Although Password Boss is allegedly “built for MSPs by an MSP”, our Password Boss review looks at the password manager from the perspective of individuals, family groups, and direct business users (rather than customers of Managed Service Providers) in order to determine how this option compares to other password managers competing in the public space.
When we compile password manager reviews, we sometimes have to think outside the box to find differences between one password manager and another. Most operate in a similar way, and often the distinguishing features boil down to ease of use, value for money, and transparency in relation to security (which is why we favor open source security applications for password management).
When we started compiling our Password Boss review, the apparent distinguishing feature was that Password Boss pitches itself as “a complete end-to-end, multi-tenant password management solution for MSPs”. Certainly, if you read the site´s Home page, About Us page, or Webinars page, you would be forgiven for believing Password Boss is only available for Managed Service Providers.
But, that´s not the case. Indeed, Password Boss had very different beginnings to those claimed on its website, and – according to this 2015 interview with founder Steve Wise – the password manager was originally designed with the intention to be “the easiest-to-use password manager” and “more inviting than competing password managers”. So, does Password Boss still fulfil its original intentions, or has it changed course to meet the needs of MSPs and their customers?
A Brief History of Password Boss
To better understand where Password Boss is at the minute, it is a good idea to look back to see where it has been in the past few years. Certainly, the indications are that Password Boss started life as a password manager for individuals, family groups, and direct business users as it was heavily marketed on social media and given away free to charities, non-profits, and students.
Between 2015 and 2018, Password Boss continued its social media activity, launched an online community (which is now discontinued), and received top marks on multiple review sites. However, in 2020 the company was taken over by an investment group with a focus on MSP security. The group subsequently acquired AutoElevate – a provider of automated PAM software – and declared its intentions to “increase the levels of cybersecurity protection for the MSP community”.
The reason why this is relevant to our Password Boss review is because, at the time of writing, it is unclear what the future holds for individual, family, and direct business users. The last known update to the password manager´s software was the release of v5 in July 2019 and with the exception of advertising webinars for MSPs there has been minimal activity on any of the company´s social media channels. Some might find this lack of activity disconcerting!
Password Boss Free Plan
Assuming Password Boss will continue providing a service for individuals, family groups, and direct business users for a little while yet, we´ll start our Password Boss review by looking at its free plan – a very basic option that enables individual users to locally store an unlimited number of passwords, payment details, and other credentials on one device only.
Unlike some free plans, you can´t import passwords from an existing password manager, and Password Boss won´t suggest strong, unique passwords for new accounts you create. Instead, you will have to save each password as you go and use the password generator on the Password Boss website – a bit of a painstaking task that might tempt users to create weak passwords off-the-cuff.
Password Boss Premium Plan
By comparison to its very basic free plan, the Password Boss premium plan has been described by some reviewers as only for the “tech-savvy”. While this description could be attributable to the volume of features included in the premium plan, it has also been commented that the Password Boss apps for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android lack intuitiveness and are not consistent across all devices.
If you are a tech-savvy user of password managers, the premium plan has several unique features that can enhance your personal security. These include remote device delete (in case you lose your mobile) and a digital wallet. In addition, you can import passwords, generate new passwords in-app, and provide emergency access to a trusted contact in case you ever forget your master password.
Password Boss Family Plan
The family plan is a premium plan for up to five users under one subscription. However, unlike most family plans, Password Boss does not provide shared family vaults. Each individual family member only gets a personal vault. So, if you want to share login credentials (i.e., for your Netflix account), you have to use the sharing facility to send the login credentials to each family member individually.
While subscribing to a family plan is a good idea if you want to condition your children to use the Internet securely, the advanced technical user interface and the complicated nature of some capabilities (i.e., always-on Two Step Login) may deter kids from using the password manager and prompt them to reuse passwords or create weak passwords they can remember.
Password Boss Team Plan
Strictly speaking, Password Boss doesn´t have a team plan so we have included its “standard” business plan in this section of the Password Boss review. Unlike the family plan, the standard business plan does provide individual and shared vaults to users and includes a limited policy engine, a range of reporting tools, and an advanced dashboard for granular user and group management.
As with the family plan, the issue of complexity potentially encouraging users to circumnavigate the password manager still exists. However, the individuals responsible for subscribing to Password Boss are usually tech-savvy and willing to take on the responsibility of managing the password manager and training its users. If you don´t have the time to train users, don´t subscribe to Password Boss.
Password Boss Business Plan
The “advanced” business plan includes most of the capabilities you would expect to find in most standard business plans – for example, AD connector, advanced password policy engine, advanced reporting, and audit logs with event tracking. The advanced business plan also includes automatic backups of all business items stored in user accounts.
What´s good about this option is its price (The price shown for LogMeOnce is the feature-limited option). For $4 per user per month, business get complete control over corporate password management and empower users to engage in online security best practices. In terms of value for money, this particular business plan from Password Boss appears to be a stand-out option.
Password Boss Review Conclusion: A Jack of All Trades and Master of One
Password Boss appears to be shooting in all directions and missing the target more often than not. The free plan is too basic for many users, and although it comes with a free trial of the premium plan, the complexity of the premium plan will likely frighten the life out of many potential customers – most likely those who need a password manager the most!
The advanced technical user interface and the complicated nature of some capabilities potentially make this an ineffective password manager for families and teams (unless you have the time and resources to train users and monitor user activity), and while the advanced business plan appears to be a stand-out option, we suggest you take advantage of the free trial before committing to it.
As a final note, if you are considering implementing the Password Boss password manager, we strongly recommend speaking with the company to confirm it will continue to support the service throughout the lifetime of your subscription. While there is nothing to indicate the company is likely to pull the plug on Password Boss in the near future, the lack of a recent upgrade and the focus on MSP services (*) could signal the password manager´s early retirement in coming years.
(*) If you are reading our Password Boss review from the perspective of an MSP, we suggest you check out Bitwarden´s new Provider Portal.