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KeePass review: how good and reliable is it?


The KeePass password manager isn’t just your ordinary run-of-the-mill password manager. By getting it, you receive a completely free and incredibly secure open-source program that you can constantly improve based on your needs.

At first glance, it might seem like it lacks a bunch of important features that a password manager should have. However, as this password manager is an open-source product, it allows you to add a list of features via plugins.

We shall not even try putting all the information about it into a few sentences, therefore, we have prepared a KeePass review that will cover its security, features, ease of use, and more. So, read it and get to know this extraordinary password manager!

⭐ Rating:
3.4
🥇 Overall rank:#12 out of #12
💵 Price:Free (Donations)
✂️ Free version:Yes
🌐 Browser extensions:Only with plugins
🔥 Coupons:Cybernews Password Manager Coupons

KeePass review – pros and cons

KeePass features

KeePass password manager is an incredibly versatile piece of software. Instead of receiving a ready-to-use shiny product, you get software that can be customized by you with the help of plugins (there are over 100 of them). Meaning, you are allowed to greatly extend its capabilities.

If you are ready to take a step in the tech-savvy side of KeePass, then read below and see what features are ready to upgrade your daily browsing experience.

User keys

KeePass offers multiple options of user keys. Therefore, you can add several layers of security using a few different methods of authentication at once. Or you can simply use one of them but that means you’d get a lower level of security.

Here you will meet the master password – an industry-standard that will decrypt your whole stored database only for you. For this, you will need to create only one strong and secure passphrase which should be known and remembered only by you.

master-password-KeePass

Then there is a key file that can be added up as an extra user key to your master password (then you have two-factor authentication) or used alone. It’s a file that includes a key and it comes as a physical tool (USB, for example). Consequently, hackers would almost get no chance of breaking into your vault. Just make sure you have at least two copies of it, like a digital and a physical one.

Additionally, you can use your Windows user account, which means that only the owner will be able to access encrypted items on your vault.

Best alternative to KeePass
NordPass is an excellent password manager that offers strong security features and easy-to-use apps for a really low price.
cybernews® score
4.9 /5

KeePass passwords generator

With this provider’s password generator you get to learn to create strong and trustworthy passwords, as it’s insanely highly customizable.

That being said, you get even 9 toggles to enable and disable that allow you to choose types of characters and symbols and the length of a password. You can even use a custom algorithm.

Password-generator-KeePass

Of course, if you don’t feel like generating a password yourself, then you can use a pre-made pattern that also provides you with a unique password.

KeePass is excellent at being flexible and providing you with the possibility to create or choose already-generated secure passwords that will suit your needs and also protect you from sneaky noses.

Attachments

We have seen password managers that allow you to store files on your encrypted vault. But KeePass password manager offers you more in terms of what you can store there. It also gives you lots of freedom when it comes to opening and editing stored files inside of the app.

So, the Attachments feature allows you to store not only documents and text files, but also images. And editing them inside of the password manager guarantees that your data remains immune to hackers.

Plugins

To break the first impression of being an outdated and dull password manager, KeePass presents you with Plugins architecture.

Thanks to it, a user can write plugins for the app or add already existing ones that were also created by the community. And the list of over 100 plugins can be found on their official website.

Every plugin expands the functionality of KeePass, for example, synchronization with various storages (Google Drive, OneDrive, and other online storages), adding another type of encryption algorithm, or auto-type customizations.

plugins-KeePass

All in all, KeePass password manager allows for lots of customization and makes its app as versatile as possible.

Is KeePass safe enough?

KeePass password manager is definitely one of the safest password managers on the market. In fact, it’s up to you whether you seek to have the most out of its security or not. If you choose to lock your vault only with a master password, then your vault gets the bare minimum of the protection offered. However, if you choose to add a key file, then you enable two-factor authentication and your items become untouchable.

And with the implementation of SHA-256 encryption (which is known to be the most secure option in the industry), and even the possibility to choose ChaCha20, your vault gets secured at the highest level.

encryption-type-KeePass

Moreover, KeePass itself has a spotless track record and hasn’t gone through any actual breaches that would allow us to bring doubts about its safety. Consequently, we can agree that KeePass is an extremely safe password manager suitable for storing sensitive files.

Ease of use and setup

Whether you get KeePass on your Windows, macOS, or mobile devices, the installation process is smooth and easy. Even though there isn’t an official app for mobile devices, third-party apps are also easy to install.

As you start using this password manager, it might get more complicated as its developers have put so much work on the app being strongly functional that the interface seems to be left behind. To be clear, after you install the app, you get no guidance that would introduce you to the program. You instantly receive tools to work with on your own.

Desktop app

If you are not a tech-savvy person, the grey background and the aura of the 90s would be the first thing that surprise you. Then there are no clear instructions right in the app that would enlighten you on what steps you should take. Nevertheless, those instructions can be found on the official website of KeePass.

Moving further, this password manager is open-source software that every tech-savvy user can customize. Basically, if you are tech-oriented, then you can take all the best from KeePass and make it as functional as possible.

interface-KeePass

The application itself doesn’t have any clear buttons that would allow you to take some actions, except for the menu bar. Yet, right after you do some surfing inside the application and some digging in the KeePass forum, you get to know how much configuration you can do.

Overall, KeePass is easy to set up but moving further it becomes a tough nut to crack if you are only a casual user.

Browser extensions

KeePass doesn’t offer a regular browser extension that we are already used to seeing. To make your browser compatible with this password manager, you would need to download extra plugins that will import your credentials from various browsers, allow auto-typing into websites, and more.

From the plugins and extensions list, you would need to pick the add-ons for your preferred functions. After you pick and download them, it’s quite easy to set them up. The most important action is moving the downloaded file into the password manager and restarting the application.

In conclusion, you can use KeePass on all popular browsers, as well as not-so-popular ones. With it, you may enable the autofill feature, configure the app to fill specific text boxes, and even more. Just, once again, keep in mind that every wanted feature is added as a plugin.

Mobile apps

Unfortunately, KeePass doesn’t have any official app for mobile devices. Therefore, you would need to choose a trustworthy third-party app.

When it comes to Android, there are 5 top apps that are able to bring the best out of KeePass for you: KeePassDroid, KeePassMob, KeePass2Android, KeepShare Lite, and KeePass2Android Offline.

iOS also gets a list of applications, which include KeePassium, MiniKeePass, Strongbox, and so on.

Every mobile application comes in different designs and capabilities. So you would need to do some research on them and find the most suitable for you.

But are they more informative and easier to use than a desktop application? Not really, keeping in mind that apps for iOS look similar to the official desktop app. Plus, these are not official programs, so it would be naive to expect to receive a fully functioning program.

Pricing

KeePass password manager is a completely free program. It doesn’t matter how many plugins you add – there are no fees.

The only way you could sacrifice your money for this password manager is by sending them a donation fee. As KeePass says itself “Donations to KeePass support the development of the project”.

donation-KeePass

You can make a donation by using your credit card or PayPal. All the instructions are provided on their official website.

However, if you are only going to use an app for your mobile device, keep in mind that some of the apps require you to pay in order to get the Premium features. One of them is called KPass, which can be found on the Google Play Store. As soon as you wish to use a password generator on it, you would have to pay $10.

All in all, staying with the official desktop app and providing KeePass with a donation might motivate them to improve the app’s interface.

Customer support

As password manager customers are used to getting help via chat or email, seeing that KeePass doesn’t offer you these privileges might be disappointing.

Still, the help is surely available. Even though there’s no live chat or email support, you can find a very informative FAQ, help center, and even KeePass’s local Wiki that is created for its users.

customer-support-KeePass

Additionally, there’s a forum where users can help each other.

Backup and password recovery

KeePass doesn’t offer a built-in backup and the reason behind that is that they leave you to decide what type of backup you need for your data. But that doesn’t mean that there’s no option to store your data and recover it when needed.

To backup your database, key file, Windows user account, and your KeePass configuration, you can count on a free Windows feature.

It’s called Windows Task Scheduler, and it allows you to schedule how often the automatic backup should be done. For that, you need to create a new folder outside of KeePass where the data is stored. Additionally, you can store your backed-up items in physical storage (USB, for example).

Alternatively, you can get special backup software that will copy your KeePass data, encrypt it, and transfer it to the cloud server. It can also make a copy that you can store on your device or other secure storage.

In fact, KeePass itself can export your data, but it will be stored as a plain text file. Of course, you can also find plugins for this, yet they appear not to always work correctly.

Keep in mind that it’s suggested that you backup your data every time you add a new item to your vault. Also, it would be smart to make at least two copies of it. Once you backup your data, you will always be able to recover your passwords in case your device crashes or if you forget your master password.

Most common KeePass issues

Even a seemingly perfect password manager can have some room for improvement. Now, let’s look at what issues KeePass brings along:

  1. False cyber-attacks. It has been reported several times that KeePass is experiencing a cyber-attack through different vulnerabilities. For example, header authentication, timing side-channel attack, and KeeFarce. However, all recent false attacks have been solved or denied.
  2. Automatic update issue. It’s common for KeePass to be downloaded through unofficial sources. Thus, many unofficial apps perform automatic updates. Meanwhile, the official app version doesn’t have automatic updates as it’s an open-source program, leaving the decision for you.

Best alternatives to KeePass password manager

It’s very understandable if you don’t feel like using KeePass after getting to know how different it is and what it takes to learn using it.

Obviously, there’s nothing to worry about. The password manager market is full of great products that are more than capable of providing you with security and comfortable browsing.

Below you will find our top two choices that we would go for.

NordPass

If you are looking for an incredibly user-friendly password manager – NordPass is what you should choose. And ease of use isn’t the only thing it can offer. That being said, this password manager has implemented next-gen encryption called XChaCha20 that is extremely secure and doesn’t interrupt your device’s performance.

Speaking of security, NordPass uses zero-knowledge architecture, meaning no one except you knows what’s stored in your vault. And the vault itself is locked with a master password, plus multi-factor authentication is available.

NordPass is able to offer you both a free version and a paid one. If you choose to pay for its services, then my oh my, you receive all the essential features that a password manager should have. For example, autofill, password generator, password health reports, and even a data breach scanner.

Get to know more about NordPass on our website.

Dashlane

Another top pick for us is Dashlane, which is rated to be the best password manager in 2022. Although it’s going to require spending more money than other password managers, Dashlane offers you an incredible feature list.

There you will find several options of authentication like, biometric, 2FA, Universal 2FA, and a master password. Its autofill feature perfectly fills your logins, passwords, credit card information, and other forms. And if that’s not enough, we should mention that Dashlane has a built-in VPN, so here you get a bundle of security.

What’s also great is that this password manager is easy to use and has browser extensions for all major browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. Moreover, you can try out and enjoy all the features and security of AES-256 encryption for free.

Learn more about Dashlane in our review.

Bottom line

It’s undeniable that KeePass is an extraordinary password manager. Starting with its design that has the powers of a time machine and takes you back to the 90s, and ending with unlimited possibilities of customizing the program.

Once you install this password manager, you can instantly feel that there will be some work to do to get the best out of the software. But at the same time, many limits fall off with the help of plugins that provide you with a wide range of features. After all, it’s an open-source program that allows for lots of freedom.

If you are a tech-savvy individual and looking for a free but incredibly secure and versatile password manager, then KeePass is going to be the right fit for you. However, if you are a casual user who is looking for a nicely shaped and easy-to-use password manager, then you should take a look at our top password managers list instead.


More password manager reviews from CyberNews

1Password – feature-rich top notch password manager.

LastPass – user-friendly password manager.

Keeper – extremely safe and strict password manager.


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