Best Offline Password Managers to Secure Your Data in 2023
While cloud solutions have taken over the business world, an offline password manager can offer distinctive benefits, especially for those concerned about privacy and hesitant to store passwords on third-party servers.
Offline password managers offer the possibility to store all passwords locally on a device and provide a higher level of privacy and security. In this article, we will explore some of the best offline password managers available, including KeePass, Password Safe, Enpass, Zero and One Key.
KeePass: the most popular open-source offline password manager
KeePass is an open-source local password manager that has been available since 2003. It is one of the most well-known password managers in the open-source community and an excellent choice for people who want a straightforward offline solution. KeePass allows users to customize their vaults in numerous ways, and several plugins have been developed by contributors that expand its capabilities.
The official portable version of KeePass is available only on Windows. It’s lightweight and doesn’t consume many of your computer’s resources. You can save the database into a flash drive and put it on your keychain, carrying it with you wherever you go.
KeePass employs the best and most secure encryption techniques (AES-256, ChaCha20, and Twofish) and allows you to add key file to help protect your password vault.
KeePass offers lots of features, such as a password generator, database transfer, and autofill, among others. However, KeePass might not be the best choice for non-tech-savvy people, as it could be a bit difficult to use, and its user interface is outdated.
Other contributed/unofficial KeePass ports are available on other systems. Here are some of the most popular ones: KeePass2Android (for Android), KeePassDX (for Android), KeePassDroid (for Android), KeePassium (for iPhone/iPad), and KeePassXC (for iPhone/iPad).
Password Safe: a classic open-source offline password manager
Password Safe is a reliable, open-source, offline password manager that was first released in 2002. With Password Safe, you can keep your passwords securely encrypted on your computer. Best of all, Password Safe is completely free to use, and the active builder community ensures that help is readily available.
To ensure the security of your data, Password Safe uses the Twofish algorithm with a 256-bit key. Its security is based on the master password. If you wish to strengthen this, Password Safe can support Yubikey’s authenticators, requiring both a Yubikey and a master password to access the stored passwords. Since it’s open-source, you can download and review the source code yourself or have someone with more technical expertise do it for you.
While Password Safe is not as feature-rich as some other password managers, it provides basic functions such as the ability to categorize passwords in groups, set expiry dates, and install the software onto a USB drive. Password Safe is primarily designed for storing passwords and lacks some of the more advanced features of other password managers. Additionally, the user interface is outdated, just like KeePass’s.
The official version of Password Safe is only available for Windows systems. However, there are popular clones available, such as PasswdSafe (for Android), pwSafe 2 (for iOS), and pwSafe (for Mac). It’s worth noting that unlike the Windows client, these clone apps are not free.
Enpass: a feature-rich cross-platform offline password manager
Enpass is designed with no online syncing in mind, which means it secures your files and data in one place: your own device. Compared to KeePass and Password Safe, there is no denying the fact that Enpass has a more morden UI, making it more user-friendly.
With Enpass, your data is encrypted with 256-bit AES using the open-source encryption engine SQLCipher and is fully secured with your master password that only you know. Enpass does not store your data on its server but allows you to sync it with your preferred cloud provider, such as iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive. All encryption and decryption processes occur locally on your device, and your data is always transmitted in an encrypted format.
Enpass offers a wide range of features, including autofill logins across all platforms, generating strong passwords, auditing your passwords, alerting for your websites, and sharing passwords, among others. However, it has a few serious downsides. First, setting up some of the features, such as adding a key file for two-factor authentication, can be challenging. Second, Enpass’s default password sharing option is insecure, as it involves sharing logins via email.
Enpass offers a completely free desktop version for Windows, macOS, and Linux users, as well as a limited free version for Android and iOS. The desktop app of Enpass can also start a mini file server, which is an ideal solution for syncing your passwords to another device on the same Wi-Fi network.
Zero: an offline password manager with advanced security features
Zero is a true offline password manager with no internet access. As stated on their website, Zero does not have internet permission on Android, meaning it can never connect to the internet. The developers even provide methods to check the app’s permissions on Google Play and in the Android phone settings.
With Zero, all your data is stored exclusively on your device. Unlike other password managers, Zero uses the security chip on your phone to generate a key to encrypt your data. Mobile wallets use the same chip to protect your card information, so if you trust your mobile wallet, you can trust Zero too. If you prefer, you can set a master password as an additional layer of protection.
Zero provides a range of powerful features that set it apart from other offline password manager apps. It offers hundreds of account templates, a one-time password authenticator, two-tap password autofill, and the ability to generate strong passwords that include symbols and emojis. Additionally, Zero allows users to safely find back their master password and backup password in case they forget it. The biggest drawback of Zero is that it does not support direct password imports from other password managers like Bitwarden, 1Password, LastPass, etc.
Zero is available on Android and iOS, and also provides extensions for Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari. To autofill a webpage on desktop or save passwords from the extension to the app, simply use the app to scan the QR code on the extension. Zero provides a free trial with only 20 accounts allowed for saving. If you want to save more or unlock other pro features, you need to purchase a yearly subscription.
One Key: a simple offline password manager with elegant UI
One Key is an easy-to-use offline password manager with a clean and intuitive interface. It provides a hassle-free experience for users who want to manage their passwords and other sensitive information, and it ensures that your data is not stored on any remote server.
One Key saves your database only on your device using strong AES-256 encryption, a standard encryption method used by many other password managers. All you need to do is set a strong master password and keep it secret. To shield your data from prying eyes, One Key allows you to set auto-lock. What’s more, it has a self-destruct feature which, if turned on, will automatically delete all data in case of your phone is stolen and hackers repeatedly enter the master password in an attempt to crack it.
Unlike Enpass and Zero, One Key doesn’t have lots of features, but it can still satisfy some of your basic needs, such as managing passwords in categories, generating strong passwords with special characters, a recycle bin to recover accidentally deleted data, and the ability to add images to your saved data. One Key also offers an autofill feature for Android devices running version 8 Oreo and above, which saves you time and effort when logging into your accounts.
Currently, One Key is available only on Android and iOS. The app provides a free version with limited features, but to enjoy all of the app’s capabilities, you must pay for the premium version. The good news is that you only need to pay once and can enjoy the premium features for a lifetime.
In conclusion, offline password managers are an excellent option for people who want to store their passwords locally and have a higher level of privacy and security. KeePass, Password Safe, Enpass, Zero and One Key are all excellent offline password managers with different features and capabilities. Choose the one that best suits your needs and enjoy a safer online experience.