14 January, 2007

Manage Logins and Passwords Has Never Been Easier

For the last month I have been using RoboForm to manage my passwords, and I have been extremely happy with it. RoboForm installs as a simple toolbar in your browser (Firefox, Netscape, and IE) as well as an icon in the tray. In addition to storing passwords, RoboForm can automatically complete and submit forms. This is the best tool I have used for form completion -- others I have tried seem to only work part of the time.

When I log into a website, if the login is successful, RoboForm will prompt me to save the information. First of all, the fact that it waits to see if the login was successful is a very useful feature. With other tools, they save what ever you type, and if you made an error it takes a lot of extra work to correct it. Once my login credentials are stored, I can select a login from the toolbar, similar to bookmarks, and RoboForm will call the URL and log me in.

The toolbar also has a search field. I turned off my Google toolbar and configured RoboForm's toolbar to search Google, therefore not taking an additional real estate. If you type a word in the search box and press F8, RoboForm appends www. and .com to the word, taking you to the website.

RoboForm also offers a level of protection -- if it is the first time using during a session, it will prompt you for your global password. So in the event someone gets onto your computer, they wont be able to get to your password file. I also like that if I want to edit an entry, I can see and edit all the data elements, including the password. Some tools never show you the password, so if you do not store it somewhere else, you will never be able to look it up if you forget it.

There are many other features. For example, after installing on my work laptop, and storing 50 passwords, it was easy to copy them onto my home PC, therefore I did not have to manually duplicate each entry. And since each entry is its own file, it is as easy as syncing files between to PCs to get both computers updated with my latest passwords.

For all this, hopefully you would not expect it to come for free. Well, if you have 10 or fewer password files, it is free; if you have more, you get a 30 day trial. It is then $30 for a license and $10 for a second. Or after buying the first license, you can buy a second version for $20 that you run from a USB drive on any PC. I also found a site that had a coupon code that gave me $10 off.

Like I said before, I have 50 passwords in RoboForm. If you find yourself having way too many sites to remember logins and passwords, and are tired of managing them manually, I highly recommend that you give RoboForm a try. Don't just take my word for it, RoboForm has been recognized by many industry organizations including CNet and PC Magazine.

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