Five single sign-on apps

Manage your passwords with one of these single sign-on apps.

Over the last several years, password management has become increasingly more difficult. Thanks to the Web and to cloud applications, there are far more passwords to remember than ever before. Furthermore, passwords are often archaic and must be frequently changed. Fortunately, there are a number of Single Sign On (SSO) and password management utilities available. This article outlines five such utilities that are targeted for use by individuals or small businesses.

This blog post is also available as TechRepublic Photo Gallery.

Five Apps

1. Abylon Logon SSO Home

Abylon Logon SSO Home is a Single Sign On utility for Windows environments. The most impressive thing about this utility is that unlike many of the lower end single sign on utilities, it allows the use of removable media. Furthermore, application settings can be backed up and restored, or can be exported to another computer. These features make it easy for users to move from one computer to another and take their passwords with them.

Abylon Logon SSO Home sells for about $35US (25.95 Euros), but a free trial version is available for download.

2. RoboForm

RoboForm is technically a tool that is designed to make it easier to fill in Web forms. However, RoboForm also offers SSO capabilities.

The tool's interface takes the form of a browser toolbar, which is surprisingly unobtrusive. When you log into a Web site, RoboForm detects the login and asks you if you want to save the password. The software also gives you the option to never save passwords for the site. The next time that you return to the site, you can automatically log in simply by selecting the site from the Logins drop down list.

RoboForm sells for $29.95, but a free 30 day trial is available for download.

3. LastPass Password Manager

LastPass Password Manager is a free utility for managing passwords and providing single sign on capabilities. In order to use LastPass, you will have to set up a LastPass account. This is a cloud based account used for storing your passwords. In other words, your passwords are sent to LastPass, which some might find a bit unnerving. The benefit of course, is that because your LastPass account is cloud based, it is accessible from anywhere.

LastPass places a single, unassuming icon on the Internet Explorer tool bar. You can click on this icon to log into your LastPass account. Once you are logged into LastPass, it will monitor Web activity for login prompts. The first time that you log into a site, LastPass will ask you if it should remember the password.

4. PasswordBox Free Password Manager

PasswordBox Free Password Manager is a free utility for managing your passwords and for providing Web single sign on capabilities.

Like LastPass Password Manager, PasswordBox requires you to set up a cloud based account. The thing that is unique, however, is that in doing so, you are also asked to provide an E-mail address for someone that you trust. This person will be able to access your accounts in the event that something happens to you. Unfortunately, there is no way to skip this step. If you do happen to like the idea of designating one person to preserve your digital legacy, you can designate multiple people.

Another thing that was unique about PasswordBox was that it acknowledges the fact that many people use the same login name and password for multiple sites. As a time saver, PasswordBox allows you to enter your most common username and password and select the sites for which you use it.

5. SSO Plus

SSO Plus is a free utility for managing passwords. SSO Plus is able to operate in two different modes. Active Mode is a true single sign on mode. When the utility is in active mode, it automatically detects password prompts and inserts the password into the prompt. In passive mode passwords are automatically saved to the program's database, but automatic logons are disabled.

All in all this utility is simple to use. It is designed to work with Internet Explorer and Lotus Notes. The utility's behavior is fully configurable, and there is even a function that lets you back up the password database.

Also read:


Brien Posey is a seven-time Microsoft MVP. He has written thousands of articles and written or contributed to dozens of books on a variety of IT subjects.


Do any of these apps work with local programs on my computer? There are enterprise solutions for applications, but I'm curious if there are any home-based software available.


I think one of the major upcoming Single Sign-On app you are missing here is SmartSignin. When anyone uses an SSO app they are putting all their eggs in one basket and you would want to make sure that basket is safe enough. This is where SmartSignin shines in the world of SSO apps.

SmartSignin is powered by their SmartKey patent-pending technology which maintains complete user privacy and security.

It asks you to set your own cryptphrase when you sign up for an account which basically acts as your Private Key to decrypt your data. Also, all the encryption/decryption takes place on the client side. This gives the user the complete control over their data and nobody, not even employees at SmartSignin can see/access any user's critical data.


I'm a KeePass user, too. Though, I don't use it for single signon. I use it more as extended brain storage for my passwords. I use the portable and desktop versions. I also use Android and iOS ports, too. I use it with Dropbox but recently added the BoxCryptor service to the mix so my password DB file is encrypted when at rest, too. It's a setup that works really well for me.


KeePass is an awesome password management application! Use it in conjunction with your dropbox (or any other cloud storage) and you can effectively access your files from anywhere. Please note that I don't work for them, just simply love the software.


Roboform also makes available versions for flash/thumb drive, iPad and iPhone. I have used all versions over a period of several years (PC and Roboform to go for flash drives), and for iPad and Iphone recently. My experience has been very satisfactory. The best thing I like about Roboform is online account availability. When I am away from my devices, I just logon to my everywhere account and accomplish what I want to. Norton has a safe vault, but it is not as friendly and useful as Roboform. It also syncs everwhere account with all devices in a snap.


"[i] Your passwords are sent to LastPass, which some might find a bit unnerving[/i]" Actually, [b]no[/b]. Here's what their website says: "[i]Using an evolved host-proof hosted solution, LastPass employs localized, government-level encryption (256-bit AES implemented in C++ and JavaScript) and local one-way salted hashes to give you complete security with the go-anywhere convenience of syncing through the cloud. [b] All encrypting and decrypting happens on your computer [/b] - no one at LastPass can ever access your sensitive data.[/i]"


also has an Android app and its own Android browser. The browser needs a little more polish but it works. There is a Blackberry app too. Roboform also comes with a "safenotes" section where you can securely store other information such as Admin passwords, padlock combinations, ATM PINS, and those other pesky security questions (and answers) "What was the make of your first car?" "What is your favorite song?" Another major plus with good password managers that shouldn't be ignored - [b]SEARCH[/b]. If your password for one site is compromised, you can use the password manager to identify where else you used that password. Then you can quickly change them on all sites.

Editor's Picks