Reviewed: December 14, 2009
(Also available for Mac OSX and Linux.)
Designed by Callpod, a company specializing in mobile accessories and other related sundry items, Keeper Password & Data Vault is a simple and useful piece of software that securely stores and centralizes your passwords, account numbers, login information, and other sensitive information. There are two versions of Keeper: Desktop, available for Mac OSX, Windows 7/Vista/XP/2000, and Linux for $29.99; and Mobile, available for iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, and Vodafone mobile devices as a free download. This review covers the Desktop version in a Windows environment.
Keeper Desktop v2 features a clean Web 2.0-style interface and extremely straightforward functionality. The installation, too, is a simple process that allows a custom install directory, but otherwise requires no input from the user. The installer will automatically create desktop and start menu shortcuts for the software without asking, though these can be easily removed if you’d rather not have them.
The first time Keeper runs after installation, the software will ask you to create a master password for the data vault, which is then required every time you use the software. Don’t forget this password. By default, entering the master password incorrectly 5 times will cause the entire data vault to self-destruct. The self-destruct option can be disabled in the settings menu, but it seems like a handy security measure, particularly for users whose computers might be accessible to others. The software also automatically locks itself after 60 seconds (adjustable under Settings) for additional safety.
Each data vault entry provides fields for a folder name (useful for categorizing entries), entry title, login (username or e-mail), password, and additional notes. The software also provides a login and password generator, which can be helpful for creating a unique login for each online account. The fields aren’t customizable, but the ones provided work well enough in this case.
Once saved, data vault entries can be easily found using the search function, or lists sorted alphabetically or by folder. The desktop data vault can also be easily synced with Keeper Mobile on a supported mobile device, so that account data can be accessed on the go. Keeper is also capable of exporting records in PDF (not encrypted), text (encrypted or not encrypted), or Excel (not encrypted) formats.
With its 128-bit AES encryption – a standard considered sufficient to protect US Government classified information (except for “top secret” level classified information) – Keeper should be secure enough for most personal purposes and beyond. In addition to vital options like master password reset, auto-logout timer, and self-destruct settings, Keeper can also be personalized to some extent with preset color themes and customizable default field values.
Callpod Keeper serves its intended purpose well and should definitely be considered by those folks who resort to the not-so-secure methods of tacking login-reminder sticky notes to their laptops and monitors or writing logins on easily lost slips of paper. If you’re interested in Keeper, it’s downloadable for a free 15-day trial (sans syncing and exporting capabilities), after which a license key (usable on two computers) can be purchased for $29.99.