There are two different kinds of password managers available: Online and Offline. Below you’ll find an overview of the Pros and Cons.
Offline Password Managers
These are desktop applications that you download and install on your computer (browser plug-ins would also fall into this category). The primary problem with offline password managers is that they are not available anywhere outside your computer (or your browser). The desktop applications are often light-weight and many people choose to solve the portability problem by keeping a copy of the software and data file on a USB drive that they carry with them – this is not possible for browser plug-ins.
- Your data never has to leave your computer
- Your data may be kept on a USB drive (if you have one) for portability
- Not available outside your computer (unless you use a USB drive)
- When using the USB drive, syncing issues arrise
- The USB drive may get lost, stolen or dropped in a puddle
- You may not always be able to insert your USB drive on public computers or mobile devices
There is an abundance of this type of application.
ONLINE Password Managers
There is nothing to download or to install, no syncing necessary. By nature, online password managers solve the portability issues associated with the desktop applications. Needles to say, being available over the Internet, extensive security measures need to be in place. The first (successful) service in this field was/is Agatra.com. However, a new wave of online password managers has added another layer of security to the Agatra model which is known as Host-Proof Hosting.
In a nutshell, that means that your data is encrypted on the server in a way that not even the Host (ex. Passpack) can read it, break it, crack it or do anything other than just delete it.
- Your data is available wherever there is an Internet connection (including mobile devices)
- No need for USB drives or any software installation
- With Host-Proof Hosting, the key to your data is never sent over the Internet
- You need to trust the service and its reputation (Passpack and trust)
- You need an alternative when there is no internet connection (Passpack offline version)
Here is a frequently updated list of Online Password Managers that employ Host-Proof Hosting (that is an outside link – often their server is slow, sorry).
Passpack is an online password manager and 1 Click Login for people who travel or change computers often. Unlike offline password managers, Passpack is available 24/7 via internet, nothing to download or install.
Think of Passpack as a password manager, automatic login and personal vault all in one. With Passpack you can quickly login to websites, as well as organize and store logins and private notes. Save up to 100 entries for free!