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Data Guardian 1.0.1 review

Store all your personal information

every new record has the fields for storing online IDs and passwords

Our Verdict

A top-quality version one release, which needs just a few improvements


  • Very configurable

    Flexible and powerful import system

    Interface slightly unhelpful


  • Can't import keychain passwords

    It's slow

    No preset category templates

We're all likely to forget information at some time or other, and the time-honoured way of getting around this has been to write it down. In this day and age of passwords, credit card security codes and hackers, though, a piece of paper stuck in your wallet just isn't a good idea. Enter Data Guardian...

For a version one iteration, Data Guardian is surprisingly sophisticated and easy to use. You create a database and add records to it; by default, every new record has the fields for storing online IDs and passwords. You can change the fields for any record to include pictures, notes, other passwords, dates, email addresses and phone numbers.

You can also create categories with different defaults: any record with that category will then have those fields unless you customise it. Once you're done, you can encrypt the database with the 442-bit Blowfish algorithm, so no one else can access it.

But how do you get your existing data into it? Data Guardian can import data from text files using a particularly strong import wizard, the OS X Address Book, vCards and Contact Keeper 4. It can import data from OS X keychains, but not the passwords.

There are also handy extras which lift it above rivals like Web Confidential: a password generator, a keychain synchroniser so that you can send info back into OS X keychains, and a database sync tool to share records.

Being on version one, there are a few flaws. The interface tends to hide things; it's a little slow with larger databases; there are no default templates for common record-types, such as bank account details or software serial numbers; and a Palm conduit would really blast Web Confidential out of the water.

However, it's an excellent beginning that will serve most people's needs perfectly. Rob Buckley