Some of the commenters on my Roboform to Keypass post noticed that I moved to LastPass and wanted a comparison, so here it goes.
Keypass and Lastpass really serve two different audiences. Keepass is a separate program on your computer with plug-ins for browser integration. No Keepass plugins ever worked well enough for me. LastPass is browser based with extensions (or plugins) for every major browser on every platform. LastPass uses the same master password model as Keepass so if you’re comfortable with that you should be right at home with LastPass.
Once I realized this key difference the decision to switch was much easier. The fact is a vast majority of most people’s passwords, like mine, are used in browser. Auto filling and form saving saves so much time over Keepass where I always had to copy/paste passwords from the Keypass app as the hacked together plugins for Keypass .
Like Keepass, Lastpass is free for use on the desktop. A premium subscription for $12 per year gets you mobile apps (iOS/Android/BlackBerry/Win Mobile), multifactor authentication, and priority support. The iOS app is much, much better than any of the Keepass apps available. I subscribe to the Lastpass/Xmarks combo package for $20/yr this gives me access to my passwords and bookmarks from everywhere. LastPass is so good and seamless that I would pony up the $12/yr just to support the company.
One particularly nice feature is when you need a password for use on the desktop, if you’re setting up an instant messaging client for example. LastPass has an option to copy password and asks for your master password before copying it to the clipboard. It’s a nice little added security check so someone cannot sit at your computer while logged into Lastpass and copy your passwords. You can disable this feature temporarily if you’re setting up multiple accounts at the same time.
The only caveat, Lastpass’s data is stored online (in the cloud) to facilitate syncing of your passwords on every browser and every device you use. Your passwords are encrypted prior to upload and that’s good enough for me. I just renewed my premium subscription which means I’ve been using Lastpass over a year now without a hiccup!
Two weeks back I got my Sam Knows router. Sam Knows is the company measuring internet speeds and reliability across the United States on behalf of the FCC. The router appears to be a standard Netgear WNR3500L with a custom firmware for reporting back to Sam Knows. So far so good, I had it installed and configured in 5 minutes and it’s transparent just like a good router should be.
The router itself is a big upgrade over my circa 2005 Linksys WRT54g. It has wireless N capabilities, which is nice as my newer devices support the increased speed. One of the cooler things is a secondary wireless network for guests. It’s a completely separate network that has access to the internet but not access to other devices and file shares on my home network. That’s up and running already.
The router has USB port to connect either an external hard drive or printer. It looks like a cool feature but I haven’t played with it yet. I rarely print and all but 1 of my external hard drives is permanently attached to one of my computers.
The Sam Knows reporting website is really awesome. You get all kinds of statistics from uptime, to speed, to availability available any time you like. Overall I’m pretty lucky as a rural internet user. Road Runner is fast and reliable in my area.
If you’re interested in adding your connection to the test they’re still accepting applicants at over at TestMyISP.com
I’m the go to computer/phone/geeky thing guy for most of my non-techie friends. I spend hours in remote sessions doing what I feel to be basic maintenance that anyone who own a computer should know how to do on their own. I’m not complaining about that though as it’s mostly headache free once I walk them through adding their computer to my log me in account. That can sometimes take me an hour or more but for the most part it just works. Sure there’s lag over the internet and if the computer cannot get online for some reason I’m pretty much of luck but it’s the best option over explaining thing step by step.
Recently a buddy of mine got his mitts on a used iPod Touch so I had to go through installing iTunes, associating the iPod with his computer, downloading apps, and copying over his music. It would’ve been a lot easier had we not had trouble getting the iPod to recognize his Wifi connection. Everything went smoothly up until that point. Since there’s no way to remote control an iPod I had to get him to take pictures of the iPod’s screen with his camera phone, message them to me, then I’d forward them to my email so I could see them as my phone’s screen is to small to see detail. I tried to follow along on my iPod but since he didn’t have the latest OS on his it wasn’t exactly the same.
All told it took 3 hours an hour of that was wasted shuffling pictures back and fourth. The point of this post isn’t to gripe about helping a friend It’s to point out that as technology gets better and better remote access has to keep up so that the vast majority of tech consumers most of whom aren’t tech savvy can get the help they need.