Passwords created by many computer users are weak and prone to dictionary attacks. Once your password is known to a third person, he may either misuse or reveal it to 1000s of people by publishing the password on social networks. The best way to protect your online accounts is by generating a strong password and using only trusted websites that employ SSL encryption.

KeePass is an open source password manager for your PC. This program has a common interface to keep things comfortable for the users. The UI may not be good looking, but the program uses the strongest encryption algorithms to protect the passwords created or managed with it. It also includes smart features that keep passwords safe from Keyloggers.

KeePass saves your passwords in a database. The DB will be kept on your computer in the form of an encrypted file with .KDBX extension. You don’t have to turn on the WiFi to use this program.

You can download KeePass from SourceForge. It is available for the use on a single PC. A portable version of this program is available as well. You can run this program on your MAC, Ubuntu Linux or Windows PC.

How to use KeePass on Windows PC?

Like LastPass and 1Password, the KeePass will ask you to set up a master password when you run the program for the first time after its installation. The user can associate the MP with a master key file.

Like the MP, the KF will be saved on your computer. In case you don’t remember your master password, you can use the KF to get access to stored login details. The Key files should be carefully stored. If you’ve lost it, you’ll lose your saved passwords forever.

keepass review : master key file

KeePass has the Database settings utility wherein you can select one of the below two encryption algorithms:

  • 128 bits Advanced Encryption Standard.
  • 128 bits Two Fish.

You can also change the encryption round setting from 6000 to n (a value specified by the user).

keypass open source password manager dashboard

The primary interface of KeePass boasts a sidebar and a pane. The sidebar displays a tree view of the predefined categories. It includes the below entries:

  1. Windows.
  2. Internet.
  3. Network.
  4. Home.
  5. Email.
  6. Banking.

You can add, rename or rearrange or the change the icon of entries. Categories are called as Groups and entries are called as sub-groups in KeePass.

To add a password to a particular group, click on the key icon on the toolbar of the program. Once you do this, KeePass will open a new window wherein you’ll find the below fields:

Title: The user should enter the name of the program in this field. Ex: Microsoft Office, Windows 10, etc.

Username: Text field to enter the name of the user who owns the program.

Password: This field will be automatically populated with a robust and unique password.

Repeat: As above.

Quality: Displays the strength of the password in bits.

URL: You can enter the official address of the website in this field or leave it blank.

Group: A drop-box that allows you to change the category anytime.

Notes: A text area to enter a description of the website.

Expires: Allows users to specify an expiry time for the password.

Attachment: Lets you associate an attachment with the entered details.

Tools

If you want to use the auto-type feature of KeyPass, navigate to the tools function. As of now, the auto-type feature is supported on files, documents, opened desktop applications and websites. With this feature, you will not find it necessary to use a Chrome or Firefox plugin.

keepass add entry

Once you fill the above fields and save it as an entry, the panel on the main window will be populated with the details.

If there are a lot of entries in a single group, you can use the search tool to filter them.

Other important tools in KeePass

Plugin manager

KeePass allows you to download and install plugins to extend the functionality. Ex: Add two-factor authentication, auto-fill login details on websites, etc. The plugins should be downloaded only from the official website of the program.

keepass plugins

Password Generator

Here you can specify which characters the program should use to generate unique and strong passwords.

keepass generate strong password

Lock workspace

This function will close the KeePass database. It will disconnect the program from the database.

Options

Here you can modify the default settings of this password manager. KeePass allows you to change the security, GUI, files, memory, setup and advanced settings.

keepass options

TAN Wizard

This module allows you to create and manage TAN entries (transaction authentication numbers).

Database Repair

If you think that your password database has been corrupted, you can repair it with this tool in KeePass.

KeePass can be used on websites with the KeeFox FireFox or Chrome1Pass Google Chrome extensions. You may not find it necessary to install extensions as the auto-type feature in this program works great.

In KeePass, you may have to copy and paste the passwords. Thus, make sure you use this program on a PC protected with a sophisticated antivirus and Internet security program so that all malicious programs and Keyloggers are removed.

Pros:

  1. Advanced features.
  2. UX is great because UI is simple.
  3. Auto-Type features for websites.
  4. Data will be stored in an encrypted file.
  5. Import from 1Password or LastPass to KeePass is supported with Generic Importer tool.

Cons:

  • The only thing that can worry you while using KeePass is the local storage of DB and key file. If HDD or SSD have malfunctioned, you will not be able to retrieve the saved passwords.

Download the free and open source KeyPass password manager here on your PC.

Why open source?

Open source applications are frequently updated by the community of top developers. As the source code is available online, you can check it if the code is malicious or not. End users are not the only people who interested in testing the code; there are a lot of security experts and organizations that make sure that programs published on sourceforge.net and similar websites comply with the open source initiative.

Whether it’s a desktop or web application, programs developed for computers are not always safe. Microsoft is rolling out security updates for all of its programs every one or two months. If a serious security issue has been found, a security patch will be made available within a day or two.

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Pramod Choudhary
Loves writing programs and reading books. Android and Windows are his favorite OS. Read more: About Pramod

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