If you're a mobile user, you've probably heard of Tunnelbear—that whimsical VPN tool that helped make using a mobile VPN client something anyone could feel comfortable with. Well, the makers of that user-friendly tool have released yet another tool that could find favor among those with less-than-elite aspirations with their mobile devices. That tool is a password manager called Remembear.
This new password manager, that carries the same sense of whimsy as does its sibling, makes using such a tool as simple as possible. In fact, anyone you know—end-users, friends, family, etc.—who has refused to finally adopt a password manager would have a hard time shirking this application.
SEE: Password management policy (Tech Pro Research)
There are two versions of Remembear: A free and paid version. The free version doesn't sync across devices, via the cloud, whereas the paid version allows you to install Remembear on as many devices as you need, all the while keeping those passwords in sync. The paid version available for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS (unfortunately there is no Linux port) is $3.00 monthly. Fortunately, the company offers a 30-day trial, so you can see how well the app and service works, in order to determine if the $36.00 per year subscription fee is worth it.
Let's install Remembear and see how easy it is to use. I'll be demonstrating on the Android platform.
The installation of Remembear is quite simple. Just follow these steps:
- Open up the Google Play Store on your Android device
- Search for Remembear
- Locate and tap the entry by Tunnelbear, Inc
- Tap Install
- Allow the installation to complete
And that's all there is to the installation. You'll find an app icon on the home screen and the App Drawer. Tap to launch.
When you first run Remembear, you'll be greeted with a screen asking you to start a 30-Day Trial ( Figure A).
If you already have an account, tap I ALREADY HAVE AN ACCOUNT. When you tap the button for the 30-Day Trial, it will then open up the Google Play Store, where you can agree to subscribe. Once you've accepted the subscription, you then have to set up Remembear. The first thing it will ask is an email address for an account ( Figure B).
Next, create a master password. In the next screen, you can set up Remembear Autofill. If you don't want to use the autofill feature, click SKIP THIS FOR NOW. You can always go back and set this up later.
You will be sent an email to the address now associated with your account. That email will include a link you can use to download and install Remembear on other devices. You don't have to do this now. In fact, you don't have to do it at all. Do note, there is a Remembear desktop app for macOS and Windows as well as a browser extension for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. The one caveat to the browser extension is that it doesn't work as a stand-alone. In other words, you must install the desktop app to use the extension. Unfortunately, Remembear doesn't include a web-interface that could be used on any computer, at least not without having both the desktop app and browser extension installed.
Next you need to prepare a backup "kit." This kit includes a new device key, email address, and master password. You already have your email address and master password, so all you need to do is copy the new device key (presented to you in the next screen - Figure C) for safe keeping.
Should you forget your master password, this backup "kit" is the only way to recover the data stored in your Remembear.
And that's it. Remembear is set up and ready to go. When prompted, type your master password and you'll find yourself on the Remembear main window. Fortunately, the developers had the foresight to not allow screenshots from within the app. This is obviously done for security reasons.
To create a new password, tap the + button and then select either Credit Card or Login. Fill out the details for either, and click the check mark to save. Remembear can also generate new passwords as well as measure password strength, which is a great way to start training those users to work with stronger passwords. In fact, Remembear has one of the most useful password generators I've ever used. You can define the length of the required password, as well as the number of digits, caps, and symbols required—all in a user-friendly interface.
That's all there is to using this app. Remembear doesn't require anything beyond the required information for a login (email or username, password, url, and any notes you might want). This simplicity is what makes Remembear such a good option for users who've been hesitant to adopt a password manager.
If, after using the 30-Day trial period, you decide Remembear is not for you, you can cancel the subscription with the following steps:
- Open up the Google Play Store on your device
- Tap the menu button in the upper left corner
- Tap Subscriptions
- Tap the Remembear entry
- Tap Cancel Subscription
A bear-y friendly password manager
If you manage end-users who have refused to make use of a password manager, Remembear might well be the app that will finally get them to capitulate. With just the right combination of simplicity and usability, Remembear makes using a password manager something anyone regardless of skills can master.
- IBM Security Report: Millennials are moving beyond the password (TechRepublic)
- How to install password manager Enpass and sync it with your Google Drive account (TechRepublic)
- Password managers: How and why to use them (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Password management policy (TechPro Research)
- Password manager maker Keeper hit by another security snafu (ZDNet)
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.