Do you know how many passwords you use on a daily basis? It’s probably more than you think. Let’s count them up.
There are a couple for your social media profiles, surely. One for private email, maybe a second for work email. Maybe an e-wallet. A favorite forum, a video streaming service or two, a gaming channel. Probably you have passwords for your school, college, or work needs. Shopping websites, your antivirus profile, a vacation rental site, maybe a news site, food delivery…the list goes on and on.
Do you know all those passwords? Or do you rely on your browser’s corruptible memory? Maybe you use the same password for all sites so it’s easy to remember.
LastPass research shows that a typical employee using the company’s software handles an astonishing 191 passwords.
Remember, these are just people who decided to protect their data and systems with password saver software. Millions of others risk their jobs and their privacy without a password manager. Every single day.
Does this discussion make you uncomfortable? Are you feeling a bit worried about your online privacy?
Maybe it’s time to think about taking some security measures. Here’s a guide to the world’s most reliable, affordable password-storing utilities.
We’ll start things on a high note with one of the biggest and most popular password managers on the market. LastPass software can be accessed through an extension in your browser or an app on your mobile device. You create a master password, log in, and that’s it. All of your passwords will be organized in visually pleasing blocks within the secure password manager. Categories listed on the page let you filter results based on the type of password you need so you can easily find your bank accounts, Wi-Fi passwords, and passport numbers.
Security is one of LastPass’s strongest points. The program employes a multi-factor authentication system that combines biometric factors and contextual intelligence to confirm the user’s identity.
All of the data encryption happens at the device level, which means you won’t have to worry about your personal information traveling through different servers or being exposed to third-party eyes. Even LastPass password manager won’t be able to access your passwords without your authorization.
Emergency Access is a cool option that allows you to pick a trustee – another LastPass user who will be able to access your passwords in case of emergency. Of course, everything is tightly controlled and you can revoke their rights at any point. We also appreciate the Security Challenge feature, which assesses the strength and quality of all your passwords across applications. That helps you spot weak or duplicate passwords and change them using LastPass’s automated process.
LastPass is quite generous in what it offers for free. You get a lot of basic functionality and security completely for free, including some special features.
Why upgrade? Because LastPass password manager premium costs just $3 a month and you get a host of other options. For just a dollar more a month, you can keep your whole family safe with a subscription that covers six users.
The app design is somewhat similar to LastPass’s except that you use a desktop app instead of visiting an online vault. All your passwords are displayed you in blocks with categories on the left to help you sort them out. When you register at a new website, a password generator pops up to help you create a strong and reliable string, which is then added to the Dashlane database immediately. This saves a lot of time and improves the overall user experience.
Dashlane runs a tight ship with an enhanced two-factor authentication mechanism at its core. Besides all the usual identification methods, this software also supports the highly professional YubiKey device. This type of authentication is used by some of the biggest companies in the world, including Google and Facebook. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a password protector for professional or personal reasons, this option is truly a premium security feature.
Speaking of features, Dashlane has plenty to offer. For example, there is a VPN service that protects your wifi connection in public places – that’s a pleasant surprise. Then there’s the Dashlane dark web monitoring feature that keeps an eye out for your personal information in the vast and dangerous dark web. Of course, Dashlane also allows you to automatically change dozens of passwords with a few clicks, which is quite an important feature.
The Dashlane free password manager lets you store only 50 passwords on precisely one device. Yes, there is a premium version…and here is where it all gets a bit awkward. Dashlane isn’t exactly cheap. In fact, it has some of the market’s highest prices.
The $4.99-per-month premium plan comes with the best VPN, dark web monitoring, and secure storage. The Premium Plus plan, however, offers even more with credit monitoring and identity theft insurance – at $9.99 per month.
1Password software comes in many forms – the desktop program and its app, the mobile app, and the browser extension. The interface is quite elegant and functional, with an organization plan that other vendors would do well to emulate. From the left side of the screen to the right, elements get more specific. At far left are categories, then individual accounts in the middle, and detailed account information on the right. It’s super-easy to navigate, even if it’s your first time using such a program.
To ensure that your passwords never get compromised, all of the 1Password login encryption happens locally. That means that they can’t be intercepted on poorly protected servers or stolen by anyone who has access to the company’s files. 1Password uses WebCrypto encryption standards, raising your security to a whole new level. The company also has a Bugcrowd program that’s basically a team of security researchers whose main job is to find bugs as they appear so they can be removed instantly.
Watchtower is a really handy feature that lets you know when you need to change your password and why. The best password protection system keeps track of the websites where you’re registered and notifies you in case of data leaks or other security problems. Another interesting feature is Travel Mode, which lets you hide your passwords during trips in case customers inspectors get a little overzealous. It is a simple and effective mode that removes your sensitive data with a click and brings it back whenever you want, just as easily.
1Password does not have a free version, but it does offer a 30-day free trial period. The basic subscription plan, which supports all major operating systems, costs $2.99 a month. It offers unlimited passwords and 1 GB of storage for personal documents. The password manager for families costs $4.99 a month. It extends coverage to five family members and up to five guests. This plan also lets you control which data and features each family member can see or use.
Although Keeper’s design is quite simple, starting the program for the first time propels you into a five-step tour that explains the interface and some of the main features. A sidebar on the left lets you access your vault as well as identity and payment pages. There are also icons that lead to two of the software’s main features – Security Audit and BreachWatch.
Keeper Password Manager excels when it comes to security, mainly because it is one of the rare programs that are SOC2 compliant. SOC2 is a very strict auditing specification that ensures maximum security. LastPass is the only other password provider that implements this standard. For the best identity protection, Keeper allows the use of biometrics to confirm one’s identity in addition to high-end 2FA options like YubiKey.
Keeper’s focus on security leaves little to be desired. The safest password manager candidate also has a Security Audit feature that tells you about the state of your passwords. BreachWatch alerts you of internet data leaks at websites where you’re registered. Keeper even has its own messaging app, which can be bought separately or in a bundle called KeeperChat. It is basically an anonymous instant messaging system with self-destructive messages and private media galleries.
Keeper is quite affordable – just $2.18 a month, which is why many consider it to be the best password manager for the money. The website also offers a package consisting of the password manager, KeeperChat, Dark Web Monitoring, and storage space for $4.52 every month. The bundle isn’t cheap but you do get a lot in return.
Ease of use seems to be the main focus of Sticky Password’s design team. The best way to use the program is to visit a website and click on the Sticky toolbar in the browser. It contains a couple of tabs. The “this website” tab displays all the password information for the site you’re on. Your other saved passwords are in the “web accounts” tab, and “identities” holds auto-fill information. Everything is super-easy and intuitive so you won’t have any trouble navigating through the menus.
Sticky Password uses AES-256 password encryption, which is great. So is the two-factor authentication it employs. These traits are commendable but should also be considered quite normal. If the software can’t promise this type of protection, you shouldn’t even consider it, really. Sticky Password also supports biometric authentication offered by modern devices, including finger scanning and face recognition.
Through local password manager wifi sync you will be able to synchronize all of your devices while making sure that your personal data never leaves the comfort of your home. There is also a smart security dashboard, which gives you a heads-up when you need to change a weak or duplicated password. We especially like the USB Password Manager, which basically allows you to securely carry all your passwords around and use them on any device. It’s like a scene from a spy movie.
Sticky Password comes in two versions: the limited free version and Sticky Password Premium. The former provides basic functionality without synchronization, backups, or password sharing. Sticky Password Premium costs just $29.99 a year or $149.99 as a one-time payment, and it unlocks all the features. If you’re looking for additional motivation, you should know that the company donates a part of every Premium subscription fee to save endangered manatees. That’s quite a unique incentive among password managers.
McAfee True Key works as a browser extension. The interface is quite straightforward, with a main tab consisting of blocks representing each one of your saved passwords. There is a sorting button, too. Two additional tabs are Safe Notes – referring to password-secured storage space – and the True Key wallet.
With True Key, you get to decide how many layers of security you want. You have at your disposal the master password, biometrics like fingerprint scanning and facial recognition, and recognition of trusted devices. Interestingly though, you don’t really need a master password – it’s just an added layer of protection. Your data syncs automatically to all of your devices, while all of your passwords remain hidden from everyone but you.
There really aren’t that many special features in True Key, which was originally known as Intel Security True Key. The password generator is there, as well as a digital wallet, and that’s about it. The program is fairly modest even for such a narrowly focused niche.
True Key comes in free and paid versions. The free version allows only 15 logins. True Key Premium costs $19.99 a year and lets you have as many passwords as you’d like. With such a low price, this manager is a good option for people who are looking for a basic yet reliable organization tool.
Password Boss’s design is much like what you get with other password managers. There is a menu bar with categories and a main window full of blocks that represent your saved accounts. What seems peculiar in the Password Boss design is the old-school top bar with “File,” “Edit,” and “Tools” sections. It seems outdated, and many users might just overlook it. However, this is where you find important functions like backup settings.
High-end encryption is something of a prerequisite for the best password manager apps but so is the zero-knowledge architecture, where the company secures your data without having direct access to it. The main focus of Password Boss seems to be business life, as it offers a lot more options for companies. For example, you can control access to passwords based on roles in your organization or keep track of any changes for additional security.
While we’ve already seen most of Password Boss’s features in other products, they are still worth mentioning. Password sharing and emergency access are basic but necessary layers of protection. Password Boss protects personal information used by browsers’ auto-fill features too, which makes staying secure much easier. There is also a dark web scan option, which checks to see if any of your private data has fallen into the wrong hands.
The Password Boss premium package costs $2.50 a month and lets you use the software on any device you want. The premium subscription has so many options and features that it doesn’t pay off to even think about the very basic free version. There is also a family password manager option that lets five people use the program for a price of $4 a month. This is also the price of an advanced business plan that offers a host of business-centered features in addition to those already covered in the premium plan.
The first impression you get when you start Roboform Everywhere is that it seems a bit dated. It’s no wonder: This company entered the market 20 years ago and has only recently changed the program’s interface to make it a bit more modern. Judging by what we can see, they didn’t do a spectacular job. Although everything follows the classic password manager look, it still seems basic and, at times, confusing.
Roboform Everywhere software for storing passwords gives you exactly the types of protection you expect from these utilities, including AES 256-bit encryption and two-factor authentication. All of the encryption is done on a local level, so your personal data never reaches website servers. In addition, Roboform offers 24/7 customer support to help users deal with security breaches or software problems.
Some of the more basic (yet necessary) features included in the software are the Roboform login password generator, the password sharing option, and data backup. All of the password capturing is automatic, so all you need to do is browse the web as usual and the program will do all the work.
Roboform’s website doesn’t make it easy to find the prices for individual and family subscriptions. You have to hunt through several screens just to see the offer. That said, the individual license is rather affordable, considering everything you get for $23.88 per year. You can get even lower prices if you subscribe to three or five years.
Bitwarden is an open-source application that everyone can audit, review, and contribute to. That way everything remains transparent and no security leaks can go unnoticed.
The interface is about the same as what you get with other password managers. The categories are on the left, the list of logins is in the middle, and specific details are on the right.
The free version of the program comes with two-factor authentication, but it lacks some advanced options so it’s not much better than the built-in Chrome password manager. The premium version has excellent security that supports both YubiKey and FIDO, plus Duo authentication. In addition, the program itself can create TOTP – temporary passcodes to give you an extra layer of protection you didn’t even know you needed.
Bitwarden supports secure sharing through what it calls organizations. Basically, you can create a group of people you trust, be it your family or your team at work, and share logins with them. It is an effective way to offer protection to your loved ones or create a well-functioning professional team of people. Password hygiene and regular reports help you stay on top of all your passwords and make changes if need be. Bitwarden also offers a high-quality password generator and the option to self-host on your own server, which is why many believe it’s the best password manager in its price range.
There are two main versions of the software – free and premium. The free version is pretty good, especially compared to what some other password managers offer. But it is just a taste of what you get with the premium version. For just $10 a year, you get advanced security features, 1 GB of encrypted storage, and priority customer support. Considering the price-benefit ratio, it’s not unfair to name Bitwarden the best password storage utility on the market.
LogMeOnce’s design is based around the so-called Productivity Dock. This modern interface allows you quick access to various apps and features. It’s simple, easy, and elegant, so we have to give it some extra points for breaking the mold. It is also a great way to introduce the package’s numerous features, which really make it stand out from the crowd.
LogMeOnce’s creative design extends to its security features. Instead of the uniquitous 2FA mechanism, this program uses gimmicks like the “Selfie-2FA,” where you can authenticate yourself with a real-life photo of yourself. Account Freeze is also another great security feature of this mobile password keeper – it lets you lock down your account on numerous devices or just those outside your local network. Device Management lets you see all of the devices that have access to your account and their activity.
Among the utility’s many creative and useful features, one stands out. Password Shock prevents your phone from theft using a number of methods. Besides warnings, there are also alarms, loud music, eplileptic light shows, vibration, sirens, and so on. The Mugshot feature covertly takes a picture of the thief, while the Scheduled Login lets you log in only at certain times (with a tolerance of up to 30 minutes). All in all, you’ll have fun playing with this feature.
The premium version of the Logmeonce password management suite is unexpectedly free, but it lacks some of the more fun and advanced features. The professional version is a step closer, and it costs just $1 per month. The ultimate version gives you everything for $3.25 a month. If you don’t need all the flashy features and numerous customization options, the professional subscription plan is more than enough.
Choosing the best password utility among the dozens on the web is quite a challenge. Our unique evaluation rubric gives you a fighting chance. We analyze and report on four main elements of each program: design, security, special features, and price.
Call us superficial if you like; we confess that we appreciate a good design that is both eye-capturing and elegant. But there’s more to design than that. An inviting, functional password locker user interface can make all the difference. If it’s too hard to use, people won’t use it. Today’s digital world is centered on the user experience, and all the best software products adhere to that philosophy. When it comes to password managers, you want the interface to be as responsive and as simple as possible. If you have to spend precious minutes navigating through its complexity, there’s something wrong.
Good looks mean nothing without top security. Yes, the best password manager 2019 should store all your passwords in one place for easier use, but savvy customers demand more. It needs to offer maximum protection from hackers, fraudsters, and malware. A two-step authentication system is something of an industry standard here, so if a program goes beyond that, we will certainly mention it in our reviews.
While simplicity is an essential trait, there are no penalty points for going a step or two beyond the call of duty. We check to see what other features the programs have in store for us that might improve overall security or make our digital lives easier. The best password management apps often include features you didn’t even know you needed. That’s how you know you’re dealing with professionals.
At the end of the day, the best choices are usually compromises between quality and price. If a password manager takes a huge chunk of your household budget every month, its usefulness drops significantly. We take a look at free and premium versions, monthly costs, discounts, and everything else regarding financial details.