13 November 2010

Storing passwords and other secure data - at last, a full multi-platform solution

Since my original post on the subject of secure storage of passwords etc. on Android (and other platforms), there has been a significant update.  Today, SBSH Software has released SafeWallet for Android, hot on the heels of SafeWallet 2.0 for Windows which includes Dropbox support, and a few weeks after the release of versions for Mac and iPhone.  A Symbian client has been available for some time.  

The table below shows a quick summary of information about the (non-web) solutions I've investigated - but not necessarily used. 

Product Platform Price Synchronisation Links Import from
Keepass desktop Windows, *nix
with Mono

(Open source)
Via Dropbox (or
other file synching)

various formats, see
Keepass Droid
Android Free Via Dropbox http://www.keepassdroid.com

Via Desktop
Handy Safe
Suite for Symbian
Windows and
Symbian / S60

14 day trial
Proprietary via
PC Suite
http://www.penreader.com/s60-3rd-edition-software/Handy_Safe_Suite.html Developer One
Codewallet Pro

Illium Software eWallet 1.x and 2.x

Web IS Flex Wallet 2006

SplashData SplashID 
Handy Safe
Desktop Professional for Android
Windows $24.95

14 day trial
Proprietary via
USB cable
http://www.penreader.com/android-software/Handy_Safe_Desktop.html SpashID,
eWallet, FlexWallet, CodeWallet Pro;

Converts data from Desktop for Symbian format

Handy Safe Pro
for Android
Android $24.95

14 day trial
Proprietary via
USB cable
http://www.penreader.com/android-software/Handy_Safe_Pro.html Via desktop
eWallet Windows, MacOS,
WinMo, BB
$19.95 for all
platforms except iOS
https://www.iliumsoft.com/site/ew/ewallet.php (Windows
desktop version only)

CSV, CodeWallet, SPBWallet, SplashID, and TurboPasswords (Cloak)
eWallet iOS $9.99 Prioprietary
via WiFi
https://www.iliumsoft.com/site/iphone/products_ewallet.php Via desktop
eWallet viewer Android Free Prioprietary
via WiFi to Windows only
https://www.iliumsoft.com/site/ew/ew_andrmain.php Via desktop
SafeWallet Windows $14.95* Proprietary
(local) AND Dropbox




HandySafe and HandySafe Pro




SafeWallet MacOS $14.95* Proprietary
(local) AND Dropbox
SafeWallet Symbian $5.95* Proprietary
(local) AND Dropbox
SafeWallet iOS $2.99 Proprietary
(local) AND Dropbox
SafeWallet Android $3.95
(local) AND Dropbox

SafeWallet Blackberry $5.95* Proprietary
(local) AND Dropbox

Unofficial / contributed Keepass applications are available for various platforms.  See http://keepass.info/download.html for more details.

* Discounted prices are available for registered forum members.


HandySafe is good (but pricey) for Symbian + Windows users or ex-Symbian Android + Windows users, but you can't synchronise between platforms (the desktop clients are different).  

KeePass can import data from Handy Safe and various other formats, and is pretty much cross-platform (although apps for most platforms are not considered "official", and in addition they may be read-only.)  There is no Symbian app. Supports Dropbox, and apps on all platforms use the same file format, so no conversions are necessary.  Syncing is handled by Dropbox and is at file level (i.e. changes on multiple devices between syncs may result in loss of data). However, the Android app, KeepassDroid - the only mobile app I've tried - doesn't show all of the fields. The developer tells me that this, together with write access to the data is in the plan, but I have no idea how far ahead.  

eWallet now has Desktop apps for both Windows and Mac, plus a wide range of mobile devices, but not Symbian.  Android support is (currently?) read-only.  However, for other platforms, item level synchronisation is supported, and it appears to be the only multi-platform solution that fully supports all the fields in the database.  

SafeWallet has recently introduced Dropbox support, and has just released an Android version, and also imports Handy Safe files (amongst others).  Desktop versions are available for $14.95 each for Windows and Mac.  Mobile versions are available for Symbian, iPhone, Android and Blackberry for $5.95, so it's not a cheap option, but it's an option.  I haven't investigated in detail yet, but multi-platform bundles appear to be available.  

So, if your multi-platform world includes Symbian, Android and iOS, there is finally a solution which will synchronise with everything. (Previously, the lack of Symbian apps for KeePass and eWallet, and the infuriatingly distinct desktop versions of Handy Safe put paid to that). 

I haven't tried importing any data yet, to see how well it works, but I'll post an update when I do.  


Darren McEntee. said...

Hi Julie, this is fantastic...
I'm just migrating from Symbian to android myself, and using handysafe pro on sym. i now see its on android, so will referencing your guide for this and do it via desktop. i just hope Epocware will transfer my license to my android device. We'll see.


juwlz said...


Your Handy Safe licence won't get transferred, but you'll probably get a discount on new ones for both the desktop and mobile versions.

Personally, I'm more inclined to switch to Safe Wallet for the Dropbox support for easier syncing across multiple PCs (i.e. automatic, without manual intervention). Also, Handy Safe has a different desktop version to go with Android, which just seems plain daft to me. Having said that, I haven't used Safe Wallet yet, so won't make any big decisions until I do.


Unknown said...

A big thank-you for sorting out the S60 to Android problem for HandySafe.

Until you said so, I did not know the S60 desktop client needed to be replaced in order to synchronise with the Android version. I have downloaded version 2 and it syncs very well on my Galaxy Tab. I have now applied for a discount, as you suggest.

I also tried MSecure for Android/Windows, and this did read the Handysafe export file. But the interface is ugly and synchronising needs you to enter a port number and IP address.

When I complained to MSecure, they said Android lacks Bonjour for easy interfacing. Maybe so, but HandySafe seems to have sorted it out.

It just brings home the importance of the user fraternity - or sorority, as the case may be.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Julie. Very useful.

I opted for Keepass2Portable on the PC, which read the Handy Safe XML file reasonably efficiently, and is fairly easy to edit when it gets things wrong. Keepassdroid needs some improvement, but I can't see much wromg with it.