Tuesday, July 9, 2024

RoboForm review: a password manager that keeps things simple

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The RoboForm start page is shown on a PC monitor.

RoboForm

MSRP $29.88

Score Details

DT Recommended Product

“RoboForm keeps things simple, providing a stress-free password manager for an affordable price.”

Pros

  • Excellent security record
  • Easy access to logins and notes
  • Good cross-platform support
  • Low prices on individual and family plans
  • Live chat during business hours

Cons

  • Can only share with RoboForm users
  • No secure file storage
  • Free version works on one device

RoboForm is a password manager that excels at automatically filling in forms, the original purpose of the app when it launched in 1999. In 2024, the focus is on securing your logins while making it easy to access your accounts from any device.

Contents

  • Tiers and pricing
  • Design
  • Features
  • Support
  • Privacy and security
  • Is RoboForm right for you?Show 1 more item

Autofill is now part of the best password managers, so I reviewed RoboForm’s low-cost solution to find out how much value it has compared to the competition. I also share my experience with app and extension setup, ease of use, and customer service, so you can make an informed decision about which password manager to use.

Tiers and pricing

RoboForm has a free version and plans for individuals and families. RoboForm

RoboForm’s free version has many of the features of the paid version. You can use it on just one device and can’t use shared folders. That prevents cross-platform use and limits sharing to individual logins. It’s not as complete as some free password managers, but it provides a way to explore RoboForm before subscribing.

RoboForm Premium costs $30 annually and removes device limits so you can access your logins and secure notes on your Windows PC, Mac, iPhone, and Android phone. You also get shared folders and priority support. RoboForm offers a free 30-day trial of this plan. The Family plan is $48 each year and comes with five Premium accounts, making it easy to share with family members and close friends.

Subscribers also have the option of web access that lets you use RoboForm from any browser without installing an extension. This is handy when you’re using a shared computer or need to access your vault from someone else’s phone. Just make sure to log out before you leave.

RoboForm’s business subscriptions start at $40 per person annually with provisioning, reporting, and the ability to set permissions. Larger teams get discounts, and you can save more by subscribing for a three- or five-year plan.

Design

RoboForm’s user interface is bold and friendly, showing logos for most websites. Digital Trends

Setup was easy with RoboForm. When the installer finished, it opened the browser extension page, a nice touch. The extension prompted me to log in or to sign up.

I created an account and set a strong master password that I wrote on paper to keep my logins safe even if my hackers breach my computer security.

The challenge with a master password is to choose something that’s memorable yet unpredictable. RoboForm helps if I forget by letting me restore my master password with a mobile phone with biometric data.

For the next step in installation, RoboForm presented a QR code to download the iPhone or Android app. I installed the iPhone app and logged in with the master password I just created. The app immediately offered to use Face ID, and I agreed.

Turning back to my PC, the RoboForm page guided me to create a login or import logins. I chose to import so I could quickly load in the hundreds of accounts I’ve created.

I could import from popular web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or Edge. RoboForm can also import from 15 competing password managers or a generic list in comma separated value (CSV) format.

After installation, use RoboForm’s browser extension and start page instead of the outdated Windows app. Digital Trends

In about a minute, I had RoboForm installed and unlocked on my Windows PC and iPhone. None of the password managers I’ve tested has been difficult, but the setup flow for RoboForm was particularly friendly.

While the browser extension and iPhone app have an intuitive, modern design, the Windows app looks outdated. That doesn’t really matter because I can access every option in the Windows app via the browser extension, including enabling Windows Hello.

Features

RoboForm’s autofill is quick and reliable and I can share logins from the browser extension. Digital Trends

Like most password managers, signing into any account is super simple. I can either select the website I want to visit from the RoboForm extension’s login list, use a bookmark, or type it in manually. RoboForm will automatically fill in the username and password for me.

The same is true when I use my iPhone. The RoboForm app syncs logins and secure notes, so all my Windows passwords are accessible there and autofill effortlessly. It’s the most essential feature of a password manager.

Login sharing is also important, and RoboForm offers the basics. However, it’s not as convenient and robust as 1Password’s system which lets me share with anyone and set an expiration date for the sharing link.

With RoboForm, I can send a login or secure note to anyone, but the recipient needs a RoboForm account to access it. A free RoboForm account works but still requires installing an app or extension to use the login link.

RoboForm Family lets me specify permissions on shared folders. Digital Trends

Since I tested RoboForm’s Family plan, I can use sharing as well as sending. Shared records update when I change them, while sent data is a copy that doesn’t change.

I can select any account login or create a folder to share with up to four other family members and set permissions to view only, make changes to shared records, or update records and set permissions.

Support

RoboForm live chat was quick and helpful. Digital Trends

RoboForm’s support page says live chat and phone callback is available on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. It’s surprising to see that the promotional page claims “priority 24/7 support.” By comparison, Keeper’s password manager sets the standard for support with live chat 24 hours a day, every day. However, it does cost more.

I reached out on a Sunday, and the only option was to submit a support ticket. The response came about eight hours later. I wouldn’t think of that as priority support, but it is faster than most email response times from password managers.

I tried again on Monday when live chat was available. The wait was less than a minute. I asked about sharing logins with someone who doesn’t use RoboForm. The response was friendly and informative — recipients need a RoboForm account, but the free version works.

Privacy and security

RoboForm won’t sell, rent, or share your personal data with third-party advertisers. You may receive occasional promotional offers from its parent company, Siber, but you can opt out.

RoboForm has never suffered a breach, and it passed a third-party audit by Secfault Security in 2023. However, there’s no mention of annual audits or SOC 2 certification, which is common among the top password managers.

It uses end-to-end AES-256 encryption with your master password as the key. That means your data is secure even if hackers breach RoboForm’s servers.

Is RoboForm right for you?

While RoboForm autofills logins across all your devices and offers good sharing among members included in the Family plan, it lacks some of the features included in other password managers.

For example, anyone you send a login to needs a RoboForm account to access that data. It also lacks secure file sharing, so I can’t upload documents or add photos to an ID.

RoboForm is one of the least expensive password managers, and has a nice but limited free version. If you like the sound of low-cost subscriptions, you might want to check out Bitwarden, an open-source alternative that costs even less.

RoboForm is a good choice if this is your first password manager. It’s easy to set up and includes live chat support during business hours.

If you want to shop around, we have a guide to the best password managers that can help you find the best solution.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • This is the best password manager for Windows

  • The best password managers for Mac

  • Why 1Password continues to beat its biggest rivals

  • I reviewed two of the best password managers. Here’s the one I recommend people use

  • The best free password managers




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