KeePass Password Safe might be the best solution for an open-source, free password manager, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect.
Luckily, as with many open-source apps, a slew of add-on tools makes KeePass more powerful and customizable than most competing products.
Creating your personalized application
In the Jan. 9 Best Software article, “Why and how to use an open-source password manager,” I discussed the basics of password managers and why I think an open-source product such as KeePass Password Safe 2.24 is the best option.
KeePass, like any good password manager, can keep track of your sign-in credentials, create new passwords that will take centuries to crack, and store all of that information where no one else can get at it. But KeePass isn’t perfect — at least not the version you initially download and install. It doesn’t, for instance, integrate well with common browsers (unless, of course, you consider Windows’ clipboard a form of seamless integration). And though KeePass runs fine on a Windows machine, it won’t help you on phones and tablets running Android or iOS.
But true to its open-source roots, KeePass does accept third-party plugins, making it relatively easy for developers to build add-on applets that enhance and customize the base application. You’ll find an entire host of useful and interesting add-ons on the KeePass Plugins and Extensions webpage.
Keep in mind that anyone with some coding skills can make and post KeePass plugins. So it should be no surprise that some of the password manager’s enhancements don’t work well — or make sense. For example, you don’t really need a separate tool for backing up your password database; it’ll get saved with the rest of your data when you run your regular backup routine.
That said, here are four free KeePass enhancers that do work — and also fix some of the password manager’s initial deficiencies. The first two let you integrate KeePass with Google Chrome and Firefox. (I haven’t found an Internet Explorer solution worth recommending.) The other two let you access your passwords from a smartphone or tablet.