App review: Trend Micro DirectPass for Android
DirectPass acts as a secure Web browser and central repository for Web site credentials
- Store all Web passwords in one place
- One password to rule them all
- Can synchronise between mobile and desktop
- Web browser isn't great
- Subscription based
DirectPass runs as a secure Web Browser on Android phones, allowing you to store credetials for your most-frequented sites and to access them with one master password. It can provide peace of mind for those of you who are paranoid about the security of your username and password details, but there is an ongoing, yearly subscription cost involved.
Price$ 19.95 (AUD)
If you use your mobile device to browse many Web sites that require a username and password, keeping track of all those credentials, as well as entering them each time you want to use them, can be a pian. Letting the Web browser remember the details for them can be a security risk, too. Trend Micro's DirectPass app aims to be a central and secure repository for all those credentials, so you won't have to keep entering them each time you visit those sites — you'll only need to enter your main, DirectPass password.
DirectPass works on Android phones and tablets, iPhones and iPads, and Windows PCs, and can be downloaded through Google Play, Apple's App Store or from Trend Micro's Web site. It's an app that weighed in at 11MB on our test phone (an HTC Rhyme that runs Android 2.3.5) and to use it you'll need to create a Trend Micro account. Once your account is all set, the program will be asked to create a master password.
To store Web site credentials with DirectPass, you will first need to browse to the login pages of those sites while using DirectPass — to do this you can tap the 'begin browsing' link on the main screen. You'll have to use DirectPass as your main browser if you want it to bring up stored credentials automatically — it doesn't work by filling in credentials on other browsers, including the built-in browser for Android phones. Basically, once you've used DirectPass to store the usernames and passwords for the sites you most frequently visit and log in to, you'll need to launch the app every time you need to access those sites. Each time you launch the app, or even when you switch back to it after using another app, you'll have to enter the main password that you created when you set up the app.
The DirectPass app that we tried our Android phone worked well to store the credentials for our most-used Web sites, but as a Web browser, it isn't as good as the built-in Android browser. For example, we couldn't double-tap the screen to make text from a Web page fit the screen; instead, we had to use plus and minus buttons and move around the screen. It would be a better user experience if the app could control the credentials for the Web browser of your preference (much like it does on a PC, although Chrome isn't supported), rather than making you browse the Web through its own interface. It doesn't do this for security reasons though.
DirectPass is password enabled to protect your login details to all those sites (whereas another non-secure browser could simply remember the details and allow anyone access) and it protects those with a central password. Once logged in to DirectPass, you can see a list of all the sites for which you have stored credentials, and simply tap on them to log in. DirectPass treats the login page of those sites as a bookmark and enters the information in the supplied fields for usernames and passwords.
If you use DirectPass on your mobile device and also on your desktop PC, you'll have access to all the sites you've stored on both locations once they are synchronised. The bad thing is, mobile devices will store mobile sites, so you'll have to store two sets of credentials, one for the mobile site through your phone, and one for the regular site on your desktop.
You can basically think of DirectPass as a secure Web browser for your mobile device. One which will store usernames and passwords and let you log in to Web sites simply by tapping on their bookmark. All you'll need to remember is a central password for the app, but you'll need to enter this password every time you launch the app, and even when you switch back to it when multi-tasking. For $19.95 per year, it seems like a hefty investment unless password security is of paramount importance to you.
• Related review: Trend Micro Mobile Security Personal Edition
Join the newsletter!
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Apple iMac Pro
Ballistix Sport AT
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Toys for Boys
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
ESET Internet Security
Tivoli PAL BT
ESET Smart Security Premium
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- McAfee releases 2019 Threat Predictions Report
- Malwarebytes releases 2018 Q3 Cybercrime Tactics and Techniques Report
- Cylance helps Australians stay smart online
- McAfee QTR detects 2018 threat activity
- Formjacking on the rise in lead up to festive shopping period
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- CES 2019 Round-Up:
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies