Say what you will about modern technology, but it can make your life a lot easier, especially when it comes to passwords. It feels like almost every week I have to make a new password for something or other, and the rules are as complicated as the SAT. No special characters, must include capital letters, no capital letters, no numbers— with so many accounts and so many different rules, how can someone remember all of their passwords while still keeping their accounts secure?
Today I’m reviewing RoboForm, one of the most popular password managers around. Originally released in the year 2000, RoboForm is now available in over 30 different languages to individuals, businesses, government agencies, and even Fortune 500 companies around the world. But can it match up with Security Baron’s extremely high standards?
In this review, I’ll go over the best and worst things about RoboForm, its company background, features, subscription options, customer support, and app. Of course, I’ll be using the manager myself to see how easy it is to use, or not, but I’m hoping for the former. Let’s take a look.
Store an unlimited amount of passwords on RoboForm, which also features form filling and multi-factor authentication.
RoboForm Pros and Cons
You know I tend to be long-winded, so before I go too far into detail, I want to tell you about RoboForm’s pros and cons.
- Multi-factor authentication: For added security to your sign-in, you can add on two or even multi-factor authentication.
- Highly-rated app: iPhone and Android users alike gave positive ratings to the RoboForm app.
- Good overall ratings: RoboForm has ratings of five stars on Amazon and Trustpilot and a 4.2 rating on Google, which seems promising.
- Privacy jurisdiction: As RoboForm is based in the U.S, you’ll be subject to the laws of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes.
- No dark web scan: RoboForm will not scan the dark web for your credentials.
- No security breach alerts: If any of your passwords or personal information are floating around the Internet, you won’t be alerted.
Now that you have a basic understanding, let’s check out RoboForm as a company.
RoboForm Company Background
As a product of Siber Systems, RoboForm is based in Fairfax, Virginia. Now, I love America and everything, but I don’t think it’s the best place to headquarter a password manager. Here’s why: the U.S is part of the international surveillance alliances Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes. That means that, under certain circumstances, they can legally force companies to hand over their customers’ data. This is a problem, especially if you’re storing passwords to sensitive accounts or any other information you don’t want getting out, like your bank PIN. But, it’s not a problem if RoboForm doesn’t have any data to hand over. So what data of yours does RoboForm keep, exactly?
But we shall press on.
The two main features of RoboForm are storing an unlimited number of passwords and automatic form filling. Unfortunately, your passwords can only be synced on nine devices on the paid plans, while most of RoboForm’s competitors allow for an unlimited amount of devices. But, nine devices is still a lot, and it’s probably enough for most people. Your passwords, along with any other files you want to keep in your vault, will be held in both local and cloud storage, although the cloud storage is optional.
You’ll start by entering your passwords into RoboForm’s dashboard, or, you can import your passwords from a browser like Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, or Opera. I recommend this option, as it takes much less time than entering each password manually. I’ll go more into the process of setting up RoboForm in the next section.
Need to create a new password? Do it through RoboForm’s password generator. It’ll pick out some more unique, long, and complicated than you can think of. Plus, RoboForm will give you a password strength report so you can see if any of your old passwords need to be changed. Unfortunately, you’ll need to change them all one-by-one, as RoboForm doesn’t allow you to change multiple passwords at once or automatically.
Instead of having to remember a million different passwords, you only have to remember your master password. If you want even more security, you can set up two or multi-factor authentication, which can verify that you’re the right person through a numerical code, fingerprint or facial recognition. Forgot your master password? It’s okay— your emergency contact can help you get back in. If you want to share your passwords with other people, RoboForm allows you to add multiple users.
Finally, all of the information in your RoboForm vault is encrypted using the industry standard, AES-256. Add in some PBKDF2 SHA-256 to protect against password cracking and you have all the necessary features of a password manager— except for a couple things.
Unfortunately, RoboForm does have a few gaps when it comes to scanning the Internet for your credentials. Not only do they not offer any security breach alerts, but they also don’t offer a dark web scan. The dark web is a part of the Internet that can only be accessed with special software. All of its users are completely anonymous, making it a hotbed of cybercrime. While RoboForm has all the basic tools to remember your passwords and fill in forms, they’re not the best option for online security in general.
Is RoboForm Easy to Use?
The first thing you need to do to being your password manager journey is to download the RoboForm app. Once you do that, you’ll either create an account or sign in with your existing account. Then, there’s a page that allows you to choose which browser extension you want. After you download the browser extension, nothing else prompted me to import my passwords from the browser. That was a bit annoying, as I prefer a guided setup. Instead, I had to turn to my trusted sidekick, Google. But even the instructions that RoboForm wrote on how to import passwords from Chrome weren’t up to date (Note: they have since been updated since this review was originally published). When I finally figured out how to do it on my own accord, the computer told me that my Chrome database was locked, something that hasn’t happened while importing for any other password manager.
In general, the app was not super interactive and I noticed it slowed down my computer. Small things, like the text not automatically deleting it when I went to fill in my information for forms, made the process way more tedious than it needed to be. So user experience-wise, RoboForm is not at the top of my list.
What’s RoboForm like in terms of price? Let’s find out.
RoboForm Personal Subscriptions
RoboForm has incredibly reasonable prices, only about two dollars a month for unlimited logins for one person. Covering a family of five only costs about four dollars a month, definitely giving you a lot of bang for your buck. Plus, I like that there’s a free option, although you’ll only be able to store your passwords on one device.
RoboForm Business Subscription
Next, RoboForm has an option for business use, only $3.35 per user per month. As an administrator, you’ll have control over everyone’s accounts and permissions and will have an audit log all all activity. Again, this is a very reasonable price, so that’s one category that RoboForm is winning.
Store an unlimited amount of passwords on RoboForm, which also features form filling and multi-factor authentication.
RoboForm Customer Support
HELP. It’s not just for the Beatles. If you’re a free RoboForm user, you can check out their online help center, but any paying customer can get priority online support through a live chat, available nine AM until six PM EST on weekdays. Now, do I wish the live chat was 24/7? Of course, but many password managers don’t even have a live chat at all, so I must say that I’m quite relieved. In my experience, I got answers really quickly, within the hour. But I don’t want to base your entire opinion on RoboForm’s customer support on my personal experience. What do other real RoboForm customers have to say about their support?
RoboForm has a five-star rating on Amazon, although it’s only from two reviews, neither of which mention customer support specifically. On Google, RoboForm’s parent company Siber Systems has a 4.2 star rating, which is awesome. Unfortunately, the review that mentioned customer support was negative. A man said that he had been trying to contact RoboForm for over two weeks with no avail, which sounds frustrating. But I liked that RoboForm responded, saying that they reached out the day before and would love to help.
Finally, on Trustpilot, RoboForm has a five-star rating from 100 reviews, by far our biggest sample size. In a disappointing turn of events, three out of the four reviews mentioning customer support specifically were negative, but the fact that 77% of the reviews were five-star speaks very highly of RoboForm.
It seems like RoboForm usually works well for people but when it doesn’t, customer support is not the easiest to reach. Good to know!
The RoboForm App
Lastly I want to talk about RoboForm’s app, available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Windows Mobile. You can also download browser extensions on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Opera. The app has a 4.3 rating from the Google Play store and a 4.8 from the Apple store.
“Life saver. Well, almost. I have used Roboform for many years, and just would not be able to remember all the passwords that I use without Roboform’s help. The new (to me) phone app is so helpful in many ways, too. Highly recommended,”
wrote John Elliot, an Android-user, in a five-star review.
RoboForm vs. LastPass
Now that you know everything there is to know about RoboForm, let’s see how it stacks up to its competition. LastPass is a leading password manager based in Boston, Massachusetts, so you’ll be under the same pesky privacy jurisdiction. Other than that, LastPass offers a lot more features than RoboForm, like security breach alerts, a dark web scan, and free credit monitoring. Plus, you can sync your passwords across an unlimited amount of devices, while RoboForm caps it at nine.
But while LastPass has a higher-rated app for Androids, RoboForm comes through for its iPhone app, which has an amazing 4.8 rating overall. RoboForm also wins in terms of customer support, as LastPass only has an online help center and no live chat feature.
Price-wise, the two are pennies apart from each other at around four dollars a person per month. Plus, both password managers offer free versions.
Overall, I’d choose LastPass over RoboForm. It’s easier to use, has more security features, and allows for more devices. I’d only choose RoboForm if live chat is a necessity or you want an iPhone app rating over 4.3.
Recap of RoboForm
While RoboForm is a fine option to fill in your passwords and forms, it’s not the best choice if you’re looking to protect your credentials online. So just who should buy RoboForm in the first place?
I’d go with RoboForm if you’d like…
- Store unlimited passwords: RoboForm is good if you’re looking for password management and not overall web security.
- Multi-factor authentication: You’ll be able to make sure only you have access to your accounts with fingerprint and facial recognition.
- Highly-rated app: Both iPhone and Android users alike rated the RoboForm app highly.
But, it’s missing some key components, like…
- Security breach alerts: RoboForm won’t scan the web for your credentials, so you won’t know if any of your passwords have been compromised.
- Dark web scan: Although the dark web has billions of hacked passwords, RoboForm won’t scan for your credentials.
- Usability: As far as user-experience went, adding passwords to RoboForm was a bit of a nuisance.
To explore some other options, read about the best password managers of 2019.