Do you use a password manager, or are you old-fashioned and use the pen-and-paper method to recall your passwords? Handling and recalling too many details from your notebook is not ideal when you have many credentials, card details, and other personal information to fill in every day.
Why do I need a Password Manager?
I have accounts on almost every social networking website and to manage all these on pen and paper is next to impossible. From Amazon to Zyro – every website requires a password to login and having the same password to all of these sites is not a secure idea.
Features of a Great Password Manager
Password managers don’t just help you store passwords like pen-and-paper but using these, you can also insert the passwords in the right-field in one or two taps. Plus, these help you create secure passwords on new signups/password resets. Apart from all these, the password managers can also help you sync them across various devices.
A great password manager should offer following essential features:
- Password Management (Saving, Autofill, Editing, Deleting and Restoring Passwords).
- On-demand Backup and Restore
- Cloud Sync to all platforms
- Phrase-based encryption for Backups
- Encrypted Cloud Storage
- Password Generation
- Autosaving and Auto Updation of Passwords
Additionally a the best password managers should also offer:
- Two Factor Authentication
- Reporting of latest password leaks
- Filtering of compromised passwords
- Dark Web Tracking of your passwords, etc.
The 10 Best Password Managers (Cross-Platform, Free & Paid)
In this article, my editorial team has listed their choices for the 10 best password managers (both free and paid), along with their prominent features and pricing. Each of these password managers is cross-platform and thus easily accessible even on the go.
In addition to these password managers in the list, you can use a modern browser, like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge to manage your passwords. Also, almost every password manager in the list offers an add-on for these popular browsers, if you decide to go with one of the best password managers from the list.
Dashlane is one of the best password managers in 2021, with an impressively wide range of features. Above all, this is the most effective password manager that can actively monitor the Dark Web and other places where hacked passwords are commonly used or put up for sale. If any of your passwords have been hacked, you will be informed at once. It also protects your security and privacy by tracking things like financial and identification data.
Dashlane also comes with a VPN – a feature that 90% of other password managers don’t have. Dashlane VPN is not just a filler. It is of exceptionally high quality and efficiently unlocks geo-restricted content. Plus it helps you be free of any tracking. Primarily, Dashlane offers to save your passwords on their servers but you can also choose to save the backups to a cloud hosting of your choice or even offline on your device.
Other features of Dashlane, such as its form capturing and filling technology, are great as well. It allows you to replace several passwords with the click of a button if needed. To get in, you simply need to remember the master key. There is also an encrypted key for you to use. However, if you forget both the master pass and the encrypted key, you will not be able to access the passwords in your manager anymore.
The free version of Dashlane allows you to store up to 50 passwords and can be used on a single device. The individual premium version is priced at $3.99 per month and gives you unlimited passwords and devices, along with their VPN and dark web monitoring. Its family plan is priced at $5.99 per month and gives up to five people access. It also has a shared vault, and you can also share passwords and access with limited rights.
Originally incepted on iOS, 1Password can integrate with nearly anything now, be it Firefox, ChromeOS, Android, or any kind of website extension out there. It is also available for Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is one of the most popular password managers today and comes with a wide range of features. For example, its travel mode lets you hide all your applications or files on your phone during traveling and reveal them later. It is a handy resource if you are visiting a country like the US, where privacy is poorly regulated.
Similar to Google authenticator, 1Password can also work as a two-factor authenticator. It has almost all the features expected from a quality password manager, such as the ability to take information from input boxes and an auto-fill feature. Its Watchtower feature informs you about the strength of your passwords and informs you if any of them has been breached. You can locally sync your computer to Android or iOs with the help of its local sync option. If you are especially conscious about security, then this can be quite useful for you.
Speaking of pricing, the individual plan of 1Password is priced at $2.99 per month. It also offers the family plan at $4.99 per month, which allows it to be used by up to five people. This plan also gives you access to a shared vault that all users can share passwords with. By virtue of its useful sharing limit function, some family members can be granted access to the password but not permission to change it. Thus, it serves as a form of parental control as well.
RoboForm has been available in the market for a while now, and has been greatly enhanced by a recent major update. Like its name suggests, it is one of the best password managers for form filling out there. Its advanced form-filling features not only allow you to create several different profiles for every webpage but do it for eight different categories like address and credit card information, apart from the usual login credentials. If you regularly share this kind of information with people, then this could be a great option for you.
RoboForm has a well-organized interface that allows you to arrange your information with relative ease. It can aptly handle even the strangest and multiple-page forms that have to be filled. Thus, it can be very useful if you encounter the issue of password managers being unable to fill in some types of forms. It also has various other helpful features, such as a robust password generator that uses an open-source password strength tester known as zxcvbn. With the help of its handy bookmarking feature, you will be able to sync on to other devices with RoboForm as well.
It is available in a free and premium version. The latter is priced at $23.88 per year and gives you access to cloud backup, syncing across devices, priority support, and 2FA. Similarly, the family plan is priced at $47.75 per year and gives you five accounts for your friends and family to use.
When it comes to free solutions for password managers, BitWarden is an excellent option. It offers unlimited passwords and multi-device syncing, along with encrypted storage for financial information, notes, credit cards, and so on. It also allows you to store your data offline and sync it all manually if needed. BitWarden also features a self-hosting option, which makes it a great choice if you have your own top VPS hosting solution or run your own quality secure dedicated server.
Its premium version is priced at merely $10 per year, and expands two-step logins to include U2F, YubiKey, and Duo. It gives you 1 GB of storage space and vault health reports to inform you about the security status of your data. It also offers a family plan, which is priced at $1 per month for five users. It is undoubtedly one of the most economically priced password managers out there.
Thanks to its free offering, LastPass is one of the most popular password managers available today. It gives you an unlimited number of passwords to save and also allows you to use it on an unlimited number of devices. This is something you will not find in most other top tier password managers out there. LastPass is readily compatible with all major platforms like Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux. It lets you autofill login details on applications and is thus a great choice if you regularly use your mobile for security and privacy purposes.
LastPass also functions as 2FA and, if you opt for the more complicated MFA option, supports fingerprint scanners, Sesame, and Yubikey. Apart from login details, it also allows you to store addresses and credit card information. By virtue of its encrypted note feature, you will be able to store various kinds of sensitive information, such as insurance info.
The free version of LastPass clearly comes with a lot of useful features already. The paid version is available at a fair price of $3 per month and offers 1 GB of encrypted storage space. It also adds more useful features like dark web monitoring and the ability to share items with several users. You will also be given access to the aforementioned application autofill function and priority tech support. The family version is priced at $4 per month and gives you six premium licenses for friends and family to use.
Keeper is one of the best options when it comes to encrypted file sharing. Although it doesn’t have a free version like other password managers listed here, you will have access to all of its premium features as soon as you sign up. It is especially well-known for KeeperChat – a fully encrypted and isolated messaging system which can be used with other Keeper users. It comes with private galleries, message retraction, and self-destruct messages as well. These features are especially useful if you’re not very familiar with encrypted messaging.
Keeper comes with 10 GB of encrypted cloud storage, which can be upgraded to 50 GB – a feature on par with top tier cloud storage services like iCloud. One of Keeper’s most notable facilities is
KeeperDNA – a special form of biometric 2FA which you can also use with the fingerprint scanner on your phone. It also comes with BreachWatch for monitoring the Dark Web and enduring that your login credentials haven’t been compromised. With its secret audit, it audits all your passwords for strength and, if needed, produces new passwords for you.
The Keeper Password Manager Bundle is priced at $2.91 per month, while the Keeper Plus Bundle is priced at $4.87 per month and adds secure file storage and dark web monitoring. The Keeper Max Bundle costs $6.01 per month and adds KeeperChat. This system is admittedly a bit confusing, but it does segregate the different features, allowing you to pay for the ones you want.
NordPass has been developed by the Nord company, which owns one of the most popular VPNs in existence – NordVPN. WordPress features a streamlined and simplistic interface which can be conveniently used even by newcomers and users who aren’t very tech-savvy. You can also use it to generate passwords, import passwords easily, and create passwords through their browser plugin. Its inbuilt 2FA smoothly works with USB drives, email, and fingerprints. With the help of the Master Password, your information is secured even further.
WordPress utilizes a unique encryption methodology known as zero-knowledge; it uses XChaCha20 to encrypt your password and other login information before it even reaches their servers. Thus, the people at the company cannot look at your information even if they want to. WordPress is readily available on various platforms like Windows, iOS, Android, Mac, Linux, and even Kindle.
With NordPass’ free version, you can store an unlimited number of passwords on a single device. The premium version is priced at $2.49 per month and allows you to have six active devices, share items securely between them, and share passwords with trusted contacts within limits. Its family plan costs $3.99 per month and gives you five accounts to use, each of them with up to six devices.
After setting up your Passbolt instance, you can share passwords among your team members. The browser add-ons are important parts of the PGP cryptography scheme and allow you to easily autofill web logins. You can readily create new passwords on the fly as well. Notably, the add-on needs to be activated manually by clicking on its icon in order to autofill passwords. Passbolt doesn’t autofill information like credit card details, and is thus a great choice for software intended for group use.
The Passbolt Community Edition is free and open-source software. You can also consider its business and enterprise plans, which provide various additional features along with phone or email support. Free users, on the other hand, need to rely on support from the community forum.
KeePass is a GPLv2-licensed password manager which has been largely designed for Microsoft Windows, though it runs on other platforms as well. It features easy export options, a number of strong encryption options, advanced searching features, several user keys, and much more. There are also plugins which have been specially designed for desktops and allow you to use it directly from your web browser.
If you like to carry your passwords physically between systems, you can run it from a USB stick as well. It is one of the very few password managers which are completely free to use. There is also a variant of KeePass – KeePassX, which originally began as a Linux port of KeePass and has since been ported to run on various operating systems.
Padloc is a relatively new and open-source password manager, which is well-known for its minimalistic interface. It is presently available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS, with a ChromeOS client in development. The source code for Padlock is available on GitHub under a GPLv3 license. Padloc has developed an open-source cloud backend as well. If you are not enthusiastic about setting up syncing across several computers or managing password files, then this could be a great option for you.
The team plan of Padloc is priced at $2.99 per user per month, whereas its business plan is priced at $5.99 per user per month. Each of them comes with unique additional features of its own.
It is evident that the pricing and features of various password managers are quite diverse. Thus, you can easily choose the most suitable option for your requirements. Most of the password managers listed here come with a free version, which you can sample if you are not entirely sure about subscribing.
Also, you must remember that using a password manager (however trustworthy) alongside complicated passwords is no substitute for taking other security precautions. Although it can play an important role in securing your digital information, it is not foolproof. Therefore, you must do your best to follow established safety protocols for safeguarding your information as well.