. Each of these has a set template; one thing that I think is interesting is that the app forces you to fill in some categories in some categories. For example, one can’s save an app account without inputting a website. Rigid, but logical. A slick floating window is utilized to copy information to websites and some apps. As noted, multiple devices can be synced to a single account, and these devices can be managed via web portal.
A big plus is the flexibility within the minimalist concept. I tend to like my password list arranged alphabetically, and this app allows for that. Syncing is smooth, and I liked the option of syncing on boot automatically.
What might give most people pause is the subscription model, especially when weighed against rival software that offers one-time payment options. It helps that (at the time of this review), the app is half off. Proceeds from sales go towards helping manatees.
When it’s all said and done, Sticky is a formidable option. The thirty day free trial might be more than enough to convince folks.
I sometimes feel as if I live life password to password. Blame it on the internet age; we all seem to be heavily connected. The web has become our centralized conduit. To keep our pathways safe, we have all learned to use passwords.
And the term “password” has long since stopped an effective gatekeeper. I have hundreds of web portals that I access. Some hourly, some every blue moon, but access is important enough to retain the passwords. So, I have to have access to these websites with secure, unique passwords, and I cannot afford to use one across the board. Even more crucially, I have to have access to these passwords on the go.
DataVault brings Ascendo Inc’s cross-platform password management chops to bear on Android. At the core of the system is the handheld component. The data entry was straightforward, with plenty of templates to guide. I found that customization was not an afterthought; even the icons set allowed for imports of images. And since security should be of essence, I appreciated the toggle-able security and log-in attempt controls. Too many guesses of the master password initiated destruction of the local database.
For me, it’s pointless to have a password repository without a reasonable backup alternatives. I thought the developers did a great job here, allowing data to be saved to SD card or backed up to the cloud via Dropbox. DataVault also does backup and restore operations from within the app, making it easy for me to have access to my data even if my device crashed. Additional features are the ability to login and even dial numbers from within the application. I also used the password generator, which allowed for the creation of passwords with uniquely customizable attributes.
On its own, as a handheld standalone app, DataVault feels mature and very functional. But when paired with the optional desktop software — available for Windows and Mac — even more functionality is unlocked. With syncing over local wi-fi and/or Webdav (which allows for sync with Box.net), I found DataVault to be close to the perfect solution. The ability to manipulate entries from my desktop, as well as having yet another backup option available if and when I needed it.
In addition, I liked that DataVault allowed for import of data from other programs. The files I moved over populated cleanly.
With more people going to the cloud for the semblance of universal access, I look to see more options for encrypted cloud syncing; Google Drive is a biggie (though, as noted, Webdav can be used with Box.net). Still DataVault, with all of its functionality and simplicity, is an extremely compelling program that can easily, almost sneakily become indispensable.