Review: Roboform Handles Your Passwords

If you're an enthusiastic surfer, you've probably accumulated dozens--or even hundreds--of password-protected sites. Roboform can help you keep your passwords organized and available.

Barbara Krasnoff, Contributor

October 4, 2006

3 Min Read

Additional Features
Roboform has a number of handy little features. For example, you can protect your Roboform lists with a Master Password, an especially good idea if you're using a mobile version of the product. (Roboform uses AES encryption to protect the data.) You can create freeform notes (call SafeNotes) for extra information that you want handy. You can have one or more "Profiles" that contain separate sets of Passcards -- handy if you share a computer, or if you want separate copies for work and personal surfing.

The latest version, 6.7.9, offers a number of small improvements to its predecessor. The most visible -- and perhaps the most redundant -- is RoboForm's search box. Since most browsers already come with search boxes (and each search engine offers its own toolbar), I wondered at first why the programmers bothered. However, I have to admit that RoboForm's idea of a search box is interesting -- when you type in a search term, you get a drop-down listing of a variety of search venues, such as Google News and SEC Info. Each of these is called a "SearchCard" -- everything in this application is a card, apparently --, and there are a variety that you can download. In fact, if you've got the right parameters, RoboForm lets you can create your own search card.

As mentioned before, Roboform is not free. Like other password products, Roboform does offer a free version -- you can save ten Passcards before it asks you to actually pay for the product. That's fine -- ten is enough to try out the software, although it's certainly not enough to keep even a modest surfer in passwords -- and Siber Systems' asking price of $29.95 is not excessive. Costs can mount up, though -- if you want to add a mobile copy for your Pocket PC or Palm PDA, that's another $9.95; if you want one on your USB key, that's another $19.95 (although why the USB version is worth $10 more than the PDA version is a mystery to me). You can even buy it preloaded on a 256Mb USB key for another $9.95. Siber Systems also offers a discount program for low-income users.

Roboform is one of those handy utilities that can instill a great deal of loyalty in its users. It lets you easily access all your sites without having to worry about remembering the password; its USB version (called Roboform2Go) lets you carry your passwords (and URLs) around with you from your home system to your work system to your friends' system; it gets you out of the tediousness of filling out yet another online form -- and it does this all efficiently, easily, and well.

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