KeePass password manager is a windows program; however, it also has versions suited for macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux.
It is an open-source (FOSS) password manager, with an ease of use acceptable to most users. Basic users will find it to be a straight to the point kind of password manager.
The app utilizes the use of end-to-end encryption, meaning it is quite secure.
The app is also unique, as it does not store your data or information on hackable central storage, plus you get to have the encryption keys to them.
The app will also support a good number of plugins that add to its functionality, making it stand out among its peers.
The app is a best friend to users looking for a reliable password manager that keeps its files locally, and not on the cloud. KeePass is technically an offline password manager, which has the potential for synchronizing between computers and the cloud.
What We Like
- End-to-end encryption
- Browser integration (via plugin)
What We Don’t like
- Not easy to use as other password managers
- Not as presentable
KeePass is free for any version of the app you might prefer. The app, however, comes with an option for donating in support of the open-source code used by the website.
When it comes to the app plans, there is a slight advantage between the lighter 1.x version of the app and the 2.x version, when it comes to the number of features.
KeePass Free Password Manager – How KeePass Works
KeePass app does not come with a browser extension; this means that it will not consistently pop up or prompt the user whenever they are logging into a page.
You may choose to copy-paste the login information from the app to the appropriate boxes on the web page.
Another option is to drag and drop when moving the login credentials to a new web page.
The app also comes with an automatic typing feature, which will use the option of sending keystrokes to the application in case the app fails to integrate with the browser you are using.
As an example, where you open the default version of the KeePass database, you will have to navigate to the KeePass test form page, followed by the username.
You will then have to press Ctrl + Alt + A, which is the shortcut for the auto type keyboard.
Here, the app will look for the window’s title followed by pages’ identity the identity, after which it will send you the username, tab character plus your password, to the open window as keystrokes.
This will automatically fill in the form.
This option will also work for several websites, some of which may require your tweaking of the auto type settings in the section for account entry.
Best KeePass Plugins – Browser Integration
A fantastic thing about the KeePass app is that it comes with extensions that can integrate into most third-party apps.
In case you are using Firefox, you can get the best service from the apps, KeeFox, while chromeIPass will work best with chrome.
If you are using other third-party plugins, their applications can be found on KeePass’s plugins and extension page.
Browser extensions will integrate KeePass into the browser providing quick and easy access to websites while at the same time keeping your passwords safe.
The browser integration feature is a necessary feature of the KeePass app unless you plan to keep the app completely separate from the browser.
You will first have to download the setup from the company website. The app is small and portable and can be carried around in a flash or memory stick.
Setting up the account is easy. You will first have to create a database on a preferred primary device.
You can either create the master password to unlock the database or use a key file for the same purpose. The key file is a long and unique set of digits that can be stored on a thumb drive.
If you combine both the master password and key file, you get a more robust two-factor authentication login mechanism.
It is advisable to store the KeePass credentials somewhere in either the cloud, dropbox, google drive, or any other cloud storage system you may prefer.
This is because the KeePass password manager stores its files locally, in one of the chosen devices rather than on the cloud.
Alternatively, you can also synchronize your devices on your network through Wi-Fi.
After you have completely set up the device, you are free to start using it.
KeePass Desktop Application
The KeePass desktop program may seem a little dull to begin with. It lacks all the colorful layouts you are used to; however, it is easy to use once you get accustomed to it.
Although the app cannot automatically take logins credentials from web browsers, it can import data from several other password managers, including 1password, LastPass, and Sticky passwords.
As the app is simple and easy to use, it is easier to arrange your data into folders, with the options for subfolders, and other subgroups.
A downside with the app is the lack of capability to capture login credentials after you log into a website. How the app works are such that it will require new information to be added manually.
The app offers a number of options while adding in new information. You get to choose the type of icon, which will represent the password you will allow the app to choose.
You can also allow the app to choose a password based on your mouse movements and keyboard inputs.
KeePass on Mobile Apps
The app also has a decent mobile application. It is also quite easy to use with the same quality of service.
The mobile app version of the software will also require manual addition of passwords when logging into the website.
You may also let the app create the passwords as you manually store them on the app.
The mobile version will also take you through the process of synchronizing its locally stored database with cloud storage.
Ease of Use
After the apps complete installation, you can start performing all sorts of functions from the main window. You can start creating new passwords, arranging them, or deleting them.
When creating new passwords, the app will provide you with a notes section, which will store any info, you might need; this information is not specifically attached to the password or websites you are logging in to.
Think of it as a note pad of sorts.
The app will also allow you to tailor the apps password generation feature to suit the specific needs of the websites you are logging in to.
Access Your Passwords on your Phone
The KeePass app has no official mobile app, making it harder for you to view the app’s database on your phone.
However, it is not impossible. All you will need to do is transfer the database to the phone. You can then use third party mobile apps that can access your KeePass database.
After you have transferred the database to your phone, from either the cloud or the local storage, you get to choose a compatible app to the KeePass databases.
You can now launch the app and open the KeePass databases. After this, you can now enter the encryption key to access view and manage the databases on your smartphone.
You will have to remember to keep the changes synced between your devices, and in case you add any new entries to the phone, you will have to do the same for the computer.
The app is quite effective, and whatever it lacks in terms of a completely integrated system such as LastPass, it makes up for in terms of flexibility and control.
KeePass Password Manager Features
Review, Is KeePass Safe – Security
The app works with top-of-the-line security systems, with advanced encryption standards (AES Rijndael), and a Twofish algorithm for the encryption of your passwords.
These two types of encryption mechanisms are regarded as the best and well secure.
The app is also quite impressive, as it not only encrypts the passwords, rather it will encrypt the whole database protecting your names, notes, etc.
The app also comes with a SHA-356, which is used to hash the passwords. This means that your passwords are modified in a way that is useless to a hacker.
To date, there are no known attacks against the SHA-256, plus the output function s with a key derivation function, which transforms it (the output)
The KeePass app’s security mechanism will also protect your device and password against guessing and dictionary attacks.
This s done through the transformation of the master key component, which makes it harder for guessing attacks to get a chance of success.
The security of the app also works in such a way that it will process memory protection.
As all the passwords are encrypted while the app is running, it means that when the operating system dumps the app’s process to disk, your passwords are still protected.
As the passwords are saved in an encryption form with a session key, the memory streams are also (2x) protected when loading the inner XL format.
The app will also offer you a security-enhanced password edit control. The app is the first of its kind to provide such.
This feature works in such way that the controls are secure from any intrusion through the password edit controls. The apps memory will also not be able to see any passwords, if entered under the security-enhanced password edit controls.
The master key dialogues can also be availed on a secure desktop, where there is a little risk against Keyloggers hacking your information.
Multiple User Keys
How the app works are such that the master password will decrypt the complete database. The app will also provide key files that have better security in most cases.
The key file can be carried in a floppy disk or USB flash drive
If you decide to combine the two, you will have a much stronger password, such that it will require both the master password and the key file to work.
The app also offers the option for locking the database to the current windows user account, which can only be opened by the person who made it.
Portable and no Installation Requirements
As previously stated, the app is portable and will immediately begin working on windows without the installation.
However, if you prefer to have shortcut icons on your desktop, the app can also be installed.
The app will not create any new registry keys or installation files on your windows directory; neither will it store anything in your system.
In case of deleting the KeePass directory, the installer package will leave no trace of KeePass in the system.
The app also comes with an advanced feature that will explicitly optimize the user interface for screen readers.
Export to TXT, HTML, XML and CSV Files
The app also offers various formats as it can be exported from TXT, HTML, XML, and CSV. The XML output is quite easy to use in other applications, while the HTML output utilizes cascading style sheets.
This makes it easier to format the table and change the layout.
The CSV output file is compatible with most of the password managers, even the closed source types of managers. They can also be imported by spreadsheet apps such as OpenOffice.
Import from Many File Formats
The app also provides its users with many different formats you can import your data as. It usually uses the CSV format for importing most of the data; however, the app can accommodate different formats too.
The app will support more than 35 formats with other formats supported through the apps plugins.
The app can also pars and import TXT outputs of CdeWalletPro, which is a commercial closed source password safe.
Easy Database Transfer
The app comes with only one file, which can be easily transferred from device to device.
Support of Password Groups
The app makes it easy to arrange and group your passwords accordingly. It can go for as many subgroups as you want.
Time Fields and Entry Attachments
The app will support time fields. This is the creation of last modification, last access, and expiration times. The app will also allow you to attach files to password entries, which are useful in the storage of PGP signatures files.
The app also comes with a powerful editor for text files, images, and documents. The app will not require you to export images or documents so that you can access them.
Improved Clipboard Handling
All you have to do here is to copy the value on any field of the entry list and paste it on the clipboard. The app will also allow you to clear the clipboard automatically after some time where you had copied one of your passwords on it.
Searching and Sorting
The app will also allow you to search through its database. You will have to click a column header in the password list to sort a password group.
Strong Random Password Generator
The app can create strong passwords for you and will let you define the possible output characters; the app will also allow for random seeding through the user input, mouse movement, and random keyboard input.
The app will let other users contribute to the development of the KeePass plugins.
Plugins come in handy in increasing the efficiency of the app by providing additional support and features.
The app, as previously stated, is an open source-based app. This means that you have access to all the code, add on, criticize, or propose changes you might see fit.
Open source code is also important as it helps prevent backdoors, securing your data even better.
You can also assess the code and ensure that the security is efficiently implemented. The app will allow you to use any other encryption algorithm you may deem fit.
The open-source code is also essential in encouraging other people to port the app to other systems.
The overall performance of the app is quite impressive when it comes to the password storage front. It may have some of its downsides when it comes to add information and the plain interface manually. However, it makes up for it in its superior protection services for your passwords.
The open-source code it uses is designed to be effective security, without any fancy kinds of additives.
For a basic user, the app will be easy to use and easy to install.
The app being an open-source code means that it does not come with any major corporate-level support, in terms of personnel, video chat, etc. Users are the main contributors.
The website, however, offers its users a FAQ page, where they can try and find answers related to any of the problems they find while on the app.
The app also comes with forums, where you can look for similar topics under discussion, simply follow the conversation, and ask for some answers.
Forums are amazing because they involve a number of people, and the issue is well discussed, leading to effective results, and overall better app.
However, the help section of the KeePass app is quite useful, well organized, and detailed.
You, however, will benefit from learning how to perform manual processes and getting around the interface, which may seem somewhat boring to the eyes.
The app also supports a vast number of languages, thanks to the contributions to the open-source code. People from all over the world contribute, meaning that the language used will vary, as not everyone knows English.
So What’s the Take?
The KeePass does come with some advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to its main function as a password manager, the app delivers.
It comes with a high level of protection for your passwords through the market’s best encryption mechanisms.
It also comes with a number of features based on the security, providing a cover for most scenarios a user may lose valuable data to hackers. In terms of security, the app also stands out; based on the access, it gives its users to the source code.
However, although KeePass did a lot to provide for the best app in terms of technical functionality, the app leaves room for improvement in user-friendliness.
The KeePass app flexibility and customizability are heavily dependent on the user.
Plus, due to it not being direct, or automatic, the user has to have some willingness to learn, and also employ some out of the box functions, to achieve the maximum usability of the app.
The app would serve a geek well as they can tinker with the app from the code to the interface, and thereby have a fuller experience of the app.
However, for your average Joe, the app may prove a bit difficult, and all-around boring based on the manual activities and dull interface.
The app is, however, free, and constantly getting developed. It is also hard to hit zero-day threats as it is constantly interacting with on the open-source code.
The app also comes with a number of plugins that can be added on to increase the functionality, and if you are willing to learn, you may come to appreciate the app.
The app is well adapted to suit its use and it stands tall against leaders such as the Dashlane password manager.
It may not be as loaded with features as other apps, and the interface is not aesthetically pleasing as most.
However, if you are looking for a free app that is simple to use and secure, then the KeePass app is the one for you.