Review: Ascendo Datavault

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Datavault A lot of us forget that the Blackberry is more than just cell phone and email. It does contain some PDA functions, albeit not as great as the Treo but passable for many users. One of the many uses of the PDA or electronic organizers is to replace the pen and paper as a better way to keep notes and addresses. I would use the Memo Pad application to quickly jot down my thoughts, list reminders, and store information. After awhile, you realize the things you write in memopad and how sensitive they are, ie. passwords, combinations, security codes, etc. Ascendo tries to solve this problem with their Datavault progam which allows you to securely store sensitive information on your Blackberry. Read our thoughts on the program:

When first starting the program you will be asked to set a password. This password will subsequently be asked every time you boot up your program. Afterwards you will be sent to the main screen where you can now enter your information. Adding information is made simple with the built-in templates. For example if you wanted to add your frequent flyer card, DataVault will automatically ask you for Name, Airline, Account Number, PIN, and Total Miles. You can also make a custom entry, but it was rare for me the 13 default templates cover most items that you will ever need to enter.

Another great security feature is the built-in Security Time-Out, which after a certain length of inactivity will force the screen to go blank and to re-enter your password. If you find this feature too annoying you always have the option of disabling it but I wouldn’t really recommend that especially if you’re storing sensitive information. Another feature which has become a pseudo trademark of Ascendo programs is the ability to change the theme of the program. Doesn’t really add to the functionality of the program but we do look like it.

One aspect that is missing from the program is the ability to sort items by category, the default is alphabetically. Not really needed if you don’t have many items listed but if you’re a heavy user then you maybe wishing for it.

Datavault retails for $14.95 and can be purchased here.

UPDATE: Be sure to check out our review of Data Vault’s most recent version, 4.3.

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