Keeper review: A strong focus on security

This password manager serves up peace of mind.

Keeper is a no-nonsense password manager that puts the security of your login credentials above all else. However, it’s lack of automated features may limit its appeal for some.

When you sign up for Keeper, you’re prompted to create a master password and select a security question. The latter will be used, along with a verification code and—if enabled—two-factor authentication, to access your data if you forget your master password.

Next, Keeper walks you through a four-step “quick start” checklist: creating your first record, installing the browser extension, uploading your first file, and enabling two-factor authentication. As you complete each step, the checkmark next to the relevant items turns green.

keeper vault PCWorld

Keeper's interface isn't fancy but it's easy to get around.

Keeper doesn’t automatically capture your login credentials when you sign into a website for the first time. Rather, it places gold lock icons in the username and password fields; you have to click one of these to create a new record. Keeper will prefill the username field with your email address and the password field with a generated 12-character password as if you’re creating a new account rather than just a new Keeper record. You’ll have to delete these and enter the correct credentials. When you enter your password, Keeper will rate it with a bar that colors red, yellow, or green depending how strong it is.

When you revisit a site, you again have to click the lock icons to access your credentials. When the record for that site open, you must click an arrow icon next to your username and one next to your password to fill each field separately. If you’re used to password managers that autofill these fields and autolog you in, these extra steps can feel laborious, even if it is for enhanced security.

Keeper’s password manager surfaces in the password field as a dice icon any time you’re creating a new record, which you can do in the KeeperFill browser plugin or right in your vault. You can generate anywhere from eight- to 51-character passwords using a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numerals, and symbols.

keeper generator PCWorld

Keeper's password generator can create up to 51-character complex passwords.

Both Keeper’s web-based vault and the desktop app display your passwords in a list. Unlike with LastPass and some other managers, Keeper doesn’t let you assign logins to folders when it’s capturing them, but you can do it here by editing the record and assigning it to a folder. You can also audit your passwords—Keeper gives you a strength percentage rating and lets you know if the password has been used for more than one account. Credit cards and personal data can also be stored in your vault and autofilled into web forms when making payments.

Keeper supports password sharing, but, as an added security layer, only with other Keeper users. If you share with a non-Keeper user, they’ll get an email with a link to set up an account. It also recently added emergency access, which allows you to grant access to up to five contacts, who can log in in the event you can't for whatever reason.

Keeper is free to use on a single device. To sync across multiple devices, you’ll need an Individual plan at $30 a year. Family plans cover up to five users for $60 a year.

Bottom line

Despite its bare-bones interface, Keeper offers robust password protection. However, it lacks the automation prized in most password managers, so it’s unlikely to compete with top tools LastPass and Dashlane. But if you’re merely looking for strong security and don’t mind being more hands-on with your password manager, Keeper won’t disappoint.

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