Fat Wallet

posted in Reviews on August 20th, 2007

Ever since the release of mobile storage devices, people have repurposed their gadgets to store important, often even confidential data on them. While there is nothing wrong with that per se, many users seem to forget the various security issues that could arise if someone were to get a hold of your Pocket PC and its unencrypted content.

Thanks to Ilium Software however, there is an application you can use to get the best of both worlds: carry your important data with you, wherever you go and still keep it safe and protected behind a layer that is as difficult to break as your password.

Wallet Size

On last count, my eWallet storage was 226 cards big (or does that count as huge already?). These cards are made up of roughly 120 logins for various things, software license keys, two dozen of personal items such as drivers license, SSN and all those other numbers you cannot ever remember but still need all the time and also a few select items such as “doing CPR the right way” and other medical items. Yes, believe it or not, that is what I use eWallet for, too.

I consider myself an eWallet power user and as such, I would like to share a hint with you: take a bit of time to analyze the data you use the most inside your eWallet database(s). I have four main categories, in the root of the wallet file and nothing else, no stray cards, no nothing.

Every one of these categories is prefixed with a number so if I have the SIP open or am on a PC, I can just type the number to jump to the category. The naming of the categories is a scheme that is similar to one that I use for email folders and groups in my chat application. This way, I already know the basic structure of the data underneath.

eWallet’s category feature is as simple as it is powerful. Set up the right way, it will save you a lot of time, but if you are not specific enough, you might end up wasting time as opposed to saving it.

Wallet Buddies

Ilium Software’s eWallet is one of those applications that you can use on just about every mobile device you use, including Pocket PCs, Smartphones, Palmtops and even on U3 drives.

The Desktop version of eWallet also includes SyncPro, which handles the various syncing tasks. Besides the standard device-to-device syncing, eWallet also lets you sync your wallet file with a Windows Share, FTP server or iOmega.

To answer a question of paranoid users: yes, the FTP syncing feature is plain FTP, which means that someone could sniff out your password. This does not, however compromise the data stored within your wallet file. That data is protected by a 256 bit encryption, which is twice as much encryption as most banks offer.

Wallet Chain

Apart from the main application and the syncing conduit, there are also two versions of PassBuilder, one that is installed on your device and one that is available online. PassBuilder, as the name suggests, is used to generate secure passwords.

A number of options enable you to generate the kind of password you can remember best, be that in the form of a mnemonic sentence or as part of a dictionary word.

Wallet Design

To visually enhance your listing, eWallet includes a feature that lets you select an icon to represent the content of the card. This works amazingly well with software license cards and even can be used to include a Favicon for a website login.

Besides icons, eWallet also lets you add sounds and (background) images that are played / displayed whenever a specific card is accessed. If you feel like customizing your wallet file even more, you might want to read about a long lost feature on Ilium Software’s blog.

Wallet Shop

In case the message still is not obvious, I love eWallet. I have been using it for years now and you should be using it too. eWallet is as great as it sounds; it protects your data and works across a huge group of different devices (and platforms).

For approximately $30, you can get the professional suite, which makes a lot more sense than just buying the Pocket PC (or Smartphone) version, because once you are hooked on storing data in eWallet, you will not want to be creating your cards on a small slide-out keyboard.

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