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Password helper PassPack goes offline (in a good way)

Manage your Web passwords while offline with PassPack's new desktop app.

PassPack is a password-saving service I first checked out back in January of last year. This past week it released a really cool and smart password-saving tool that exists separately from your browser and lets you manage your passwords while offline. It also syncs up with PassPack's cloud storage to let you access your shared passwords, then sync them to multiple, authorized computers.

The application's claim to fame is that you can access your passwords while offline and without the use of your browser. If you don't feel like installing a new, standalone app, you can get similar functionality by trying out the offline version of PassPack that takes advantage of Google Gears to let you do this while away from an Internet connection.

Since Adobe's AIR is cross-platform (download for Mac or Windows), PassPack's developers have chosen to spend more time developing it than the browser-based Gears iteration. Plus, if you're a user of multiple browsers, including some that fall outside the Gears love (like Opera (download for Windows or Mac)), the desktop application will work without issues.

One current weak point with the AIR app (that's due to be remedied soon) is that any locally created passwords will not sync back up with your central PassPack account, so if you're intending to add any new ones you should do that in the Web version instead. The tool also requires the use of an incredibly strong packing password that will roll up all your other passwords. Like I said when I first checked out the service, you're best to write it down somewhere as without it there's no way to recover notes and passwords stored in your account.

PassPack Desktop performs in much the same way the Web version does, although you can access it while away from your browser. CNET Networks