- Simple and straightforward client
- Categorization of stored credentials
- Support of desktop app passwords
- Fingerprint authentication options
- Versatile customer service
- Cheap prices
- Manual import from browsers
- Use of Google Authenticator as one-time authenticator
- No syncing and backup in free version
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 your credentials that are necessary for managing your online life. And RoboForm, a solution that has been around since 2000, is perfect as your virtual assistant to help you memorize passwords and form data.
With this simple and straightforward desktop solution, 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. Frustratingly, however, credentials cannot be created manually, meaning that the only way to add new information to the RoboForm vault is to head to the specific website and wait for the program’s prompt, which is a limiting 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; however, note that these two features are only available for the software’s Windows version.
There are two extra features worth mentioning: one is the “Emergency Access”, which provides access to chosen third parties should anything happen to you, but is sadly only accessible by visiting your online RoboForm account. 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 so-called security score to your passwords, and even highlights those passwords that are reused or are deemed duplicates.
Apps and Browser Extensions
Although RoboForm has extensions for all major web browsers and they are automatically added the moment the program’s installation is finished, they do have one major downside: they are incapable of importing passwords and forms saved into the browser unless it’s performed manually by the user. When compared to its competition, RoboForm is severely lacking in this regard.
Despite these major blunders, however, the add-on perfectly serves its purpose. It 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.
Like the add-on, the iOS and Android app is an interesting case. As expected, it 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 not only stores the most visited sites, but also functions as a safe web browser and a search bar.
Additionally, RoboForm supports the built-in biometric authentication feature of the latest smartphone models, meaning that the master password can be replaced by fingerprint login and – starting from version 8.5.1 – even Apple’s Face ID. 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.
As for integration, RoboForm is capable of importing data from many of the best-known password managers on the market (like Dashlane, Sticky Password, 1Password and LastPass) but, similar to the issue with saving credentials in web browsers, the process itself has to be performed manually. However, once the file is uploaded to RoboForm’s vault the software automatically creates folders for imported passwords with a prefix, indicating where these credentials originated from.
Sadly, this is the only way that RoboForm can be quickly set up with data from other password managers, since the browser extension is virtually useless for this purpose. Strangely, though, the add-on can import bookmarks from the chosen browser without intervention, which might come in handy if you want to access saved sites from the app’s safe browser.
Security and Privacy
Two-factor authentication is dealt with rather interestingly with RoboForm. Although there is the option to pair Google Authenticator to your account, it is reduced to the role of providing a one-time password to authenticate the device that RoboForm is installed on, alongside existing options of using email or SMS.
Despite having the same issues with device authentication, the situation with the mobile app is much better, since the master password can be replaced not only by a four-digit PIN code, but the fingerprint authenticator on the smartphone, too. As a matter of fact, RoboForm is capable of using fingerprint authentication on PCs and Macs as well, provided that the machine has a built-in fingerprint reader.
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 may not be that convincing feature-wise, but there is one area where it beats the competition by a mile: its pricing. The free forever version provides everything necessary for managing your passwords and credentials in a safe environment, however to unlock extra benefits like auto-syncing across devices, emergency access, cloud backup, and advanced support, you’ll only need to pay $19.95 per year ($1.66 per month). This is protected by a 30-day money back guarantee to help you really test the service.
To make things better, this cost can be further reduced by opting for a longer subscription or going for the Family package that provides all the features of the Everywhere plan for five different people. Additionally, RoboForm can be purchased for business purposes as well, which unlocks role-based access permissions, advanced two-factor authentication, reporting, and a customizable security policy.
If that wasn’t enough, RoboForm 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 or an inquiry via email – but only the latter is available 24/7. Additionally, the company provides help via its Facebook and Twitter page as well, but since these platforms are not updated regularly this is not a recommended route.
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 is a prime example of a password manager considered to be both a hit and a miss. The fact that certain features cannot be reached simply is just a minor nuisance, but it’s nothing compared to the biggest disadvantage of this software, the inconvenient way it imports credentials, especially where the browser extensions are concerned.
However, the software perfectly serves its purpose, offering a simple, straightforward and logically arranged 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 fingerprint 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.