Password Manager Review: Keeper
There's no denying that Keeper has got guts: Within the highly competitive field of password managers, the service's marketers decided to not offer a free or trial version of the software, breaking with standard practice for their market segment. Their reasoning is simple and understandable: Keeper's overall package and good service are worth paying for. Below, we'll fill you in about whether we've estimated Keeper as highly as its designers and marketers have, or whether you should throw this one back.
What Is Keeper?
Keeper is a digital data vault and password manager that protects and encrypts passwords, financial information, and other sensitive data. The software's desktop app is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux, while its mobile version can be used on iOS and Android, as well as Windows Phone and Blackberry (both of which have been discontinued). Keeper also offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Edge, and Opera.
Pros and Cons
Ability to personalize autofill settings
Clear folder structure with drag & drop functionality
Browser extension lacks features
No free version
For a premium-only product, somewhat intrusive paid add-ons
As with most other password managers, setting up Keeper begins with creating a master password. Unlike the majority of its competitors though, Keeper makes a recovery method available from the getgo (user-defined security questions), which are helpful in the event that you ever lose or forget your password.
While this method of recovery is popular for single accounts, it seems out of place for a password manager. After all, your master password protects not just one account, but potentially, hundreds of them. Answers to security questions are also far easier to guess than passwords, since they typically don't contain special characters or numbers, and are 'logical'. With Keeper, the only protection against this is that prior to answering the security question(s), a verification code is sent to your email address.
Like most other password managers, Keeper is divided between a dedicated desktop app and browser extensions. When logging in for the first time, you'll be taken to the Web Vault, a browser-based online interface. Following a brief tutorial, the program will prompt you to install the browser extension, however, this didn't work during our testing in Google Chrome. Manually installing the extension did only take a few seconds though, so it wasn't that much of a loss.
On Keeper's website, you'll find downloads for their Windows, Mac, and Linux desktop apps. The application’s interface is identical to that of the Web Vault, and you'll also be shown a brief tutorial immediately after installation. This explains, for example, how to assign HotKeys, enabling users to personalize the app.
Needless to say, there's also an option to import passwords stored elsewhere. Supported browsers include Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, and Opera, while you can transfer information saved in programs such as Dashlane, LastPass, 1Password, and many others. During testing, we weren't able to import in the browser's user interface, however, we didn't encounter any problems when doing this in the desktop app. When importing a Dashlane file, the program created some false entries and left a number of gaps in the correct entries, which was frustrating, but also not the end of the world.
All in all, getting started with Keeper is pretty straightforward, although not everything came off as smoothly as it should have. We were also left questioning why, after logging in for the first time, we weren't forwarded directly to the download screen for the desktop app. Less technically experienced users could completely overlook the desktop app and wind up only using the browser UI.
Score: 4 / 5
User Interface & Ease of Use
In addition to its browser interface and mobile version, Keeper also has a desktop app and a browser extension. As mentioned above, the desktop app is identical to the browser UI, however, a dedicated desktop app is simply more convenient than a browser window.
The program is divided into three sections: On the left is the navigable main menu, in the center you can access folders, and on the right, individual records that are located within folders. You can create folders and subfolders and move or copy your records at will, making it possible to quickly organize any datasets which you might import.
If using the folder view, you can assign colors to your records, however, web page logos are only displayed in tile view, and even then, not all of them. Other password managers definitely offer more in this aspect.
At its core, Keeper's browser extension is really just an interface for the program's autofill settings. Should you be expecting more, like a password generator, you're going to be disappointed.
With that said, the autofill settings are useful and a nice touch. These allow you to define precisely how Keeper should handle input fields in your browser, with things like auto-login, easily customizable.
Keeper's interfaces are well-arranged and tidy, however, not always intuitive to use. On occasion, we searched for a feature or function, only to find it under a menu or heading that didn't seem all that logical to us. While on the topic of the interface, we'd like to point out that it isn't going to win any beauty contests, and the ability to adjust the color scheme to your liking is nothing more than a poor consolation prize.
Score: 3.7 / 5
Keeper boasts a solid range of features, but, despite being a premium program, puts a number of these behind paywalls.
Here, Keeper provides an overview of the general security and strength of your passwords. Keeper's password generator is directly built-in to the record field, making it very convenient to change passwords. Still, we would have liked to see the same functionality included in the browser extension or a dedicated password generator.
Keeper really excels in terms of allowing users to personalize autofill settings, far surpassing its competitors. It's possible to configure when Keeper should and should not provide information for input fields. This ability to digitally 'muzzle' the program is a welcome option.
Still, even the autofill function, which we really enjoyed, is not without problems. When logging in to Reddit, none of the accounts we had stored worked. With that said, it did its job on most other trusted websites.
Access Rights & Sharing
Another standard function that Keeper masters brilliantly is managing access rights to entries. The program makes it easy to stay on top of who you want to supply with access to specific records, as well as their user permissions.
All in all, Keeper’s features are decent, even if more could certainly be done.
Score: 4 / 5
Keeper's password security is based on the Zero Knowledge Principle. The service neither knows your master password nor does it store any information on its own servers that has not been locally encrypted and/or decrypted beforehand.
AES-256 bit is used, guaranteeing the highest level of security. In the security settings, users can also specify how many PBKDF2 iterations (from 1,000 to 10,000) should be performed during encryption.
You can add additional security to your account by activating 2FA. Apart from mobile (number) authentication and its own dedicated authenticator app, Keeper also supports Google Authenticator, RSA SecurID, and Duo Security.
Once you've activated 2FA, the security question recovery method should not create any major security risks. Nevertheless, we do have to stress again that by including an (easy to manipulate) recovery method, Keeper does provide hackers with an avenue of attack which its competitors have blocked off.
Score: 4.3 / 5
Keeper's mobile version is available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Blackberry. As mentioned above, the mobile app is essentially a carbon copy of the desktop application and optimized for mobile devices, making it very easy to use.
With that said, the mobile app also includes a few extra features missing from the desktop app, such as Keeper DNA. This identity verification tool makes it possible to personalize verification on your mobile device - for example with fingerprints, a wearable, or even facial recognition.
The KeeperFill function needs to be activated under general settings, with the app given all necessary permissions before it's possible to use autofill. Unfortunately, during testing, we noticed a lack of consistency in the automatic filling of registration forms. Amazon, Evernote, and Facebook were fine, however, for Reddit and Netflix, all fields remained empty.
Apart from this issue (we sure are saying that a lot in this review), the app works just as well (or poorly) as its desktop counterpart. As an example, the password generator is also not available as a separate menu sub-item, as one would expect, but appears in each record next to the password to be generated.
Score: 4.7 / 5
Keeper doesn't offer a live chat, however, does (allegedly) provide round-the-clock support. As a bonus, Keeper also advertises itself as offering support in local languages apart from English, setting it apart from most of its competitors. In the support center, it's possible to describe your request and/or register for scheduled webinars.
During testing, our queries were answered as quickly as 90 minutes. With that said, after posing a question in German, the support staffer apologized for his poor grasp of the language and asked for more information. The question was fairly simple leading us to assume that it's better to ask in English.
Score: 4.3 / 5
Unfortunately, Keeper is only available as a paid/premium product. To use the service, you'll need to part with around $3 per month (personal subscription), while a family subscription for up to five users costs a bit more than $6 per month. All Keeper subscriptions are billed annually, so there's no option to save by signing on for a long-term deal.
For businesses of up to 100 users, Keeper charges $3.75 per user per month. If your organization is larger than this, you're advised to contact the sales department to work on a personalized plan.
|Price per Month||$2.92||$6.25||$0.00|
|Price per User||$0.00||$0.00||$3.75|
|Contract Period (month)||12||12||12|
|Number of Users||1||5||unlimited|
|Number of Passwords||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited|
|Number of Devices||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited|
|Sync Multiple Devices|
|Only Local Storage|
|Two Factor Auth|
Cloud / SaaS
Cloud / SaaS
Cloud / SaaS
Even though Keeper doesn't really stand out from the crowd, it still does quite a bit right, excelling in one or two areas. The great autofill settings, for example, would be a welcome addition to any other program we reviewed. With that said, the rest of the browser extension's capabilities were definitely nothing to write home about.
While most other password managers offer a free or trial version, Keeper needs to be paid for from the first minute of usage. Making matters worse, the developers seem to constantly be cross-selling all sorts of additional features that other services include in their comprehensive premium packages or don't offer as they aren't relevant. In our minds at least, this helps Keeper to draw attention to itself for all the wrong reasons, dropping points against competitors like Dashlane, LastPass, and 1Password.
Should cost or visual appeal not play any sort of role in your decision, then Keeper might be the option for you!
So far as customer reviews are concerned, Keeper has put up some solid numbers, receiving (mostly) very good scores. Satisfied users emphasize the service's ease of use, whereas its price is often rated negatively.
How We Test
Keeper's desktop app was tested on a Lenovo laptop running Windows 10, while its browser extensions were assessed in Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, and its mobile application was evaluated on an Android device (version 8.1.0).