There are tens of excellent password managers developed for the average user, but no two password managers are created alike. Password managers continue to find significant use in our everyday lives. This is because passwords remain the first line of defense in protecting offline and cloud-based accounts.
Why are password keepers all the rage in digital and cyber-security?
According to a study whose findings were published by the Financial Review, passwords are usually the weakest link in the chain of cybersecurity. Over 80% of most data breaches occur because of a weakness in how users create and store passwords.
The password vulnerability is an ongoing weakness that has left even the most secure technology institutions vulnerable to social engineering hackers, password thieves, and password crackers.
Password Safe and KeePass are two of the top contenders of the best open-source multi-platform password managers today. Therefore, choosing one between the two is not as easy as it may seem at first. While the two password managers are different, they each offer unique benefits and forms of security for a user’s authentication.
Password Safe vs Keepass – Quick Summary
If you are looking for a convenient and highly dependable password manager, you cannot go wrong choosing between Password Safe and KeePass. The two open-sourced tools come with unique features and seem designed for different market segments. For instance, many online reviewers feel that Password Safe better meets their personal usage, while KeePass is better suited for business use.
Password Safe and KeePass are two of the top contenders for the best passwords manager spot. Password Safe’s most vital selling point is that it allows users to pair their password authentication with a physical YubiKey authenticator.
On the other hand, KeePass is a very user-friendly open source password manager ideal for non-tech-savvy users. It features an in-built sync option for seamless portability and a drag-and-drop feature for ease of use.
How We Evaluate Password Safe vs KeePass
This comparison will focus on specific attributes shared by the two password managers, including:
- Key benefits of each password manager
- Security features
- Core features of the password managers
- Mobile apps and support
- Password manager customer service
- Ideal use cases for both password managers
Is Password Safe Better Than Keepass? Password Safe Advantages
Password Safe rose to fame for being a simplified security tool that allowed first-time users to start their safer and confident digital lives more easily.
Bruce Schneiner, the renowned technologist who designed Password Safe, envisioned a free to use security and encryption tool. Within a few months of its roll-out, Password Safe had already reached hundreds of thousands of downloads. Today, the tool has been downloaded over 5 million times.
Password Safe was built to install on any Windows device in a minute or less and relies on a single Master Password to secure the user’s list of usernames and passwords. Password Safe is built to run on all platforms, including Linux OS, and has quite dependable Android and iOS apps for mobile platforms.
The free version of Password Safe is ideal for the average user who needs to secure logins on laptops or PCs. Power users who need disk-on-key authenticators to use on multiple machines may have to upgrade to PasswordSafe2Go that keeps passwords on a secure database on a disk.
Is Keepass Better Than Password Safe? Keepass Advantages
KeePass’s main selling point is that it encrypts the entire password database, not just the password fields. This means that rather than encrypting logins, it boosts the user’s security by encrypting everything, including notes and login logs.
KeePass uses the SHA-256 to hash the master key. This 256-bit cryptographic approach to securing a database is known to be military-grade with a key derivation function output.
Many users find KeePass’s interface friendly and the password tool easy to use. The password manager shows the key dialog on a secure desktop to protect itself from keyloggers.
By far, how KeePass works is what attracts many cybersecurity enthusiasts to this password manager. It features an active memory protection that keeps passwords encrypted even when the main app runs in the background. It also offers protection to in-memory streams that encrypt passwords in use with a session key.
Password Safe vs Keepass: Pricing
The main version of Password Safe is open source and runs on donations. This means that while the tool is free for users to install on their laptops or PCs, they may be asked to make a one-time donation to fund the tool development.
The main version of KeePass is open source and completely free. Unlike Password Safe, the free version of KeePass also offers many additional open source plugins, extensions, and ports to supercharge its functionality. Like Password Safe, the free version of KeePass accepts donations from users who find the tool invaluable.
Password Safe charges $9.99 for its disk-on-key authentication features that KeePass offers for free. However, the one-time charge guarantees that the disk-on-key version of Password Safe known as PasswordSafe2Go comes fully loaded on a key device that easily plugs on to any computer.
PasswordSafe2Go comes free with unlimited updates for up to a year, multiple open source port options, and a range of commercial plugins and commercial extensions.
Password Safe vs KeePass: Security
As open-source software, both Password Safe and KeePass’s source codes are available for anyone to inspect. While this may boost the users’ confidence in the password managers, they may make both of them susceptible to reverse-engineering. The critical point to note is that both password managers have so far lived up to their claims of impenetrable password protection.
Password Safe encrypts its password database with a robust 256-bit key Twofish encryption algorithm. The user can decrypt and access passwords using a single Master Password that only they know. The database does not store the Master Password. Power and commercial users have the option of buying the portable YubiKey key-on-disk authenticator to use Password Safe’s two-factor authentication.
KeePass offers more robust database encryption compared to Password Safe. It uses two additional encryption algorithms in addition to the Twofish algorithm used by Password Safe – AES-256 and CahCha20. KeePass works using a Master Password as well, but with additional security measures. A key file, such as a plugin key or a Windows user key, can serve as a composite Master Key securely compressed but encrypted inside the database.
KeePass can be loaded onto a portable USB drive to effectively turn it into a key-on-disk without paying an extra charge for the feature.
Password Safe vs KeePass: Features
Password Safe offers an Auto-Type browser integration and supports pretty much all platforms. This means that it will integrate with almost any modern browser and stull run Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, Android, and even Windows Mobile.
KeePass can only officially integrate with Chrome, Safari, Opera, and Firefox, but it does not offer auto-type support. It is available for GNU/Linux systems, OSX, Android, and Windows.
While both Password Safe and KeePass offer multi-factor authentication, the former is ideal for corporate use as it uses Yubikey. Both these password managers do not depend on cloud database storage or encryption and are therefore available for offline use.
Password Safe vs KeePass: Mobile Apps
Mobile compatibility is crucial when comparing password managers. Both Password Safe and KeePass offer mobile support through official apps for top mobile platforms, mainly Android and iOS. Both apps provide almost similar functionalities, including cross-device syncing, password generators, and local and cloud backups.
Password Safe offers a ton more functionalities and seamless integration on both Android and iOS compared to KeePass. Its mobile app contains password categorization features, automatic clearing of the clipboard, and support for biometric login (fingerprint and face unlock).
There are multiple cross-platform third-party apps for KeePass. These unofficial ports have low ratings for poor syncing of passwords between devices.
Password Safe vs KeePass: Customer Service
Password Safe has received a lot of love from its fans for having a rich and welcoming online community. The company offers separate support bases for all password managers on its platform – Android, iOS and Mac, Windows, and overall quick-start support. Besides a general discussion board, PasswordSafe2Go customers can also get priority support on a dedicated customer support channel.
KeePass is not very strong on customer support. While it has put together a rich collection of informative guides and answers to frequently asked questions, there is little a user can do to reach staff or customer support. This is justifiable considering that KeePass is open-sourced and is wholly funded by user donations.
Who is Password Safe Best For?
Password Safe is a robust password manager that manages to offer military-grade security for its users. It is ideal for beginners who like to take full charge of their security without getting too much into how encryption works. This password manager is also the right tool for corporate users looking to keep all company or shared account passwords safe.
Who is KeePass Best For?
KeePass is easy to use and offers most of the premium features on PasswordSafe2Go for free. However, despite being easy to use, finding information on using advanced features such as plugins and browser integration can be a pain for first-time KeePass users. This password manager is perfect for tech-savvy users who value military-grade encryption but want a friendly user interface.
Both Password Safe and KeePass have many great features that make each a solid choice for offline and online security. KeePass comes on top as a truly free open-source tool, while Password Safe offers a ton of security and support features for which most people would not mind paying. The right password manager for you will depend on the kind of user you are, the platforms you use, and the level of security you expect from the password tool.