- Simple, logical interface
- Seamless importing with browser extension
- Advanced mobile app
- Secure browser (Windows-only)
- Customer-friendly pricing policy
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Lack of proper two-factor authentication
- Buggy importing from competing password managers
- Limited vault for free users
When the term internet security pops up, most people immediately think of antivirus software. But the truth is that antivirus solutions are only part of the equation, which also contains parental control tools, registry cleaners, performance optimizers, and password managers. So, it isn’t surprising that Trend Micro, a company mostly known for its internet security suites, also has a standalone password manager with all necessary features that these solutions are associated with. But nowadays just providing basic functionality isn’t enough and, thankfully, Trend Micro is way more than a simple vault for storing passwords and other credentials. Aside from having a straightforward interface – which is a must for all password managers – this tool also boasts a near-perfect browser extension for one-click data importing and form filling, plus it comes with a mobile version that is even better than its desktop counterpart. And that is even before mentioned those very customer-friendly prices…
Like many of its competitors, Trend Micro Password Manager has a pleasant user interface that has some nice additional touches like the animated diagram on the main screen that displays the number of passwords and how many of them are considered vulnerable. In fact, the software even properly separates different types of credentials, creating three logical categories for them: passwords, personal data for form filling, and secure notes. With secure notes, all it takes is to put in the relevant information to create a new entry, while with form filling you only need to fill out the boxes in the right subcategories for Trend Micro to be able to automatically insert the necessary data into registration pages – so long as this particular feature is active in the Settings.
However, it’s passwords that are given the best treatment. For starters, not only can they be searched the same way as secure notes, but there is also the option to create custom folders and organize them the way that you want. Adding and removing logins is also easy, whether it’s done manually or via the browser extension, and due to your data being synced with the cloud the changes are applied immediately across all devices that the password manager is installed on. Interestingly, there is also an option to create an exception list that commands Trend Micro to never save the login when navigating to a specific website.
However, despite the fact that Trend Micro is a decent – albeit basic – password manager, it isn’t without its flaws. The fact that the autologin and form filling options have to be turned on manually within the Settings and that there is no way to safely share passwords with other Trend Micro users is a minor yet unnecessary nuisance. However, restricting the ability to log in via Trend Micro’s secure browser to Windows was definitely not the brightest idea, especially considering the usefulness of this particular feature from a security point of view. But even that is somewhat understandable; what isn’t, however, is why usernames in the saved logins cannot be modified without deleting them for good.
Apps & Browser Extensions
At first glance the browser extension – which is available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge – appears to be nothing more than a miniaturized version of the password manager with features like the search bar and the custom folders also present. But actually, unless you need to make modifications to stored credentials or the program’s settings, with this installed you won’t even have to open the password manager since all important tasks can be performed by the extension alone. What’s more interesting, however, is that from a certain point of view the add-on even surpasses the main software due to extras such as the password generator and how seamless it is to import browser credentials.
On the other hand, the iOS/Android app puts both the desktop software and the browser extension to shame. In addition to opening all websites stored within the vault with the built-in secure browser by default, it also has an advanced secure notes section where additional data like passport information, contacts, and credit cards can be stored. But what’s most impressive is that it’s also capable of creating shortcuts for each password in the vault. Users will appreciate that it fully supports fingerprint authentication as a replacement for the master password, too.
Though using Trend Micro isn’t rocket science, the installation process isn’t without its flaws. For starters, first time users are required to download an installer onto their desktops, which only contains a shortcut to the online vault and the Windows-only safe browser. Then there is the fact that it is mandatory to create a Trend Micro account – not to be confused with the vault. In fact, you need this account to fully access all of the password manager’s functionalities, including the browser add-ons and the option to import and export credentials from other sources.
Speaking of which, fetching passwords is something that Trend Micro Password Manager does a pretty decent job of. Thankfully, the software automatically offers to add the extension to your preferred browser and will navigate to the password importing screen, where users can optionally delete all credentials from the browser’s vault after being imported into Trend Micro’s encrypted storage.
Sadly, manual imports are downright catastrophic. For some reason, when we tried to import our existing credentials from a competing password manager into Trend Micro, the software refused to accept the exported file even when it was in the required CSV format. Neither toying with the file format and its content nor manually entering the credentials into Trend Micro’s template helped, regardless of the browser we tried with. Simply put, you are better off importing passwords from the browser’s vault or even entering all credentials into the vault manually, which is understandably bothersome.
Security & Privacy
It is the absolute minimum for a company specialized in internet security solutions for decades that it provides a password manager that is safe and secure – and Trend Micro definitely passes that test. Users who are signed out from the software and their Trend Micro accounts can only access the vault and the browser extension by providing both the Trend Micro password and the master password used to create the account. Admittedly, this may seem like overkill seeing how the master password – or the fingerprint login in case of the smartphone app – is usually enough for average users. However, locking the vault this way provides a nice alternative to two-factor authentication, a feature Trend Micro sadly doesn’t support.
Still, if you decide to rely solely on the master password, it’s highly recommended to lock the vault before leaving, though Trend Micro can be set to do this automatically after a certain period of browser inactivity.
One thing that’s worth mentioning is Trend Micro’s Password Doctor, which is the software’s password evaluator. Although it isn’t capable of replacing weak passwords with stronger ones, it communicates security issues in a straightforward manner, not to mention that it also gives users suggestions on how to create a password that complies with security standards.
Although there is a free version of Trend Micro Password Manager, it’s completely useless. Don’t get us wrong, feature-wise there are absolutely no limitations, but by allowing only ten credentials to be stored in the vault and preventing free users from using any of the live customer support options is restrictive enough to be worthless. But as it happens, the prices more than make up for this poor show, not least because there is a 30-day money-back guarantee to test the service yourself.
Admittedly, Trend Micro’s password manager is nowhere near as feature rich as many of its competitors, but its base prices are very customer-friendly. The standalone version’s $1.25 monthly price is already impressive, but subscribe to the two-year plan and you’ll reduce your fees even further – to just $1.04 a month. The real deal, however, comes from opting for the company’s fullest service, the Trend Micro Maximum Security internet security suite, in which case the unlimited version of Password Manager is provided free of charge for as long as the subscription lasts.
The good news here is that not only is the company available on all key communication channels – phone, live chat, and email – but it there is also the option to get assistance via a chatbot or community forum. Unfortunately, the quality of these services is a bit disappointing; in our case the Trend Micro staff member was courteous but failed to solve the issue that we had with password importing.
Alternatively, there are the on-demand support options, which are available for free users and are just as helpful. There are glossaries, multiple blogs, webinars, and even a 137-page user guide to name a few, but the dedicated support page for the software has everything from FAQs and tutorial videos to installation guides ensuring that no user will get lost.
Seeing the effort that Trend Micro puts into all of its products, the company’s password manager is unfortunately kind of a letdown. Granted, as a basic password management solution it’s perfect, but the overcomplicated installation process, the buggy importing of data from competing software, or the limited capacity of the free version will easily discourage even the both newcomers and those familiar with password managers alike.
Thankfully, Trend Micro more than makes up for these blunders with the pleasant and logically laid out interface of the desktop app that, combined with the browser extension, makes password management a breeze. What’s truly appreciated, however, is that Trend Micro managed to create a mobile app that has everything from the desktop version and is even more advanced than this main product. And if this is combined with the unbeatable prices, then it’s safe to say that Trend Micro Password Manager is definitely worth considering.