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A password manager is a great asset — perhaps even essential — for any computer system.

Not only does it help increase the overall security of your system, it can make everyday interactions a lot more convenient as well. Security and ease of use; it’s a win-win situation. With so many options out there, the only question remains which password manager suits you best.

RoboForm

RoboForm is one of the most established password managers and a major player in the field. For the past couple of years, a renewed interest in privacy and security has given birth to many alternative password management suites. If nothing else, this surge in competition has forced RoboForm to stay sharp. Almost fifteen years after its initial conception, it remains one of the major password management utilities.

We’re giving away ten 1-year, seven 3-year, and three 5-year RoboForm Everywhere licenses to twenty lucky MakeUseOf readers!

Originally an automatic form-filler, RoboForm has significantly expanded its feature set over the years. With your permission, it remembers and securely stores any password you’ve devised, automatically logging you in to your online accounts when necessary. All of those passwords are securely stored and encrypted with a master password that only you know. But that’s just the start of it.

Password Management

When you first start using RoboForm, you’ll have to choose a master password. This master password is used to secure and access all data stored by RoboForm. This data can take many forms, from personal details to bookmarks, but the cornerstone of RoboForm’s feature set is password management.

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If you log into a new account, RoboForm will ask your permission to store your credentials. You can specify a name for the current website and assign it to a category. (Tip: start using categories soon, so you keep an organized library while the number of passwords grow.) The next time you visit the website, RoboForm can log you in automatically.

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When you create a new account, you can use RoboForm to generate a password for you. If you’re happy to let RoboForm handle it password creation, you can make these passwords a lot more complex than you would if you were to memorize them yourself. Tweak RoboForm’s parameters to create a suitably strong password and fill in the registration form automatically.

After a generated password is filled into the registration form, it is temporarily copied to your clipboard. Upon completing the registration, RoboForm will immediately prompt you to save the credentials. It’s a well-integrated process.

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To edit or otherwise manage the credentials stored by RoboForm, it’s easiest to use the desktop applications that are available to Mac OS X and Windows. Apart from editing your credentials, these applications can be used as a sort of central hub; a single click to visit a specified batch of websites and sign in automatically.

Identities and Intelligent Form Filling

Form-filling is part of RoboForm’s history, but it remains a very strong selling point for RoboForm. Form-filling is a part of the feature set of many password management applications, but few do it as well as RoboForm.

You start by creating one or more identities. Multiple identities can be used to differentiate between your personal and professional details. This identity is fleshed out by entering details about your person and related information. There is an impressive amount of available fields, ranging from work address and bank details to favorite usernames. All of these are optional, so you can save as much as you feel comfortable with.

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If you’re browsing the Web and have to fill a form, RoboForm calls on the information of your identities to help you along as much as possible. It’s as simple as selecting an identity in the RoboForm browser toolbar or button.

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As its name already indicated, RoboForm performs strongly as a form-filler. Name, email and address fields are often easy to spot, and RoboForm’s excellent heuristics figure out most of what’s needed to complete the rest of the form.

RoboForm Start Page

There are a lot of ways to customise your start page and RoboForm start offers a simple but refreshing take. After installing RoboForm on your computer, you can reach a customised start page at start.roboform.com. For convenience, you can make this your default home page as well.

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Your favorite logins and bookmarks are added to the start page automatically, but can be swapped and reorganised as you see fit. Clicking on any of the tiles will first prompt you to unlock RoboForm with your master password, but will log you into the selected website immediately afterwards.

Supported Platforms and Browsers

RoboForm is supported on a wide range of different platforms and devices. The main desktop application, which is used as the hub for your data management, is available for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux (to a certain extent). Although the browser extensions are technically platform independent, the fact that these extensions often interface with the desktop applications (especially for management tasks) means that Linux support is inherently limited.

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Browser support is extensive, with support for all major browsers including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Opera. When you install the desktop application on Mac OS X or Windows, these browser extensions are automatically added to the relevant browsers.

roboform-mobile

RoboForm also offers entirely free apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. However, you’ll need a RoboForm Everywhere account to keep your data synced with your main computer. These apps are beautifully designed and give you access to your data when you’re on the go. Similar to how other mobile password manager apps work, they come with an embedded browser that automatically logs you into your online accounts.

Packages and Pricing

RoboForm is offered in several different packages. The free version of RoboForm is limited to 10 saved logins, all stored locally. This may be useful for people with very few online logins and is best considered a trial version for other users.

Single License

The cap of 10 saved logins is removed when you purchase one of the desktop applications. A RoboForm Desktop license can be purchased for Windows or Mac OS X at $29.95. This license unlocks RoboForm on a single device and does not include automatic synchronisation across devices.

RoboForm2Go is a USB application for Windows computers. It’s available for $39.95 and lets you carry your data with you on a USB stick. The license is good for a single USB flash drive, but you can of course, use it on multiple Windows computers. Portable secure storage is also a great way to repurpose an old USB stick.

RoboForm Everywhere ($9.95 for the first year)

RoboForm Everywhere subscription unlocks all your devices with a single license. As long as you’re subscribed, RoboForm Everywhere gives you unlimited access to all desktop and mobile applications.

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On top of that, RoboForm Everywhere automatically synchronises all data between your different devices (still encrypted with your master password, of course). The first year is available for $9.95, with $19.95 for subsequent years.

How Do I Win A License?

RoboForm Everywhere

For mobile users, click here to enter.

The winner will be selected at random and informed via email. View the list of winners here.

Submit your apps and software to be reviewed. Contact Jackson Chung for further details.

Image credit: Placeit.net

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