SecureSafe Review: Quick Expert Summary
SecureSafe claims to be a password manager and data protection superstar all in one, but does it really deliver on its promises? It turns out that this software might not be all that it seems – and could even be leaving out some of the key parts of what makes password managers so great.
I’ve reviewed dozens of password managers on our quest to bring you the best of the best, so read on below for an in-depth SecureSafe review to figure out whether it’s worth your time and money.
Password Management SecureSafe Features
The text on the SecureSafe website mainly focuses on emphasizing the security of the program and the secure data storage.
Password management is mentioned, but it’s clear that it’s more of a secondary feature of the software.
While the smartphone app does allow you to autofill passwords, the desktop and web tool do not have that option. Instead, you have to copy and paste both your username and password into the correct login fields, one at a time.
The buttons above allow you to copy the text to your clipboard, but you’ll have to do it two times: once for your username and once for your password. It’s a lot less effective than simply saving the password in your browser, and is an area where SecureSafe definitely disappoints.
With that said, the user experience on the smartphone app is definitely better.
Cross Platform Support
SecureSafe has a synchronization app for both Mac and PC, as well as an online portal and mobile applications. It does not, however, have a browser extension like many of the popular password managers, such as Dashlane, BitWarden or even Keeper. As mentioned before, this is likely why you have to manually paste your information. While you can technically synchronize your information across all of your apps, some are just featured more than others.
Secure File Encryption and Sync
The desktop software might not do a good job of managing your passwords when compared to competitors, such as LastPass or BitWarden, but it is quite good at encrypting and storing files. SecureSafe is based in Switzerland, and uses the same sort of encryption that their banks do, giving you the peace of mind that your important documents are protected.
You can also sync your files from your online portal to your Mac or PC, allowing you to keep a consistent and secure record in multiple places. The software can also do this automatically, so you won’t even have to think about it! I personally like this, as it’s one less thing for me to worry about.
With the paid plans, SecureSafe also gives you the option to set up a shared safe that you can use with your business partners.
Considering businesses often deal with more sensitive information than the average consumer, SecureSafe may be particularly attractive to those who are looking for a file manager for their company. Other password managers, such as Myki, do a fantastic job of this, so I’d actually recommend looking into its Teams solution first.
Mail In Functionality
Don’t feel like opening the app every time you want to save something important? SecureSafe has you covered with a unique Mail In feature. This is something a little strange, that I haven’t seen in any other password managers. When you create an account, you’ll be given a specific email address unique to your account where you can mail important files from your personal email. Anything mailed to this address is automatically encrypted, and added to your personal safe, without you having to worry about fiddling with the upload settings.
In the screenshot below, you can see my first email (which was text only), which was later saved as a PDF on both the website and our local storage.
SecureSafe offers a free plan that contains many of the same features. However, you can only store a limited amount of passwords, and there’s a very limited amount of storage available for your encrypted safe. Additionally, you can’t access the customer support with a free account – forcing you to rely solely on the knowledge base and FAQ. This is a bit of a confusing level of service, as even with other password managers – BitWarden, LastPass and even Enpass, which I wasn’t a huge fan of, offered some higher level of support on their free plans.
While it’s nice that the password manager does offer an option for free users, it’s clear that to enjoy a fully-featured experience you’re going to need to pay for a subscription. If you’re looking for an entirely free password manager software, I’d suggest Dashlane, which gives you all of the features you need for free…but only up to 50 passwords and one device.
SecureSafe vs Competitors
Overall, I do feel that SecureSafe falls short of popular password managers like oneSafe and LastPass. It’s a great option for those looking for storage, but if you can enjoy that same service elsewhere combined with a stronger login management, why wouldn’t you?
SecureSafe Plans and Pricing
At first glance, it appears that the main difference between the free plan and the three levels of subscription are simply the support (or lack thereof) for unlimited passwords, and the amount of storage offered. However, when you scroll down and look at the featured lineup, it becomes clear that even the “Pro” plan has its limitations – notably the lack of SecureSend, Mail In Notifications, and the ability to view documents in browsers.
Another obvious misstep is the lack of customer support for free users, as mentioned before. This means that if you run into any issues that can’t be solved just using the website, your only options are to either start paying a monthly fee or stop using the program altogether.
One last major detail I’d like to bring up in the pricing section is that the subscription levels don’t offer a month-to-month option, instead forcing you to pay for at least a year up front. The larger initial fee makes it difficult to test out the premium features risk free, as you are committing to a year’s worth of service right from the get go.
Frankly, the subscription setup with this program is a bit of a mess and one of the reasons I struggle to give a positive SecureSafe review. Those looking for a large amount of secure storage may benefit from the higher end plans, but I see little reason for the average user to upgrade beyond “Pro” or “Silver.”
SecureSafe Ease of Use and Setup
SecureSafe looks simple at first, but there are a bunch of areas where we’d like to see major improvement.
The setup process is pretty easy. It only requires a quick account making process, where you’ll be provided with a recovery code that you can use to regain access to your account should you lose your password. Please keep in mind that there is no way for SecureSafe to reset your password themselves, as they operate using a zero-knowledge system (meaning they don’t store any of your information).
One issue that I did find slightly annoying is that the web page required us to install Adobe Flash before it would even load, which is a bit frustrating for those trying to sign up as quickly as possible. This isn’t necessarily an issue with the app itself, but I did have to update flash to get to the account creation page – setting me back several extra minutes before I could get my hands on the program.
Other than that, though, the installation process was simple, and it’s even easier on iOS and Android.
Adding a Password
Once you’ve set up your account, you’ll be greeted with an online portal with the three main features of SecureSafe on the left-hand side: Passwords, Files, and Mail In. Click on “add” in the top right corner in order to add your first set of login information.
When using a computer, this is the main way that you’ll add passwords to SecureSafe. You just have to manually fill out the fields, as seen below, and your information will be saved. You’ll also find a generate password option, which can give you a random string of numbers, letters, and symbols that is guaranteed to be difficult for a hacker to figure out. You also have the option to add a “category,” which is useful for grouping similar sites together for easy access.
One issue I think you need to know about during setup is that you’ll need to provide the exact URL for the login page. This means that for a site like Reddit, you would need to add “/login” onto the web address, instead of simply entering the URL for the main website. This can be a little bit slow, and I ended up having to navigate to various spots around the web and double-checking to make sure I had the complete information.
After all of this is done, you will need to click the respective icons for “username” and “password,” and then manually paste them into the site. The password addition process is a little bit confusing, but what is far more annoying is that the program can’t even auto import your information.
Mobile App Process
The process to add a password to the mobile app is largely the same but with one key difference: you can actually use the password management feature to autofill forms around the web. This is an important difference, and if this feature was available on the desktop version this SecureSafe review might have been much more positive.
The only thing you’re going to have to worry about on your mobile is a simple first-time setup in order to allow the SecureSafe app to autofill passwords around the web. Just go to your Settings > Password and Accounts > AutoFill Passwords > Allow Filling from SecureSafe.
Once you’ve completed this, you’ll automatically get a popup above your mobile keyboard while logging into a saved website, which will allow you to import the credentials from your app!
The ability to upload files and keep them protected is one of the main reasons I feel a SecureSafe subscription may be worthwhile.
The process is relatively simple and pretty intuitive. In the screenshot below, you’ll see options at the top of the screen to either create a folder or upload.
The folders are great for organization, and the uploading is very similar to any file storage system – and pretty similar to other password managers, even ones that are more confusing to use (like Zoho Vault). Simply select where you’d like it to go, and upload a file the way you normally would with any other cloud system.
One of the main draws of SecureSafe is the ability to encrypt and automatically sync your files across multiple devices, while updating automatically from time to time to ensure you have everything in one place.
To set this up, you’ll click on “File Safe” on the left hand side of either the desktop or web portal application, and then click the “+” icon at the bottom left of the window.
In the next menu, you’ll select whether you want a private file safe, or a safe for your Mail In documents. Select the one you’d like, and confirm the file location that you’d like to save your files on local storage. I recommend some place easily accessible, as you have the option to encrypt files unless you have the desktop app open – keeping it safe from other eyes.
Once you have set everything up, hit “Sync All,” as shown in the screenshot, and all of your documents from your online portal will be added to a local backup on your computer.
A major downside to this feature is that it doesn’t seem to work both directions. Meaning that if you add a local file to the folder on your computer, and then try to sync it, it will not show up on the online portal. It’s very possible that I was doing something wrong, but considering I’ve been through dozens of password managers, if I can’t figure it out, it’s likely the average consumer would have issues as well.
The third part of the SecureSafe string of features is probably the easiest to get set up. Just check the tab for your account information and send an email to the provided address. Your data should then appear in your safe automatically! You can also set the notifications to inform you when activities take place, which is a great option for team safes in order to help you keep track of what’s going in, and what’s going out.
Out of everything SecureSafe brings to the table, this is probably the best feature, as it makes it incredibly simple to protect the documents that matter most.
Ease of Use Final Impressions
Ultimately, I feel that SecureSafe leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to ease of use. The setup process is relatively easy, but the lack of autofill in browsers is a major problem that makes the password manager difficult to recommend.
One area where SecureSafe didn’t hold back in the security. With servers based in Switzerland, featuring the same sort of encryption that Swiss banks use, you can rest assured that your personal information will be well protected.
The service offers a proprietary system built with 256-bit encryption, which has become the standard among password managers these days, and also supports two factor authentication and biometric logins for greater security.
You’ll use a password to log into your account on both the computer and your mobile device (unless you’ve activated biometric logins for the latter). Make sure you take a picture of your recovery code from either your web portal or within the mobile app, because you won’t be able to recover your login details should you happen to forget them!
As discussed earlier, cloud backups are one of the biggest features that SecureSafe includes, with encrypted synchronization across all of your favorite devices.
Overall, I feel that security is the one area of this SecureSafe review where I can give the password manager a perfect score!
SecureSafe Customer Support
If there’s one place where SecureSafe definitely goes wrong, it’s in the customer support. I reached out to customer support in order to ask a question and inquire about a possible refund, and was told that the ticket needed to be passed along internally and that it “may take some time.”
I waited to hear back from the company before writing this review, but at this point it has been over a month since the last communication. It is safe to say that if you’re unhappy with the service and would like to obtain a refund, you’re likely going to have some difficulty. Perhaps the company will get back to me at some point with information on how to proceed with the refund, but since over a month has passed, at this point I can no longer in good conscience wait before giving an honest review.
SecureSafe does have its benefits, but the truly terrible customer support experience makes it very difficult to recommend – especially when smaller password manager teams such as Password Manager and Password Safe managed to be incredibly responsive.