If you're an average Internet user, you surely have multiple accounts within various social media platforms and online websites your following. Every time you make an account, you'll always have to sign up first by creating a unique username and a strong password. In order to make your account secure and safe from hackers and malicious intents of profit-based online entities, you need to generate a password with various patterns consisting of alphabet letters, numerical values, and special symbols in alternating upper and lower case.
Since it's hard to remember all of these passwords, you might be guilty with the fact that you're just using the same password all the time. Well, it's convenient but too risky at the same time. Thankfully, password managers are created to solve this kind of problem. However, most of them come with a purchase fee or subscription rate. Worry not, since KeePass Password Safe is the just the thing for you. It is a free open-source lightweight password manager for your PC.
The leading open-source password manager available for free
KeePass may not be as pleasing as its commercial counterparts, but it certainly delivers very secure encryption that surpasses the highest of standards.
The thing that makes the software stand out among other free password manager programs is the fact that it’s the only open-source tool in the market. Unlike its other popular counterparts, the software doesn’t have a pleasing and easy-to-use interface. In fact, you’ll be greeted by its bleak and soulless design (which will remind you of software created in the 2000s) after installing it to your PC. Users with no background at all in manual software configuration might get spooked out by its lack of intuitiveness. However, the software’s worth shines through its surprising amount of features, security strength, and versatility.
The software has two distinct free versions of its tool that offers a set of key features unique to each other. The first one is version 1.x which is much leaner and more likely a better choice for beginners. While the version 2.x (sometimes called as the Pro version) offers loads of features which cover a wider range of uses. The software is also customizable which allows you to add more features for more security purposes by downloading certainly available plug-ins that are produced not only by its creators but also by the help of its user community. By default, the software stores your data locally on your device. This fact is considered favorable to people who don’t want to entrust their passwords and confidential data to the big companies behind cloud storage services. Since your password database is computer-based, auto-syncing between multiple devices is not possible. Although, you can place your database in a folder within a cloud syncing provider such as Dropbox to operate it remotely on devices other than your PC. You can also download the software’s portable version which you can conveniently store on your hard drives and USB flash drives.
The software definitely gives you absolute control over your passwords as it uses trustworthy encryption standards such as AES and Twofish to protect your data and SHA-256 to hash your master key components. It’s easy to create your personal database (once you’ve already mastered the basics) which will be protected by the master password you’ll use every time you’ll need your list of generated passwords. Pairing it with the key-file option will create a powerful 2-factor authentication which will make you less vulnerable to cyber attacks. It has also the ability to produce long, distinct, and complex passwords you can use in different online sites and transactions. It allows you to define the password length and the use of various characters of your choice. It’s okay (and recommended) to have distinct passwords for every online account since there’s no need to memorize every single one of them as the software will automatically save all of your passwords.
Where can you run this program?
The software’s official versions are currently available for Windows PCs only. Both versions, 1.x and 2.x (or more commonly known as the vanilla and pro version, respectively), offers different functionalities which means that 2.x is not an update of the 1.x version. However, you can also get the software’s 2.x version (still in the alpha stage) that’s compatible with Linux and Mac OS X by running it under Mono or Wine. Just visit the software’s official website and click on the download page to install it for free. Although, you can always choose to make donations voluntarily to support the creators’ hard work in maintaining the software. Additionally, you will see all the lists of contributed/unofficial ports of the software for other devices such as Android and iOS in the download page.
Is there a better alternative?
Since KeePass is not everyone’s cup of tea, you may try other free similar tools such as LastPass. It is a popular password manager which comes into two subscription options, free and premium. It works as a browser extension and/or an app for all kinds of devices and platforms which stores encrypted passwords online. Its free version offers secure storage for text notes, access to a personalized secure vault via Internet, and synchronization among all your devices. It also blocks autocomplete forms found within malicious and phishing websites. It has the ability to export all your data once you’ve decided to shift into other password manager services. On the other hand, you can subscribe to its premium version for a low (and reasonable) subscription rate per month which adds other indispensable features such as secure cloud storage for files, advanced multi-factor authentication, and ability to set up a contingency plan which allows your significant others to have an access in your private vault in case of emergency. In terms of undeniable convenience and ease of use, LastPass is better than KeePass.
KeePass offers various out-of-the-box features and integrations that cover the most relatable security scenarios that every user may encounter while browsing the Internet. You may also consider it as the most customizable tool among the plethora of password managers available in the market since it’s open-source in nature which you can personalize as much as you want to meet your security needs. Although its bleak interface (and lack of available built-in tutorials) may keep you from trying it, learning it will eventually benefit you in the long run. Overall, the software is still highly recommendable since it’s completely free and constantly upgrading with the help of its user community.
Should you download it?
Only if you’re willing to make time to learn the features of the software (and accept the fact that it may take you a while). It’s the only open-source password manager on the market, so its flexibility is like no other. Although, if you’re looking for a more user-friendly tool that comes in a modern look but with the (almost) exact offered services, then you can try LastPass free version.