May 29, 2017

Review of The Survival Key

Quite some time ago, I was approached by The Survival Key and asked if I would be interested in writing a review. Before I go any further, I need to apologize to them for the length of time it’s taken to do this review. Looking at the product then and again recently has given me some insight that I wouldn’t have had if I’d written the review right away.

The Survival Key is a software program unlike any other. If you’re preparedness minded, you know the vast amount of topics there are to research. The Survival Key went out and found some great articles, videos and documents from preparedness and survival websites and organized them by type of information. Think of it as a huge collection of bookmarks, organized by topic and presented in a graphical interface.

Here is a video they play on their site, though at the time of this writing, only the audio is playing.

While this software has a huge amount of potential, I have some problems with it; below is a pro and con list.



Provides you with the ability of downloading the information to your hard drive, making it available should the net go down. Just because you view the information, does not mean you have downloaded it and saved it. There is a button that must be clicked to download the document.

Wide variety of categories covered.

Each category has subcategories, many of those have multiple documents available.

The documents that the Survival Key created, called “Essentials” in the program, are very well done.


When I evaluate something, I tend to do it the first time without reading the manual because I want to see how intuitive it is. Be it a new handgun, a fire starter or piece of software. I had a few problems with the software until I read the manual. If you purchase it, do yourself a favor and read the documentation first.

When I first looked at the software and again the second time, I would say that 15%-20% of the links I went to were dead. Either the site had removed the information or the site had been shut down. There is a button provided to report broken links, and they say in the manual that they will find a replacement document when one is reported. If people are using this product and reporting the bad links, I would not expect to find as many broken as I did; so I don’t know how actively they monitor this.

Several of the documents they provide links to, are copyrighted documents that someone created a .pdf file of. By downloading the file you are stealing.

While they provide a means of downloading any and all of the information presented, if you downloaded everything, you would need a large hard drive to devote to it. With the size of modern hard drives, this may or may not be a problem for you. However, if you have an inexpensive computer and limited hard drive space, you will want to pick and choose what you download.

Some of the articles linked to aren’t very good.

My Take

The software has a huge amount of potential, and with a few tweaks like providing a means to add documents to the library yourself from sources you trust, fast removal of broken links, and replacement of a new one, to name just two, would increase the value in my eyes.

They have three price points; $14.95, $69.95 and $99.95. (For full info check the site.) In my opinion at this time, there isn’t enough value to warrant the price. If they created a fourth option that had all of the features of the cheapest option, but added a means to add your own library, I would feel comfortable paying $25-$30 for it.

I have made hundreds of documents available in the Link Library. Simply look on the main toolbar (it was previously in the general preparedness dropdown). I found non-copyrighted documents on a huge amount of topics. All of the links worked when I made them. Some might be broken now, but, hey, it’s a free service! LOL (if you find a broken one, let me know and I’ll fix it ASAP).

If you have the money to spare and want a large collection of data presented in a graphical interface, this product is worth buying. If money is a concern, you can create your own directory structure, find articles that are worthwhile, and save them as a .pdf on your hard drive.

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  1. I bought this product in Sept 2013. I noticed the same things you have. There has not been one update to this software in 11 months although they said it would be updated regularly. The only benefit as far as I see it is that it is all in one place but you can download all the info they have available, as well as any other info you may chose to store, and keep it on thumb drive and access it on ANY computer without the need for the program. As you said, it has great potential but i would not recommend this product.

  2. Without owning or buying the SurvivalKey, the follows items are immediate concerns:

    Any information platform that is run by electricity is by default, a bad choice;

    1. Grid goes offline… no power to run a computer, even if the Net is up…
    2. EMP or Solar Event… electrical devices will be damaged

    Any information that is not stored in your head:

    1. Looking something up during a crises is not exactly ideal
    2. If someone is bleeding to death, it’s no time to be learning first aid… from an article, book or disc on a computer, etc…

    Books are your best source of long-term data archives in a post apocalyptic world… stored in metal fireproof storage lockers.

    My advice is to use the money to take an advanced first-aid course… the rest, learn from reading and training now, while you can… and for the really tuff stuff, build a library of hard copies (references and instruction manuals, etc.)

    Here are some freebies with my complements:

    Cheers! Bill

    Capt. William E. Simpson II – USMM
    Semper Veritas / Semper Paratus
    Member: Authors Guild

    • I disagree that having an electronic version is a bad choice. Yes there are some books that are a must to get a hard copy, but the grid hasn’t gone down yet, to the ones I have an electronic version of are doing just fine. I can build a case for having books, PDF’s and other electronic files placed on a portable reader to be used if one must bug out for any length of time.

      Our grid is very fragile, but the chances of an EMP or a total grid down even are very low.

      I do agree that the knowledge in books should be transferred into skills.

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