DISCOVER
X

Free Way to Sync Passwords Across Multiple Platforms (iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux)

June 3, 2018 9:15 pm Leave your thoughts
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

As an IT professional, one of the biggest annoyances that I come across every day is remembering different passwords for different websites. Not to mention that in today’s standard, it is always best practice to have complex passwords for added security. To make it more complicated, I have multiple gadgets with different operating systems, so I needed something that would work on all of my devices.

In the beginning I evaluated the popular services such as 1Password and LastPass, however I’m not entirely sold with their subscription model. In fact, 1Password used to have the one-time purchase option and the ability to sync the vaults using our own methods such as Dropbox, OneDrive, etc which I used quite a bit. However this model has since been phased out and the ability to use multiple vaults in Android devices never actually came through, mostly in favor of their new subscription model. Nothing bad about this though, their team solution I think is well thought out and executed, it’s just not for me as an individual.

Knowing the above facts, I set out to find a way to sync my passwords across multiple devices with different operating systems for free. I think I have found a way that works. I’ve been using this method for at least 3 months now and I have not encountered any issues whatsoever. Just remember that the caveat is that I’m using this as a single user, which is myself.

The Essential Components

Basically the sync is achieved using the combinations of Dropbox and KeePass. The cool thing is that you can always get the Dropbox basic for free with 2GB storage, which is more than enough for a password vault. Also Dropbox security should be good as well when 2 factor authentications are enabled.

KeePass is the other main component. This is an open source password management tool with strong encryption algorithms for its password vaults files. It’s been around for many years and pretty much a matured product.

Let’s talk about the detailed setup procedures now. It’s a bit more cumbersome than other solutions but once setup you can just leave it and keep working with it.

Detailed Steps

For the purpose of this setup, I’m using Windows as the entry step. However it’s possible to use OSX as well, but just using different KeePass client.

Initial setup on Desktop

  1. Create a Dropbox account. If you have one you can always use the existing one, but it’s not a bad idea to create another one if you don’t want to clutter your original account.
  2. Install the Dropbox client on you machine.
  3. Create a “keepass” folder on in your Dropbox directory. This is where we will store the KeePass main password database file. You can give any name for this directory.
  4. Download and install KeePass on your machine. You can get it here https://keepass.info/download.html.
  5. Open KeePass 2 and create a new database under your Dropbox folder.
  6. Once created Dropbox will begin to sync.
  7. Make sure to setup your Keepass client to auto save when locking the software. This will ensure your database file is always up to date with any changes you make to the password entries.

Setup for iOS devices:

  1. Download the software called KeePass Touch by Innervate
  2. When you open it, choose Dropbox sync under synchronization options.
  3. Then choose your KeePass database file that you just synced in the previous section.
  4. Setup the touch id configuration and you’re done setting up your password database in an iOS device. This should work in both iPad and iPhone.

Setup for Android devices:

  1. Download and install the software called Keepass2android password safe.
  2. Download and install Dropbox on your Android phone. Make sure you login to the Dropbox app using the account where you save your Keepass database.
  3. Open Keepass2android and select Open File…
    • Choose Dropbox
  4. Enable Quicklock if you wish to make it simpler to unlock the vault.
  5. If you device has fingerprint sensor, it’ll work as well.
  6. That’s done for your Android device.

Setup for Mac OSX Devices:

  1. Install Dropbox on your machine, just like on the initial Windows instructions.
  2. Download and install KeePassX on your Mac. https://www.keepassx.org/downloads
  3. Run KeePass and open the KeePass database file from the location where your Dropbox synced and you’re done with setup.

Setup for Linux Devices:

  1. Install Dropbox for Linux from here https://www.dropbox.com/install-linux
  2. Install KeePass client on your distro. On Ubuntu this one is the easiest to install: https://launchpad.net/~jtaylor/+archive/ubuntu/keepass
  3. Run KeePass and open the KeePass database file from the location where your Dropbox synced and you’re done with setup.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion I can say that this method works very well for single user. There hasn’t been any synchronization errors during my intensive usage for the past 3 months. The setup maybe a bit longer than the commercial offerings for the first time, but after that it’s all good.

I hope this helps you out especially those who has trouble remembering multitude of passwords for different applications and websites out there.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Tags: , , , , ,

Categorised in: , ,