Top 5 Password Managers for Windows 8 - A Complete Guide to Password Managers


Most of us have a very common way of managing our passwords, which is not to manage them at all. We do crazy mistakes, repeating it everywhere and leaving ourselves vulnerable at the hands of attackers. Would you care to spend a few moments in knowing about how to manage your password well. Not only do we have a whole bunch of top 5 password managers you can use on your windows 8 laptop, we also have a li'l bit of buying guide for you. Happy Reading.

If you are reading this, you already are a web surfer. You probably have a facebook account, an email address ending in '.gmail.com' and you love to read articles and news on the internet. It goes without saying that you would be a member of many (and by that we mean a number you cannot keep track of) websites and that is where problem lies – because when you do not remember passwords, 'Forgot password' link is not always the fastest way you could have saved the day!

Kaspersky Password Manager

What are Password Managers?


Sure Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and the most hated browser Internet Explorer would be helping you remember passwords and filling out the forms for you. So why do we need a separate program to redo something which has already been done? The answer lies in two words – features and efficiency and these are the two words we will be dealing here!

Advantage of Password Managers


One of the most useful features is that your details are available across multiple browsers. So if you have been using Chrome and never cared for password because Chrome managed it all and suddenly it refuses to start, you can have all those details in Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer. On top of that easy portability is one good thing. To explain the ease of use from the perspective of 'portability', let us consider a hypothetical situation:

Ascendo Data Vault Password Manager
You need to get some job done online and your home PC crashes and you need to go to the nearest cyber café to get the job done. As it goes, there are two problems with this – you cannot always trust the cyber cafes with viruses and key loggers and using firefox sync or logging into Google Chrome with your Google account can be risky as well. Not only this, it can take quite some time to sync all your bookmarks and password from the Google servers to the cyber café computers because they are usually slower connections than normal home connections.

However, if you have a good password manager, you can just use its portable version – copy it to a pen drive along with your data (well, that is encrypted with strong encryption keys) and just install the browser addon or plugin on the cyber café computer and get all your data and you would not have to type your passwords and you would not have to worry about key loggers either! And now we dive into the list of software that help you manage passwords:

Top 5 Password Managers for Windows 8


RoboForm - This is the most powerful password manager for Windows 8 and comes at a rather steep price of $9.95 for the first year and $19.95 thereafter each year. Yes, that is little bit of a turnoff but the sheer ease of use this software provides is just wonderful. Also, with other software you do end up paying about the same amount although in the name of 'upgrades' which you get free in case of RoboForm.

Roboform password manager editor
Coming to features, it comes with all that you can possibly imagine in a password manager application. The list starts with plugins that get installed in most browsers you would be using. It asks you whether or not you would like to save new username-password combination with RoboForm. You can manage more than one person details (or multiple versions of your own) so you can select the profile you would like to use on certain pages. You can launch the login pages of the website from within the application's main window and use secure notes as well.

It would also allow you to search through your list of websites and would let you see the password if you want to. Mind you, all this can be accessed only if you know the master password which you entered when installing the software. Remembering master password is a mandate for RoboForm because it will not let you use any of its features without you entering the same.

Speaking of password, there is this 'Lock out' feature which can timely log out the user from the application and asks for the master password again to allow continued usage of the software. This greatly reduced the risk of exposing your passwords in case you left the computer open and unattended! Updating passwords is easy as well and it even supports custom fields which are normally not present in normal forms thus helping you fill large forms. And all we said is about password management only. There are features which help you levitate the security of your passwords as well.

The first in the list of security features is the backup and restore feature which allows you to back up the data files and recover from them. Should something happen to your program or OS installation, this feature comes in handy. RoboForm does not allow you to keep a hint for the master password. This is good as much as it is bad. In case you forget your password – you are locked out of all your passwords everywhere. If used well, this feature cuts off the 'password guess' facility which many people can use on your RoboForm installation. There is protection from keyloggers as well as phishing sites. "Rest assured what you are browsing is what you wanted to browse" is the motto here. There are options to allow logins only based on fingerprint scans and RoboForm would even remind you to change your master password – which is very good, especially for those who love to keep the same password for ages.

Norton Identity Safe
RoboForm can be used via a portable USB drive and has clients for iPhone and Android to assist you when you are browsing from mobile. It can also sync all your passwords to its servers and that means you no longer need chrome to access everything. To add the cherry on top of the cake – you can bookmark your sites into RoboForm (just use the toolbar in the browser), so online syncs cannot get any better, or can they?

Platform support is the area where RoboForm really shines. Not only Windows (Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows XP) but Mac OS X is also supported! And one humorous thing which might be dangerous – when uninstalling the software, it will close all the windows. Make sure you save your work before you attempt uninstallation of RoboForm.

LastPass - This fantastic piece of art is a close contender for RoboForm. With long-term price at $12, it can beat RoboForm in some key areas. First – it comes with support for Linux along with . If you are a open source enthusiast, we're sure that might sound music to your ears. Hold on. That was just the beginning. LastPass is available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows phone, Firefox OS, iPad, Symbian S60 and even HP WebOS. Add to that the awesome fact that there is support for Firefox mobile as well as dolphin browser. We call it 'going too far for being universally available'.

If you are baffled with that feature set, let us tell you the most awesome of all other features – this software comes for free in its basic version. There is a premium version and the features you get when using premium is the accessibility to mobile apps and mobile browser plugins. So if you are not planning to fill a lot of forms on your mobile device – LastPass is the software for you.

You might be wondering that if LastPass has so many features, why is it that it is at the second spot. It is because LastPass is a little difficult to use when compared to others. While it allows you to have an icon on the desktop – clicking on it opens up the browser and tries to load the web interface onto it. So half the stuff is online and that pushes it to second number.

Ascendo Data Vault
Norton Identity Safe - Norton Identity Safe or Norton Password Manager comes from the world's largest private cyber-security company and stands up to its name. We put it here simply because of the sheer simplicity it offers. If you are looking to store passwords for your online-life and you want it as simple as possible, this is the one you should look out to. It has a desktop client and with Norton 360, it allows you to back up your entire data on a thumb drive. Also, you can import/export the data easily allowing to be portable.

You can manage your logins, secure notes, credit card info and it is all easy! When you login to a website on any of the supported browsers and the toolbar will automatically save your passwords and fill them in the next time. Manual intervention is at its minimum and you have a very simple-to-use password manager. It also has iOS and Android clients. And what's the good news? Well, the software is entirely free!

Kaspersky Password Manager - Coming from the same house which has been successfully selling its antivirus software across the country, this software is one of the best you can get in the market for the price it is offered at. For $24.9, you get a lifetime license for the software.

Lastpass Password Manager
Looking at the smaller packages being released by bigger names in the industry such as Norton and Avast, Kaspersky also introduced their own password manager. It is very similar to how Microsoft copies a lot of ideas from Apple and Apple copies ideas from many new but smaller inventions. Although the simplicity of Norton Identity Safe is not there, Kaspersky Password Manager comes with simplicity at its heart. The advantage you get here is the ability to organize your passwords the way you like it. Have secure notes, identities, passwords and other account info at one place.

Though it does not allow you to sync online like RoboForm, Kaspersky Password Manager allows you to save passwords for Windows applications as well. That said, you can save password for your desktop apps (e.g. e-banking apps) into Kaspersky Password Manager and use the same to login. And that is one of the best features you get when you buy this piece of beauty.

Coming to the web experience – you might already have guessed it and you would not be wrong – it comes with plugins for your favourite web browsers. However, a toolbar is missing. And the fun part is – you would not miss the toolbar. When you enter a new password, up comes a window asking you to save the new username password combination. Next time you visit the same website, you get your values filled; all you need is to click the login button.

In addition, the installer is very friendly. If you have not used a dedicated password manager until now, Kaspersky Password Manager will ease you into investing time and money in here (yes, it is that convincing in its approach).

Ascendo Data Vault - Coming from a company which is not too famous and yet gets the job well-done, it surely contends for the place in this list. Actually it is just as good and organized as Kaspersky Password Manager – allows you to define your own fields and organize your data into sections well enough so that you do not have to look out for a search button. Data Vault loses to Kaspersky for two reasons:

1. Beauty – Kaspersky Password Manager looks better than Data Vault.
2. Ease of use – Though Data Vault comes with a lot of customization abilities, they are a little intimidating.

Roboform password manager
However, if you think it is all bad and looks yuk, think again considering this – Data Vault allows you to synchronize your data to DropBox! Yes – you can be sure that your data is with you, on the computer and on the cloud and that you can access it in case everything else fails. Not just this, you can sync it to any WebDAV account or to a local network server. This is something you do not get in any other software we have listed so far.

Buying tips for Password Managers


Before we think about what to buy, the preliminary question is – do we really need one? Password Managers manage your passwords. Most of us would not have more than 10-20 accounts which we use regularly. Since Chrome and Firefox can also sync and store your passwords, it might not be needed at all. If you are mostly on your Gmail or Facebook account when you are online, then you probably do not need it.

In addition to that, consider the fact that most people have a facebook account already and most websites have a 'login with facebook' feature. So as long as your facebook password is safe and you can remember it, logging into other websites becomes less of a problem. Add to that the factor of money. To manage a few passwords – spending $20 might be an overkill.

Password Managers are mostly for those who use a lot of online logins and do not like to login via Facebook or Google. It is for those people who want to keep track of confidential information and make secure notes. My personal favourite is RoboForm for the sheer amount of options it throws at you and the sophistication and intelligence with which it helps you manage your web passwords. A close contender in my eyes is the Norton Identity Safe due to its simplicity and the 'free' price tag. You have the options in front of you. If you have enough reasons to use one, go ahead buy them. Also, most of the paid ones have a trial version you can use!

Read Review of RoboForm Everywhere: The best password management software


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