I’ve looked at the other three Password Managers and now I’m on to RoboForm. I was seriously debating about installing this program, or just writing a review based on their website. My reasoning for the debate is that RoboForm installs a toolbar into your browser, and I’m trying to avoid having a million toolbars. In the end, installing the program won out.
Installation was simple. You opened the executable, and it prompted you with a language choice and the agreement. Once you clicked that, it had a brief explanation about the “Passcards” and “Safenotes” and other features of RoboForm. Then it prompted you for the Master Password (and gave you an option to skip this) along with the installation location and whether it was for you or everyone. Finally, it prompted you to close any windows that it needed to modify (Internet Explorer, Firefox—if you chose to add the plug-in, and “My Computer”). Within about 20 seconds, RoboForm was installed and reopened Internet Explorer at their getting started page.
The options allow you to customize which browser you want to use for new windows, whether to open links clicked on using RoboForm in new windows or the topmost window (current window), and many more features to be mentioned here. The one option that I would like to see is the ability to hide/disable the search box. I’ve already got one search box, and since almost every toolbar adds one, it’s an annoyance to me. But, I understand their reasoning, and other people may not have an issue with it.
In your browser, the default buttons that you see are the RoboForm button (which allows you access to all of the buttons and options), the search box, the Logins button, Passcards button, Setup Form Filling, Save, Generate, and a highlight tool. When you click on Setup Form filling, it changes to your name.
Setting up form filling involves entering your name and Country. My name and United States was automatically put in (from my username in Windows and Country selection there). Then it opens up the form filling page. The information requested is your title, full name, job title, phone number, e-mail address, IM names (Yahoo, AOL, ICQ, and MSN), age, birth date (in the format recognized by your Country), Social Security Number, and Drivers License number. There are multiple tabs for you to go through. On the side, is a message telling you to fill out what you feel comfortable with and that the information is stored on your computer—not a server.
When you fill out the Master Password, it gives you the option to password protect your identities by default. You can toggle this option in the identity card itself (the form filling setup). The password protection is AES by default.
RoboForm does not put itself in the taskbar, and you can’t Alt+Tab to it. The way that you access it is from it’s systray icon. You can either right click and “Restore” or double-click on the icon.
When you login to a site, RoboForm pops a dialog box up asking you to name the passcard. It gives you the option to password protect the card, and either save or cancel the Passcards creation. Canceling has a drop-down arrow which gives you the option to not save to the site, not save to any site or just to Cancel. You can also create the passcard in a folder, and add shortcuts to your desktop or quick launch toolbar.
When you go to a page that you’ve filled out a passcard for, it changes the “(passcard)” button to the site name that you specified when you created it. You can have multiple passcards and it will will allow you to choose which one you want to log in with. Knowing this, I would recommend descriptive names, if you’ll have more than one login for a site (like myspace or facebook for example). You can either fill the form, or fill and submit the form, or cancel.
One feature that I like is that RoboForm will remember passwords for secure sites (https: sites). Internet Explorer’s password manager doesn’t do this—at least not for every site. This is nice for me, since I’m the only user on my computer and have a few sites that have strange passwords. But, for families and other people, this could be a problem. My advice is to use this discretionally.
Since the passcards are stored on your computer, and are controlled by the program in the systray, any passcard that you create in Internet Explorer or Firefox will work in the other program automatically. This is an excellent feature, since I switch between the two of them on occasion. No more having to update passwords in both, and no more having to retype passwords in both browsers.
Overall, I’m impressed with RoboForm. The only drawback I can see to having this on my computer is it will reduce the need for Password Safe. But I’ll keep them both around and use them both as much as I possibly can. I haven’t played around with RoboForm’s generate option, so I may use Password Safe to do that portion.
Tomorrow, I’ll provide a few tips for what to look for in password managers, and some alternative ideas for the “Secret Question” answers.
Have a great day:)