Password Manager Review: RoboForm
Robots should make everything easier in the near future - and in many ways they already do so in the present. Things that once had to be done manually have been automated and only occasionally require human attention. But while robots have already been assembling our cars and performing the most complicated tasks, we still do many far less challenging tasks by hand. Creating, changing and entering passwords, for example.
This is where RoboForm comes in: The password manager wants to take over the password management for you, so that you only need to act as a supervisor over the password robot. The test shows us how well the robot does its job.
What is RoboForm?
RoboForm is a password manager developed by Siber Systems. The program´s desktop applications are provided for Windows, Mac, Linux and even Chrome OS, mobile versions for Android and iOS. Browser extensions are provided for Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera and some less popular browsers.
Pros and Cons
many different possibilities of personalization
multiple import options
good working autofill function
powerful mobile app
offline access of stored data
not possible to create login records manually in the app itself
important functions (2FA, multi-device synchronization) reserved for paying customers
understated security centre
Setting up RoboForm is gratifyingly simple. After downloading the install file from the website, it only takes a couple of clicks to install the program with full functionality.
Firstly, as with any password manager, you need to create a master password - the last one you will ever need to remember. The program will let you know if your password is secure enough.
After installing the "RoboForm Editor" desktop app, the program automatically allows you to install browser extensions for Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge. If you are using a different browser, you will have to install it manually.
RoboForm simplifies the import of data, for example from browsers or other password managers, and supports many programs like Dashlane, Sticky Password or LastPass. However, the program is a little more selective with the browsers: the import is only possible from Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera.
However, importing is usually associated with additional work before all the data is where you want it to be. In the test, for example, the login name was only stored as a note for some of the registrations. But you can simply add the data, because RoboForm allows relatively a lot of freedom to create more fields in the records.
A lot of the other password managers have difficulties with import matching too.
After installation, you will be taken directly to the RoboForm Tutorials, which offer step-by-step tutorials on all kinds of subjects.
When it comes to setting up RoboForm, there is actually not much to complain about: The installation is speedy, the first steps are intuitive and the program takes you by the hand without having to patronize more experienced users. But if you wish to import data, you probably have to spend some time to get everything up and running.
Score: 4.3 / 5
User Interface & Ease of Use
Like most password managers, RoboForm's user interface is divided into two components: a desktop program and a browser extension.
RoboForm uses the well-proven three-column layout, which also brings structure to the complex login data of many other password managers. Listed on the left are the general categories, in the middle folders with the different records and on the right, the details of the selected record.
The folder management, which is similar to what you will find on the Windows Explorer, is intuitive and can be mastered after a few clicks. Using the drag & drop function, you can place your registrations in the folders you created yourself and divide your categories into further sub-folders.
The folder structure you create for your registrations also applies to other sub-folders such as bookmarks, contacts, and IDs. This consistency provides a good overview and makes navigation between the areas very easy - but it is not possible to adjust the individual areas.
The decision of RoboForm not to let users create their login names and passwords directly in the application is quite questionable. RoboForm relies entirely on automatic saving when you visit webpages. This works without any problems and only confuses the program in rare cases - such as login procedures that are spread over a number of pages. However, there would have been nothing wrong with also allowing manual creation of records.
Another strange thing is that you cannot access the password generator from the desktop app. You can find it in the browser extension - but there is no good reason to limit this function to one of the two main features.
The browser extension gives you access to your safe, bookmarks and notes. Here you will also find the handy password generator, with which you can create secure passwords according to many different requirements and copy them to the clipboard.
For more complicated settings you will be redirected to the RoboForm Editor.
RoboForm has found a rather unhandy solution for when you have multiple logins on the same page. Instead of making it easy for you to select autofill in the browser extension from the beginning by giving you different usernames to choose from, you only have your login names listed. By default, these are simply the name of the website, plus the number:
So, you must change the name of your registrations by hand first, which is not too much work, but could have been avoided.
RoboForm tries to please everyone: both the experienced hobbyists who like to fiddle around with all kinds of settings, and all those users who like to get their password manager up and running and never have to deal with it ever again.
The program manages the balancing act very well for the majority of users and behind the straightforward interface there are numerous options that can be ignored. Sometimes, however, it makes data entry a bit more difficult than it should be.
Score: 4.0 / 5
The key features you would expect from a password manager are all provided by RoboForm. Besides passwords you can also create secure notes and add contacts. In the Identity section you can also save account information and badges. Here the emphasis on personalization is also noticeable: You are not tied to the predefined templates but can create your own documents with individual fields as you wish.
The RoboForm security dashboard is limited to the basics. Here your general password security is determined and rated with a percentage, but the program does not provide extensive analysis tools. RoboForm only informs you if your passwords are poor and how many of them are used several times.
To boost your security rating, you must visit each page separately, because there is no password changer like there is with LastPass or Dashlane.
Sharing & Sending
RoboForm allows you to share single items or entire folders with other users. Just select the items you want to share and enter the email address of the person you want to share them with. You can even choose to limit sharing to login only or give more access rights to recipients.
In addition to the share function, you can also send individual items once to specific users.
Altogether RoboForm makes a good impression and convinces with its individualization potential and a fantastic share feature. And because the program is limited to the basics, there is no risk of sacrificing the precious clarity for a cluttered feature package. However, a more complete security center and more tools for changing passwords would be welcome.
Score: 4.0 / 5
Like most password managers, RoboForm uses AES 256-Bit Encryption and disguises your password with several thousand rounds of PBKDF2 SHA256 Hashing.
Additionally, RoboForm works on the Zero-Knowledge principle: Only you know your Master Password, it is not stored anywhere locally or on the program's servers. This also means that the program cannot do much for you in case you forget your password.
The 2FA feature is only accessible for paying customers, which could be a dealbreaker for users of the free version.
Score: 4.3 / 5
Contrary to other password managers, RoboForm in the mobile version is not just a simple 1 to 1 copy of the desktop app. The RoboForm application looks like its own thing, which has advantages and disadvantages.
It takes some getting used to, even after a long period of using the desktop app, to be able to find all the features of RoboForm Mobile. The app is not quite as simple as the three-column structure. On the other hand, it makes a good impression with its simple tile layout and pleases as a stand-alone application.
Right from the start, the app offers the option of unlocking with PIN or fingerprint in addition to the master password. This saves you having to enter your password all the time - but of course makes your account a little more susceptible from a security point of view.
The autofill and login functions worked well in the test, as shown here on Twitter. Only some websites, like Amazon, had problems - and the login data had to be copied by hand.
The RoboForm app is not an unloving port, but a smart extension of the password manager for mobile devices, which needs a little getting the hang off. However, synchronization with your desktop app is only available for paying customers.
Score: 4.7 / 5
A chat function like that of Dashlane is reserved for paying "Everywhere" customers is the RoboForm customer support section. You can contact Customer Service directly in the chat from Monday till Friday from 9am to 6pm EST with any questions.
If you are not paying for RoboForm, you will have to settle for email support. It is very clearly arranged, and you can always track and check your sent support messages in the Help Center.
An answer came within 90 minutes in the test.
Score: 4.0 / 5
For private users RoboForm has two tariffs in addition to the free version. The individual plan costs $1.99 per month, RoboForm Family transfers for up to five users for $3.98 per month. Those who decide to take membership for three or five years receive a discount of 10% and 16% respectively.
RoboForm Business is available in four packages based on the size of the user base. There is a 15% discount for the purchase of a three-year membership, for five years memberships a total discount of 25%.
|Price per Month||$0.00||$1.99||$3.98|
|Price per User||$0.00||$0.00||$0.00|
|Contract Period (month)||0||12||12|
|Number of Users||1||1||5|
|Number of Passwords||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited|
|Number of Devices||1||unlimited||unlimited|
|Sync Multiple Devices|
|Only Local Storage|
|Two Factor Auth|
RoboForm integrates smoothly into your desktop and browser and like a good robot, it works blissfully in the background. The tidy design focuses on clarity rather than fancy stuff, but this straightforwardness should not be confused with a lack of features. Many customizations and setting options satisfy even novice tinkerers without making beginners confused.
The developers of RoboForm should invest a little more power in the Security Center and provide better analysis and security tools. We also miss features such as the Password Changer, as most password managers have.
However, RoboForm is a robust password manager that convinces with its simplicity in first instance and complexity in second instance.
A good general rating by customers is a sign that RoboForm has found a loyal customer base. In customer reviews, the user-friendliness and high level of security are particularly highlighted.
RoboForm is one of the more affordable password managers, although some competitors do not hide important functions like 2FA behind the payment barrier. Depending on your willingness to pay and your preferences, there are several different options that you can compare with RoboForm.
How we test
The RoboForm desktop app was tested on a Lenovo laptop running Windows 10, the Browser enhancements on Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, the mobile application on an Android device (version 8.1.0).