I have switched to pwSafe password manager and liking it so far

pwSafe logo

To have a good password manager that can sync between my Mac and my iOS devices is essential for me. I have for some time been looking for a new solution and are now using pwSafe for OS X and iOS.

The product I used until recently has been working well for years but gets few updates and the sync feature generates duplicates from time to time. The user interface and feature set left room for improvements as well.

I tried several of the obvious choices:

  • LastPass, but it’s user interface is so ugly and bad I just could not stand using it.
  • 1Password looks good and is really popular among OS X/iOS users.
  • KeePassX + MiniKeepass that are both free software but only syncs via Dropbox. KeePassX also looks like an old Windows application.
  • pwSafe that uses the same open file format and encryption as the free software “Password Safe”. Password Safe was originally designed by Bruce Schneier.

The choice for me was between 1Password and pwSafe. In the end I picked pwSafe.

I really liked the idea of having my passwords in an open and free file format. pwSafe seems to get regular updates for both iOS and OS X which are an important factor. It syncs via iCloud and of course support TouchID on iOS. I also like user interfaces that are clean and focused. (My most used application are the Terminal, BBEdit and MailMate, all are clean and focused.)

I prefer to do as mush as possible with the keyboard so good keyboard control in an app is crucial. pwSafe performs well in this respect. You can easily and intuitively navigate the app with arrow keys, tab and shortcuts. Shortcuts exist to quickly copy password, username, url, e-mail and notes of an selected entry. On iOS a neat feature allows you to single click an entry to copy the password/username, go to another app to paste it and by simply turning the device face down pwSafe puts the username/password on the clipboard instead and you can paste that.

Since I use my password manager frequently it’s important that I can get a good workflow without getting constantly annoyed. So far pwSafe is not annoying at all.