- Simple and straightforward client
- Categorization of stored credentials
- Support of desktop app passwords
- Biometric authentication
- Versatile customer service
- Cheap prices
- 2FA only used on new devices
- Fewer macOS features
Regardless of whether you still believe in the benefits of sticky notes or have another way of recalling account passwords, a password manager will still be a lifesaver and one of the most convenient ways of storing all the credentials that are necessary for managing your online life. RoboForm is a solution that has been around since 2000, the Virginia-based company is perfect as your virtual assistant to help you memorize passwords and form data. With this simple and straightforward desktop software, passwords and any other type of credential can be stored and organized automatically in a logical manner or – via the fully customizable folders – in any way you please. All data is safely stored on the very device RoboForm is installed on thanks to its military-grade, local encryption that can be further secured by fingerprint authentication, but there is also the option to share your information with a third party without leaving the software’s safe interface. But take into consideration the numerous extras – such as the in-built ability to analyze used passwords or provide emergency access to another person – alongside the equally handy mobile application and an extremely customer-friendly pricing policy, and RoboForm certainly has what it takes to become a trustworthy companion for life.
One of the main reasons why RoboForm is preferred over many of its competitors is that its desktop app only displays the most necessary commands, and since it’s capable of automatically categorizing login credentials and other information to their respective folders – such as logins, secure notes and even desktop programs like Skype – the program is especially useful for a wide range of uses.
What makes things even more effective is how RoboForm automatically syncs all stored data across every device, which can then be found easily via detailed searches – although in this case the RoboForm drop-down menu needs to be accessed. Aside from importing data from browsers and competing services, there is also the option to create credentials manually but, frustratingly, this is only available in RoboForm’s mobile app. This leaves desktop users no choice but to head to the specific website and wait for the program’s prompt to add new information into the RoboForm vault – a limited way of handling such things.
Another thing you’ll quickly notice is the middle panel, where additional folders can be created to further categorize how the data is stored. When clicking on a main category on the left panel, this middle section will only display the relevant data and hides everything else – though it is still possible to show all the data saved to your RoboForm account by selecting “All”.
As for logins, the program provides the options to automatically log into an account, fill out the boxes on the login screen, or simply direct you to the page in question. Additionally, RoboForm can create a desktop shortcut to the desired account, and it can remind you to change the password after a given period of time; note that these two features are only available for the software’s Windows version.
RoboForm also has an emergency access feature for added safety, so users can add third parties who will then have access to your account. It’s an addition that hopefully won’t ever be needed but it’s reassuring to know it’s there for you just in case. The other is the security center, where all your passwords entered into the RoboForm vault are evaluated and arranged from weakest to strongest. In doing so the program attaches a security score to your passwords, and even highlights those passwords that are reused or are deemed duplicates.
Apps and Browser Extensions
Unsurprisingly, RoboForm has extensions for all major web browsers and they are automatically added the moment the program’s installation is finished. There is nothing surprising feature-wise: the add-on ensures all passwords, bookmarks, and secure notes are saved to your account, can generate passwords for you, and allows you to quickly access the Security Center. Additionally, a toolbar can be added to the lower section of the browser window should you need quick and immediate access to the necessary information.
The iOS and Android app is equally effective at for quick access to your data and is capable of handling the most important features of the desktop version, meaning the ability to view, edit, share, and save passwords or other credentials, access the Security Center, and edit the details of the emergency access function. By default, the app starts on a screen that both stores the most visited sites and functions as a safe web browser and a search bar.
Additionally, RoboForm has built-in biometric authentication feature for compatible support devices by making use of Apple’s Face ID and Windows Hello. So, users can replace the master password with a fingerprint reading, facial recognition, or iris scan. However, despite these fantastic features, the app has its annoyances, too, with the most noticeable being the default search engine being set to Bing, of all things.
The setup process of RoboForm is a bit messy for certain reasons (see the problem with browser extensions below), though the installation itself is completely hassle-free – especially if the program is installed to the default folder. As usual the program requires that an account is created to use all of RoboForm’s features without limitations, but this is also a quick and easy task. As a nice addition the software immediately evaluates the master password and requires secondary confirmation to complete the setup process, though unfortunately RoboForm doesn’t have a desktop launch icon, meaning that the program has to be launched from the tray.
Aside from being able to integrate with industry-leading browsers, RoboForm is capable of importing data from many of major password managers on the market including Dashlane, Sticky Password, 1Password, and LastPass. In fact, when data is fetched from competitors, the app automatically creates folders for imported passwords with a prefix to indicate where they originated from.
Browser credentials, on the other hand, aren’t put into folders, but they can still easily be found later on, since they are automatically placed into RoboForm’s default data categories after being fetched from the chosen browser. However, it’s worth adding that in case of Google Chrome or Opera you need to close the program in order to complete the importing process due to the limitation in Chromium, the program both browsers are based on.
Security and Privacy
Two-factor authentication is dealt with rather interestingly with RoboForm. Although there is the option to pair two-factor authentication apps to your account – Google Authenticator, Authy, and Microsoft Authenticator to be exact – they cannot be used as authenticators every time the vault has to be accessed. Instead, their only purpose is to perform a one-time authentication of any device that RoboForm is installed on, a process which can also done by using email or SMS.
While these same issues with device authentication appear on the mobile app, the situation is much better, since the master password can be replaced not only by a four-digit PIN code, but biometric authentication, too. This works for PCs and Macs as well, providing of course that the machine has the built-in capabilities.
However, if you prefer to (or are involuntarily forced to) stick to the master password, then rest assured that RoboForm will take good care of it: as mentioned before, the master password is immediately evaluated during installation and not even the verification email you’ll receive will have this precious information disclosed within.
And as should be expected from a password manager, RoboForm encrypts all data entered into its vault with military-grade AES-256 encryption, but unlike many of its competitors this encryption happens locally. Moreover, the same encryption method is used whenever you share credentials with others and during data syncing via RoboForm’s cloud storage, meaning that not even the company itself can see what is entered into individual accounts.
RoboForm’s prices are among the best on the market. The free forever version provides everything necessary for managing your passwords and credentials in a safe environment, but you’ll only need to pay $23.88 per year ($1.99 per month) to unlock extra benefits like auto-syncing across devices, emergency access, cloud backup, advanced support, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Additionally, RoboForm can be purchased for business purposes as well – which unlocks role-based access permissions, reporting, and a customizable security policy – but this version has custom prices that depend on various factors.
Thankfully, personal users can reduce their costs even further. For example, opting for a longer subscription, picking the Family plan (which provides all features of RoboForm Everywhere for five people), or using a special promotion that cuts prices by 30% for first-time RoboForm users. Moreover, customers can gift a license to someone or earn themselves six months of free use via referrals, which the referred will also earn when signing up for a subscription.
RoboForm’s customer service is pretty versatile, providing the all-important live support alongside other forms of assistance. If you need to speak to a staff member the options include a direct phone call, live chat, or an inquiry via email – but only the latter is available 24/7. Additionally, the company responds to users’ questions via its Facebook and Twitter pages as well, even if the infrequent updates of these platforms suggests otherwise.
However, RoboForm’s Help Center is a real jackpot, providing answers to all kinds of questions in a straightforward, smartly-categorized manner. There is also RoboForm’s YouTube page with tons of tutorial videos and a complete user manual available online or as a downloadable PDF.
RoboForm has some quality features that make it an enticing password management solution. Although there are some areas in which it could do with improvement: currently two-factor authentication is only used as a way to register a new device, so we’d like to see its use expand beyond that. Still, RoboForm perfectly serves its purpose, offering a simple, straightforward and logically-designed interface for both the desktop and the mobile app. The software is particularly helpful thanks to its automatic categorizing of each new entry according to their type and the safety of sharing passwords via RoboForm’s cloud.
Speaking of safety, RoboForm has some pretty innovative ways of keeping credentials locked away in the vault, in particular the addition of biometric authentication for both the apps and the desktop client. But the thing to really take into consideration is the company’s customer-friendly pricing, which makes RoboForm an ideal choice for individuals, families and businesses alike.