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Once again, Download Depot readers have helped me uncover a great tool to pass along. In response to my Sept. 5 newsletter requesting a tool to help manage passwords (, a reader suggested M-Tech's P-Synch password management software. P-Synch is not free, but I learned that M-Tech offers a less comprehensive version that is. Read on to learn more.

* P-Synch/Lite

P-Synch/Lite is a free tool that lets users reset their network passwords from any Web browser - without having to call the help desk.

When users need to remind themselves of their password, they access P-Synch/Lite via a Web browser. The software then verifies the user's identity through a series of personal questions. Once authenticated, users can reset their forgotten passwords and unlock their accounts on their own. P-Synch/Lite ensures that reset passwords comply with a secure, enterprise-wide policy, including enforcing an unlimited password history.

M-Tech says P-Synch/Lite can save companies money and increase user productivity by reducing the number of calls to the help desk and preventing users from waiting for service. And the company says the software enhances network security by: encrypting all transmitted and stored passwords; enforcing enterprise-wide password policies; requiring strong authentication prior to password resets; and logging all password resets.

With P-Synch/Lite, no software is ever deployed to the desktop, and no software is deployed on target systems. The software automatically finds new users and removes old ones from the database. And users can securely build their own profiles of authentication information and login aliases.

P-Synch/Lite supports Windows NT domain, Windows 2000 Active Directory and Novell NDS directories. It also supports Windows NT, Windows 2000 and NetWare 3.X, 4.X and 5.X file servers.

P-Synch/Lite supports self-service password management for up to 100,000 users on 100 systems, for an unlimited amount of time. Download it for free at

And if P-Synch Lite works well for you, look into the full P-Synch product. According to M-Tech, it supports more platforms and features, and comes with extensive technical support. Check it out at


Denise Dubie is a Staff Writer covering network management at Network World. She also works as a freelance writer in the Boston area. You can reach her at

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