Useful Tool: KeePass

Sep 18, 2009

For this month's useful tool recommendation, I'll be focusing on KeePass, an open-source password manager. Hopefully, everyone has already heard of this application and uses it on a daily basis. KeePass makes it easy for you to manage all of your various passwords in one location, and provides a host of security features for keeping those passwords safe. I personally use the older 1.x line of this tool, but a newer 2.x line has recently been released (and is no longer in beta, so it should be stable and safe to use).

KeePass has a number of features that make it instantly attractive. First, and foremost, it's an incredibly secure application. Your passwords are stored using either the AES or Twofish encryption standards, both of which are rock solid. The 2.x line of KeePass also features some in-memory protection of the various fields, helping to thwart keyloggers and the like.

Another great feature is the password generator, which is incredibly useful for creating very strong passwords. I've used this generator in a number of ways: to create WPA keys for routers, for TrueCrypt file containers, FTP accounts, etc. The password generator offers a host of options on how to format the password you desire, so you can easily fit into any password rule set.

Perhaps the most useful all-around feature is portability. KeePass can be run from a USB key, making it easy to carry all of your passwords around with you. This has gotten me out of some sticky situations at work where I quickly needed a password, and didn't know it off the top of my head.

If you've got a ton of passwords to remember (and who doesn't?), I heartily recommend KeePass. It's a tool no one should be without.

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