Detailed Expert Review
BlackBerry Password Keeper is a free password management app with no ads. The app has been around for years and only recently become available for Android. Let’s see if a classic password manager can keep up with the competition in 2019.
Almost 70 password managers were reviewed in order to help you make sure the software you choose suits your needs. Read on for the full BlackBerry Password Keeper review!
BlackBerry Password Keeper Features
BlackBerry Password Keeper has been a staple of BlackBerry phones for ages, and as the company switched their phones over to Android, their apps have become more commonplace on the Google Play Store—including their tried and tested password manager.
While the app is missing some features seen in other password managers, such as file encryption and storage, it certainly has the password side of things down.
Let’s take a look at what features BlackBerry Password Keeper offers.
None of the features for BlackBerry Password Keeper are locked behind a paywall, so you get the entirety of the app, with no ads, free of charge. This is all very similar to other free offerings, like Keeper. The company monetizes its app through a BlackBerry Hub+ subscription fee, allowing users to access other premium apps that all work together for BlackBerry devices. More on that below!
When you first launch the Android app, you’ll be asked whether you’d like to sync your passwords to your cloud storage solution of choice. I chose Google Drive and my passwords are now safely stored there should I ever change devices or lose access to my tablet.
Out of all the cloud backup setup processes reviewed with these services, it was certainly one of the easier ones to use.
Auto Password Import
While BlackBerry Password Keeper may be your first password manager app, chances are you have passwords saved elsewhere, like on your default browser. Fortunately, you can import and export files from the app relatively easy as long as they’re stored on your device. The process could be a little smoother since in its current format you’re forced to browse to the file location, but it does work quite well and is easy to understand. It’s actually way better than, say, Zoho Vault’s password importing, and even comes close to LastPass’ one-click wonder importing.
When you enable permissions on your Android device, you’ll be able to use BlackBerry Password Keeper to autofill forms both on your web browser and within your favorite apps. When it comes time to log in, you’ll see a little box that prompts you to sign into the app with your password, at which point it’ll auto-populate the appropriate fields. It works better than, say disastrous or incomplete auto-filling from the likes of Myki.
Random Password Generator
The average passwords that most people use aren’t very secure, and the secure passwords are often difficult to remember. BlackBerry Password Keeper has a random password generator built-in, and that, combined with the autofill feature mentioned above, should keep your login credentials secure while avoiding the annoyance of forgotten passwords. One issue I did notice with the password generator is that the default generation only gives a password of up to 8 characters. When you consider that the passwords are a combination of upper and lowercase characters it’s clear that the password is decently secure, but I would have appreciated an option to extend the password length further. You can do so manually and see the security rating adjust on the fly, but it would have been better if it gave us a totally secure option by default.
The password manager is part of a larger suite of Android apps known as BlackBerry Hub+. Password Keeper is free of charge indefinitely, but you can also pay a low monthly fee in order to access useful utilities such as Inbox, Calendar, Contacts, and more — all of which work together seamlessly. The subscription is by no means not necessary in order to experience the full extent of features that BlackBerry Password Keeper provides, but if you’re looking for the extra utility that data management and business tools offer, Hub+ may be exactly what you’re looking for. As far as these sort of hub services go, Hub+ is relatively unique. There are password managers that offer more utility like file storage (such as LogMeOnce), but in my searching I haven’t really come across a software suite that is quite the same. Since BlackBerry is a business-focused technology company rather than one that specifically focuses on password managers, you have easy access to a whole host of business tools.
Lists and Notes
In addition to the password manager feature, BlackBerry Password Keeper allows you to keep a secure set of lists and notes. Many password managers focus solely on data management, so it’s nice to have the option to use it as an assistant as you go about your day as well. Notes and lists can range from grocery lists to important financial details or anything in between, with the assurance that all of your data is kept safe within the app. This allows BlackBerry Password Keeper to function as a hub of sorts, storing all of your important data in a single place. While it may not have the ability to store files like many of its competitors, it provides an uncomplicated interface for the storage of passwords and text.
BlackBerry Password Keeper Plans and Pricing
This section of the review is going to be short for one major reason: there are no costs associated with the app!
As mentioned above, BlackBerry is trying to push their Hub+ subscription, which allows you access to the entire suite of BlackBerry apps. That being said, there isn’t anything you’d gain specifically for Password Keeper by paying that monthly fee, so there’s no reason to pay for it unless you’re looking to dive deeper into the BlackBerry ecosystem.
However, although decently rare, there are some services on the market that offer completely free password management as well, such as Keeper or PassBolt. One thing to keep in mind with services like these, though, is that completely free service comes at a price. As discussed in the sections below, support can be very limited due to the lack of income supporting the app, features are often quite limited, and it’s very likely the service will be taken offline prematurely.
If you decide you’d like to use the Hub apps, however, the monthly cost is minimal and may be well worth it.
This is one of the best monetization options seen in a password manager app since you can access the full extent of features and you don’t have to deal with ads. That’s virtually unheard of and the reason BlackBerry Password Keeper received a perfect score in this section of the review.
BlackBerry Password Keeper Ease of Use and Setup
For the most part, there were no difficulties in setting up and using BlackBerry Password Keeper. While there may not be as many features as a program like DataVault, the process to get up and running was quite simple. While I do prefer a program that strikes more of a balance between utility and ease of use such as oneSafe, I have to commend BlackBerry on creating an app that is very accessible–even for those who aren’t exactly the most tech-savvy!
When you first download the app from the Google Play Store, you’ll be asked to install the BlackBerry Hub+ app as well. Doing so will give you a 30-day free trial to the service in order to take a look at the other apps the company offers. Not to worry, you’ll retain full access to Password Keeper regardless of whether or not you decide to continue with the subscription.
Having to install another app on my phone just to install Password Keeper was a little bit annoying, but ultimately it only took a few more seconds and didn’t even require launching the other app.
When first launching the app, the screen prompts you to choose between several of the most popular cloud backup services. After making that selection, you’ll be directed to the home screen where a ‘+’ icon at the bottom will allow you to easily add a new password.
Adding a Password
Tapping the ‘+’ icon brings you to a menu with several different fields to fill out. You’ll input the name of the website, the URL, and the Username and Password. Additionally, you’ll be given the option to generate a password directly on this screen with UI that points to how secure your chosen password is. This is a great option for those who’re either signing up for a site for the first time or looking to revise their existing passwords for greater security.
At the bottom of the screen is a Notes section where you can add any additional information you’d like to remember about the site, and once you’re done, you can tap the check mark in the top right in order to save it to your device.
From the home screen, you can simply tap on the entry and then on the website to be taken directly to the site and automatically logged in.
You can also turn on Autofill in the Settings menu in order to automatically fill in your passwords in your browsers and apps. When first navigating to the website in an app or browser, you’ll be asked whether you’d like to associate that format with your entry within BlackBerry Password Keeper. Once you accept, you’ll have easy access to autofill via the drop-down menu.
It’s relatively easy to set up, but there were some issues getting it to work in browsers where some passwords were already saved. It was eventually resolved, but for those who’re less tech-savvy, it may be far more difficult to get up and running.
Adding a Note or List
Adding a note or list to BlackBerry Password Keeper is accomplished in the same way you would add a password. Just tap the drop-down menu at the top of the screen where it says Password and change the form to either a list or note. Other than that the process is identical.
The notes and lists are pretty basic but they get the job done. It’s a great option for storing some personal information, although the list feature may not be as relevant as sensitive information can easily be stored in a note.
BlackBerry Password Keeper Security
Ultimately, the security with BlackBerry Password Keeper security is not great. It does feature AES-256 encryption, but that has become standard on most popular password managers.
Cloud backups are available, which allow you to access your account should it be compromised or you transfer to a new device, and the proprietary system may be more difficult to hack, but it’s missing two-factor authentication, biometric logins, facial recognition, etc.
One benefit the password manager does have is the fact that you can’t take screenshots within the app. This is a good thing from a security standpoint as it won’t let a random person snap a picture of your passwords, but it sure is a hassle when you’re trying to write a review! There are a surprising number of password manager apps that do allow you to snap photos from within – a security flaw I noticed in the mobile versions of competitors like oneSafe (a program that otherwise seemed to check all the boxes.) Some other managers that prioritized security by locking out screenshots include KeePassDroid and Password Manager.
Long story short, it appears that BlackBerry is lacking in this area. The basics are there, but with such stiff competition, the basics aren’t really enough.
BlackBerry Password Keeper Customer Support
The one area where BlackBerry Password Keeper is failing completely is in customer support. To put it bluntly — there is none. You can use the knowledge base and you may have access to an email form if you opt for the Hub+ subscription, but Password Keeper wasn’t in the drop-down list when trying to ask for help, making it seem that you’re pretty much on your own with troubleshooting.
There is a knowledge base that’s decently helpful, but if you run into something that isn’t answered, you have no way to get help.
The support (if you can even call it that) for BlackBerry Password Keeper is extremely poor, and is one of the main reasons this isn’t a more positive review.