Another week is ending and, since I wasn’t able to find an uninstaller or some all-in-one suite to match my (really high) expectations, I decided to go with a little piece of code that keeps things simple, yet taking care of a really delicate matter: your passwords. Despite its minimalist appearance, S10 Password Vault is a program that offers a lot of useful tools to its users, as we’re going to see right away…
Released in mid-December 2010, S10 Password Vault 3.5 is free for personal use, with low cost business licenses available and also a nice referral program. Even if you’re going to use it for personal purposes, syncing your passwords with a server (and then with another computer, if needed) requires a $10/year donation, which sounds pretty fair to me. I installed it on my Windows XP SP3 computer, but I am sure it works great with Vista/7 and maybe even some of the earlier Windows versions, too. If you have any problems with this program on your Windows version, please don’t hesitate to drop a comment below, maybe it’s a problem we can solve together!
Downloading and installing S10 Password Vault 3.5 is just like a walk in the park, since we’re talking about a 670 KB .MSI installer that doesn’t hide anything evil and only requires a little bit of space – the entire folder that this program created in Program Files has about 560 KB in size, so… let’s get to the looks and works now, shall we?
While S10 Password Vault isn’t exactly a program I’d recommend to my mother and its interface is really simple, without any graphics to make you fall off your chair in amazement, the average Joe/Jane shouldn’t have any big problems while using it, since all its features are well explained on the official site and there are also some tips displayed here and there inside the program itself. Don’t worry for not having an eye candy fest today, because S10 Password Vault is more about getting the job done, not doing it like an artist!
S10 Password Vault is exactly what its name says, so what one can expect of it? Just as it usually happens with such programs, all you have to do is create a master password that will protect the account data you’ll store in it, but this is only the beginning, because S10 Password Vault has a really smart feature we’ll talk about just a bit later, because now…
… I have to tell you just a few words about the way your password vault is organized: a bunch of folders, each containing accounts (or not, there’s no problem with empty folders – S10 Password Vault comes with a bunch of them, anyway), nothing more – you don’t have to worry about using tags, awarding ratings, choosing graphics for each account and so on – but if you really want, you should know that icons can be assigned to each of your accounts with just a few mouse clicks!
Each entry contains the following information: account name, user name and password, website address OR program file (yes, you can also use this program to launch other applications, no matter if they need a user/pass to be accessed or not!!!), a condition (the user/password will only be used when the window title of the page launched in browser/individual application contains a certain string, as well as notes, if needed.
While some of the little goodies will be yours to discover, I have to tell you about that really smart feature I mentioned earlier: automatic login!!! Since typing in long passwords won’t be a problem any longer, you may also want to consider generating really strong passwords – no worries, you won’t have to use any Web-based generator or another program, since S10 Password Vault can also generate passwords for you. Isn’t this just great?
If you’re paranoid, then I think you should stop it – S10 Password Vault comes with advanced anti-keylogging capabilities and, when it comes to keeping your data in sync between two or more computers, things go like this: “The data is first strongly encrypted locally on your PC using a full 256-bit key generaterated by you (not password-based), and then uploaded to a web server and stored under a unique user ID assigned to you.” To test this, you can use the public DemoUser1 or DemoUser2 user IDs, but don’t trust this part too much, since the data may be altered by others trying to play with this feature.
Before moving to the next section, let me tell you that, as a bonus to the excellent syncing feature mentioned above, you could also share passwords with others, for example login data of sites that you are in charge of together with a few other people. That’s all for now, but be sure there’s still plenty left for you!
Tips & Tricks
1. In the Edit Account window, there’s a small button to the left of OK – feel free to use it if you want to add an icon to the current account.
2. If you want to use this program on multiple computers, but you simply won’t trust anyone with your precious data, you should consider grabbing the USB-drive version…
3. Wondering why is S10 Password Vault using Internet Explorer to launch your sites? I know it’s silly, but this is what happened to me – it may be the right moment to change your default browser or… if you want to do it the nerdy way, launch your favorite browser with the page you want to open straight from S10 Password Vault! Something like “iexplore http://www.google.com,” you know…
S10 Password Vault 3.5 is free for home users, really easy to use, but also packing a bunch of powerful features. Being available in both standard and portable versions, it can be a great tool even for the most paranoid users. Oh, yeah – if your language is not yet available and you’re feelin’ up to it, don’t hesitate to translate S10 Password Vault!
I think it would be great to be able to launch all the items in a folder at once, just as it can be done with bookmarks in most Web browsers, not to mention how nice would be some offline manual/Help file as good as the program itself…
In the end, it doesn’t matter that S10 Password Vault 3.5 is not perfect, because it’s one of the best programs in its category I’ve ever used, so here’s the conclusion of this whole review: five stars and the only advice one could give after working with S10 Password Vault for a few hours or even less – take this program for a spin, it’s almost certain you’ll keep it for a long time…
That’s all for now, so have a nice weekend and stay safe!