- Simple, logically designed client
- Unlimited credential storage
- Trash for unused credentials
- Outstanding security
- Backup option supported
- Trustworthy security without a fee
- Bumpy data import (Google Chrome)
- Inconvenient discarding of unused credentials
- Authentication issues
It’s always interesting to see a new company enter the password management software market, especially if the newcomer has experience in the security industry. This is the case of RememBear, a password manager developed by the company behind TunnelBear, a popular VPN solution. The Canadian company has already proven its worthiness with its VPN client, and RememBear is already a good way towards making its creators proud since its software has what it takes to compete for a spot among the top password management solutions on the market.
With the simple and straightforward client, available as either a desktop program or an iOS or Android app, managing passwords and credit card information is a ridiculously easy task, which is further aided by the automated categorization of each data as it is entered into the vault. RememBear is especially safe to use thanks to features like the automated locking of the app and the military-grade encryption that encrypts data before it enters the company’s cloud servers. But none of that really matters, because we haven’t even mentioned that RememBear is completely free of charge – at least for the time being.
At first glance RememBear’s desktop app bears (pun intended) a striking resemblance to a password manager that we have already tested. However, that’s not such a bad thing: quite the contrary, in fact, since the overall use of the program is simple and straightforward.
This is further aided by displaying the tabs of only the most necessary features, including credential types – all two of them – and trash. Being able to find credentials that have been discarded from the vault is undoubtedly useful, but irritatingly the trash has to be emptied manually and, to make things all the more frustrating, they must each be deleted one by one.
Handling credentials is simpler, though, even if the program only allows the storage of website logins and credit card data. Yet once those credentials are added – and synced across devices – RememBear immediately categorizes them according to their respective type, arranging them into alphabetical order. Additionally, the app sports a convenient search bar, with which looking for specific data to use or edit is reduced to mere seconds – a tool that is especially useful when using the ‘All Items’ tab to display everything within RememBear’s vault.
One of the more impressive features of the software is how easy it is to edit those stored credentials, since once the required item is selected it only takes a few clicks to modify anything, while editing passwords can be done so manually or have new ones generated automatically with RememBear’s in-built password generator – which has many settings to help generate truly unique passwords. And regardless of how the software takes in those passwords, they are always evaluated by the program to highlight which credentials might need updating.
But what about other popular features for password managers, important additions like emergency access, secure credential sharing and such? Well, those should be forgotten: aside from a few additional options like a prompt to save passwords, the option for automatic login and certain security features, RememBear currently only provides the features already discussed above.
With that said, there are smaller extras worth mentioning: firstly, the desktop app locks itself automatically if the user is inactive for a given amount of time, thus preventing unwanted access to the RememBear vault. And secondly, only authenticated devices may connect to the same vault via the desktop app.
Apps and Browser Extensions
The good news is that RememBear provides extensions for the two most popular web browsers, Google Chrome and Firefox (Quantum). And if the upcoming extension for Microsoft Edge will be as spectacular as these two, we are indeed in good paws.
As for the add-on itself, it’s essentially a miniaturized version of the desktop app with everything that its big brother offers. The extension includes the same tabs of logins and credit card information, the password generator – which, in fact, is displayed here more suitably than in the software – and the search bar. Additionally, all saved data appears the same here as it does in the desktop program, but, as is the case with such add-ons, editing is restricted here.
The iOS and Android apps don’t offer anything special compared to RememBear’s desktop version, the only exceptions being PIN code access and the in-built secure web browser. The former replaces the master password with a PIN code and, disappointingly, the PIN code only works with the app itself and it doesn’t function as part of a two-factor authenticator – a feature yet to be activated. The browser, however, is basically a Google Chrome clone with the added benefit of auto-filling passwords that are already saved to RememBear’s vault.
RememBear underperforms a bit when it comes to its installation. Don’t get us wrong, the program works fine once everything is up and running, but the time spent between downloading the program to first opening the new vault was way longer than expected.
RememBear is also capable of automatically importing stored credentials from Google Chrome, even before the add-on is installed. This might sound convenient at first but actually it is quite the opposite: due to the messy nature of the import process, the program imports virtually everything that might even slightly resemble a password.
Thankfully this can be easily avoided by either deselecting these ‘non-passwords’ before allowing RememBear to proceed with importing credentials from a competing password manager – even though the only programs that are supported by RememBear are 1Password and LastPass.
Besides these grumbles, the installation process works like a charm. As a matter of fact, the installation showcases just how seriously the company treats the security of its users. Not only does RememBear analyze and evaluate the master password on the spot, but it also generates a so-called backup kit containing the device key, the email address and a box for the master password – which is not added for security reasons. This backup kit is the only way to verify new devices, which is especially handy if the QR code authentication on mobile devices doesn’t work for some reason – as happened to us.
Security and Privacy
As it is the sister product to TunnelBear, it should be obvious that RememBear will receive the same care regarding overall security as the company’s VPN client. The fact that all its data is encrypted locally with military-grade AES-256 encryption before entering RememBear’s cloud storage is not surprising at all, and neither is the fact that all passwords are evaluated.
There are plenty of ways in which RememBear protects its users, and if the company truly keeps its promise to add two-factor authentication into the mix then, in the not too far future, the software will easily be on par with the best solutions available on the market.
Still, there is one thing that none of RememBear’s competitors have: third party auditing. Although it might not seem important at first, this is the main reason why the company can be trusted so quickly. Because an independent security agency has confirmed that RememBear can withstand any kind of attack, it’s safe to say that your data won’t be stolen any time soon.
And, just to remind you, this was all achieved while the program is still in beta phase…
The only reason RememBear is the sole commercial password manager that is available completely for free is because it is still being tested. As such, it would be fairer to not expect a fully functional password manager with functionality matching its competitors. Instead, you should be prepared for a good number of bugs and errors; it’s worth remembering that, though the software is incredibly secure, a hidden flaw in the program could well leave you exposed. It’s clear that RememBear is doing everything it can to produce a highly safe password manager, but it relies on daring testers to help them to do that.
However, the future pricing policy of RememBear has not been kept a secret at all. According to the company users will have the option to use RememBear for free or to opt for the annual premium subscription for $40 per year ($3.33 per month). In addition to this, TunnelBear users and RememBear beta testers will be able to access this premium service for a discounted price.
As for what’s inside the premium subscription, well, paying customers will make use of unlimited storage, cloud syncing on an unlimited number of devices, cloud backup, and priority live support. The free version will lack almost all of these features with the exception of unlimited data storage and the option to sync data across devices – albeit offline.
The staff is always happy to receive feedback about everything concerning the overall usability of RememBear or any matter that might result in a better product. But don’t expect miracles from the live customer service since it usually takes between a few days for the staff to get back to you, regardless of whether the feedback or question is sent via an email inquiry or the company’s social media pages.
For this reason it’s highly recommended to turn to RememBear’s detailed FAQ, where the most common questions regarding the software are already answered. Additionally, the company maintains a blog that, despite being pretty void of content for the time being, is the best way to learn trivia about the product, such as the nature of the third party audit that is testing the software.
RememBear is the epitome of how to provide unlimited storage for storing just the two most important types of data: passwords and credit card information. Additionally, RememBear is the champion of security, which is proven as much by the local encryption of your data and the evaluation of passwords as they’re added to the vault as it is the fact that the company’s security features were audited by an independent company.
The installation of RememBear and importing data from other sources may not be especially spectacular, but the desktop and mobile apps are quite impressive thanks to a number of benefits. The logically designed interface means it’s a breeze to use, and it includes plenty of clever features that make it even more convenient – key among them being the ability to organize data, a search bar for finding specific entries, and a trash can for any unused credentials.
In simpler words, if you don’t need anything more than the most basic password management features then RememBear is one of the best offers on the market – even if it is still in beta.