Ask yourself, how many user ID’s usernames, and passwords do you have floating around on your Mac? Four? 14? 44? Keeping them in a safe place that’s also easy to retrieve is the challenge. Now, what if you have multiple computers—Macs and PCs? Nobody wants multiple apps to manage passwords? And, what if you’re on a tight budget and want a free app that does it all? That’s KeePassX.
Pretty Has A Price Tag
Mac users, and Windows PC users, have dozens and dozens, and perhaps hundreds of password manager apps. They’re everywhere. If you don’t mind the arcane nature of the Keychain in OS X, then one is already built in to your Mac.
KeePassX is a multi-platform password security app and management app that’s been around for many years. It runs on Macs, Windows PCs, and Linux PCs, and traces lineage back to KeePass/L on Linux and Keepass Password Safe on Windows.
So, there’s a lengthy history and ongoing development, albeit slower than slow. Good signs so far, right? After many years of development KeePassX is all the way up to version 2.x. If you have information you need secured, and you want a single app on Macs and Windows, need some encryption, then KeePassX should be considered. Especially if you like free and you’re fond of designs circa 1999.
First off, installing KeePassX is an event. It requires you to unlock OS X to allow installation because your Mac will tell you KeePassX is from an unknown developer (although one that’s been around for years).
To start, you’ll need to setup a password management database. That’s easy enough.
Notice the Fisher Price-like toolbar icons, circa last century. Also notice that the Save icon is a floppy disk. When was the last time you saw a floppy disk on a Mac?
As password management apps go, KeePassX is quite straightforward, virtually self explanatory, but the visual user interface is straight out of Windows design class. Create a Group, add a Title, enter a Username (login ID, etc.), add the URL, then the Password.
There’s plenty of room for Comments and other details, too. Basically, all you need to do is fill in the blanks.
KeePassX can tell you if your password is more secure or less secure (longer, with mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and some odd characters make it more secure).
KeePassX stuffs your Login ID and Password and other details into an encrypted database using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES 256 bit or Twofish) for additional security. The database can be opened using KeePassX on a Mac and Windows PCs.
You won’t be overwhelmed with additional eye candy features, either. KeePassX is not pretty. It’s simple. It’s free. And a surprising number of people use it. But it’s not a lightweight version of 1Password which works on most computing devices, mobile, notebook, or desktop, and keeps data synchronized between devices. For a price.