8 Password Managers for Mac

Anyone who has owned or operated a computer for any period of time knows the importance of a password. We have them for everything; your OS X account password, online banking, email, shopping sites and the rest. The result can often be a big mess of difficult-to-remember passwords, especially as sites often require the inclusion of numbers and special characters in your password.

If you have this problem, I suggest you check out these password management applications. They allow for the storage and retrieval of these passwords in an easy and secure environment, and can go a long way towards preventing a security induced headache.

1Password

1Password

1Password

1Password is the powerhouse of password management applications. It boasts some very good security features such as anti phishing and key-logger protection, along with the automatic generation of strong passwords.

1Password allows for seamless syncing of your data between computers via Chronosync, Unison, SugarSync, Windows Live Sync, and Dropbox. The app is compatible with a whole range of browsers, including with Safari, Firefox, Flock, Camino, OmniWeb, DEVONagent, Fluid, and even NetNewsWire. Whilst it is the most expensive on offer, it’s also arguably the most fully featured.

Price: $39.95
Requires: Mac OS 10.4 or later
Developer: Agile Web Solutions

Wallet

Wallet

Wallet

One of the most useful features of Wallet is its ability to sync over MobileMe. When you add or change one of the entries the changes are synced with the other Macs and iPhones tied to your Mobile Me account. Wallet also includes an auto-fill features that can automatically complete forms within Safari.

Wallet has a very clean interface, along with personal database features allowing you to attach files to entries, star frequently accessed entires for quick retrieval, and search all your information instantly.

Price: $20.00
Requires: Mac OS 10.5 or later
Developer: Acrylic Apps

Pastor

Pastor

Pastor

Pastor is the perfect solution for anyone not looking for, or willing to pay for, high-end features. Whilst it does not contain as many features, it is free, and allows for the saving and retrieving of passwords, serial numbers, and web logins.

It features a built in password generator, and is extremely easy to use. Pastor also runs on Mac OS 10.2 and up, so it is a great choice for older Macs.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS 10.2 or later
Developer: Markus Mehlau

Web Confidential

Web Confidential

Web Confidential

Web Confidential allows for a high degree of structure and organization. All passwords can be stored in folders and these folders are accessible from the Dock, there is no need to even open up the application to view password information. Also for users who work on Windows as well as OS X, the password files are interchangeable with their Windows version of the software.

Price: $20.00
Requires: Mac OS 10.3 or later
Developer: Alco Blom

LastPass

LastPass

LastPass

If you’re looking for cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility, look no further than LastPass. LastPass is a browser extension that performs most of the same features as a desktop application. Since it is a browser extension it works on Windows, OS X, Linux, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. The downside is, it is a little harder to get setup and not as easy to use as some of the other applications mentioned. It’s completely free, and has a lot of very useful features.

Price: Free
Requires: Any Compatible Web Browser
Developer: LastPass

Splash ID

Splash ID

SplashID

SplashID offers a very secure way to store your personal information. It features 256-bit Blowfish encryption, field masking for sensitive info such as PIN details, and a password generator that generates unguessable passwords that are completely random.

Also SplashID is available on Windows, Mac, iPhone, Palm OS, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Symbian UIQ, and Series 60 – it works on almost every platform available.

Price: $19.95
Requires: Mac OS 10.4 or later
Developer: Splash Data

Password Wallet

Password Wallet

Password Wallet

Password Wallet offers a tight user interface that allows for quick password retrieval. Also included is a unique feature called auto-typing. Password Wallet can, with the click of a button, open up a webpage and type in your login details for you, which is very handy, especially if your password is randomly generated. Password Wallet can also synchronize with mobile clients on iPod touch/iPhone and Palm OS systems.

Price: $20.00
Requires: Mac OS 10.4 or later
Developer: Selznick Scientific Software

KeePassX

KeePassX

KeePassX

If you are looking for an open source solution, KeePassX may fit the bill. KeePassX is open source, with the software and databases being platform independent across Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. KeePassX has the ability to import passwords from PwManager (*.pwm) and KWallet (*.xml) files and allows you to export your passwords as text files. You can secure your files with a password, key file, or both for an added layer of security.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS 10.3 or later
Developer: KeePassX

Conclusion

There are a wide variety of password management applications out there. Making a decision between them is likely to be based on the level of sophistication required, and the price you’re willing to pay. Whether looking for a free solution, one that syncs cross-platform, or a focused OS X tool with all the associated user interface delight; there’s something for everyone.

Do you use a password management app, or are you content with utilizing the wonder of the human mind for keeping all that login information safe?


  • http://www.nouveller.com/ Benjamin Reid

    I was looking forward to your encryption round-up but the apps all seemed a bit too much for what I was after, this round-up however is perfect. I really like the look of ‘Wallet’, it looks the most user-friendly.

  • WebKarnage

    I am an avid 1Password user, and not just because of an ace app, but a fantastic developer in Agile. Their speed of response and attitude is to be commended. Any issues, and whether you email or Tweet them, they are very keen to help, even if the probability isn’t all that strong it’s the fault of 1Password! They have to be sure it isn’t before they’ll let up.

    I also have AllSecure, which is another good app, but just not as practical on the net as 1Password.

  • http://eric.ferraiuolo.name Eric Ferraiuolo

    I just the built in Keychain Access app. I’ve created some additional keychains as a place to put passwords and serial numbers. I have these encrypted keychain files sent to Amazon S3 over HTTPS vis JungleDisk Automatic Backup.

  • http://didats.net didats

    Keychain is more than enough for me. Really.

  • http://www.binocle.ch binocle

    I gave 1Password a try some weeks ago and now I wonder how you could work without…
    Its just awesomely useful for all the myriad of various logins on the net.

  • walruscp

    1PW rules them all – an indispensable mac app.

    • http://adrianherritt.com Adrian

      Not three weeks ago I would have argued with you. I used Keychain for pretty much everything. But now I’ve been using 1Password and have to admit that it is indeed indispensable. It inputs usernames and passwords on ANY site (which Keychain does not, it was always selective), creates ridiculously complex passwords, integrates with all my browsers, autofills with info from whatever account I setup in it (ie. separate credit cards, names and addresses) and does a whole lot more in storage that Keychain does. I’ve even heard that they will be updating it so that we can attach files to it. Eventually 1P will be able to cover what I have 3 apps doing – easily and with a nice interface.

  • Eric

    I’m missing info.xhead

    According to their website there is a version 2.0 and iPhone app coming soon. I’m currently using version 1.4 and I’m very happy about it :)

  • http://drewjoh.com Drew

    Here’s my vote on KeePassX. It’s great to have several files (personal and a shared work one) that I can go back and forth with. Not to mention if I ever have a need for acess on Windows I can use KeePass for Windows. It’s not the prettiest, but functionality wins it over for me.

    I bought and use Wallet also, but it’s just not as quick to make new entries as it is with KeePass.

    • http://www.r1designs.net mdrisser

      I totally agree, KeePassX is my password manager of choice as well. The fact that the database file format is the same for both was a real winner for me. I have both the Mac and the Windows version on a single flash drive, so no matter whether I’m on a Mac or a PC I have total access to my password database.

    • Andrea Sciamanna

      I agree too. KeePass (and all other variants) is the best, free, reliable, secure and portable option: my personal opinion.

      Is also portable, so you can keep your database on an USB key (or DropBox, if you dare) and all the clients for eacht OS. On that way you can have your password anytime and anywhere.

      I’m using it since a couple of years without any regret.

    • http://khairul.my MK

      One thing that irks me about KeePassX (aside from the not-so-nice interface) is the awkward keyboard navigation. When I search for a password (search trumps navigation), I keep tabbing between the panel to get to the password but failed. Eventually, every time, I have to use the mouse to manually select it.

      Trying 1Password now, though it means I have to abandon syncing with Windows :(

  • http://www.stewartdesign.com Amy Stewart

    I was a Keepass fan on Windows, and now I’m using it on OSX. So easy to add stuff and I love that it’s cross-platform so there’s nothing new to learn. I was very frustrated with Keychain in OSX, which I’ve tried to use for the past few months, and I don’t see how people actually use that to manage their passwords. I could never find anything in it.

  • Bryan

    Awesome, I’ve been looking for apps like these so thanks!

    Also, there is a typo in the Wallet section, 2nd paragraph.
    Wallet, not Waller dude!

    • http://davidappleyard.net David Appleyard

      Fixed! Thanks Bryan.

  • exitstencil

    I use 1Password, which I got as part of a MacHeist or MacUpdate bundle, and it’s by far the best security/password app I’ve used. I also agree with WebKarnage above that Agile are great developers and are very quick to reply to support questions. 10/10!

  • http://mohdrafie.co.uk/ Rafie

    1Password to rule them all! :)

  • http://www.suberapps.com Ben

    Can’t live without 1Password. Definitely 1Password for me.

  • Doug

    I have been using 1Password for some time now and have found it to be excellent in every respect. kudos

  • http://www.blueemberdesign.com Garrett

    Was looking for just this post. I’ve needed just a certain type of app for password management for a while now. KeePassX is just the solution. Thanks so much for the reviews!

  • http://simplyblog.net Miguel Wickert

    I use 1Password! It’s great…. nice to know about the other options out there. :)

  • Kyotocutie

    Which (if any) of these apps will let you take your passwords to a new computer? I don’t mind using the built-in Keychain on my Mac, but when I bought a new one last year, I had to hand copy all my passwords, because I couldn’t find a way to transfer the Keychain file, or print all the passwords, or whatever. I suppose this is for security reasons, but there just has to be a better way!

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  • http://www.m65jacket.com m65

    thanks for this amazing share

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  • http://www.martinvaresio.com.ar/guardapelos.html Martín

    I bought a new one last year, I had to hand copy all my passwords, because I couldn’t find a way to transfer the Keychain file

  • Lugash

    Any chance of getting a new password manager roundup? It’s been 2 years since this was posted.

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  • eveready

    PassLocker is a promising alternative for those who seek simplicity.

    Check it out: http://passlockerapp.com

  • Steve

    What about the Intuitive Password? A rock solid cloud-based system. check it out: http://www.intuitivepassword.com

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