We’ve covered password managers extensively here at MakeUseOf in the past. They’re one of the best ways to cope with the huge amount of passwords we have to deal with. Dashlane is a strong new contender on the password manager scene.
If you’ve tried a few password managers before, you’ve probably learned to expect some roughness around the edges. They’re solid, useful applications, but their interfaces can be overly complex and inconvenient. Dashlane doesn’t just reduce the friction entailed with entering passwords, personal data and payment information on the Web; it also reduces the friction that’s accompanied password managers themselves.
Dashlane is available for Windows and Mac. It has browser extensions for integration with Chrome and Firefox, but it doesn’t only run in your browser.
From the Dashlane window, you can add personal data for Dashlane’s form filler.
You can also add ID cards and payment information, such as credit cards. Dashlane lays the cards out logically, with slick graphics.
Dashlane can import passwords from web browsers and competing password managers like LastPass and Keepass.
When you need to enter personal data, you’ll see Dashlane’s form filler in action. You can fill the form without ever touching your keyboard.
Dashlane can generate strong passwords when you’re creating a new password.
Sign into an account on a website and Dashlane will notice. You can save the password for later and have Dashlane automatically log you in in the future.
Saved logins are stored in the Logins and Passwords section, along with categories and website logos. Click the Play button while hovering over a website’s logo to open it in your browser and log in. Click a website’s logo to see or edit its login information.
Dashlane automatically logs you into websites when you visit them. If you have multiple accounts, Dashlane prompts you to choose an account.
Dashlane promises mobile apps and Internet Explorer integration soon.
Dashlane’s sync is completely optional. You can use it as a local application and back up your data manually, or use it as a cloud-based password manager and sync your data across your devices.
When you sign into Dashlane from another computer, Dashlane sends you a code by email or SMS message. It’s a simple approach to two-factor authentication that works well. Other password managers like LastPass offer various two-factor authentication methods, but they can all be removed by someone with access to the account’s email address. This approach simplifies the process and doesn’t detract from security.
Dashlane never synchronizes your credit card numbers or other pieces of payment information.
Dashlane doesn’t just have a pretty interface, it has a strong security architecture underneath.
Your passwords and other personal data are encrypted with a master password you provide. You must remember this password or you’ll lose access to your data forever – Dashlane can’t reset it for you. This prevents even their employees from accessing your personal data.
Dashlane helps you create a strong master password when you set it up. Provide a sentence and year and it’ll help you generate a password.
If you enable sync, you can also view your data and manage allowed devices from the Dashlane website.
Dashlane isn’t just a password manager, it’s also an online shopping assistant. Its express checkout feature detects checkout pages and guides you through them.
Dashlane saves receipts of your purchases, so you can view them later. Dashlane even saves screenshots of the checkout process.
Entering payment information is a lot slicker than it is with competing form fillers.
Dashlane’s security dashboard scans your passwords and displays their strength. If you have insecure passwords, you can log into them with Dashlane and change the password. When you change the password on the website, Dashlane will generate a secure password for you and remember it.
Dashlane could bring password managers to a wider audience. Its interface and architecture show a real attempt to simplify what has traditionally been a complex type of software. Sure, all of these features – except the online-shopping ones – are available in other password managers and form fillers, but they’ve never been done quite this well before.
Dashlane is currently in beta, but it’s open to the public. They promise all current beta features will remain free to everyone.
Have you tried Dashlane? Leave a comment and let us know what you thought. Or do you prefer one of its competitors, KeePass or LastPass?
Image Credit: Online shopping screenshots via Dashlane
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