Password Manager Review: Keeper
Keeper has guts: Within the highly competitive field of password managers, this program does without something that is nearly considered standard: a free version. Keeper offers a great overall package and good service, and they would like to have the user pay for it. Whether this trust in their own product pays off, you can find out in our test.
What is Keeper?
Keeper is a digital data vault and password manager that keeps passwords, financial information and other sensitive data of individuals and businesses safe and encrypted. The desktop version of the program is available for Mac, Windows and Linux, the mobile version for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry. Keeper features browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Edge and Opera.
Pros and Cons
Great personalization of Autofill settings
Clear folder structure with drag & drop
Browser extension has hardly any features
No free version
Additional paid packages somewhat intrusive
As with most other password managers, the setup of Keeper starts with choosing a master password. However, unlike most other programs of this type, Keeper introduces a recovery method right at the beginning, so that you can recover your account should you ever lose or forget your password. You can create a security question (without any specifications).
This method of recovery, which is popular with other account opening routines, seems rather out of place for a password manager. After all, most programs do without this convenient reset option for a simple reason: Behind your master password are all your accounts, and by accessing the program, your entire identity is exposed. Answers to security questions are much easier to guess than passwords. Nevertheless, to reset your password you first need a verification code, which is sent to the registered e-mail.
Like most password managers, Keeper distinguishes between the desktop app and associated browser extensions. When you log in for the first time, however, the Keeper website first takes you to the Web Vault, the online interface accessible via your browser. The program prompts you to install the browser extension during an initial short tutorial, but this did not work in our Google Chrome test. However, manual installation of the extension took only a few seconds.
Within the Keeper website’s download portal, you will find desktop apps for Windows, Mac and Linux. The application’s interface is completely identical to that of the Web Safe. Like is the case with Web Safe, a small tutorial guides you through your first steps and explains, for example, how to distribute HotKeys to personalize the operation of the application.
Needless to say, you can also import passwords already stored elsewhere. Supported browsers are Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge and Opera, programs include Dashlane, LastPass, 1Password and many others. In the browser UI, the import did not work during our test, but it did with the Desktop app. However, when importing a Dashlane file, the program created some nonsense entries and left many gaps in the correct entries.
All in all, the setup of Keeper is quite straightforward, although not everything always worked immediately - especially during import. It's also questionable why the login doesn't automatically lead to the download screen for the desktop software. Less technically experienced users could completely overlook the latter and end up only using the browser UI.
Score: 4.0 / 5
User Interface & Ease of Use
Besides the browser UI (and the mobile version), Keeper, like other password managers, consists of two main components: Desktop app and browser extension. The former, as mentioned above, is identical to the browser UI, but a dedicated app is simply more convenient than a browser window, so most people will use that as a gateway to the functionality of Keeper.
The program is divided into three sections: On the left is the navigable main menu, in the middle are your folders and on the right are the individual records that are located within folders. You can create folders and subfolders freely and move or copy your records as you wish, so you can quickly bring order to the initial import chaos.
You can assign colors to records in Folder View, but web page logos are only displayed in Tile View-and even then, only a handful of them. This is where other password managers provide a better overview.
The browser extension of Keeper actually only serves as an interface for the program's AutoFill settings. Other features, like a password generator, are nowhere to be found here.
But the AutoFill settings themselves are convincing and would be a welcome addition to other programs as well. You can define exactly how Keeper should behave with input fields in your browser, and functions like Auto-Login are freely customizable.
Keeper is clear and tidy, but the operation is not always intuitive. Sometimes you look for certain settings under one button only to find them under another. The app isn't particularly easy on the eye either - although you can at least customize the color scheme to your liking.
Score: 3.7 / 5
Keeper boasts a solid feature package, with some interesting features hidden behind paywalls.
Here Keeper gives an overview of your general password security and the strength of your individual passwords. The special feature is that the password generator is integrated directly into the record field, which makes password changes quite convenient even without a password changer tool. However, it would be desirable to provide the browser extension with a generator as well.
When it comes to personalizing your AutoFill settings, Keeper leaves its competitors high and dry. You can set when you want Keeper to give you what information in the input fields in your browser, and when you would rather be left alone by the program. This freedom to muzzle the program is a welcome option.
However, the AutoFill function is not without problems, and the login to Reddit, for example, did not succeed with any of the stored accounts. On most other tested websites, however, the program did a good job.
Access Rights & Sharing
Another standard function that Keeper masters brilliantly is the management of access rights for records. You can easily manage the email addresses of those to whom you want to give access to specific records, and set their precise user permissions.
All in all, Keeper’s feature set is absolutely satisfying, even if potential has been wasted in some places.
Score: 4.0 / 5
Keeper's password security is based on the Zero Knowledge Principle. Keeper does not know your master password and does not store any information on its own servers that has not previously been locally encrypted and decrypted.
The encryption is done according to the AES-256 bit standard, which guarantees highest security. You can also specify in the security settings how many PBKDF2 iterations should be performed during encryption - from 1,000 to 100,000.
Of course you can also place your account behind an additional security barrier using 2FA. In addition to authentication via your mobile number, Google Authenticator, RSA SecurID, Duo Security and the Authenticator app from Keeper itself are supported.
With activated 2FA, the recovery method via security question should not pose a major security risk. Nevertheless, here Keeper offers hackers an angle of attack which is simply absent in other password managers.
Score: 4.3 / 5
The mobile version of Keeper is available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry. Basically, it is a carbon copy of the desktop application optimized for mobile devices, and you will easily be able to locate the same features due to the intuitive interface.
But the app also has additional functionality, such as Keeper DNA. With this identity verification system, you can personalize verification on your mobile device - for example with fingerprints, a wearable or even face recognition.
You must first activate the KeeperFill function in general settings and give the app all necessary permissions. Unfortunately, in our test, automatic filling of registration forms did not work consistently. Amazon, Evernote and Facebook, for example, didn't cause any problems for the program, whereas for Reddit and Netflix, all fields remained empty.
Apart from that, the app works just like the desktop version of Keeper - with all its strengths and weaknesses. The password generator, for example, is not available as a separate menu sub-item, as one would expect, but in each data record next to the password to be generated.
Score: 4.7 / 5
There is no chat function, but Keeper advertises 24-hour support - also in local languages, which is not the case with many password managers. In the support center you can describe your request or register for scheduled webinars.
In our test, we received an answer in as little as 90 minutes. However, the support staff member only apologized for his poor grasp of the local language and asked for more information on a rather simple question - so you are probably better off trying your luck in English.
Score: 4.3 / 5
Unfortunately there is no free version of Keeper. Private users have to part with at least $2.50 per month, a family subscription for up to five users costs $5 per month.
Keeper differentiates between large and small businesses in its business pricing tier. The latter pay $2.50 per user per month with Keeper Business. Keeper Enterprise for larger companies costs $3.75 per user per month.
|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, this Password Manager handles many things just damn well - and some of them better than the competition. The great AutoFill settings, for example, we would like to see in other programs as well. However, there is no reason to sacrifice the remaining functions of a browser extension for this.
While most other programs of this kind offer a free version, Keeper is only available for a monthly fee - and all sorts of additional options that the program tries to force on you can drive up the cost quite a bit. This could make it difficult to stand out in a field with competitors like Dashlane, LastPass and 1Password.
However, if cost is not of primary concern for you, and you like the Keeper user interface, then you will get a great password manager with many functions.
So far as customer reviews are concerned, Keeper really stands its ground and scores mostly very good scores. Satisfied users particularly emphasize ease of use, while the price is sometimes rated negatively.
How We Test
Keeper's desktop app was tested on a Lenovo laptop running Windows 10, the browser extensions on Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, the mobile application on an Android device (version 8.1.0).