Password Manager Review: McAfee True Key
There is no good reason not to use a password manager. Having a system that combines security and comfort when it comes to accessing online accounts surely makes things easier. Enter True Key, McAfee’s top-class password manager which helps you to not only manage your accounts but to also secure them with a maximum lock only you can access.
What is True Key?
True Key is a password manager by McAfee, which helps creating, securing, and managing passwords in Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS devices. Let’s find out how it performs.
Pros and Cons
Many options regarding multi-factor authentication
Reliable autofill and autosave
No proper browser extension
No available desktop app despite download
No security dashboard
You need to register a free True Key account to use the password manager. Enter your name, e-mail address, and master password which you will use for future logins. Be cautious when choosing a password and pick one that isn’t easy or obvious. Make it as complex as you can, yet easy to remember. True Key will help you create a strong password.
You need to download the True Key app to import data records. However, the app will open a browser window to manage your passwords and use all other features in the desktop version. Following your account registration, you will get access to a brief tutorial on how to use the different menu options on your dashboard.
If you are switching to True Key from another password manager or have a set of passwords saved in your browser already, you can now easily import these data records into True Key. As of now True Key only supports imports from LastPass and Dashlane as well as the browsers Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Firefox. Instead of importing exported .csv files, simply log into your Dashlane or LastPass accounts using your master password and choose which data records to import.
While testing True Key, we run into some small complications. LastPass’ security system detected suspicious behavior while we were accessing our own data. On the second try, however, we managed to easily import all necessary login data records to True Key. However, various formats of credit card information and other data were not imported correctly.
Overall, setting-up True Key is not as easy as getting started with other password managers. Downloading and installing the desktop version takes longer than average, despite the fact that it merely forwards the user to the web dashboard. True Key only supported flawless imports from just a few programs but didn’t pose any major problems.
Score: 3.7 / 5
User Interface & Ease of Use
Instead of splitting up the features of the password manager, True Key’s main user interface is centered around the web dashboard, where users can manage all data. Clicking the browser extension doesn’t open a second window, but simply the dashboard itself. Let’s have a closer look.
The imported and added data records are divided into three categories within the True Key interface: login data, safe notes, and wallet. In the latter, you can store addresses, credit cards, drivers licenses, memberships, passports, and social security numbers. Data records can be displayed as grids or lists or be sorted in alphabetical order or by date (e.g. last opened or most frequently used). Clicking an entry will automatically lead you to the respective login page and - if you've ticked the option in the data records submenu - log into your account.
While testing, we noticed that the automated logins didn’t always work. Slight changes in the URL address will already lead to a failed login attempt. This could be helped with a browser extension which lets you simply copy paste your login information without having to switch tabs.
However, True Key is quite flexible when it comes to creating new passwords. When creating a new account, simply generate a new password by clicking the True Key logo, which will then be saved automatically.
Overall, the persistent usage of the centralized browser results in a less than ideal user experience.
If you wanna save login data of already existing accounts, you can either record them manually or auto save them. The latter option seems to be working just fine and saves a lot of time.
Moving on to usability, we’re torn between yay and nay. The dashboard itself is well organized and easy to maneuver. The overall login records work smoother than the ones of other programs. However, again due to the lack of having a proper browser extension which could definitely improve the user experience, True Key makes some of its features unnecessarily unwieldy to use; especially when compared to other password managers.
Score: 3.3 / 5
Overall, True Key does what a password manager is supposed to do: it saves your login data, generates secure passwords, and helps you login fast using it’s autofill option for already existing accounts and common websites. The auto save option is even a little better that the ones of other programs. True Key automatically saved the login data of new accounts, if the first login attempt was successful without having to manually accept them. You can however disable this option. Only in case of suspicious behavior, True Key needs your approval to save the login data. Having this additional feature as opposed to the basic ones of other passwords managers makes the usability more pleasant.
In addition, True Key’s password-generator is an powerful tool.
The password length is preset to 16 characters. Other settings, such as including special characters and uppercase letters, can be chosen. Once a password has been generated, it will automatically be saved on the clipboard.
Noteworthy is True Keys emphasis on multi-factor authentication. You can manage several components and choose which one you want to use to confirm your identity. You can even disable the master password - which we wouldn’t recommend.
On the other hand, True Key is missing some basic features. Most password managers offer security checks, which keep track of the password strength of all of your saved data records. Sadly, it’s also not possible to securely share passwords with other users. True key also doesn’t feature special options, such as Dashlane’s handy password changer.
Score: 3.7 / 5
True Key encrypts all your data using AES 256-bit Standard, which is known to be uncrackable. It also adheres to the so-called zero-knowledge protocol: all en- and decrypting is taking place on your local server, meaning that no sensitive data ever enters any provider’s server. Thus, your master password is yours and will not be registered anyplace else.
What makes True Key and even more secure password manager compared to others is its impressive multi-factor authentication. However, this leaves users with many options that could lead to safety issues. We recommend for you to double check your login and especially your automated log off settings. The automated log off option is preset to seven days, which is not advisable at all. Especially if you misplace your device, you should drastically reduce this time frame.
Score: 4.7 / 5
True key’s intuitive app is doing a great job converting browser applications to mobile experiences. So far, the app is available for Android and iOS devices. Its launchpad holds all your logins which can be displayed as lists or grids. By clicking one of the data records, you can select the browser that will be used for the login. Other password managers don’t offer this feature, thus giving True Key some bonus points.
The easiest and fastest way to login automatically is by using the browser matching your password manager. Otherwise, you have to enable access to other browsers respectively to guarantee a smooth automated login. But don’t worry, True Key has excellent support features. Once you’re all set up properly, you can click the True Key symbol, which will pop up in your browser, to autofill your login data.
Additionally, the True Key app automatically synchronizes your notes and wallet information. You can also access the password generator from your app. And finally, you can choose between having your password shown or hidden when logging in, change your account name, and delete your history.
The True Key app is a clever extension of the desktop experience, which has the best features of other apps, thus guaranteeing a great user experience.
Score: 4.3 / 5
The support center does not solely focus on True Key, but all McAfee products. While this might result in a less than ideal scenario when troubleshooting, customer care’s live chat service is available nine hours a day Monday through Friday. In addition, you can call their hotline or get help from the community forum. Unfortunately, you can’t open any support tickets sent to you via email.
Queuing in the live chat took between one and ten minutes. For some reason, we always got matched with the same support staff, who was sadly incapable of giving satisfactory answers to our questions. If you have a little more time on hand, we recommend seeking advice from the community forum.
Score: 3.3 / 5
The free version lets you save up to 15 passwords, which is just about enough for you to test all of True Keys features. The premium version, available with an annual subscription, allows unlimited logins and is comparably inexpensive. Check out the following price-table to get a better overview.
|Price per Month||$0.00||$1.67|
|Price per User||$0.00||$0.00|
|Contract Period (month)||0||12|
|Number of Users||1||1|
|Number of Passwords||15||unlimited|
|Number of Devices||unlimited||unlimited|
|Sync Multiple Devices|
|Only Local Storage|
|Two Factor Auth|
Cloud / SaaS
Cloud / SaaS
True Key is a solid password manager which will help you to manage your countless accounts in the world wide web. The noteworthy multi-factor authentication is worth the low price tag. Users who already use McAfee software are likely to conveniently add this one to their portfolio.
Otherwise, True Key doesn’t offer any outstanding features. Most likely, any other password manager offers a better package. Especially when it comes to managing your passwords with the web dashboard, True Key is less user friendly than programs with proper browser extensions.
From all the available password managers we’ve tested so far, we believe that Dashline is your best option. Yes, it does cost twice as much a month as True Key’s system but makes up for the extra charge with great additional features, like the automated password changer.
When it comes to free password managers, LastPass takes the lead. Even the free subscription lets you save an unlimited amount of data records and even synchronizes your data.
How we test
We tested True Key’s browser extension using Google Chrome and its mobile application with an android device (version 8.1.0).