KeePass (current version 2.43) – is an open-source password manager. It was developed to let users keep all their entry data in one place safe and sound. The key benefit of the software is that you are not forced to make up dozens of new passwords for endless online accounts you have. The app makes it easy to keep all of them under control with no need to remember brain-teasing combinations of characters and numbers. The program uses all the latest encryption technologies to keep user’s personal info safe while it resides on his or her computer.
KeePass comes with a simple and intuitive interface although non-technicians might still need some time to figure out how everything works down here. You may combine all of your numerous passwords under one account with just a click. In addition, the program is absolutely free to download. It is compatible with all major OS and has a portable version for mobile devices powered by iOS and Android. What’s more, you may download the application at no cost. Let’s see and what KeePass may offer.
1. How KeePass Works
While the online industry keeps evolving, people have nothing to do but to complete the authentication process every time to benefit from a particular online service. Most systems and platforms require entering user login and password. To put themselves at ease, some people decide to use the same password for each and every account, Nothing can be worse than that in terms of safety perspectives. On the other hand, writing down dozens of combinations or keeping them in mind seems close to impossible.
This is where KeePass might come as a good solution. As well as other typical password managers, the idea of Keepass is to put all eggs in one basket. When we say “eggs”, we mean all of your entry data to access different accounts online. When we say “basket”, we mean KeePass Database (.kdbx) files that store all of the info as well as other files located on your PC.
The program comes as an open-source platform that is pretty lightweight and easy to use. It features its custom interface designed to let users create, manage, and store various databases under a single master password. All you need is to create a database, indicate websites you want to log in and use a single password for each of them.
The program requires an initial download. It means that you will reside al of their personal data on your computer. This fact reduces the risk of getting the info to third-parties. To make the most of KeePass, you will need to complete several stages:
- Download the application.
- Have the program installed.
- Create your first .kdbx database file.
- Indicate a Master Password for all databases.
- Benefit from fast and simple web surfing.
By the way, KeePass may be used not only for managing passwords but also for keeping other personal data like copies of your IDs or other crucial docs. Apart from database encryption, the program uses key hashing and derivation. It means that the system has special security means to prevent hackers from guessing as well as dictionary attacks.
Read more about KeePass security means a bit further. First of all, let’s have a closer look at all of the stages mentioned above.
2. Download and Installation
The first step is to go to the official site and download KeePass. The application is available in several downloadable versions. They include programs for Windows and MAC as well as portable applications for mobile devices. All versions are available in ZIP files necessary to download. The software is pretty lightweight. So, the downloading process will take not more than a couple of minutes.
After you have downloaded the ZIP file, you need to install the program. Find KeePass.exe file and launch the installation process. If you opt for the portable version, the installation is not necessary. You are free to run the password manager right from the ZIP file. The last step is to enter the dashboard and create your first .kdbx file.
Create the KeePass Database
The database is actually the place where all your passwords will be stored. The process does not rely on any technical skills although newbies might find it a bit complicated to work inside the KeePass panel. It looks practically the same as the control panel to manage your CPU settings. A quick glance would be enough to figure out how everything works here.
The database creation includes the following steps:
- Find the “File” section in the toolbar on top of the panel and click on it.
- Choose “New” to create a new file.
- You will see a new window that offers to create a Master Password (the only one to remember for all accounts).
- Type in the password, click “OK”, and repeat the password in the new window.
- Now you need to configure the database. Here you may insert the Title, username, and URL as well as make necessary notes to identify the database.
How to Use the Entry Database
After the entry has been added, the user has several options to use them. They include:
- Copy and Paste – simply copy the password from your database and insert it in the box provided by the website or platform. To make things work faster, a good idea is to copy the password into the Windows clipboard.
- Drag-and-Drop – KeePass has drag-and-drop functionality to let you move some of the fields into other active windows. Simply pick the necessary field, click on it, drag to the space provided and release the mouse over the window you want to insert the password.
- Open URL – as it was mentioned before, the configurations let you indicate the entry URL. You may open it right from the KeePass panel while the program will automatically insert necessary entry data.
As you can see, the application is pretty flexible in terms of using databases and passwords. It offers both manual and automated access methods although none of them requires remembering endless combinations. However, is it really safe to use KeePass?
3. Is KeePass Safe?
How does the program protect users’ personal data? KeePass uses a blend of technologies to keep the data secured. They include:
- Database Encryption – the program keeps all the files encrypted. They include not only the password itself, but also other specifications including usernames, URLs, and other configurations. The algorithms used include AES, ChaCha20, and some others.
- Components Compression – the safety algorithm that compresses a composite master key with all of its components into a 256-bit key. This method works out in case you use not only a Master Password but also create the file of keys that may be stored on your PC.
- Dictionary and Guessing Protection – another method that prevents hackers from their guessing or dictionary attacks in efforts to find out the password.
Additional security means involved include generation of random numbers as well as process memory protection and more.
4. KeePass Features
Apart from its baseline functionality, the program comes with a set of additional options to make the life of users easier when browsing the web. The key features are as follows:
The feature relies on the keypress simulation methodology. In other words, you set the combination of buttons that KeePass will automatically launch every time you need to fill in the entry data. The feature may apply to every active window opened with the browser.
A good alternative to Master Password in case you need to manage all the entries from several devices. The main advantage is that key files come with enhanced digital security. Moreover, they are more flexible, as you may carry them with you using a burnt CD, USB, flash drive, etc.
Password Export Feature
The program has an export functionality whenever you need to convert your entry data into CSV files, HTML, TXT or XML. A simple way to generate all the password databases. Moreover, you may easily move the .kdbx file to another CPU or device.
Users may choose to form a variety of plugins available for KeePass. Dozens of apps and extensions are divided into several baseline categories. They include integration, backups, utilities, import/export, etc.
5. Support and Pricing
The program comes with massive informational support featuring its enormous Help Center. Although it does not have ways for instant contacting, users may benefit from simple tutorials that describe the process of getting started. The website has its local community and forum, where users may ask questions on any issue.
In addition, the Help Center is full of other handy info that includes an introduction, feature descriptions, Administrative, Technical, and Additional FAQ to cover all possible areas, Repair database, TAN support, and more.
KeePass is absolutely free to download. Whether you opt for a desktop or portable version. Both downloadable ZIP files are accessible at zero cost. You also do not have to pay for some plugins and extensions. They are available as source-codes or zip files as well.
6. Pros and Cons
KeePass is certainly a great solution to manage all user passwords and entry data. It is free. It comes with a variety of features and extensions. It offers great security and support. Is there something missing?
| ✔ Free app.|
✔ Simple to install.
✔ Open-source program.
✔ Enormous knowledgebase.
✔ Extensions and plugins.
✔ Enhanced security.
✔ Auto-Type feature.
| ✘ A bit complicated from the start.|
✘ No security alerts despite the massive safety support.
The Bottom Line
KeePass is certainly worth paying attention to. It boasts great functionality even if compared to its paid niche competitors. The key advantage is that the program serves users’ needs well. It protects personal data from frauds as well as provides secure and fast access to multiple accounts without the need to remember or write down dozens of character and number combinations.
As a result, we have an affordable and elaborated password manager. What also matters, it is free and cross-platform. The nuances of using the software come down to 2 points: you can’t lose the database or forget the password to it. The program will take care of the rest. It is easy to work with it and we recommend using the software to enhance your online security.