TABLE OF CONTENTS
|Relatively affordable at $1.25 per month paid annually or $1.04 per month paid every two years||No support for password sharing|
|Supports two-factor authentication (2FA)||Outdated information on the Trend Micro website|
|Positive user reviews|
As stated on their website, “DirectPass uses 256-bit encryption to secure your data and ensure that nobody can read it without your Master Password.”
At the same time, encryption isn’t enough to protect your password manager account or any other account that contains sensitive information completely. For example, you also need to set a strong, unique password and secure your account with 2FA where available. 2FA protects your accounts from unauthorized access by requiring approval for new login attempts.
Trend Micro is compatible with 2FA through short message service (SMS), email, and mobile authenticator apps. Authenticator apps are generally more secure than either of the other two channels, so we would recommend using a dedicated app if possible.
When you sign up for Trend Micro DirectPass, you’ll need to create two separate passwords: an account password for your global Trend Micro account, and a master password that specifically controls access to your vault. It’s never a good idea to use the same password more than once, so make sure to come up with something different for these two passwords.
While you can always recover your account password via email, it’s critical to remember your master password or store it in a secure place. Trend Micro allows you to reset your master password after signing in, but this process also deletes everything in your vault. Keep in mind that there’s no other way to recover a vault after forgetting the master password.
While Trend Micro details the system requirements for DirectPass on its website, this information appears to be outdated. For example, the website states that DirectPass works with Chrome up to version 29, but Chrome 29 was originally released in 2013. Chrome is now at 103, but that isn’t reflected on the Trend Micro website.
Similarly, the website mentions macOS 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8, but Apple has since progressed to macOS 12.3.1. We were able to get Trend Micro working on an updated macOS laptop, so this may not be a real issue. However, it’s unclear whether you’ll face any compatibility issues if you try to use DirectPass on a newer operating system other than macOS.
|Chrome||Yes (12 to 29 on Windows, 26 to 29 on macOS)|
|Firefox||Yes (3.6 to 23 on Windows, 21 to 23 on macOS)|
|Safari||Yes (6.0 and above)|
|Internet Explorer||Yes (7.0 to 11, 32-bit and 64-bit)|
|iOS||Yes, 3.2, 4.3 and above, 5.x, and 6.1|
|Android||Yes, Google Android 2.1, 2.3 and above, 3.x, 4.0, 4.1, and 4.2|
|Windows PC||Yes, Windows XP and newer|
|MacOS||Yes, macOS 10.6 and newer|
DirectPass is just one of many services offered by Trend Micro, so it isn’t as easy to find as you might expect. From their website, go to the section for home users, click “Products,” and then look for the password manager. Trend Micro asks whether you want to start with the free version or pay for the premium service.
After getting started with DirectPass, the application saves passwords automatically when you use them for the first time. At that point, you’ll be able to rely on DirectPass to enter passwords automatically so that you don’t have to remember them yourself.
While Trend Micro DirectPass is relatively functional, the interface isn’t quite as sleek as some of the other top password managers. The main dashboard is split up into three sections: Passwords, Form Filling, and Secure Notes. The Passwords category shows any unsafe passwords as well as a list of all of your entries. It makes sense when you get used to it, but it doesn’t look very modern, and it’s less intuitive than many of the leading competitors.
Importing passwords is another notable issue with DirectPass compared to other password managers. DirectPass does support some imports, but only from a limited range of sources:
Unlike most other password managers, DirectPass doesn’t work with imports from regular .CSV files. That’s no problem if you use one of the platforms above, but it makes things more complicated for users who are coming from an unsupported password manager.
Unfortunately, Trend Micro DirectPass doesn’t offer any support for password sharing. It keeps your passwords safe on multiple devices logged into the same account, but it won’t allow you to share those entries with anyone else. This is a critical disadvantage for DirectPass, especially considering that most other paid password managers offer unlimited password sharing.
Trend Micro DirectPass offered a comprehensive help center with information about setup, billing, troubleshooting, and other common questions. However, while this part of the website covers many different topics, the articles themselves aren’t always very detailed. You may find that you need more help to resolve any issues you encounter.
The Trend Micro support forums are another resource for users who are having trouble with the platform. The downside of the forums is that they don’t seem to be particularly active — we found many recent posts that didn’t receive any replies at all.
Some common issues generate lots of responses, but many of the replies simply come from other users who are having the same issue. Overall, the support forums didn’t appear to be as helpful as the more active forums we’ve seen from other top password managers.
One-on-one support is also available through email, phone, and live chat. These services are available to free users and even those who don’t have a Trend Micro account at all.
If you need more responsive support, you also have the option to pay for premium services or upgrade to a premium support subscription. For example, the Ultimate Service Bundle comes with unlimited 24/7 desktop support through remote access. Check out the Trend Micro website for more information.
Trend Micro DirectPass technically comes with a free option, but this version of the service is highly limited. While you can keep a free account active for as long as you want, you’ll only be able to store a maximum of five passwords.
Other than the limit on passwords, there are no differences between the free and paid version of Trend Micro DirectPass. You can upgrade to the premium option for $14.95 per year or $24.95 every two years, which works out to $1.25 or $1.04 per month.
Trend Micro doesn’t offer a trial of the premium plan since you can test out the application using the free version. However, you can get a full refund of your subscription payment as long as you reach out to their team within 30 days.
|Functionality||How It Works|
|Setting Up the Vault||Trend Micro DirectPass asks if you want to save your password each time you log into a new application. Unfortunately, Trend Micro only supports password imports on Windows, so this isn’t an option for people who use other operating systems. Furthermore, imports are only supported through web browsers.|
|Logging Into Accounts||When you visit a website with a saved password, Trend Micro DirectPass asks if you want to enter that password. Alternatively, you can set Trend Micro DirectPass to log you in automatically without asking for approval.|
|Creating Passwords||Trend Micro DirectPass includes a built-in password generator that comes with several customization options. You can adjust settings for length as well as the presence of different character types, such as uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.|
|Changing Passwords||Trend Micro DirectPass doesn’t come with an automatic password change tool, so you need to change your passwords through the normal process on each website.|
|Sharing Logins||While Trend Micro DirectPass can sync passwords across different devices on your account, there’s no way to securely share logins with other users.|
|Recovering Account||If you forget your Trend Micro account password, you can always recover your account by requesting a recovery link via email.|
|Advanced Security Features||Supports 2FA through SMS, email, and mobile authenticator apps.|
It’s hard to find much feedback for Trend Micro DirectPass, but the reviews that have been published are generally positive. The mobile app has an excellent average score of 4.5 out of 5 on the Google Play Store with a sample of more than 5,000 unique reviews.
In general, Android users are happy with the ease of use and overall value offered by Trend Micro DirectPass. Meanwhile, some users were disappointed by the ongoing lack of support for importing passwords via mobile — even if you just want to use the mobile app, you still have to import your passwords on desktop first.
DirectPass is the password manager from Trend Micro, a cybersecurity provider that also offers other services, such as endpoint security and risk management. While DirectPass doesn’t come with password sharing, it comes with other basic password management features, such as 2FA, cross-device syncing, and a secure password generator.