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Review: Hideez Key uses proximity to simplify password management

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As we covered back in March, a new product called the Hideez Key was looking to change how passwords and personal information were stored. After spending some time putting it to the test, we’ll see how the Hideez Key holds up when faced with the rigors of every day life.

The Hideez Key is based around the idea of storing passwords in a more secure fashion In this case, it means ditching your typical device or cloud-based credential managers in favor of a specialized password storing key fob-like device.

With support for iOS, Android, Mac OS and Windows, the Hideez Key utilizes both Bluetooth and RFID to communicate with devices for transferring passwords and autofill verification. But there’s a twist; rather than store one’s information directly on your smartphone, one’s credentials are saved right to the key fob. In place of a master password or other confirmation techniques, the Hideez Key then uses proximity to verify your identity when autofilling your information.

A sample interaction of autofilling credentials.

While the key fob itself holds all of one’s actual credentials, it’s the companion application that does most of the heavy lifting. The app also packs in a few interesting features lacking in other password managers like theft alarms, so if someone walks off with your bag or keys, you’ll be notified. You can also specify specific locations to autofill information, so if the device is stollen it will only work at defined place.

Upon looking to autofill your credentials, the Hideez Key transmits the info over Bluetooth to your device. When stored initially on the key fob, both usernames and passwords are encrypted. So during that verification and transfer process, you can be confident that your data is safe from prying eyes.

In theory, this seems like a great idea, but how does the Hideez Key actually fair when put to the test? Well after about two weeks of use as my daily password manager, I was pretty surprised at how well it held up and how reliable the device was.

The one downside to the Hideez Key is actually entering passwords into the app, which have to be logged one by one. Unlike other managers, entering credentials into a site doesn’t prompt you to save them to the Hideez password vault, so you’re stuck manually loading them.

But once all my passwords were transferred in, I pretty much forgot about the Hideez Key, and I mean that in the best way possible. Verification works almost instantly, even when the device was several feet away in my bag.

If added security of your passwords is worth the tradeoff of the initial hurdle, then I would wholeheartedly recommend the device. From my experience over the past two weeks, the Hideez key definitely held its own compared to other managers I’ve used. The Hideez Key is currently available for $49 shipped over on the company’s site. You can choose between two colorways, black or a teal/blue.


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