So many clicks compared to Roboform…am I missing something?
No, you are not missing anything. RF has spoiled us with ease of use and robustness.
Over the past week, I’ve spent most of my time researching, installing and testing self-hosted Bitwarden (BW). After installing BW server numerous times in both Windows and Linux VM’s that I spun up in VMWare Workstation, I finally decided to “go for it”. I created a new Linux VM on my vSphere server (just for BW) and imported my hundreds of logins from Roboform (RF).
Adjusting to the switch from RF to the BW client on Windows is not too painful but Android is a different story. With RF, I could create shortcuts on my phone’s home screen for commonly used logins. To use them, all I had to do was touch the shortcut icon, scan my fingerprint and the webpage would open with the fields populated, every time. Or I could open the RF app, scan my fingerprint and search for or select a login from the list (which displays instantly unlike BW) and have it open the webpage with the login fields auto-filled, every time.
With BW, I have to create/save a Firefox bookmark of a login page to the phone’s home screen. Once I touch the Firefox shortcut, the webpage opens but the fields remain empty. I have both Autofill and Accessibility enabled so that should be all that is required. Now I have a couple of choices on how to proceed. I can touch the password field in the webpage and see the autofill pop-up flash on the screen for a millisecond. It does not stay on the screen long enough to touch it. It does this disappearing act about 85% of the time. If it does stay on screen long enough for me to touch it, I am prompted to scan my fingerprint so BW can be unlocked. Once BW opens, I have to scroll through all of the logins that match the same base domain name. No matter what I have set for global URI match, it displays a list of all logins that have the same base domain name. When I finally find the correct login and touch it, I am taken back to the webpage but 50% of the time, no login fields are filled in. The next thing I can do is pull down the BW notification at the top of the screen and search for the login and touch it. I then get an option to view the item or autofill. Autofill works, this time. It would have been quicker to forgo BW and just enter the credentials manually.
Since the above method is a crapshoot and such a waste of time, I figured I’d remove the shortcuts to my commonly used logins from my home screen and use the BW add-on in Firefox, instead. My thought was to just open Firefox and use the BW add-on as a replacement for Firefox’s bookmarks menu. So I open Firefox, scroll down and touch the Bitwarden add-on link and then I am prompted to enter my PIN (no option for fingerprint scan). Now the Autofill pop-up is in my way! Now it wants to stay on the screen! After entering my PIN, I have to wait several seconds for BW to populate. Now I have to either search for my login or touch the ‘My Vault’ icon to list all of my logins and scroll through the list. If I go the search route, I get to enter two characters in the search box before the keypad disappears because the list is being populated. I have to touch the search box again to make the keypad display so I can enter more characters. This is very annoying. Once I find my login, I have to select ‘launch’ so the webpage is opened. About 20% of the time the fields do not autofill.
The phone that I have used for most of my testing is a mint condition Google Pixel XL with Android Pie. RF has worked perfectly on this phone as well as autofill for any other app. I did remove RF so these issues are not caused by RF/BW conflicts. Also, the BW app has crashed a couple of times and my phone mysteriously rebooted itself, once, when it wasn’t being used. This NEVER happened until I installed BW.
I haven’t given up on BW, yet, but another detractor is the fact that you cannot edit or create and save new logins, remotely, unless you allow Internet access to the BW server. The main reason for me wanting to switch to BW is to eliminate cloud storage and syncing over the Internet. You can (and I do) use a VPN but I cannot add my VPN to company owned equipment and I cannot use a VPN at some secured locations. So BW will often be read-only for me. Learning this AFTER all of the countless hours of testing was a huge disappointment. This is not an issue for RF. You can edit or create and save new logins while offline and sync the changes later. I was shocked to learn BW does not offer this functionality.
My intent is not to bash BW. I just want it to work as designed. Not being able to write while offline is not a deal breaker but the autofill issue is. Also, why do I have to unlock BW twice? Once in the app with a fingerprint scan and once in the Firefox add-on with a PIN. Can’t they be linked so one unlocks the other?
If anyone has any ideas about the autofill issues or if you have experienced the same things, please share with us