For years, we’ve been touting the virtues of KeePass Password Safe, a free open-source program for storing all your website passwords and associated notes behind a single master password. And to synch KeePass across multiple machines, we’ve been recommending that readers store the encrypted database on Dropbox. However, we got to wondering whether the popular browser-based password manager LastPass was a superior, one-stop solution. So this month, we invited the two free password trappers to duke it out for bragging rights.
Note: This article originally appeared in the August 2013 issue of the magazine.
Between the PlayStation Network fiasco that compromised millions of user accounts and Netflix terminating a call center employee for snooping on credit card records, connected users have reason to be on edge. To top it off, LastPass, makers of the self-titled password manager and form filler, and new owners of the Xmarks browser bookmarks syncing service, recently forced users to change their master passwords as a precautionary measure after witnessing "a network traffic anomaly" that could be hacker activity. Hit the jump for the latest update.
Not that long ago, it looked like the excellent Xmarks bookmark syncing service was toast. After failing to find a business model, the company was making plans to close up shop. The massive outpouring of support from the Internet at large refocused efforts to find a buyer for Xmarks, and now that has happened. LastPass, makers of the cross-platform password syncing tool of the same name, have acquired Xmarks. Seriously, businesses don't get much more complementary than this.
Firstly, the standard Xmarks we've all grown to love will remain free, but there will be a new paid version with more features. This will cost user $1 per month and includes handy features like apps for Android and iPhone, and tech support. Users will have the option to purchase a bundle of LastPass and Xmarks for $20 per year.
New competition from built-in bookmarks syncing with Firefox and Chrome nearly drove Xmarks out of business. Only time will tell if users will be willing to pay for the enhanced features. But over 30,000 did pledge to do so when the initial news of the shutdown broke. Are there any Xmarks users out there planning to buy the paid version of the service?