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Sticky Password Review: Premium vs Free

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In regards to software reviews, there is only one rule I follow; use it for an extended period before writing a review, and so I did. I have been using Sticky Password Premium since December 2017. I tried and tested all the features and compatible browsers, sporadically coming across some weird behavior, primarily when using form filler (more about that later).

“Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don`t let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months.” 
Clifford Stoll

That`s my favorite Password Manager so far. Simple yet powerful with unique features like WiFi Syncing, Fingerprint Scanning, or Lifetime License which you most likely won`t be able to find anywhere else. Developed by the small dedicated team of former executives of AVG Technologies it offers all that great features in a simple yet powerful package.

Unlike 1Password or LastPass, Sticky Password does not offer a web-based interface. Instead, you can select between Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android or if you are interested in the protection of endangered species, a BlackBerry handset is also supported.

During the program installation, you will also have an option to install a browser extension. It will allow you to save new data as you enter it or use the form-filling functionality.

The program supports most major browsers except for Edge on Windows 10 where according to Sticky Password, support is not yet available. Not sure what do they meant by that. The Edge browser supports extensions since 2016. Although they have replaced an old extension model, the Browser Helper Object or BHO with the new one, more modern version.

Sticky Password Premium vs. Free

Don`t get discouraged by the free version of the software. I have been using it for a few months before I decided to go Premium. The free version still offers the most essential functions, including AES-256 encryption, and 2FA or biometrics identification.

Although by paying $29.99 annually or by purchasing a Sticky Password lifetime subscription for $149.99 you will gain access to the advanced Premium features. It includes Cloud Syncing and Backup or Local Wi-Fi Syncing. Premium users also benefit by receiving Priority Support, and most importantly, you will contribute to the effort of Saving Endangered Manatees (seriously!!).

Comparison chart of Sticky Password Premium vs Free

Installation

During the installation, you will be presented with a number of screens to help you install and pre-configure the program.

Sticky Password uses your email address as a unique identifier for your StickyAccount (StickyID). Make sure that the email you use is valid and that you intended to use it. Many people periodically change their email address for different reasons including an increasing number of spam messages their receive. Changing your email address (StickyID) after setting up the account is possible but not easy.

Screenshot of the Sticky Password installation guided process

After the installation is complete, you may start adding your accounts, identities or memos.

Initial Setup

Web Account

The first one is the most common. Every time you type your credentials on the site you visiting for the first time, Sticky Password will capture it and ask you if you like to add a new account.

The next time you visit the same site it will auto-fill the fields for you, you do not even have to know your password!. You may also fully automate this process by selecting the Automatic Login option available when editing the account.

If you have more than one account, Sticky Password will prompt you to select the one you would like to use before logging in.

App Account

An App Account is a unique feature that allows you to populate login fields on windows applications like Skype. You can add an App Account from within Sticky Password by pressing add App Account and dragging and releasing an icon on the targeted app.

Alternatively, you can click a Sticky Password caption button embedded in the top right corner of the application window and select Add Account from there. If for some reason you will reinstall the application, Sticky Password will take care of and log you in automatically.

An App Account embedded within Skype program

Secure Memos

Secure memos are a great way to store all sorts of other private data. I keep there my NI number as I`m having trouble remembering it. I also saved there my security questions and answers for other accounts where that level of protection is required.

Although the text editor looks a bit outdated, with basic options to change the font size or color, it does the job, and you can even choose a template for your memo. The selection is not big, but it includes the standard templates for Software licenses, Credit Card or Student Card. You can also create and save your own.

Identities

If your wife or girlfriend shares the computer with you and often shops on Amazon, you may want to create a separate identity for each of you. This option is useful when filling up delivery address forms or some other forms where more details are required. Apart from the first name and last name you may add marital status, gender, language, or even credit or bank accounts.

Program UI showing Identities option

When setting up either a Web or App account, you will have an option to set an expiration date which will remind you when is the time to change your password (remember the Clifford Stoll quote above?). If you, however, decided to disable this function, Sticky Password will remind you about that anyway after 12 months.

Before you decide to use the expiry date, please read my other post where I`m trying to find out how often should we change our passwords.

Finally, the Security Dashboard will warn you about potentially unsafe passwords. This includes weak passwords which are too short or too simple to guess. It will also alert you if you reused the password for a different account. And, as previously mentioned if you have not changed your password before the expiration date or the password is older than 12 months.

Security

Bulletproof Vest for your Passwords”

Sticky Password

The master password you set up during the installation is only known to you!. There is no way of resetting it if forgotten, even by the Sticky Password support team. Keep that in mind when installing the program.

I am a big promoter of the belief that the data should be stored locally. I trust no one! I am not in any way suggesting that the security features provided via Cloud Syncing using Sticky Password are inadequate. Instead, this is my personal choice, and I follow this simple rule.

Luckily, both options are available to you. You can either sync your AES-256 encrypted data via Cloud Service or keep it on your PC and sync via your local WiFi.

WiFi Syncing

The Wi-Fi syncing works by exchanging databases between devices connected to your local Wi-Fi network, i.e., at your home. In this way, your encrypted database never leaves your local network. If something goes wrong, you can only blame yourself.

WiFi syncing feature explained in diagram

Cloud Syncing

On the other hand, Sticky Password offers Cloud Synchronization allowing you to sync and backup your database on the secure cloud server. The choice is yours, and whether you chose to sync locally or via the cloud, Sticky Password works only with the encrypted database, and synchronization occurs locally at the device level.

Two-Factor Authentication or 2FA

Two-Factor Authentication or 2FA is an extra level of security offered by the Sticky Password to protect your data. It is a unique temporary code (token) generated by the Google Authenticator app which you must enter after entering your Master Password each time you unlock your database.

Fingerprint Authentication

Apart from 2FA, the mobile version of the Sticky Password offers fingerprint authentication. It is a convenient way of unlocking the database on your mobile device. However the results of the recent research in this area made me question this technology, and personally, I am trying to avoid it.

In practice

During almost five months of testing I have come across websites where the program had some trouble with the login forms. Although annoying, Sticky Password admits that the technology used by some sites might be difficult to handle or even completely prevent the program from filling the login fields.

Fortunately, this is not a big problem for me. I have over 60 accounts and as far as I remember I encountered this problem with only two or three websites.

However, if you care you can submit the dodgy website address to Sticky Password via browser extension app, and they promised to take care of it.

I also tried to test how the program handles password-changing forms when editing my profile details on the randomly selected account. I picked one for testing and logged in using Sticky Password saved Web Account.

After selecting Edit My Profile, I searched for the Change Password fields on the panel. Keep in mind that every website has its way of doing this, but my one was pretty simple. I just had to type the new password, re-enter to confirm it, and press Save Changes.

Sticky Password immediately asked me if I like to generate a new password. I pressed yes and voilà, all was done automagically for me. However!, Sticky Password did not ask me to update this Web Account. Also, as you probably know all password fields are masked to stop anyone from seeing what I just typed, including me!. After accepting the changes, I logged out, happy that my updated profile is safer than ever.

Of course, during the password change procedure, Sticky Password has not updated my Web Account, and the next time I tried to log in, it populated the password field with the obsolete version. The last thing I could do is to press I Forgot My Password and waited for the email :-).

Keep in mind that the example described above is an exception, not the norm. It happens so rarely that after many attempts I failed to recreate it!

Below is the video showing how the program handles the password change.

Final Thoughts

If you are searching for a Password Manager which is secure, simple to use, full of features, and inexpensive, Sticky Password is an excellent choice. With 30 days free Premium trial you will have enough time to decide if the Premium options are worth the extra money.

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Thomas Wzorek

I’m a Systems Applications Developer writing software in C# and .NET with interest in Cyber Security and Systems Administration. I divide my time between my family and passion for programming using .NET Technology and my favorite language, C#. If I’m not in Visual Studio, I’m probably trying to catch up with the continuously evolving Tech-World, researching Online Security & Privacy, and chasing the latest Data Breaches.