Encryptr is a password manager from SpiderOak, which is a company focused on online backup. We praised the service for its excellent security and privacy in our SpiderOak ONE review, though we cut some points for lackluster customer service and some user-friendliness issues.
In this Encryptr review, we’re going to see if this free, open-source password manager falls short in the same areas as the paid backup service. Along the way, we’ll also talk about features, security, pricing and support, all before giving our verdict.
Although Encryptr is an attractive and easy-to-use password manager, it’s severely lacking functionality. In some ways, it seems that SpiderOak has abandoned the tool entirely, with some basic features missing even years after being announced. Still, Encryptr is totally free to use, so it’s worth a shot if it sounds like your bag.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Open source
- Very easy to use
- Support for passwords & credit cards
- Solid security
- Barebones password generator
- No browser extension
- Lacking autofill & auto capture
- No import/export functionality
- Limited support
- No two-factor authentication
Alternatives for Encryptr
- : community
- : Android/iOS
Encryptr has basically no features. Outside of multi-device sync and support for a few different types of entries, Encryptr provides no functionality. Although that helps usability, the app feels too barren. Over the few years Encryptr has been around, we would’ve hoped for more in the way of features.
The best feature is platform support. Encryptr supports Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS. However, it supports older versions of these operating systems.
Apple users have to be fairly up to date, with Encryptr supporting macOS 10.7+ and new versions of iOS. That said, the APK is available for Android installation, and the Windows installer works on everything from XP to Windows 10.
Its platform support doesn’t extend to browsers, however. Encryptr doesn’t have any browser extensions. Although this is annoying in that you can’t access your passwords from your browser, the lack of an extension brings its own set of issues. Because Encryptr doesn’t interact with your browser, autofill and auto capture are out of the question.
That means you’ll need to add all of your passwords manually. Furthermore, you’ll need to keep Encryptr open if you want quick access to your passwords. SpiderOak makes copying your entry fields simple — a double click or tap will fill your clipboard — but that’s not a suitable replacement for autofill.
Encryptr can’t import or export your passwords, either. Although it’s not the first password manager to skip on import functionality, the lack of an export option stings. If at any point you want to jump ship, you’ll have to manually move your passwords over to a different management tool.
Even more frustrating is that SpiderOak mentioned that the developers were working on an import/export feature two years ago and they have yet to finish it.
What Encryptr Is Missing
Unfortunately, the biggest talking points for this section pertain to what Encryptr is missing. Autofill and auto capture are the biggest misses. However, there are a handful of other missing features that make Encryptr difficult to use in practice.
For instance, you can’t store custom entries. Although Encryptr provides a general category for entries, you can’t add new fields to general entries. Adding, say, your passport information is no different than entering it all into NotePad and encrypting the file using our best encryption software.
Encryptr can store your passwords and credit cards, but not much else. As a free tool, it’s hard for us to fault it because, frankly, it functions. However, tools like LastPass, Bitwarden and KeePass offer more functionality for free. Encryptr suffers not from being bad, but from simply being mediocre.
Encryptr Features Overview
|Backup and recovery|
Encryptr is a free password manager, without donation pestering or a premium plan. It earned a spot alongside LastPass and Bitwarden in our best free password manager lineup, though it fell short in one key area. Because SpiderOak is hands-off when it comes to Encryptr, there are a handful of features missing.
Before getting to some issues with Encryptr’s model, let’s talk about what’s included for free. Unlike NordPass, which restricts free users to local-only password management, Encryptr uses SpiderOak’s cloud for multi-device sync. Your entries aren’t limited like they are with McAfee True Key or Kaspersky Password Manager, either.
As techies who have seen countless free tools with some sort of a catch, Encryptr seems too good to be true. However, we can’t find a reason not to trust SpiderOak.
The online backup part of the business earned near-perfect marks for security and privacy. Considering Encryptr shares the same policies and security standards as the backup service, we don’t have much to worry about.
Not Free From Concern
Under the “Encryptr pricing” article in the knowledgebase, SpiderOak says that the service is “offered as-is without guarantee of a particular lifecycle, or of continued development or support” and because of that, it’s offered free of charge.
In terms of support, SpiderOak has kept up with Encryptr, so we have no concerns there. Information on the password manager, however, is sparse.
SpiderOak’s reserved nature toward Encryptr means there’s little in the way of security information or direct support surrounding the product. Although it’s difficult to criticize Encryptr on this matter because it’s free, the fact of the matter is that other free password managers offer more in the way of documentation and support.
We like that Encryptr is free, let’s get that clear. However, we also want to point out the concessions that are being made by SpiderOak in the process of making Encryptr free.
Encryptr only takes up a single page on SpiderOak’s website. There, you’ll find four buttons pertaining to downloads for different platforms. Clicking on the large “download now” button, you’ll be met with a list of installers for Linux, macOS, Windows, Android and iOS.
Instead of a lengthy list of different versions for various iterations of the same operating system, SpiderOak provides a single installer for iOS, Android, macOS and Windows. The APK file for Android is available, too, so you can install Encryptr on jailbroken devices as well as Android devices that don’t have access to the Google Play Store.
The installation went off without a hitch, though the installer doesn’t ask if you want to launch the application once it’s done. Using the desktop icon, Encryptr will boot and ask you to log in. If you’re new, you can click the “new to Encryptr” link to create an account directly in the application.
Once you’re signed up and in, Encryptr opens with a claim of “simple password management,” and from first impressions, we’d agree. There are only two buttons in the application, one for settings and another for entries.
Let’s start with settings, because it’s surprisingly the simpler of the two. In the settings menu, the only thing you can change is your master password. Otherwise, you can submit feedback directly through the application, where you rate your experience through a short questionnaire. It’s not support, per se, but you could leave issues in the comments section.
Moving on to adding entries, you can start filling your password vault using the “plus” icon in the top-right corner. Encryptr only supports three entry types: passwords, credit cards and “general.” The last could be used for anything.
However, Encryptr only supplies fields for a label, some general text and notes, meaning you can’t get too creative with general entries, like you can with 1Password (read our 1Password review).
Adding new entries is simple, and finding what you need isn’t too tough, either. Encryptr helpfully provides a search bar for quickly tracking down passwords.
However, there aren’t any filtering options. Like F-Secure Key, Encryptr looks good with a few entries. However, as passwords start piling up, filtering options become indispensable, and Encryptr doesn’t provide any.
Trading Functionality for Usability
As we discussed in the “features” section above, Encryptr doesn’t offer much functionality outside of storing and syncing your passwords. It seems that some of the design decisions focused too heavily on usability and, in the process, sacrificed functionality. For some context, the few paragraphs above describe everything that Encryptr is capable of.
There isn’t a browser extension, autofill isn’t possible and you can’t store custom entries. Encryptr has a password generator, but even our own password generator has more options. You can’t generate a password on-the-fly or configure how many characters it has. Rather, Encryptr automatically generates a password when you create a new entry.
Although we can appreciate its dedication to user-friendliness and the fact that Encryptr is free, there’s no denying how little the application has to offer. Sure, it can store and sync your passwords, but there are plenty of other options that do that and more for free, too.
SpiderOak is a backup service, and it’s clear that’s the company’s focus, over Encryptr. There’s nothing in the way of documentation that pertains directly to Encryptr. However, SpiderOak has multiple technical documents about how its cloud operates, how you’re authenticated and how your data is secured. Using that, we can get an idea about how secure Encryptr is.
Let’s start with authentication. Encryptr is a zero-knowledge password manager, which shouldn’t be surprising, considering SpiderOak ONE earned a near-perfect score for privacy in our review. Starting with your password, it’s hashed and salted using PBKDF2 and SHA-256. The key generated from this function is used to encrypt your data using AES-256.
As you can read in our description of encryption, AES-256 is just about the best stuff around. Encryptr has a model similar to many password managers, meaning it uses a hashed and salted result of your password for authentication and to manage your AES key.
All of this happens locally, too, meaning SpiderOak or anyone that has access to its cloud can’t decrypt your passwords.
Advantages of Online Backup
With most password managers, we have to take the security information at face value. Some services, such as Dashlane, provide a detailed security whitepaper so we can take a look at the technical details. However, in most cases security is reduced to marketing bullet points.
As an enterprise online backup service, SpiderOak already has a lot of the technical information available. Although there isn’t a whitepaper pertaining directly to Encryptr, there are four documents related to SpiderOak’s cloud, key management and secure storage of data. Because of that, we can get a good idea of how Encryptr works.
Furthermore, Encryptr is open source. Like KeePass, you can view the source code on GitHub to not only modify how the program functions, but also see how it works on a technical level.
It’s easy to doubt Encryptr, given how data-hungry companies can be these days (read our Avast review for that). However, it seems that SpiderOak really is offering Encryptr out of good will. As far as security goes, we can’t find anything that speaks to the contrary.
As we touched on in the “pricing” section above, SpiderOak takes a hands-off approach to Encryptr, and that carries into support. There’s a section of the knowledgebase dedicated to Encryptr, but you won’t find any helpful answers there. If you need assistance, you can reach out to SpiderOak and hope for a response, or Google your question.
The “knowledgebase” has seven articles, a downloads page and a getting-started guide. Calling the entries “articles” is a bit generous, though. SpiderOak has dedicated exactly one paragraph to each of the seven entries, most of which talk about features that the development team is working on.
Once again, we’re in a precarious position where we can’t fault Encryptr because, well, it’s free. SpiderOak is, by no means, obliged to offer any more self-help resources than it currently offers. However, by our standards, Encryptr offers too little in the way of do-it-yourself support, which is made worse by the fact that you can’t receive direct support.
Encryptr is offered as-is without “continued development or support.” You can submit a request through SpiderOak’s support center or a feature request through the Encryptr app. However, SpiderOak makes it clear that it may not respond to support inquiries.
Encryptr is a good tool for what it is: a barebones password manager that can encrypt your passwords and credit cards. However, there are a slew of better options on the market, even for free.
It seems SpiderOak has put very few resources in Encryptr, and for the asking price, that’s fine. Although we’re not condemning SpiderOak’s decision to make Encryptr a free, standalone product, it doesn’t make the cut for us.
What do you think of Encryptr? Are you going to download it and give it a shot? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.
- Encryptr is a free, open-source password manager from the online backup service SpiderOak. It offers secure storage of your passwords and credit cards, as well as multi-device sync. However, it’s missing a number of key features.
- Encryptr is secure, judging by the technical documentation provided by SpiderOak. Your passwords are protected using AES-256 encryption behind a master password. That master password is obfuscated before authentication, too, meaning SpiderOak never sees it.