Passwords managers are simple bits of software that help you come up with strong, unique passwords for any website or app. Most password managers suggest and store random passwords for you to use. Or, they can show you how strong an existing password is — with actionable steps for how to improve it.
Password managers can also store personal details, like your name, address, and payment information, which they can use to auto-fill forms. Plus, they have built-in security measures (like flagging duplicated passwords) to keep you safe everywhere online. In short, these tools not only save you time and keep your personal information secure; they avoid the frustration of always having to reset forgotten login details.
Here are our five favorite password managers.
#1 — Dashlane
Our favorite password manager is the full-featured Dashlane. It’s slick, easy-to-use, and comes with all the functionality you could want.
As is typical with most password managers, it works as a secure browser plug-in that saves your passwords on the fly, meaning when you return to a site, you can quickly log in, while if you have multiple accounts, you can choose which credentials to use. It has multi-factor authentication to keep your details doubly secure. And it can auto-fill forms with names, email addresses, phone numbers; you name it.
In terms of advanced features, Dashlane works across apps as well as websites, and it syncs your details across devices (Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS). If you want to share a password, that’s easy to do — while you can even hide a password but still let someone login to your account.
As a final security layer, Dashlane has a built-in VPN to keep your connection secure from prying eyes.
Verdict: Well designed, easy-to-use, and with a built-in VPN. What’s not to love? Well… while it is our favorite password manager, it comes with a higher price tag: especially if you already have a VPN (while you can’t actually select your VPN server country). There’s also no handling of non-standard logins, plus there’s limited support for Internet Explorer — but it’s still the best in our eyes.
#2 — Keeper Password Manager
From here on in, we’ll compare password managers to Dashlane.
…and Keeper is a worthy competitor. It supports all popular platforms and browsers (including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS) and includes two-factor authentication for added security. Sharing passwords is a breeze, while you can store files and messages as an optional extra (this includes retaining a full history of all passwords).
In many ways, Keeper performs just as well as Dashlane. But where it falls short is in web-form auto-fill: there are some limitations to this feature. Plus, password updates aren’t fully automated, so you need to make sure you click to update information as you go.
Verdict: A graceful password manager that places emphasis on security, but falls a little short on its advanced feature set — that said, it works across all popular platforms and browsers.
#3 — Bitwarden Premium
Bitwarden is another capable Dashlane contender that works across the leading platforms and browsers. It uses FIDO or Yubikey for two-factor authentication and generates a TOTP code for sites that support 2FA. If you’re worried about password security, it will flag weaknesses and duplicates, and suggest improvements.
Arguably its most compelling feature: it’s comparatively inexpensive for what it does. That said, if you want to unlock the full experience, you have to pay more, while the cheaper option has its shortcomings (like issues with the Edge extension and limited support for iOS).
Verdict: Gives you bang for your buck, coming in at a lower price tag than the first two, all without compromising on security. Its authentication game is strong, but the product is not as good as Dashlane or Keeper — even if you pay for the add-ons.
#4 — LastPass Premium
LastPass Premium is… good. We just question whether it’s good enough to warrant paying for it when the free option is nearly as good. If you pay, you’ll get enhanced multi-factor authentication, an extra 1GB of secure file storage, and the ability to manage application passwords. Plus, you’ll enjoy an ad-free experience and priority customer support.
However, if you first tried the free option before paying to upgrade, you may feel short-changed: the two versions really aren’t that different (plus, the price for the paid-for version has recently shot up).
Verdict: If you’re looking for a free password manager, choose LastPass. If you’re willing to pay, you’ll find better value among our other recommendations.
#5 — LogMeOnce
We like LogmeOnce as it has an upgraded, now-super-sleek interface that incorporates a vast feature set without feeling too busy. In fact, you’ll find several unique, patented features that you won’t find elsewhere. So why doesn’t LogMeOnce feature higher on this list?
We will get to that in a second; for now, let’s focus on what it does well. It syncs across Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android, and it’s very pretty to look at. However, if you want the full-featured experience, you have to pay, and by the time you’ve paid for them all, the price is on the expensive side.
Verdict: It looks good. The offering is unique. So… why only #5? In truth, many of the features are somewhat unnecessary, and the sheer volume of them could overwhelm (as well as break the bank), hence — the lower ranking.
Password managers offer peace of mind
Some people question the value of password managers; especially when many websites offer to save your name, address, and credit card details for free… BUT.
Before you accept such an offer, think of all the website data breaches of the last ten years. And appreciate that if you save your credentials on a website, you’re putting your personal data at a high level of risk — whereas if you let a password manager store your information…
Their enhanced security will make you infinitely safer.
Interested in how else to improve your safety online? Give Mid-Coast Tech a call on 207-223-7594, and we can help you figure out what to do.