PWGen: Create cryptographically secure passwords or passphrases

These days, everyone should come with an additional layer of security for one’s online accounts. No matter whether this is your social media account, email account or internet banking account, it’s essential to set an exceptionally strong and difficult to guess password or passphrase to stay protected from brute force attacks.  Unfortunately, many still use passwords like qwerty123, password123, myname&date-of-birth etc. Most of these passwords are really easy to remember, but may not strong enough to safeguard your account. This is where third party password generators come in. If you are a Chrome user, the you can use its built-in password generator, else you can also opt for a standalone password generator like our freeware PassBox or PWGen.

Create secure passwords or passphrases

PWGen is an awesome third-party password generator, which is available free of cost. Even though, no information is pointed out on the official website of PWGen about availability or compatibility, you can make use of this software on Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 as well, without having any issue. Nonetheless, while testing this software, it hung for for a short while, the first time I ran it on Windows 8.1 – a minor nuisance.

PWGen features

PWGen has features which are very useful. Here is its list of features:

  • Create password using various conditions
  • Multiple character sets support
  • Character only password, word only password etc.
  • Save passwords in text file
  • Create profile for different types of passwords
  • Encrypt/Decrypt clipboard
  • Use Hotkey/keyboard shortcut to open PWGen

It has more other useful features. But, you need to use it to get them all.

How to create strong password using PWGen

This is very easy since the UI is uncluttered. At first, download PWGen and install it on your PC. While installing this software, you will get an option to Store program setting ( in program folder instead of %APPDATA% folder.

By default, it gathers all files in %APPDATA% folder. If you want to let it stores all program settings in program folder, you will have to make a tick next to Store program settings (PWGen.ini) in program folder instead of %APPDATA% folder.

You can also create a desktop shortcut during installation.

After running the freeware, the following screen will open up.

PWGen Create secure passwords

Now, you can set it up according to your requirements. It offers several options, character sets, word counts to create password. The very first option is Character set. You can use various sets.

<AZ>: A…Z

<az>: a…z

<09>: 0…9

<Hex>: 0…9, A…F

<hex>: 0…9, a…f

<high>: High ANSI characters

<base64>: <AZ><az><09>, +, /

To create a password, you just need to select the length of the password that you wish to have and the character set.

The second option is Include words. You can add words in the passwords. By default, it provides a word list, which works well. However, if you have any custom word list, you can enter it here. You can enter maximum 100 words in your password.

The last option is Format Password. You can choose various formats to create a strong password.

There are various formats like %{%6A%L%d%}. Each format helps users to create a different password. The following image can let you know about the formats.

PWGen Quick help Pane

After setting up everything according to your requirements, hit the Generate button. You will get your password in the Generated password box. A status bar is positioned under the Generated password box. This status bar indicates how strong your password is.

In this way, you can create one password at a time. If you want to create 5 passwords or 10 password at once, just click on the Generate button, which is positioned under Format password box.

Generate Multiple Passwords at once

Instead of using your name, date of birth, pet name etc. as your password, this is far better to use a password generator, which can create strong password or passphrase.

You can download PWGen from here.

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Sudip is a student who loves to engage with the latest technology & gadgets. Apart from writing about all things technology, he is a Photoshop junkie and a football enthusiast.