A while back I wrote about using a three tier password management in which I described a plausible system that anybody could utilize without using third party software to manage passwords for you. Since then I've had a change of heart. I was able to find the ideal password manager for my purposes. This ideal solution didn't come right away, it took time and some trial and error. Mainly due to the managers not really fulfilling my basic set of needs. Here are just a handful of them:
- Cross platform and device support
- Sync capabilities
- Sufficient review by peers
- Great security
I never though I'd find this mythical solution that would take care of all my needs. I've heard many praises about LastPass, but it unfortunately fell short in other non-critical categories. Specifically advertisements and requirement of their Premium subscription service in order to sync between devices. Furthermore, their syncing requires the user to utilize their centrally managed web service. This of course can and have lead to unexpected consequences. So a centrally managed solution will not work.
Other possible candidates have included the well known KeePass and the well reviewed Password Safe. Unfortunately both of these candidates have poor cross device support as they rely on the open source community to provide it. Sure some support exists, but they generally rely on a third-party individual to maintain it and they are likely several versions behind when it comes to feature set.
So what option is left? 1Password. With support for every major platform and device (link), strong security design (link), and it is actively being developed on (link). Is it perfect? Not at all. They do not have the same keylogger protection that KeePass has, they've previously been chastised for their mobile application, and their Agile Keychain design leaks information about what is contained in its database.
After a year of utilizing the software, I'm glad to say that I know literally only one password, my database password. All of my other passwords are randomly generated. Each a unique and strong snowflake for each service that requires it. All of the passwords are safely backed up on multiple systems and I have revisions via Dropbox just incase any item gets corrupted. It has a been a great setup and I hope you will give it a try as well and let me know how it goes for you.