Living in the digital age and working on the information super highway carries certain complexities and risks. Among those are the many passwords, login IDs needed to get into various accounts—email, web sites, company servers—and dozens of serial numbers for software purchases. 1Password gets the headlines as the best password management utility, but it’s expensive, and doesn’t manage serial numbers well. Here are 9 that cost less, do both, and the one I use (it’s a bonus).
If you’re like me then you have multiple email accounts, company servers to log in to, and a bunch of web sites all of which require a login ID and password, and it’s seldom the same one. There’s no such thing as a universal login ID and password.
If you’re like me then you have a lot of software on your Mac, most of which came with some kind of long, painful to enter, serial number which must be stored in a safe, yet easily accessible place.
Fortunately, for Mac users, we have a few dozen software utilities which manage both login ID’s, passwords, and serial numbers with ease. Many are free. Most cost much less than 1Password.
#10 – Secret Book
$20 will get you SecretBook’s attractive user interface, the ability to import information from other utilities, and an intuitive manager for more than just login ID’s, passwords, or serial numbers.
SecretBook is an encrypted personal information database for Mac OS X. It allows you to easily and safely store all those little bits of information like passwords and software licenses.
You won’t go wrong with this one. I bought SecretBook a couple of years ago yet I use something different and less expensive.
#9 – Data Guardian
Similarly priced is Koingo’s Data Guardian. These folks may have more Mac utilities than anyone other than Apple.
Data Guardian is a secure database application with up to 448-bits of Blowfish encryption — regardless of how sensitive your data is. Create multiple databases in Data Guardian for a variety of purposes such as an address book, customer database, Christmas shopping list, journal, password manager, or even notepad.
Data Guardian is a bit more complicated, but, in true Koingo fashion, also has more features, including the ability to add custom data fields and multiple collections.
#8 – Vault
Half the money will get you more simplicity in Vault. Still, all the basics are covered, it’s easier to use than Data Guardian, and can store multiple data files.
Vault helps keep track of all your user IDs, passwords, software serial numbers, and even credit card information in a secure, easy to use program. Vault uses a powerful 256 bit encryption, so your information stays protected even if your data file or even your computer becomes compromised.
Elegantly done, Vault runs on Mac and Windows.
#7 – Password Wallet
For double the money of Vault, Password Wallet is a utility which also syncs with your iPhone or iPod touch or Palm. Oh, and 448-bit Blowfish encryption.
PasswordWallet is a convenient, easy to use, secure place to store all your usernames, passwords, PIN numbers, or combinations. It just doesn’t get any easier than this!
Nifty Auto-Typing technology. The interface is a bit different than other utilities but easy to figure out and use.
#6 – BarKeep
Evoking a wild west saloon keeper who kept customer secrets secret, BarKeep is friendly and spartan, perhaps even a bargain at $11.
BarKeep protects your information from prying eyes, keeping your data your business. BarKeep starts by storing all of your information in an encrypted format. But it doesn’t stop there. Set options to lock BarKeep if someone tries to start it or flip it into the foreground while you’re away from your computer.
BarKeep also keeps up to five snapshots of previously saved states. Just in case you screw up something and need the ever lovely ‘undo’.
#5 – Safe Place
This one is nicely done, intuitive to set up, quite flexible, and keeps your information in a variety of ways. Safe Place is another bargain at $10.
Safe Place is an application designed to securely store your passwords, credit card numbers, software registration numbers, or any other information you want to keep handy and safe from prying eyes. Safe Place organizes your information into categories, which you can completely customize.
Encrypted, custom categories, 40 custom fields, a built-in password generator, auto lock, import and export, and uses the famous 4th Dimension database engine.
#4 – Password Vault Lite X
The Mac password utility with the longest name also has the lowest price and the most features. Password Vault Lite X even has a Pro version. More money, more features.
Securely stores your website access information, Internet banking data and software runtime keys for convenient and easy access. It protects your data using very strong 896-bit encryption and includes auto-filling of Web forms, auto-lock timer, auto-clipboard clear, random password generator, import and export of data (for easy backup and transfer), editable categories, editable notes, master password recovery system, selectable skins, detailed reports after portable/desktop sync, and secure password auto-distribution for groups of users.
Password Vault Pro runs on Mac, Windows, Linux.
#3 – Pastor
Also in the free category is Markus Mehlau’s very popular Pastor. No feature bloat here. Pastor does one thing very well.
Pastor is a tool to store all your passwords, website logins, serial numbers, etc. encrypted and password-protected. With built-in password generator.
For those who love to track the whereabouts of vaporware, Pastor will be on the iPhone. Soon.
#2 – iSafe
Taking the sweet spot between features, ease of use, and a little flexibility in categories is the free iSafe, also has a professional big brother, iSafe Pro, which comes with a price tag, and many more features.
iSafe allows you to keep your credit card numbers, bank account information, software serial numbers, web based usernames and passwords and more all in one convenient place. You can also safely type and encrypt text documents from within iSafe or encrypt documents already stored on your hard drive.
Generally speaking, most of the utilities do the same thing, though in slightly different ways, with a different interface, and with a few more features here and there. They store login ID’s, passwords, credit card information, and anything else that needs to be secured from prying eyes, yet just a click away.
#1 – Steel
Yes, I’m biased. I like what I like. Usually Mac software categories will have one application which hits a sweet spot between features and usability, between flexibility, and quick access to all options.
That’s what Steel does, and it’s something of a bargain at $9.
Does the world really need another password organizer? Steel works much like other products in this category, allowing you to store and search personal information, but does so with a simplified, safe, and familiar iApp interface.
That so-called ‘iApp interface’ means Steel looks and works like what you already know how to use. iTunes, iPhoto, and other multi-column Mac utilities.
Still, you won’t go wrong with any of these 10 utilities. They all store, very securely, login ID’s, passwords, credit card information, serial numbers, and much more.