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The Explorer: Readers' Choice: Password Tools

Hundreds of tips and tools for managing passwords!

But that only scratches the surface of the volume of great suggestions other readers sent in. For example:

For a great little FREEWARE password utility to satisfy your recent request, try KeyMaker. KeyMaker uses a radically different approach. It doesn't generate random passwords. Output from KeyMaker is entirely based on your input. Enter a phrase and two optional text-based parameters to generate a single password. KeyMaker never exposes the password to any vulnerability by saving it to disk. It will faithfully recreate the identical password when you use identical input parameters. -- Gavin Chester

I've been using a terrific little program for about a year now. It's Password Pro 32. Free. It is opened with a password so I just have to remember one password. Data is encrypted for security. It stores title, user name, password, comments, type (category), expiration date, notes. Warns of expiring passwords. Generates passwords. Allows for shortcuts so site can be reached from Password Pro 32. Drag an entry to a field, select to paste either the user name or password. -- Jannine Cox

Here's a suggestion for retrieving cached passwords: try Snadboy's Revelation. It is shareware (doesn't cost a thing, but they do ask you to register your copy). The simple-to-use utility can retrieve passwords when all you have is ******** to work with. Just hold the bulls-eye pointer over the masked password, and Revelation will uncover it. -- C. Neal

I have found useful a freeware program called "Password Revealer" obtainable from. At one time it was excellent, but it has become more limited in application as technology has progressed. [For example] Password Revealer doesn't work anymore on Windows 2000. So, depending on your problem, it can be valuable. It has always worked when I personally needed it! -- Kevin Bucknall

Here are two programs I use. One to store all those passwords securely, and one to generate passwords when you want one that no one will ever guess: Password Corral, Vortex Password Creator. These both work very well and are freeware. -- Mark J. Verdi

The program I use for PW's is Treepad. Very good at storing all kinds of info in an organized way. -- W. Broese

I like and use PassKeeper v1.2. It's small, FREEWARE, auto-saves on exit, and is password protected (duh) when you bring it up. Multiple copies are allowed to support several users or purposes. The stored list is encrypted. -- Micheal

I'd like to recommend Password Tracker Deluxe. It basically stores passwords (which it can also generate) and usernames. It also stores any other information about a particular login/Web site you need (e.g. e-mail address etc), and can also watch for the particular Web page to come up and insert the username/password for you automatically. -- Robin Moffatt

I use Passwords Plus a shareware that I registered (shows how much I like it) for about $10 or $15. -- Dan Bergen

Related resources:

FileMine's Password Manager Picks

Hundreds Of Reader-Recommended Password Tools

Password Tips from the WinMag.Com Database

And some readers suggested not tools, but techniques, such as:

I have a key word which I combine with a portion of the Web site name to create a password for that site. This gives me a unique password for each site/service, and one which I can remember. -- Steve Ricketts

There are literally hundreds more suggestions! I've collected and collated them for you on special Web pages that you can easily access and scan.

To pare down the list from its initial huge size, I eliminated some suggestions as follows:

1) Duplicate entries. When more than one reader suggested a tool, I include only the first respondent's note. (At least I tried -- with 500 entries, I may have allows a few duplicates to slip through inadvertently!)

2) Entries missing info (where a note didn't include a working URL or enough information for me to track down whatever tool the reader was talking about)

3) Obvious and/or unsafe items (such as "buy a paper notebook and write all your passwords down.")

Other than that, you'll find your fellow readers' best password-keeping suggestions here!

Please check 'em out -- the answer to all your password problems is probably waiting for you!

Then, when you've had a chance to digest it all, please return here and post your comments: What password tools do you particularly like, or dislike? Are there other or better techniques you've found that you can tell us about? Join in the Discussion!

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