Best Password Managers

Password leaks happen on a daily basis. While most are small scale, there have been plenty of large-scale password leaks.

Unfortunately, many of us are still used to using simple passwords such as our dog’s name or our name with 123 attached at the end. This makes them extremely easy to crack or even guess.

However, the worst offenders to this day remain the passwords password and 12345678.

We completely agree that remembering passwords can be extremely difficult and coming up with a new password every time is near impossible. Unfortunately, identity theft is profitable so you should start using a password manager today.

Luckily, password managers make it easy to create and manage new passwords, and all you need to remember is one single secure password!

The Best Password Managers

1. Dashlane

Dashlane

Dashlane has been around for a number of years and over the years it has developed to be the best of the best. Though previously they were like any other password manager, they have now created some unique and useful features.

As expected Dashlane supports 2FA and has top of the line security features. Alongside this they monitor the web (including the dark web) for leaked passwords to alert you if you’re data is at risk. One of their most unique features is the mass password changer which allows you to generate new passwords for countless online services. Of course, this is limited to a list of supported websites. On top of this, they also allow you to keep your password vault locally which is more complicated but more secure.

Unfortunately, their free plan is limited to a single device and 50 passwords. This isn’t nearly enough for most people. Luckily the premium version is $3.33 per month and also includes a free VPN. Even better a family plan with password sharing goes for just $4.99 per month.

On the whole, Dashlane is absolutely packed with features and with such a low price not only is it the best value for money it’s also the best password manager on this list!

2. 1Password

1Password

Similarly to Dashlane, 1Password has been around for years. Though initially, it was a Mac-centric password management software, it’s now available for all operating systems Windows, iOS, and Android. It also has browser extensions for the most common browsers.

1password has a lot of features that help it make it stand out. 2FA, Password watch (Watchtower), and local data storage come as default. They also have a travel mode which allows you to hide sensitive information when you’re traveling. Alongside this, you can only access your account with a Master Password therefore only you alone has access to your account.

It also works beautifully with your apps and had simple to use file sharing. While it doesn’t have all the features of Dashlane it’s still a super password manager.

Priced at $2.99 per month or $4.99 per month for families 1 password is easily affordable, and well worth the cost.

3. Bitwarden

Bitwarden

Bitwarden is a fantastic company and definitely the most affordable on this list of best password managers. It has very little downsides and a whole lot of pros.

The best thing about Bitwarden is that it’s the only open-source password manager on this list. Not only that but it’s also received a third-party audit to ensure that it’s as secure as they claim. It has 2FA, secure local file storage, requirements of a master password, and a host of classic features.

Unfortunately, it’s not as polished as the other providers and the user interface can be confusing but on the whole, nothing to worry about.

It’s also the best free password manager on this list with the premium only adding a few additional features. Even then, the premium costs a mere $10 per year!

4. Keeper

Keeper

Keeper was created by Keeper Security in 2009. On the whole, it’s a great service with a lot of features and just missed out on the top spots.

Keeper has all the required tools; two-factor authentication, secure password storage, FaceID, cross-device support, and more. Additionally, it has a feature to check the strength of all of your passwords. If that wasn’t enough, the premium version has 10GB of encrypted storage as well as a secure messaging service.

There are only two reasons why Keeper doesn’t rank higher: it’s slightly more expensive and it doesn’t have a form filling option.

So in total Keeper is a great option with some unique features that are definitely a good reason to take it for a spin.

5. RememBear

RememBear is relatively new to the market and is developed by TunnelBear. The company is known to be full of gimmicks and puns but alongside it they provide a fantastic and secure service.

RememBear is designed with simplicity in mind. If you’re bored of repetitive, confusing tools then look no further. It has a useful New Device Key option which helps you log in in case you lose your Master Password. As expected it’s also completely secure and offers cross-platform compatibility. The free version allows for unlimited passwords but on a single device.

While it’s simple and easy to use, it does lack some features which you might want to use. Therefore make sure you check out its features list before you decide to use it.

At $1.75 per month, RememBear is a fantastic deal and you’re sure to have a laugh using it.

Free Password Managers

Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a free pudding. Nearly all free services have a caveat. While all the services above have a free version, these are all limited in one way or another. Though it might work for you for the moment, you might need to upgrade down the line. If you are looking for a free version, we’d recommend Bitwarden as the best one.

KeePass

KeePass

One password manager we didn’t mention above but is a fantastic password manager is KeePass. KeePass is a completely free and open-source password manager developed by a range of volunteers. KeePass is fantastic, in-fact we personally used it for numerous years. However, as it is with such projects, the UX and cross-compatibility takes some getting used to, to put gently. However, if you’re good with technology it’s worth taking for a spin for a truly free password manager.

How Does a Password Manager Work

A password manager works in an extremely simple fashion. You only need to remember the one main password and the software then stores all of your other passwords securely and safely. You’ll then be able to access passwords across all of your devices. A good password manager will then provide additional features to help organize and access your passwords quicker and easier.

What to Look Out For

When you’re deciding on a password manager, it can be hard to choose the right one. Most of these companies have great marketing and sales team and you can often get lost in the sales mumble jumbo. Here we’ve covered all the important extra features to look out for, and these are the aspects that we’ve personally used to create this list.

Security

When it comes to choosing your password manager, the most important perspective is security! There isn’t much use of a password manager that can’t keep your passwords secure. Companies will often throw about the fact that they are secure and use top of the line tools but often this can be sales talk and not be true. The following features are what you should look out for.

Zero-Knowledge Protocols

When it comes to a password manager it’s no use if the company storing the information can get access to it. A Zero-Knowledge protocol means that the data is encrypted before being sent to the server. Thereby there is no chance of getting access to it. All of the password managers on this list have a zero-knowledge protocol.

Encryption Algorithms

Alongside a Zero-Knowledge protocol, the company should also use a solid encryption algorithm to encrypt your data. Since there is no use in having an encrypted file if it can be brute force resolved. You should aim to have at least AES-256, however, we recommend reading up about encryption if you’re interested in this.

Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication is fairly straight forward. It means that on top of your password an additional authentication measure is required. This can be email, phone, or similar two-factor authentication options. However, some companies even support the use of authentication keys such as Yubikey. In short, these are physical devices that only you have access to and hence only you can access accounts where its use is enabled.

Device Compatibility

Password generators have existed for years now. However, their uptake has been slow until recently due to their limited device compatibility. This is to say that they didn’t function across all your devices – in most cases only on Windows. For a password manager to be truly useful it needs to work on desktop and mobile devices: Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. You might think that it’s enough if it works on just devices that you own, however, if you switch platforms in the future it might become difficult to change your passwords manager. If you use Linux, you’ll need to pay a bit more attention to which password managers support it.

The same goes for your web browser. They should provide a browser extension for your chosen browser whether it’s Chrome, Firefox, or IE. Unfortunately, lesser-known internet browsers are generally not supported.

Of course, it’s also important that you can use it on more than one device at a time. Usually, free plans limit using your password manager only on one device, while a paid plan allows for any number of devices.

Ease of Use

Having a password manager is all well and good unless it’s impossible to use. A key trait of the best password managers is that they are intuitive and easy to use user interface. You should be able to open the app and have a feeling that you know what you need to do.

Support

When it comes to such an important tool, it’s essential that they have good support. Luckily all of the companies on this list do.

Value for Money

We all like to save money whenever we can. While privacy and security isn’t something that we should skimp out on, it also shouldn’t cost the world. Luckily, the password managers on this list are all great value for money. As with most online services, if you pay per year you will save some money. While this can be risky, the password managers on this list also offer a free trial or a money-back guarantee.

Additional Features

Alongside all of the things mentioned above, password managers will provide you with a host of additional features. many of these you’ll never need but here are some features that could be useful for you.

User Management

Most companies these days are now aware of the fact that they need to use a password manager. However, it can be problematic for sharing passwords between users. Sending them via an email or instant message instantly defeats the purpose, and repeating a password such as p#Knul=tOw+>dN{UGw@0 isn’t exactly convenient. Many of the password managers on this list will allow you to easily, and securely share login details with your co-workers. Of course, this is always a paid feature.

The above also holds true for families. You can use it to share Wi-Fi passwords, streaming network logins, or credit card information with your partner.

Form Autofill

Form autofill is a feature whereby the password manager enters your details into the login form on the website. This is an extremely useful and convenient feature. However, be vary as form autofill is a weak point and can be exploited to still your passwords.

Password Generator Function

The biggest problem with passwords that we create is that they are usually weak and easy to guess. Luckily a decent password manager will have a password generator function. As the name suggests this generates a strong password for any website or service where you want to register. More advanced generators will allow you to define your criteria in case a website requires a specific combination of letters and characters to be used as a password.

Be Vary of Your Manager

While password managers are great, they aren’t created equal. In this section, we will explore some of the dangerous of password managers.

Built-in Password Managers

Most browsers these days come with a built-in password manager. This is definitely an applaudable initiative. However, we’d recommend not using these for multiple reasons.

First and foremost, most of us use Chrome as our default browser. Unfortunately, while Google is great and has many benefits, its main aim is to make money from its users. It’s also likely that they’ll co-operate with any government requesting user data. Firefox is probably safer, but truth be told we’d rather stay away from any built-in password manager due to the second reason.

Generally speaking, the best programs are those that are designed to do a single task. For this reason, built-in password managers lack a lot of useful features and aren’t as user friendly. So while they are useful, if you’re looking for something that’s a bit more capable, you’ll definitely need a dedicated password manager.

Tales of LastPass

LastPass is one of the most recommended password managers on the market. However, you’ll notice that it doesn’t get a position on our list. While this is partially due to us favoring other password managers, it’s also in due to the issues it’s had in the past. Unfortunately, they’ve had issues with security in 2011, 2015, 2017, and 2020.

We understand that all companies in the security space will have a security scare at least once in their lifetime if they get big enough. However, four security scares are a bit too much for our liking. Of course, it’s likely that other providers have had security issues but they haven’t been open about it.

However, credit where credit is due. LastPass was open about them, fixed all the issues rapidly, and took additional steps to protect its users.

General Flaws

In 2020, a whitepaper was released by Michael Carr and Siamak F Shahandashti. This whitepaper outlined vulnerabilities in essentially all commercial password managers. All companies involved were quick to address and manage the issues. As stated above, unfortunately, if you’re company get’s big enough you will have security issues at one point or another.

FAQS

Why should I use a password manager?

You should use a password manager to help protect your digital life and activities. Using simple passwords opens you up to a whole range of attacks. Using a reliable password manager will help you avoid a lot of huge headaches.

Can my password manager get hacked?

Unfortunately, yes. As we discuss under the section Be Vary of Your Password Manager, all companies of scale are prone to hacking. Luckily, due to end-to-end encryption password data remains safe in these cases.

Are Password Managers Worth It?

100% Yes! Using the same password everywhere can cause a malicious person to take over your whole digital life and even worse it could even reach into your real life. Using a password manager is easy and will protect you from numerous risks.

Are all password managers the same?

No. Password managers aren’t created equal and they aren’t all the same. This article helps you decide which one is suitable for you and discuss the pros and cons of each password manager.

Conclusion

With the password managers on this list have strong and unique passwords is a doddle. Let us know in the comments your experience with password managers or any questions that you may have.