Keeping track of online accounts is not necessarily an easy task. Especially so if you follow security guidelines to never use the same password on different sites. Web browsers offer basic password managers that store the data for the user, but this means that the data is only available in that browser. If you want to use a different browser or a different device, you need to find a way to transfer the data to that other system, which may not be possible all the time.
RoboForm is a password manager for Windows, Mac OS X and various mobile operating systems like Android that makes life easier and more secure. The program integrates well with Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox and Opera. Users who work with different programs or browsers can still use the RoboForm interface to store and retrieve passwords manually.
Passwords and other data are stored in encrypted form by the application. A master password protects the data from being stolen or looked at. Once the master password is entered correctly, access to the program database is granted.
Users can select the browsers that they want RoboForm to integrate with. A toolbar is added to the selected browsers which offers fast access to saved logins, the password generator or form filling module.
The toolbar can be disabled without losing the program's functionality in the browser.
First time users who have been using a different password manager before should start with the program's import option to transfer their login data to their RoboForm password vault. It is possible to import passwords, bookmarks and other data from all supported web browsers and from popular password managers like Last Pass or KeePass.
Importing data from other programs saves time but it is not a necessary step to make use of RoboForm. You can alternatively add login data to the program manually.
Roboform ships with an editor for organizing and managing logins, bookmarks, identities, contacts and notes.
The editor can be used to edit existing data, create folders to organize the data and to add identities, contacts and safe notes to the program. It feels strange that it is not possible to add login data directly to the editor. You can create new logins either in one of the supported web browsers (by logging in to the service that you want to save) or by right-clicking on the password manager's system tray icon and selecting Logins > New from the context menu.
One interesting option provided by the RoboForm Editor is the ability to sign in into one or multiple web services from the editor window.
Using the password manager
Once you have set up the program you are ready to make use of it. Toolbar users have all options in reach with just a single click. Most users on the other hand may prefer not to have an additional toolbar displayed in their browser.
Part of the RoboForm functionality is also available via the right-click menu. Options to fill and save forms, to display the RoboForm toolbar and to customize the menu are displayed by default. The customize menu option offers to add or remove menu items.
The customization can be used to add links like the program's password generator, the RoboForm Editor or a log off option to the context menu.
A right-click on a web page opens the context menu with all set options. It is for instance possible to select the Fill Forms option to fill out the username and password, and to optionally log in automatically on the site.
RoboForm will automatically recognize new sign ups and first time log ins on websites. The program display a prompt offering to save the login data. Users can force the saving of data by Alt-clicking on the login button. A similar option is available for text field form data which can be automatically saved with the shortcut Shift-Enter.
RoboForm shortcuts are automatically enabled in supported browsers (with an option to disable the feature in the preferences). This basically can be used to open menus directly in the browser. Alt-X for instance opens the login menu with options to create a new login, edit an existing login or log in to one of the existing web sites or services.
Shortcuts are available for all core functionality. Individual shortcuts can be edited or turned off in the RoboForm Options.
RoboForm Everywhere offers to save passwords and data in the cloud. The benefit here is that it is easier to synchronize data between multiple computer systems. All it takes is to install RoboForm on all systems and to log in with the same account information.
Users can furthermore log in on the RoboForm website to access their login data online, even if the program itself is not installed on the computer system.
The developers have integrated many convenient features into RoboForm. Among those features is a profile switcher to manage different data sets more efficiently, a domain equivalences option which basically enables a log in on multiple domains, the option to change the encryption algorithm, backup and restoration options or the ability to configure a specific browser for logging in on the Internet (which does not have to be the default browser).
Free limited versions of RoboForm are offered as desktop applications or browser plugins.
RoboForm Everywhere is a feature rich password and data manager that makes online life more secure and convenient at the same time.
I have encountered two issues with the program. RoboForm first installed the Firefox toolbar even though I disabled Firefox integration during installation. The latest version of Opera seems to be incompatible with RoboForm. A single icon is displayed in the Opera browser that in theory should display or hide the RoboForm toolbar in the browser. A click on that icon has no effect
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.