Abine Blur Review
Updated · May 26, 2022
Best for: Basic password management with data masking and tracker blocking
What Is Abine Blur?
Blur is a password management solution by Abine, a privacy company founded in 2009 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers and financial academics. Along with its sister product DeleteMe, Blur protected the online privacy of more than 25 million individuals by 2019.
As a standalone product, Blur has only been on the market since 2014. But its precursors, DoNotTrackMe and MaskMe, can shed light on its functionalities.
Officially, Blur’s developers call it a password manager and digital wallet with a unique web-tracker-blocking capability. But this depiction doesn’t do it justice. A more fitting description of this tool is a virtual private network for passwords, emails, credit and debit cards, and phones.
The Blur software is the ultimate supplement to any VPN. Surprisingly, no Abine Blur review has made the connection before us.
A VPN encrypts your web traffic and prevents your internet service provider from spying on your browsing activities. For its part, the Blur app masks your sensitive information and stops tech companies from monitoring what you do online to benefit their advertisers.
Abine Blur Features
Most Abine Blur reviews show that this software doesn’t have the most impressive feature set. Unfortunately, we have to agree. Blur is more of a toolkit for online privacy safeguarding than a pure password vault.
The functionality of the Blur password manager includes:
When creating an account with Blur, you are asked to create a text-based password to secure your entire account. You can regularly change this master password if needed.
Your master password also encrypts all of your login credentials and data for auto-filling web forms.
Password Strength Checker
Blur measures the strength of your passwords from weak to very strong. The length seems to be the sole standard of the Blur app for deciding on the overall password strength.
You can import your login credentials from any of the following six password managers:
If you’ve saved your data as a Blur export file or any other CSV document, you can upload it into the software from a drive.
Unlimited Password Storage
Blur by Abine doesn’t limit the number of passwords you can save. This policy applies to users of the Blur free plan and the paid subscription. The only downside to not having a paid subscription is that the storage is limited to one device.
The Blur password manager supports the most popular platforms. Its cloud-based software works on Windows and macOS, while it has mobile apps for iOS and Android. If you’re a desktop or laptop user, you can download Blur for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, or Internet Explorer.
When the Blur extension detects that you’re registering on a new site, it will offer to create a strong password. A panel will appear below the corresponding field automatically. By default, it generates a combination of random letters, numbers, and special characters. But you have the option to create a Blur password with just letters.
You can also generate a new password in the Accounts section on the Blur dashboard.
The Accounts section contains all of your accounts, sites, saved passwords, and requested masked email addresses. This is also the place where you can import logins and view your Backup Passphrase.
You can manually save your credit card details, addresses, and identities, so the web browser extension can help you fill out web forms with one click.
This feature tells Blur to automatically remember your login credentials per account and credit card information.
A companion functionality for Auto-Saving, Auto-Fill instructs the Blur extension to automatically fill out web-form fields with your stored credit card information, addresses, or identities.
When activated, this feature tells the Blur software to enter your information on its own right after filling in the username and password fields.
Data masking is Blur’s claim to fame. With this feature, you can use sites and apps without ever revealing your real personal information.
Masked details may not be your actual credentials, but they’re not fake. They can help you register and log in to sites and apps, exchange communications with other people and business entities, and shop online anonymously.
Masked Email Addresses
With Blur email masking, you can hide your real email address from parties you don’t trust. If a site or an app forces you to use your email address as your username, Blur automatically replaces it with a masked one.
If you use a masked email address, you can receive all messages in your temporary inbox on the Blur dashboard. The operative word here is temporary, for the storage of said emails is good for only one hour to two months.
You can choose how long you want to keep your correspondence in the inbox within that range before it gets forwarded to your real email address. If you don’t wish to deliver the messages, you can disable this function.
You can have multiple forwarding email addresses on file. And you can change them as often as you like, but you can only mask up to three email addresses at a time.
Masked Phone Numbers
The same concept applies to phone masking. When you sign up for the paid subscription, you’ll automatically get a masked Blur phone number you can give away instead of your real landline, cell phone, and feature phone number to protect your privacy.
As of this writing, Blur’s phone number masking service is only available in the following countries:
- The Netherlands
- South Africa
- United States
- United Kingdom
All text messages and calls intended for your masked contact information get diverted to your real number or voicemail. You can disable its forwarding feature to stop unwanted parties from reaching you. Blocked parties won’t know you blocked them. Once blocked, they will hear a recording saying that your number is no longer in use.
If you want to make a domestic masked phone call, you can do so via the web-based or mobile Blur app. The fee is $0.01 to connect and $0.01 for every additional minute. When it comes to SMS, there’s a charge of $0.01 for every text message. At the moment, texting functionality is limited to US and UK users only.
As a paid subscriber, you get a monthly $3 masked phone limit. Unfortunately, Blur doesn’t roll over any unused credit to the next month.
Right now, you can’t forward calls to more than one phone number. You could request a new masked Blur phone number for a onetime $7 fee in the past, but it isn’t an option anymore.
If you’re wondering how to pay anonymously online, payment card masking is the way to go. Blur masked cards are like burner cards.
Instead of inputting your credit or debit card information on checkout, you can ask Blur to create a virtual card on the fly. You set the amount you want to spend to avoid overcharging, and then you’re set to pay anonymously. Afterward, you pay Blur with funds drafted from your bank account or on credit.
Premium Basic subscribers have to pay a fee for setting up an anonymous credit card online. The amount depends on how much you want to spend. It’s free to make an anonymous credit card payment on the Premium Unlimited plan.
Abine doesn’t receive a cut on masked card transactions and merely passes third-party charges onto customers on the Basic plan. It’s a fair deal since Abine has no control over the fees major credit card companies impose.
Having the Blur Premium Unlimited subscription doesn’t exempt you from masked card creation fees for good, though. You’re only entitled to two free credit card–funded masked card payments every 30 days. Normal fees may apply if you exhaust this limit.
Backup and Sync
Secure backup enables Blur Premium subscribers to store their logins and masked credentials on the cloud. It ensures that your data is automatically updated, easily manageable, and instantly accessible through your devices.
The Blur free plan doesn’t give you the cloud storage option but stores your data locally.
As a Blur Premium subscriber, you get the luxury of syncing your data across all of your devices. There are no restrictions on the number of devices.
If you save your logins and masked credentials on Blur servers, you’ll be able to instantly log into your account on your personal computer, smartphone, or tablet.
From an online security standpoint, password synchronization helps prevent you from losing access to your Blur data when a device of yours gets stolen, misplaced, or broken.
Through Blur for Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Chrome, or Safari, you can stop tracking companies from following you around the internet. These parties collect information from you and sell their records to advertisers for profit. Abine claims that it has blocked more than 600 companies since 2012.
Tracker Blocking has its own section on the Blur dashboard, showing you a graph depicting the daily number of trackers the software has prevented from spying on you.
It’s possible to download your Blur data in CSV. You can only export one category at a time, though. Here are your options:
- Auto-fill cards
- Auto-fill addresses
- Auto-fill identities
- Masked cards (quick or detailed)
- Masked emails
The Passphrase serves as your recovery password when you get locked out of your account. If you forget your master password, Blur is able to send you an email confirmation to restore the personal information you masked. But to regain your encrypted files, you need your Backup Passphrase.
Blur generates one for you when signing up. You should copy and save it outside of this password manager to ensure that you can get a hold of it when the need arises.
Blur Account Deletion
Abine allows you to delete your Blur account and erase all of your stored data from its servers with no questions asked.
Abine Blur Mobile Apps
Blur has mobile apps for Android and iOS. We tested the Blur app for Android in its beta stage and discovered that it has solid potential. It combines the best of the cloud-based Blur software and its accompanying browser extension and comes with additional features.
As follows as the unique functionalities of Blur’s mobile app:
The current version launches a device’s default web browser to initiate a search via DuckDuckGo. This search engine doesn’t collect or sell personal information and provides non-personalized results for search queries.
Varied Password Generation Options
The mobile app has three password generators for creating credentials. You can make passwords with letters only, alphanumeric characters only, or a mix of letters, numbers, and special symbols.
Enhanced Language Support
Compared to the cloud-based Blur software that supports five languages, the app provides 12 options. You can change the content from English to the following:
- Chinese (Simplified)
- Chinese (Traditional)
System Location and Advertising Tracking Deactivation
Blur provides instructional slides to disable the system location and advertising tracking features on Android devices.
With the Blur app, you can set reminders for reviewing your device’s privacy settings once a week or once a month.
Ease of Use and Interface
Blur doesn’t have its own site, so you have to visit Abine.com to register. Once logged in, you will notice that the Privacy Dashboard doesn’t look modern, but it’s highly intuitive and responsive.
On the left side of the dashboard’s header are two icons, providing quick links to the homepage and the temporary inbox for masked email addresses. On the right are links to dedicated mobile and Blur Premium upgrade pages.
In the right-hand corner of the Privacy Dashboard is a drop-down menu, providing a second Premium upgrade link alongside Settings, Virtual Tour, Help, Refer a Friend, and Logout buttons.
The dashboard’s primary purpose is to serve as an account, password, and masked information management platform. It offers two dashboard views (compact and full), but they don’t clutter the screen.
The Blur extension is well designed, squeezing tons of settings into a small pop-up box. With it, you can easily enable or disable the software’s primary functions. Additional functionalities are just a click away.
The biggest criticism toward Blur’s usability is the design of its overwhelming knowledge base. The company dumped large groups of questions on a single page. This isn’t the first Abine Blur review to show that it badly needs organizational improvement.
The good news is that Blur seems to listen to feedback. Its mobile app’s FAQ page is much tidier. Hopefully, Abine could replicate this design for the Privacy Dashboard.
Abine Blur Security
Every Abine Blur review worth reading mentioned the data breach discovered in December 2018. It is believed that the incident occurred in 2017, leaving the heist undetected for over a year.
The data leak impacting 2.4 million users registered before January 6, 2018, resulted in the exposure of email addresses, names, password hints stored on MakeMe, partial IP addresses, and encrypted passwords.
Although the event was the worst nightmare of any password manager developer, it shows that Abine’s encryption technology works. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t encrypt all personal data of its users.
Nevertheless, Blur has many security features in place, including:
AES 256-Bit Encryption
Outside of your sensitive information subject for masking, Abine does not know the data you save in the Blur software since it’s encrypted locally. Your encrypted data is hacker-proof before it’s transmitted over the internet for cloud storage.
Abine also never stores your master password, nor does it see it when you register.
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
2FA acts as an additional layer of defense against unauthorized parties. You need an authenticator app like Google Authenticator, Authy, or FreeOTP to enable this security feature.
The mobile Blur app comes with the option to register your fingerprint to unlock your account. You can also leverage biometrics to confirm payments and prevent unauthorized transactions.
When enabled, this feature requires you to enter your master password before you can access sensitive information.
Blur keeps a log of your sessions, giving you a complete history of the devices you used to access your account to identify any suspicious activity.
This feature automatically logs you out of Blur after a specified time. You can also set it to kick in on browser restart.
Abine’s customer service team is within reach through two methods: live chat and a ticketing system. They are available to all users, but paying customers enjoy priority support.
Abine’s live chat is online between 9 AM and 5 PM EST, Monday through Friday.
The company’s support ticket button can be found on the Privacy Dashboard. You can submit a ticket to ask a question, report a bug, provide feedback, or suggest a feature. You don’t have to share any personally identifiable information. In fact, you have an option to create a masked email address.
If you look for answers yourself, you can consult the massive knowledge base. The FAQ page is quite exhaustive, consisting of three categories: Frequently Asked Questions, Blur User Manual, and Masking FAQs.
Furthermore, Blur’s mobile app has its own knowledge base. Except for the guided tour, you won’t be directed to a web browser to get the information you need.
Abine Blur Pricing
Blur has free and paid plans. Every Premium subscription is subject to auto-renewal unless canceled. The pricing structure is:
Password storage and encryption, account and password management, email address masking, and tracker blocking.
Or $3.25/monthly - everything in the Blur free plan, phone number masking, backup and sync, and priority user support. It also includes payment card masking but at a creation fee of $2 per card worth less than $100, or 1.5% on cards worth over $100.
If you sign up for the free version, you’ll automatically get the 30-day trial Blur Premium. It gives you a taste of premium functionalities except for phone number and payment card masking.
When it comes to refunds, you can get your money back for your unused masked cards.
Blur vs LastPass
Most Abine Blur reviews show the comparison between this password manager and LastPass. These two just happen to be in the same business, but they’re not in the same weight class.
LastPass is an industry leader with an enviable set of fundamental password management features, digital records storage, and ID theft protection. Blur has an incomplete arsenal of basic functionalities.
Moreover, LastPass offers a wider variety of plans. It sells licenses to single, family, and business users. The Blur password manager caters to individuals only.
Although LastPass is clearly out of Blur’s league, Abine’s product has superior privacy tools. Masking and tracker blocking are invaluable capabilities for every internet user and aren’t offered by LastPass.
Price-wise, Blur’s paid plans are slightly more affordable than LastPass’s premium subscriptions.
Abine Blur Review - Verdict
Tech enthusiasts routinely praise the Blur app, and it’s not a mystery why the press love to recommend it for internet privacy. It’s a decent password manager, but its ability to guarantee digital anonymity is its true unique selling point.
Despite the software’s deficiencies, we echo the sentiment of most Abine Blur reviews and encourage you to test it out. The free trial requires no credit card. It would be a mistake not to give it a chance.
How do I hide my email address in Gmail?
You can change your first and last name on Gmail and use an alias instead. But your email address remains visible. If your email address reflects your real identity, then you can’t stay completely anonymous. You can use software like Blur to properly hide your email address.
What is a masked email from Blur?
A masked email address is a disposable email address. You can use these so you don’t have to share your real email address with untrustworthy parties.
The messages sent to your masked email address go straight into your temporary inbox on Blur. This way, you can screen your communications first, choose which ones to forward to your actual inbox, protect yourself from spam, delete unwanted promotional messages, and block unwanted senders.
What is Blur extention?
The Blur Chrome extension, or its Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari counterpart, is a software module that unlocks certain features like tracker blocking. Likewise, it automates the software’s primary functions.
Is Abine Blur safe?
Blur is safe to use. But given the 2018 data breach, it would sound insincere to say that we have absolute faith in this password manager’s capacity to stop cyber attacks.
As mentioned in this Abine Blur review, it would be unfair to rule it out because of this isolated incident. After all, Blur’s leaked encrypted data wasn’t compromised, and the software has many security features to prevent unauthorized account access.
Techjury.net's manager. Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Falcon Heavy. Working for TechJury is like a dream come true, combining both his passions – writing and technology. In his free time (which is pretty scarce, thanks to his three kids), Deyan enjoys traveling and exploring new places. Always with a few chargers and a couple of gadgets in the backpack. He makes mean dizzying Island Paradise cocktails too.
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