With 425,000 beta users on board, social password manager PasswordBox is going live. And it’s offering free-for-life memberships to the first million users who sign up.
PasswordBox remembers and automatically enters all your passwords across all your platforms. It signs you into websites, logs you into apps, and enables you to securely share your digital keys with friends and loved ones — all via an app for your smartphone (Android and iOS) and a Chrome browser extension for your desktop.
“We’re focusing on one thing: one-click login everywhere,” PasswordBox chief executive officer and six-time serial entrepreneur Dan Robichaud told me yesterday. “You can share accounts with your friends or a spouse, and we used advanced machine learning to support automatic login to about 90 percent of sites – including banking sites with two-step logins.”
PasswordBox has been in invite-only beta for months but already has 425,000 users. Its app for iOS just launched on Friday last week, and it has already surpassed Gmail as the top app in the Productivity category. But, Robichaud told me, the company wants to scale carefully, so it’s limiting access via a reservation-based system. The first million users will get staged access along with their free-for-life accounts.
(The company started reservations this morning, and 77,000 have already been snapped up.)
When you’re using PasswordBox online, it automatically learns your passwords as you enter them on websites. But you can also set it to create its own passwords — long, difficult, impossible-to-remember — that it then uses, which means that you can have unique passwords for every site and service you access. That’s important because if Yahoo or Netflix or Facebook have a security breach and your password is stolen, it will only affect that service and not your entire digital life.
All you have to remember is your PasswordBox main password.
“Your passwords are encrypted on your computer,” Robichaud says. “If you forget your master password, we can’t send it to you, so you need to remember it.”
The company is launching a fingerprint device later this year with built-in biometrics that will let you back in. This will allow you to access your passwords with just your fingerprint, Robichaud told me.
For mobile, PasswordBox’s app on Android will sign you in to apps with login requirements and use a built-in browser to access all your sites from the app — with your passwords being automatically entered. For iPhone, PasswordBox can’t yet sign you into apps although it can launch them and automatically put your password in the clipboard for you to paste in. And like on Android, PasswordBox on iPhone asks you to use its built-in browser to access sites securely.
Robichaud started the company after his mother spent a summer scanning family pictures and uploading them to Picasa. She then had a car accident — fortunately, not severe — but it made him think, what happens to our digital life if we die?
The original PasswordBox was built around that scenario, but Robichaud quickly discovered that in-case-you-die-buy-our-app was not “too hot with consumers.” So the company pivoted to manage all your passwords on all your platforms. But it kept the social side, which means that you can share your passwords with a spouse, friend, or relative.
And the social side is still important for PasswordBox marketing and monetization as well:
“Our model is like Dropbox,” Robichaud told me. “We’re free up to 25 passwords, or you can invite 25 friends to get it for free, or you can win free VIP access in a daily draw. Otherwise, you can pay $1/month for access.”
Image credits: PasswordBox