Five Best Password Managers

You’ve got enough to keep track of in your day-to-day life without filling your head with the countless logins and passwords you’ve racked up over the years, and the Post-It note on your monitor just isn’t an option. Luckily, there are several fantastic and secure password management applications designed to make it easy for you to remember, manage, and secure your passwords effortlessly.

Sxipper (All platforms)

Firefox extension Sxipper adds password management, auto-logins, and automatic form filling to Firefox. If you don’t want to manually create multiple identities to fill in forms, Sxipper may be perfect for you. It can automatically learn and build personas for you based on information you’ve used to fill in forms. Sxipper builds on top of Firefox’s default password manager, meaning all of your passwords remain safely encrypted and stored on your computer. (Original post)

KeePass (All platforms)

Desktop application KeePass is a free, open-source password manager with a robust and easy-to-use feature set. KeePass secures your passwords with a single master password and/or a key-file on your computer. KeePass is a Windows application, but an OS X- and Linux-compatible version—called KeePassX—is available with slightly less polish than the Windows counterpart. For those of you who’d like to take your passwords with you, KeePass is available as a portable application and as PocketPC, Symbian, BlackBerry, and PalmOS ports. We’ve covered KeePass a fair amount, including how to get started with KeePass, import your Firefox passwords, and track software licences. KeePass doesn’t come with built-in browser integration, but you can invoke a global, auto-login keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+Alt+A by default) when KeePass is running in your system tray.

1Password (Mac OS X)

Mac app 1Password is a commercial password manager and form filler for Mac OS X. Like RoboForm for Windows, 1Password integrates directly with your browser (Firefox or Safari) to auto-fill logins and forms. Like most of the rest, 1Password can automatically generate secure passwords for you, and all you need to remember is your master password. We’ve already mentioned 1Password’s impressive iPhone/iPod touch app, but it also works with Palm devices. Currently 1Password supports syncing with .Mac accounts, but my1Password is under development to provide synchronisation as well as online access to your passwords from any browser. 1Password will set you back $35, Mac OS X only.

RoboForm (Windows)

Desktop application and browser toolbar RoboForm is a popular password and form management utility for Windows only. In addition to password management, RoboForm lets you create identities to automatically fill in web forms. RoboForm is available in both freeware and shareware ($30) versions; the free version is very limited, though, so chances are you’ll want to pony up for a licence if you take this route. A portable version, called RoboForm2Go, is also available for $20. Like KeePass, RoboForm is available to carry on your Windows Mobile, Symbian, or Palm devices. Unlike KeePass, RoboForm sports a robust browser plug-in for seamless integration with Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Firefox’s Password Manager (All platforms)

When it comes to password management, many of you look no further than Firefox’s built-in password manager. It’s free, it’s there when you need it, and it’s a no-brainer to integrate into your workflow. One word of caution, though: If you’re going to stick with Firefox’s password manager, be sure to secure your saved passwords with a master password. If you don’t, all it takes for someone to peek at every single one of your passwords is clicking the Show Passwords button in the Saved Passwords dialog.

Now that you’ve seen the favourites, it’s time to vote for the utility you love best.

This week’s honorable mentions go out to the cross-platform LastPass (original post) and the open-source Windows application Password Safe. Whether or not your favourite made the cut, let’s hear more about the password manager you love best in the comments.