PassLocker: The Simplest Password App

With every passing day, online security gets increasingly important. Hardly a day goes by without hearing of a high-level hacking. But unfortunately, far too many people rely on insecure passwords, and reuse those same passwords on all of their online accounts. If one account gets hacked – boom – everything account they have could be easily logged into.

There’s a ton of password managers out there, but for many, they seem too much trouble. They can get rather expensive, and require installing extensions in your browser and more. PassLocker is trying to make password management simpler for everyone with a menubar app that’s incredibly easy to use.

iOS Style, in the Menubar

If you’ve ever been intimidated by more complex password managers, you’ll definitely not feel that way with PassLocker. It’s just about the simplest password manager you could imagine. Setup is a snap: just launch the app, set a 4-digit pin number, then start entering your passwords. You can pick from a handful of popular sites, or just enter the site’s URL, and your username and password, then save. There’s no way to import accounts, so you’ll need to enter all of your accounts, but this app is aimed at those with smaller password management needs so that shouldn’t be too frustrating.

If you’re creating a brand-new account, you can use PassLocker to help you make it more secure. Just make a new account in PassLocker first and click the key icon in the password field to generate a unique new password. Then, copy that password and use it when signing up for the new account. If you’re in the habit of reusing the same password everywhere, this is a great way to start being more secure.

When you’re ready to visit a site, you can search for the account you want, then click on the account name to see its password and click the purple icon to copy it. Alternately, you can click on the Safari-style icon that appears when you hover over the account name to automatically login to that site in Safari, so you won’t have to manually enter your username and paste the password. That’s the best option, though oddly, it only works with Safari, no matter what you have set as your default browser. If you’re a Chrome or Firefox user, you’re out of luck. Also, if you want to check the “Stay logged in” box on your sites, you’ll need enter your account by hand, as PassLocker has no option to check boxes or do anything extra.

Click the gear icon on the bottom right for a few more options, such as changing your pin and backing up or exporting your passwords. There’s also a number of other small options – delaying Autolock to 15 seconds after you leave the app, enabling iCloud sync, and more – that you’ll see with small red-light icons. Red means the setting is turned off, while green means it’s turned on. It’s simple, but perhaps a bit too simplistic, since there’s no way to change much about the app.

Security, Security

On the security side, PassLocker is definitely a great step in the right direction if you’ve been using your browser – or brain – to store all of your passwords. I was very glad to see that the app was set to autolock, so your passwords will be safe even if your computer is unattended, though it’d be nice to have more options than just an instant lock or 15 second delay. It was also good to see that PassLocker can generate passwords, though more options on password length and complexity would be good.

Then, PassLocker uses industry-standard AES-256bit encryption on your passwords, but secures them with just a 4 number pin, which would be rather simple to brute-force hack. PassLocker keeps you from entering the passcode again for 15 seconds if you enter it wrong 3 times in a row, which mitigates that a bit, but it’d be much better to allow longer and more complex passwords for the app itself.

PassLocker, Everywhere

Then, if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, you can take your PassLocker passwords with you wherever you go with PassLocker for iPhone. The app is almost the exact same as the Mac app, though here, you’ll only be able to copy passwords and paste them into Safari. There’s no simple way to directly login to your sites from PassLocker, and no integrated browser to view sites right in the app. You can add new apps, generate random passwords for new accounts, and everything will stay synced almost instantly thanks to iCloud. And at $1.99, it’s definitely affordable to get the whole PassLocker suite.

Conclusion

Passlocker isn’t 1Password or LastPass, and really, it’s not even gunning for the same space. It’s password management, simplified, designed to make it simpler to keep up with a smaller set of passwords. At $4.99, it seems to be a good middle ground between expensive, full-fledged password management apps, and the alternate, which for many is relying on built-in password storage in the browser.

We hope to see Passlocker come with more options in the future, especially a way to work better with Chrome and options to set longer passphrases. For now, though, if you’ve wanted a simpler and cheaper way to manage your passwords, this might be just what you’re looking for, if you’re a Safari user and aren’t too worked about the potentially less secure short passcodes.


Summary

A simple menubar password app that syncs via iCloud to your iPhone. It's not for those with hundreds of passwords, but might be a good option to keep up with a few personal sites if you're a Safari user.

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  • Jeremy

    I don’t really get the point. I bought it and I just don’t get it. Ok, it automatically puts your passwords into the browser for you.. but you have to type a pin number to open it, so why not just type the password? Or better yet, why not use 1Password where you just click, and login without having to type anything? Makes no sense to me.

  • Zangief

    @Jeremy
    Typing a single pin and clicking on a button is easier than opening the browser, typing the website address, typing your username and typing a different password for each website.

    If you want to login without having to do anything, just let your browser remember every password you type. You don’t need to pay for a password manager, you can save a lot considering 1password costs a fortune.

  • http://toptopgames.com Cyrus

    PassLocker needs importation of .csv files and an browser extension to get anywhere.

    • Joe C.

      What he said. :)

  • nsfw

    demo version or it doesn’t exist. ;-)

  • name

    You get what you paid for. It may be cheaper than 1Password, but it doesn’t work nearly as well. Pay for quality and live a trouble free life!

    • http://www.mysat.gr/ Δορυφορικα

      Is only 4.99 and live a trouble free life!

    • http://www.albertkinng.com Albert Kinng

      1Password works great on Mac but the future is mobile and in mobile environment sucks. At least for 5 bucks this let’s you save your passwords!

      • Tim

        1Password’s iOS app is awesome. Not sure what you mean by “sucks”. It does everything it is supposed to – and then some.

      • http://palobo.tumblr.com Pedro Lobo

        Hi Albert,

        I have to agree with Tim. What do you mean by “sucks” 1Password 4 is awesome. Its builtin browser is great even for everyday things, you can easily generate and save extremely secure random passwords, search, organize and much more. All from an iOS app.

  • alexhleb

    I cant understand why people compare passlocker and 1password. I think passlocker is designed to appeal to people other than 1password users, like me. Simple and easy to use. I don’t want to pay a fortune to manage my passwords.

    • http://iynque.com iynque

      Really? You can’t understand why people compare two apps that purport to do the same thing? Really? No clue?

      • Ringo

        Is it normal for you to compare a Toyota Camry with a Harley-Davidson bike just because automobiles and motorcycles are vehicles made for transportation.

  • http://www.heymonkeydesign.com Lenny Terenzi

    1Password costs a fortune? Boy people really have a skewed view of what costs a lot in today’s $1.00 app market.

    • team51

      OSX Mountain Lion $19.99
      1Password $49.99

      you can buy a complete operating system for less than a half of a password manager. i think the word “fortune” is even not enough here. it is way too expensive for a password manager.

    • http://www.albertkinng.com Albert Kinng

      yes it is a fortune and at that price they should give you the iOS for free! I have apps from the Mac App Store that cost more than $20.00 like Flux, Hype and Fontcase. If you dare to compare what they do for the money is damn worth it. 1Password is good but isn’t hack proof and if you need to re-install everything you are on your own. Put a price on your app if you can back it up with the service and function. This little app isn’t promising Miracles but it sure do what it says.

      • CJ

        How is 1Password “not hack proof”?

  • http://iynque.com iynque

    I want to change from 1Password because of the cost, but if it doesn’t run on Mac OS, iOS, and Windows, I can’t use it.

    1Password even syncs via DropBox and I can get to my passwords by logging into DropBox via any browser.

    I need cross-platform compatibility!

  • name

    Everyone is right in saying that 1Password is too expensive. It’s such a simple application. Why must it be $50? However, I have tried them all and it’s still the best regardless of price.

    Besides, I don’t understand how people who can afford Macs and iPhones can complain about expense.

  • Aaron1

    SplashData’s SplashID Safe is customizable in terms of organizing multiple accounts for email or web management log ins. Recording capability is highly efficient for securing numerous sensitive business and personal information.

  • http://www.simplisafe.com/blog Kevin Raposo

    I actually use this program, it’s really helpful! I also like it how it generates difficult passwords for you. I haven’t had an issue yet!

  • parinda

    LastPass is free, works across browsers and platforms, has more features than this app. Don’t really see the appeal other than the interface looks nice and it’s more iOS like.

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