Review of the Stash Password Manager — Updated

Bob Young
9 min readMay 18, 2020

The most secure password storage is offline. A criminal on the other side of the world can’t steal your passwords if they’re not on the Internet to be stolen in the first place. Until recently, storing your passwords offline has meant writing them in a notebook. One of my clients keeps all of her business passwords on 3x5 cards, in a locked desk drawer, in a building with a burglar alarm. Nothing wrong with that; a securely managed written list is absolutely acceptable.

It’s acceptable, but not perfect. For example, a written list can be lost or stolen. If it’s lost, you probably don’t have a backup copy, so every password has to be recovered manually with the “forgot my password” option. And if the list is stolen, well, your written password list probably isn’t encrypted, so whoever took it can read it.

The Stash Password Manager addresses these problems. It’s offline. It’s encrypted. You can make a backup. And — bonus — you can take it with you, because it’s tiny and portable.

Before I get into the details of the review, it’s time for full disclosure with some background information. In December of 2019, a friend asked me what I thought of the Stash card. At that time I had never seen a Stash card. I did some online research and then wrote my original review. (It contained information that is now outdated, so I deleted it). I tried to give an impartial report of the pros and cons, so my friend could decide if the Stash card was something she might want to try.

As it turned out, that review was more popular than I would ever have imagined. It got the attention of the people at Elsi, Inc., the parent company of Stash, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. They tracked me down, connected with me on LinkedIn, and offered me a free Stash card, no strings attached. I accepted their offer, and — spoiler alert — I told them that if I liked it, I’d write a second review.

My first Stash card! (Later, I bought a spare)

I’ve been carrying and using the Stash card for over a month now. I also conducted a video interview with some of the key players at Stash, and asked pointed questions about the technology, the hardware, and the software. In this article, I’ll describe the features, give you my analysis, and tell you why the Stash Password Manager is now a permanent part of my life. Oh — and I’ll tell you…

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Bob Young

CISO, Director of Information Security, and Security Consultant. Also, I wrote some books that have nothing to do with IT. http://www.amazon.com/author/bobyoung