Password sleuth | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Password sleuth

Recover lost passwords with this powerful program.

It's a sickening feeling when you realize you've forgotten an important password, especially when it's a password for something that doesn't have a password recovery feature. Passware Kit is a powerful program that can help recover unknown passwords, but it comes at a price, both in terms of money and time.

The program's interface is sleek and attractive, with its major features displayed on a home screen. Users can choose to recover a file password, recover Internet and network passwords, reset the Windows administrator password, or search the computer for protected files. We tried the program with several types of Microsoft Office documents, and it worked fine, as far as we could tell. Short, easy passwords were recovered quickly, but passwords that were a mix of numbers and letters exceeded the maximum search time of one minute for the trial version of the software; the last recovery we tried was estimated to take five days. This isn't necessarily a bad thing--the program uses several different methods to recover passwords, and they're quite thorough--but be aware that password recovery probably won't be instantaneous. We didn't have much luck recovering passwords from Web sites or our network, and the program's Help file didn't go into much detail about the various features. Overall, Passware Kit has potential, but users will want to carefully evaluate the trial version before deciding to purchase.

Passware Kit is free to try. The program installs and uninstalls without issues. We recommend this program to all users.

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