A password manager (PM) is a software application which manages security credentials such as passwords, PINs, and private keys.
Desirable features include:
- ability to secure all data with a master password or key
- ability to access from multiple locations
- encrypted storage of data (so that it can be backed up to an insecure location without revealing any credentials)
Linux distributions generally come with a password manager integrated into the desktop system (other applications needing credentials will check with the PM before asking the user to enter credentials manually, and will store manually-entered credentials in the PM for future use.
The most common PMs are:
- KWallet (part of KDE) (see Wikipedia)
- Seahorse (part of GNOME; formerly GNOME Keyring) (see Wikipedia)
Windows does not appear to have a system for handling passwords or mediating access to a PM, so either passwords must generally be copied by hand (either cut-and-paste or drag-and-drop) between applications and the PM or else the software must be aware of specific applications that might need passwords filled in.
- open directory (includes password tools that are not managers)
- FastPass Enterprise Password Manager: geared toward higher-end customers
- IntelliLogin: Form-filler only
- Just1Key: online service only, details sparse unless you want to read the whitepaper
- KeyPass: Form-filler only
- KeyRing: PalmOS only
- LogonAssist: Form-filler only
- SuperSecret: they make it too difficult to find the price; free download, but not clear if there's a free trial period
- Mandylion Research Labs: aimed at legal compliance for corporate market; limit of 50 passwords
Norton Password Manageris no longer at this URL
"Form-filler only" means that the software does not seem to allow storage of arbitrary information; handles login forms only. It may be that the software can do this but the description doesn't bother to mention it. It would seem to be necessary even for a target audience only interested in access to online sites, because form-fillers often have difficulty detecting login forms (they can be deliberately made difficult to detect) and so it is still often necessary to cut-and-paste from the application.
Given that the software does not seem to be targeting more general usage, however, I'm not bothering to file these applications for now.