Review: KeyReel, a Different Kind of Password Manager

1 minute read
| Quick Look Review

KeyReel is a password manager that is a bit different than others. It uses local storage and doesn’t rely on the cloud in a way. And here’s the unique part: your passwords aren’t available on other devices unless you’re in physical range.

[Keychain 101: Getting Started with Apple’s Password Manager]

KeyReel Password Manager

KeyReel seems to be a hybrid of online and offline password managers. It uses your phone’s local storage, and doesn’t use the cloud. You don’t need a master password either, because your phone is the authentication key.

Whenever your iPhone is in range of your Mac, credentials are automatically transmitted to login pages using an SSL connection over Bluetooth. Credentials are stored on your devices using AES-256 encryption. You can add extra authentication with a PIN or Touch ID/Face ID.

How It Works

The iPhone app is the actual password vault, and the macOS app is a Bluetooth connector and acts as an intermediary between the iOS app and your browser. The Mac app is responsible for:

  • managing installation and update of Safari and Chrome browser extensions
  • establishing a link with the KeyReel browser extension
  • saving and restoring the local password database backup on the Mac
  • importing credentials from other sources

Screenshots of KeyReel password manager.

While the browser extension is responsible for:

  • detect and identify forms on web pages
  • save credentials from login/registration forms and store them to the phone app (via KeyReel Bluetooth Connector)
  • auto-type saved credentials into corresponding fields of a login form on the current page
  • manually save and paste credentials via KeyReel Extension’s menu from the browser’s toolbar

Right now the app is pretty basic, although it came out last year. I searched the company’s website but there doesn’t seem to be a way to import passwords from other apps. You also can’t add things like one-time passwords, notes, or other attachments.

I like the concept of KeyReel, and I like that it doesn’t rely on the cloud. But at this time I can’t give up 1Password for it. I look forward to seeing updates and improvements though. KeyReel is free to download.

[RememBear: TunnelBear Intros New Password Manager]

Product: KeyReel

Company: Auxoft LLC

List Price: Free

Rating:

It's Okay. Get It If You Need It.

Pros:
  • Local storage only
  • Passwords are shared only when needed
Cons:
  • No import of passwords from other apps
  • No support for one-time passwords, notes, other attachments
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