For me surfing the web and trying to remember a different password for each site is a difficult if not impossible task. So, I did, what I'm sure many people did, I used the same login credentials at most every site. I did this with the exception of my email, bank, paypal, brokerage, and other sites where my private information was critical.
However, I knew in the back of my head this wasn't the most secure method. While I have an OpenID very few sites support it today. In addition it isn't to the secure level where a bank or brokerage. Upon doing some investigation I found that adding a password manager to my list of productivity tools was a must. A password manager is simple in concept. It is software that stores your usernames and passwords to web sites, applications, etc in a local encrypted database. That database is protected by a single password. So, now rather than remembering multiple passwords, I only needed to remember one.
As I started to investigate I found that there are many good examples of password managers out there. From free open source to paid solutions. I quickly discarded many that were stand alone with separate UI's from the browser which required you to search for the password, copy the password into the clipboard and paste into the web site. As I tried them I realized that I wanted one which integrated with my browsers. I wanted it to recognize when I was logging into a new site, offer to generate a secure password for me, and save it. This integration made using the password manager simple.
I came across RoboForm. I had found my solution. This software did all that I wanted and some stuff I wasn't even looking for. In addition to storing logins to web sites it also stored "secure notes". A secure note is just a bit of information that you want to save on your PC securely. I mostly used it to store software licenses, serial numbers and product codes.
RoboForm is free for up to 10 saved logins. But, I quickly knew I would surpass that so I bought it. You need to by a license for each PC you use. Or you can by the "portable" license which you can move from PC to PC using a USB key. But, I had two main PCs, one home and one work I wanted to use.
I happily used RoboForm for quite a while. However, it was getting tiring having to keep both PCs synced. Every now and then I would zip up the RoboForm data folder, password protect the zip and email it to myself. I would open the zip, sycn the data with Beyond Compare, each login was saved in it's own file, and then recreate the zip and send it back to myself.
One day I was a bit annoyed because I had to login to a web site that I had create the login on the other PC. I always generated a 15 character length random password using RoboForm. Of course, I didn't remember is. So, a bit more research and I found DropBox. DropBox is a free tool with service that will sycn data between two or more PCs and also keep the data in the cloud. I gave it a try with RoboForm and it worked very well. So, I was once again happy. I had RoboForm and DropBox on both PCs staying in sync without me having to do anything.
Then last year in August I got an iMac for learning and using at home. I happily went to buy the Mac version of RoboForm... but no such luck. So, more research to find a tool that would work on my Mac and PC but nothing. I tired to find a cross plat form tool but nothing work as well as RoboForm.
Enter 1Password. This software had all the features of RoboForm but worked on the Mac. Yea, Mac only. But, I was so spoiled with the features of RoboForm so I bought a copy of 1Password for my Mac. This software works really well. I couldn't tell you if RoboForm or 1Password is better. They both just work and work without having to think about them.
But, you guess it, I was back to manually syncing. So, off to "the google" to see what I could find. It seems in the mean time a new comer FireFox add-in "LastPass" was gaining speed. LastPass is a FireFox plug-in that supports Windows and Mac. It also has sync built in via your LastPass account on the LastPass web site. The data is all encrypted on the local PC so LastPass does not know your password and can't decrypt your information.
I have been using LastPass for a few weeks now and I am ready to uninstall RoboForm and 1Password. It's browser integration is not quite as good as the other two, but it is very close. The x-plat form sync is worth the small differences and they are releasing new version quite quickly to address some of the issues I have seen. Oh and BONUS. It's free.
So, once again, Good Bye RoboForm and 1Password, Hello... LastPass.