Feb 28, 2014
Two interesting things occurred while working on this review. One was highlighted during a commercial. A couple were working on creating an online account, and were having some difficulty coming up with a strong enough password they could remember. Yep, it advertised a password utility. On network TV.
The second thing was an interesting article I read while researching an unrelated article. The Adobe security breach reveals that the only password more widely used than “password” is “123456.”
What’s clear is this: password management needs to be taken very seriously. PasswordBox looks to be just the tool we need.
Starting up the app requires registration so as to set the master password which controls access to one’s data. After that, one is greeted by a clean interface that has some common websites like Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, PayPal and more somewhat preset in boxes; all that’s needed is to input username and password for the particular service. There is also a tab that allows for one to add a website that is not n the pre-populated set.
A gesture to the right of the main screen opens up a side menu that hints at more functionality: Safe Notes, which acts as a locally encrypted diary of sorts; Wallet, which can be used with credit card data and memberships; Password Generator, which automatically generates passwords based on criteria selected by the user; and an interesting Legacy Locker, which allows designated persons to access data in the user’s absence or death.
A big part of this app’s functionality is the built-in browser; it allows the use of “1-Tap Login” a service that allows one to login directly from the app with one tap. This feature can be toggled for specific apps. The service can be accessed from internet browsers as well, which makes it reasonably cross-platform.
PasswordBox offers AES-256, which is serious encryption and the additional option of using a PIN to further secre data.
Unfortunately, to use the free version of the app, one can’t have more than 25 passwords. To do more, an $11.99/year subscription is required. Folks that prefer one-time payment options might balk at this. I think the password generator could add an option for pronounceability as well.
Still, for what it does, PasswordBox does it well, and looks good doing it. The featureset is robust, accessibility is great and there is room to grow: well worth a free look.