Still Smart, Still Free: KeePass Keeps Your Passwords Safe

Manage and secure your passwords with KeePass

KeePass solves an increasingly important dilemma: How to keep track of all of your passwords, whether they be for email services, Web sites, bank accounts, or what have you. Increasingly, we are inundated with passwords, with no easy way to keep track of them. The free KeePass does the job neatly.

When you first run KeePass, you create a new database where you store your passwords, and enter a master password. Only someone with that master password can get into the program to see the passwords. One nice touch is that as you type the master password, it shows you the relative strength (and therefore safety) of the password. You can also set other options as well, such as using GZip compression to keep down the size of the database.

Keeping track of your passwords is also easy. When you create a new KeePass entry, type in a title, your user name if any (such as for a Web-based mail account), the passwords, a URL, and any notes. If you'd like, you can have the program generate a random password for you, and you have plenty of different options for choosing the password strength, and how to generate it. Techies will revel in the features; everyone else will just ask the program to generate a secure, random password.

You can also store your passwords in different categories. By default, KeePass provides categories for General, Windows, Network, Internet, eMail, and Homebanking. But you can easily add your own, or delete existing ones.

KeePass is useful for those who want a simple password-protection program, but also those who want to automate the input of passwords. Automating password input is not for the faint of heart and is quite difficult to do. Most people won't find it worth their while. But if you're technically inclined and like to fiddle and troubleshoot, and don't mind not getting any help, you may want to give it a try.

Overall, KeePass is a very useful program for anyone who has plenty of passwords to track, and it doesn't hurt that it's free, either.