Why use the Offline Version?

On Friday we announced the release of the PassPack Offline Version, on Sunday we found out why it’s important to download it and get it set up before there’s a problem.

Better safe than sorry. I can’t count how many times I’ve told, and been told, that in my lifetime. But even the best of us can procrastinate sometimes doing what’s “best” – especially when what’s “best” takes a bunch of our time to get set up and, hey, who’s got extra time? I know.

Another phrase I grew up hearing (my mother’s personal favorite) was “don’t tempt the fates”. I’m not superstitious, but I can hear those words ringing in my ears right now.

This morning (or last night, depending on your time zone) PassPack had problems. The site seemed to be up and running just fine, but the connection between the application and the database was dropping. The end result was a bunch of people trying to login and being told their account couldn’t be found. Why? Well, because without a database connection, indeed, the application wasn’t finding the accounts.

None of the accounts actually went missing, but a lot of people were locked out from their data. And that’s bad. Very very bad.

While we were fretting to get things back in working order, I couldn’t help but thinking – if only everyone had managed downloaded and set up the Offline Version

… Tara drifts off into thought… (oh… the offline version!… did we tempt the fates by releasing that?… what a horrible, terrible, ugly coincidence! ) …

Back to reality.

We’re still investigating the connection dropping, which seems most likely due to (of all things) the automated backup procedure.

Folks, better safe than sorry:
please go and install the offline version now.

It may take a few minutes, but it’s definitely worth it. We’ll all sleep better tonight – actually, we won’t be sleeping much tonight, we’ll be manually monitoring the server to make sure the connection doesn’t drop again – but you’ll sleep better.

And that’s what’s important.

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4 responses to “Why use the Offline Version?

  1. Hans Nordhaug

    Just some thoughts:

    1) The offline version is nice and user-friendly, but not really needed (unless passpack.com turns very unstable) – read on. In addition you need it on all computers you use (to be really safe) – you don’t know if you are at home or at work when passpack.com is down. (I’m using PassPack exactly to avoid having to install something everywhere.)

    2) Any service, online or not, may have down-time. If you can’t live with that, you should have taken the necessary steps already – no offline version needed for that. Just export the plain text version of your database at PassPack. Store it on an USB stick or on your laptop, encrypted (twice if you want to) and you are safe. You might even store it on Gmail or some other online storage service (since it’s encrypted) … However, using the already encrypted version is better – read on.

    3) What I would like is to have a backup option with the encrypted data in plain text format (in stead of PassPack format) using my two pass-phrases. Then, if the encryption is done with AES (as promised) we can unpack it with OpenSSL (which have support AES) or any other AES tool – see WikiPedia. Could we please get that extra backup option? (I know this might not be what most people want, but it certainly would be convenient for the advanced (*nix) users.)

    PS! Maybe override the WordPress shortcut icon (favicon) – branding is everything …

  2. The offline version is perfect so I can manage and verify my backup without going and looking for other tools (I do not know… let us say something like openSSL).

    a plain text password database on my usb stick?? Dis I understand well?

    p.s. yes a blog.passpack.com url with favicon would be perfect…

  3. Another vote for a non GoogleGears version of PassPack. So I can have it with me in a USB stick without the need of more software. I will be traveling soon (for a few months) and using random computers that wont have GG installed. Besides even in my city, it will be handy to have a working version with me at anytime. Thank you.

  4. I use KeePass and PassPack more or less simultaneously. KeePass installs on a desktop or on a USB flash drive as part of the PortableApps package. PassPack is my primary password keeper and KeePass kept in sync with it. Yes, that’s more work, but that way I always have offline access to my passwords with completely different but also very secure software. KeePass is also free and has an even easier way to enter login names and passwords at sites, so I tend to use it day to day, with PassPack as the primary password keeper.

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