The Best Password Managers for Every Occasion
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A password manager is a piece of software that remembers passwords, so you don’t have to. By remembering a single master password, all of your other passwords are stored securely for retrieval as and when you need them.

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Everyone should attempt to store their passwords securely. Along with two-factor authentication, it’s one of the best practices for locking down your precious online accounts. But which password manager is right for you?

Today we’ll try to answer that question.

Best Free Password Managers

Want to keep your accounts secure but can’t afford to cough up for a paid solution? Sometimes security doesn’t cost a penny.

KeePass

KeePass

KeePass is a lightweight open-source password manager. The official KeePass client is designed for Windows (with a portable version available). However, there are countless alternative projects that allow you to use KeePass on just about every platform.

The KeePass client stores your credentials in a database file. This encrypted file is protected by a master password or keyfile. KeePass is a bare-bones solution to credential management, and it lacks many of the fancy features found in proprietary subscription apps.

There’s no in-built sync between the version of KeePass you run on your desktop computer and your smartphone. If you want access to the same database on another device, you’ll have to share it manually using cloud storage solutions like Dropbox or Google Drive. This is easy enough to do, but it’s a somewhat manual process that isn’t for everyone.

KeePass can store your various passwords within folders or categories, with fields for information such as usernames, passwords, and additional notes. Some clients include secure password generators, the ability to export the contents of your database to other formats, AutoType support for filling in web forms, and plugins.

Download: KeePass for Windows (Free) | KeePassXC for Mac/Linux (Free)

Bitwarden

Bitwarden for Mac

Bitwarden is another open-source password manager, but one that also offers a premium option. Unlike the “try before you buy” premium services listed below, Bitwarden doesn’t impose limits or restrictions on free accounts.

The service is an online affair. Register for a Bitwarden account then download the client for your platform of choice. Syncing is handled by the server, and you can host your own version of Bitwarden’s cloud service if you want. There’s no need to share database files via third-party cloud services, as is the case with KeePass.

There’s excellent support for a wide range of platforms, including clients for Windows, Mac and Linux. There are also browser plugins for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge among others to provide access to relevant passwords where required. If you get stuck and need a password, you can login to Bitwarden’s web vault and access your credentials from there.

Another advantage over KeePass is the ability to store four different types of sensitive information: login credentials, debit or credit card information, identity documents, and secure notes. You can further organize these entries by folder, add favorites, or search the database.

Download: Bitwarden (Free)

LastPass

LastPass is now free to use on any device, anywhere. Previously LastPass only offered their free service for a single device, which meant you had to subscribe if you wanted to sync passwords between devices. This is no longer the case, since you can use LastPass to store all of your passwords and have them sync to any device, free of charge.

There still exists a premium service for $2 per month which provides 1GB of encrypted file storage, customer support, and biometric authentication. LastPass Free also includes adverts in the vault, which the premium $36/year package removes. For a free solution that handles all of the technical details for you, it’s a steal.

LastPass allows you to store both website login credentials and secure notes within your account. Notes can have a more specific label applied such as software license, social security number, or Wi-Fi password. It’s also possible to add “form fills” to LastPass to add information to web forms for identification, shipping, payment, and other circumstances.

With such a great free option, you’d be justified in wondering why you’d ever give any money to LastPass.

The answer might be in features like emergency access (for enabling others to have access to your accounts in exceptional circumstances), one-to-many sharing for sharing credentials with multiple other users, and advanced multi-factor authentication for added security.

Download: LastPass (Free)

Best Premium Password Managers

If you’re willing to subscribe to a password manager, you’ll get a few additional nice features that make life a little easier.

1Password

One of the longest-running password managers, 1Password switched from a steep one-off fee to a modest subscription model a few years ago. You can now try 1Password free for 30-days, after which you will be charged the equivalent of $2.99 per month annually, or $4.99 for a family package of up to five members.

1Password has excellent native apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and Chrome OS. The level of polish outshines freebies like KeePass, with labels for various services, multiple vaults per account, and the ability to view an entry’s old passwords. Syncing between different instances of 1Password is handled automatically using the company’s own servers.

Password organization is pretty straightforward, with categories used to separate a wide range of different entries. Store logins, payment details, documents, bank account credentials, secure notes and more. Use the 1Password extension for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari to gain access to your password repository while browsing the web.

1Password isn’t open-source, but the company maintains transparency in many of its processes. Anything stored in your 1Password database is encrypted using your master password and a secret key before being uploaded to the company’s servers. This means even if the servers are breached, the data is still safe.

Download: 1Password (Free trial, subscription required)

Dashlane

Dashlane is a premium password manager with a decent free option. You can store up to 50 passwords on a single device for free. If you want to sync your passwords with other devices (like a smartphone) then you’ll have to sign up for the equivalent of a $3.33 monthly charge, billed annually.

For your money you’ll get an unlimited amount of password storage, complete with automatic syncing. Simply login to the Dashlane apps and all of your credentials will be there. The app can store and generate passwords, and autofill your information on both desktop and mobile.

Your premium subscription also provides you with access to Dashlane’s own VPN, and Dark Web Monitoring. The former allows you to connect to a virtual private network in order to encrypt your web traffic 11 Reasons Why You Should Be Using a VPN 11 Reasons Why You Should Be Using a VPN Virtual private networks are affordable and easy to use. Here are some reasons why you should be using a VPN if you aren't yet. Read More . This prevents even your ISP from seeing what you are sending or downloading online.

Dark Web Monitoring scans the dark web for any leaked or stolen personal data that may pertain to you. In case of anything being found Dashlane will notify you with a plan of action. In this regard, Dashlane feels more like a personal security suite than a simple password manager, and it’s not badly priced either.

Download: Dashlane (Free)

Best Password Manager for iPhone and Apple Users

Surprised to learn that iOS and macOS come with an in-built password manager? It’s convenient, free to use, and comes with its own benefits and drawbacks that potential users should know about.

iCloud Keychain

iCloud Keychain Generate Password

If you use Apple hardware exclusively, iCloud Keychain could be the solution for you. You can enable the feature by turning on Keychain under iCloud preferences on iOS and macOS.

Once you’ve done so, Safari will offer to store passwords for you as you enter them. If you register for any new accounts, Keychain will offer to generate secure passwords and store them immediately.

iCloud Keychain works in both Safari and at a system level on macOS and iOS. Many iOS apps are able to query Keychain for credentials, filling in passwords and logins once you’ve been authenticated with Face ID and Touch ID.

If you need access to your master list of passwords you can do so under Settings > Safari > Passwords. (Safari > Preferences > Passwords on macOS.) Since the service uses iCloud, all of your credentials are stored and synced securely, across your Apple devices. There is no iCloud Keychain app for Windows or other platforms.

Don’t forget: iOS apps also exist for both the premium and free solutions listed in this article. Check out our recommendations for the best iPhone password managers The 5 Best Password Managers for Your iPhone The 5 Best Password Managers for Your iPhone Struggling to remember your passwords? You need a password manager. Here are the best password managers for your iPhone. Read More .

Best Password Manager for Android Users

Like Apple’s iCloud Keychain, Google also has a proprietary service that allows Android and ChromeOS users to store

Google Smart Lock

Smart Lock is Google’s equivalent to iCloud Keychain. The service works on Android smartphones, ChromeOS, and in the Chrome desktop browser. If you can use the Chrome browser, you can use Google Smart Lock to save and sync your credentials.

The service is enabled by default in that Android, ChromeOS, and Chrome will offer to save and store your passwords. When you use another instance of Chrome, your passwords will be automatically available to you.

You can view your master list of passwords by clicking on your profile and selecting Passwords in the Chrome browser. Like Apple’s solution, Google Smart Lock is purely for login credentials—you cannot store other sensitive information (like notes or software keys) in Smart Lock.

Don’t forget: Android apps also exist for both the premium and free solutions listed in this article. Check out our recommendations for the best Android password managers The Best Password Managers for Android Compared The Best Password Managers for Android Compared Passwords are hard to remember, and it's insecure to only have a few passwords memorized. Let these apps keep your passwords strong and secure! Read More .

Other Ways to Secure Your Accounts

Two-factor authentication (2FA) should be enabled on your accounts wherever possible. This uses something you know (your password) and something you have (usually your smartphone) to prove your identity, but even 2FA is susceptible to attacks.

Instead of using SMS or 2FA apps (like Authenticator) to generate codes, the most secure way of using 2FA is with a universal second-factor key It's Time to Stop Using SMS and 2FA Apps for Two-Factor Authentication It's Time to Stop Using SMS and 2FA Apps for Two-Factor Authentication While two-factor authentication is generally a good thing, you may be shocked to know that SMS and 2FA apps are both insecure. Here's what you should use instead. Read More . Most of us still use 2FA though, and that’s fine because 2FA is still better than a simple username and password combination.

Explore more about: Chrome OS, Google Chrome, iPhone, Linux, Mac, Password Manager, Windows.

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  1. Century22
    April 16, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    Any comments on form fillers ? Last Pass has recently destroyed theirs.
    It's the feature I used the most. I may go back to RoboForm a program that I have not used since 1995.

  2. Robert Merson
    March 21, 2019 at 2:29 am

    I have been using free Enpass Portable password Manager for almost a year now and find it awesome and the best part is it installs on a flash drive so all the information is removed when you're done and can be taken with you for use between home and work.

  3. Godel
    March 19, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    @Dragonmouth, apparently KeePassXC is a newer branch of KeePass and supports Windows, Linux and MacOS with new features. The promoters claim that development on KeePassX has stagnated.

    I used to happily use Sticky Password on Windows but I switched to Waterfox from Firefox and Sticky does not support that browser.

    I'm sticking with KeePass for the time being, an oldie but a goodie. It's lucky that I kept my KeePass database updated in parallel with Sticky Password before I was made to switch.

    • Ez
      April 15, 2019 at 5:11 pm

      I am also using Sticky Password for the longest time, and every time I try another password manager, I always revert back to sticky password, as it has the best features and is really nice from all aspects.

  4. Mark Elston
    March 19, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    I have used PasswordSafe for several years as I can put the safe on Dropbox and share it between computers and my Android devices (with PasswordSafe Sync).

  5. Egyed Serf
    March 15, 2019 at 9:29 am

    RoboForm?

    • James
      March 19, 2019 at 2:12 pm

      I agree. I have been using Roboform for over a decade and can't rate it, and their Support, highly enough. However, for some reason, it never shows up on any of these "Best Password Manager" lists.

      • Henry
        March 19, 2019 at 2:31 pm

        I too am a very satisfied Roboform user. It doesn't provide things that probably ought to be gotten from others (VPN service).

        Roboform Everywhere--a lot less expensive than some of the other pay-a-toll-to-use-the-software as it is billed yearly-- allows you to share your passwords (and other data) across multiple platforms. I can't see living life without it.

        Tech support has always been excellent for me.

    • Mike Paterson
      April 16, 2019 at 10:25 am

      Yes, I have used Roboform for years. It is excellent, and like others I am surprised it is not listed here. I have tried most of those that are, and Roboform is the best IMO.

  6. David
    March 14, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    I would also highlight MyKi as a really viable alternative to these, especially given how it's password storage works.

  7. Moritz
    March 14, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    Checkout SafeInCloud, has Browser Plugins for Chrome and Firefox, has apps for ios, Android and windows. Syncs your password file by using your web drive eg onedrive, Google drive, etc. So it is pretty cross Plattform and you only have to pay once, no monthly fees.

  8. dragonmouth
    March 14, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    "KeePass"
    KeePassX is the Linux version

    "By remembering a single master password"
    A master password protects all the other passwords but how is the master password protected? Isn't that the Achilles' heel of all password managers? If someone cracks the master password then all other passwords are compromised and available to the hacker? Yes, you can make the master password very strong by making it very complicated but then you'll have to write it down somewhere since it will be impossible to remember. Besides, don't most PMs limit the length of the master password?

    I would not use any password manager that stores the passwords in the cloud or on a third party server. What happens if, for any number of reasons, your access to that file is blocked? All of a sudden you are unable to access any of your favorite sites.