Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Passwords and Synchronizing

So as you undoubtedly know, Andy, Sam, Hanson and I got new Droids a few weeks ago, and the shinyness STILL hasn’t worn off yet. They are great little phones and every day I find something that makes me go “oh, yeah!” Then I spend a day or two playing with the new feature/software, and it either gets rolled into the PaulC SOP or discarded. Well this week I have TWO new applications that have made it past the first cut and they kind of go “hand in hand” so I will just do a single post.

First we have Keepass. Keepass is an excellent password keeper. You enter all of your usernames and passwords for all of the sites/applications that you use and Keepass encrypts them with your passphrase and organizes them for you. It’s important to note that its not “password protecting” your passwords, rather its encrypting them. That means that no brute force attack is going to work to hack your data, it would require that the hacker knows your passphrase, so pick a good long one. For example my passphrase is several mixed case words and is dozens of characters long.

When you open a page that requires your password, you just hit "<CNTRL> <ALT> A” and it auto fills the username and password. Its a very complete application and has  many organizing features. For example you can create folders to organize your records, and even have folders inside of folders and you can also assign icons to folders and records. Records are not just username/password pairs, you can also add notes; so for example I keep my bank info in Keepass in the note for my banks record. It will even auto generate long, secure passwords for you. All in all, very cool, and very secure.

So when I am on my desktop PC I go to Google reader and hit “<CNTRL> <ALT> A” and it autofills my username and password and logs me in. But what about my laptop? And Keepass has an Android client that I run on my Droid so that I have my secured sensitive information with me at all time. So how do I get the data to my Droid and my laptop?

SugarSync. SugarSync is an excellent application that synchronizes your data across multiple computers, and of course they have an Android client. I run the SugarSync client on my desktop, my laptop, and my Droid and they all have access to my Keepass data. If ANY of my computers (including my Droid) edits the data, they ALL see the update. SugarSync has many plans including a free 2 gig plan. So for free, you get 2 gigabytes of storage and unlimited access for up to three computers; for $49/year you can up that to 30 gig and they have other larger plans as you can see here:

pricing.200912072314

I use the free version now as I have modest data storage needs, but as my needs grow its good to know that upgrading wont cost me an arm and a leg. And my needs will almost certainly grow as SugarSync can do so much more than just share a single file between your computers.

For example Andy and I have been sharing ringtones, so we setup a folder on SugarSync that we both have read/write access to, so now when one of us adds a ringtone, the other can see it immediately, across all of our computers and cell phones.

The Droid SugarSync application has a great feature where it automatically synchronizes my camera phone photos, so no more downloading photos from my phone, I just take the photo with my camera phone and when I get home it’s sitting on my desktop computer and my laptop. And if I want to share any photos I can easily copy them to a shared folder or just click a button to share it on Facebook. Wery nice.

So all in all, Keepass and SugarSync are a perfect match. They both have Android (and probably iPhone) clients and they both work exceptionally well.

If you are thinking of signing up for SugarSync, PLEASE use this link, if you do I get the referral and free storage. :D

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