A great password manager can make all the difference. This is especially valid during this pandemic in which millions are forced to work at home, and it explains why so many of us in recent times have been trying to find “password managers.”
Most of us have several online accounts, and re-using the same password on multiple websites is all too convenient. It may be easy, but it will also place us in real danger; if any one of these places is compromised, you will endanger all your accounts.
We have here the top five password managers from the many on the market because of this risk.
Finding the right free password managers is an important decision, so run through the following options. By the end, you will find the best password manager for your needs.
What is a password manager?
An encrypted program manager stores and maintains all of your passwords and login information for accessing online websites, services, and many others.
- What is a password manager?
- Why Use a Password Manager?
- What is the Best Password Manager
- And Finally…
They not only keep confidential data and credentials secure; they can create unique and powerful passwords to prevent your devices and sites from re-using the same ones.
Consider it a notebook in which your most precious login credentials are kept, secured by a master password you know only. (Learn How to Password Protect a Folder)
Why Use a Password Manager?
You can find many reasons for using a password manager. Here are a few of the benefits you can find:
You don’t need to memorize passwords: Everything you have to know is the master password that opens the vault with your password. Then you can access your password repository from any device from anywhere if your preference is for a cloud-based password manager.
Auto-generate secure passwords: In general, password managers will ask you whether you want to use an auto-generated password when signing into a new website or application for your account. These are in the form of alphanumeric, long, and virtually difficult to guess random passwords.
Phishing site alerts: Spam e-mails are spoofed or fabricated to appear as they come from a legitimate source, like a friend, family member, co-worker, or business organization.
Links found in the e-mail direct to malicious websites designed to collect login credentials that are similarly spoofed.
If you’re using a browser-based password manager, it won’t auto-complete the username and password fields as it doesn’t recognize the website as password-linked.
Help beneficiaries: This is called a digital inheritance. In the event of your death, your family, or whoever you designate to administer your estate, will gain access to your passwords.
Save time. Apart from saving passwords, many password managers often carry out form filling and auto-fill in credentials to make on-line accounts faster available.
Some can also save and automatically complete name, address, e-mail, telephone number, and credit card information. For example, this can be a significant time-saver when shopping on-line.
Sync operating systems: If you are a Windows, macOS user, you can access passwords easily on any platform you’re using. Password managers often support common web browsers with browser extensions like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Internet Explorer.
Protect your identity. Password managers can help defend against identity fraud. Using a single password for each website, you effectively split your data for any website and service you use. Should a hacker hacks one account, they won’t be able to get into another one.
What is the Best Password Manager
With browser plugins for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Opera, and web applications for Windows, macOS, and Linux, iOS, and Android mobile devices, NordPass offers a capable password manager.
Besides storing encrypted passwords, NordPass can recommend strong passwords and securely store credit card and banking information for faster checkouts.
Using the premium edition, you can sync information across six devices per license. The free version only allows one device, yet you can test premium features for a week.
Another positive is that there are unlimited passwords you can save, unlike others that have restrictions.
One restriction with this top password manager is it won’t autofill forms like other password managers.
Overall, NordPass is a competent password manager and offers security from the same stable NordVPN, so you know it has an excellent pedigree. It costs $2.49 if you sign up for a 2-year subscription and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. It does cost as little more is you sign up per year.
LastPass is simple to use, super safe, and full of features, offering both free and premium levels so that you can select the choice that gives you the best.
To keep it secure, LastPass stores data using AES-256 bit encryption with PBKDF2 SHA-256 and salted hashes – and this is not restricted to unique passwords only.
Credit card information and shipping addresses can also be saved to be automatically entered when you buy online, plus encrypted notes, insurance policy details, and much more to enhance the online user experience.
LastPass’s free edition is fine, but paid accounts are very reasonably priced. They offer an extra feature that is incredibly useful: the ability to log in to apps on your computer. Encrypted file storage is available in this good password manager.
Very few password managers give you this, and it might prove invaluable to prevent people from accessing your e-mails or social media if you lose your phone.
One of LastPass’s favorite features is multi-factor authentication support, which protects against phishing by requiring an additional type of authorization to log on to your accounts, such as a mobile app or fingerprint scan.
While it gets more popular, not all sites and services still provide it, so it is a real boon to secure all of your logins in a safe vault. It works on Windows, Mac, and mobile devices, so it is ideal for any person.
1Password is a password manager that offers protection for individuals or organizations and a mutual password protection scheme for families.
There are two major 1Password service provisions, one for users and their families, allowing either a single user or a family of up to five to use 1Password for secure logins.
There’s also a 1Password business service providing security for those working from home and teams and companies.
1Password protects you from hacks and other attacks, such as keyloggers and phishing attempts, and will only function in a checked web browser.
The effect is a very safe and knowledgeable password manager covering both personal use and corporate use, including working from home, without sacrificing your protection.
1Password costs $2.99 per month for a single-use, or you can pay $4.99 for 1Password family plan (5 users). With this, you get unlimited passwords, a total number of devices and 1GB document cloud storage, two-factor authentication, and more.
Dashlane is a capable single user password manager capable of storing logins for up to 50 accounts in a secure multi-factor authentication vault.
It can also store information and fill out forms automatically with delivery addresses and contact details, like LastPass, rather than just filling in passwords.
Perhaps more impressive is Dashlane’s premium service. It not only syncs your passwords across all platforms for desktop and mobile but also tracks the dark web to detect data infringements and sends you personalized notifications should any stored information occur inside a batch of stolen data.
There is also secure cloud storage of files that is great for scanned ID papers, insurance policies, and receipts. You even have access to a VPN for more secure web browsing through public Wi-Fi hotspots. (Find the Best VPNs for Australia)
All this does come with a cost, and Dashlane’s premium plan is among the most expensive options around for an unlimited number of devices.
The extra services and remote account access with priority support can justify the cost.
KeePass is very different as it is more than free; it is open-source. It isn’t the easiest to use compared to others, yet it comes with swathes of features. Many additional features come via third party plugins.
It has 2-factor authentication, AES 256 Bit encryption, backup and recovery, password generator, and password import when using a plugin. There isn’t much in the way of help support, and it can be better suited to someone who understands their way around such software. Works on Windows, Mac, and others.
It is unique because it is the first password manager to offer security-enhanced password edit controls on the password vault.
How Does a Password Manager Work?
When you first register on a website or service, a password manager can register the username and password you use. Then it will auto-fill forms with your stored user login details the next time you visit the website. A password manager can copy the password in the password field for websites and services that do not allow automatic filling.
A manager will create a strong password and watch whether you keep choosing a good password, so you do not re-use it across services.
And suppose you’re using more than one device. In that case, you want a manager available across all your devices and browsers so you can access your passwords and login information, like credit card and shipping information — from anywhere via the manager app or browser extension.
Some have safe storage so that other things, such as paperwork or an electronic copy of your passport or will, can also be kept.
Many password managers keep your master password on your device and not on a remote server. If stored on a server, it will be encrypted and not readable by the password manager company or anyone else.
In the event of a data breach, this means that your account remains secure. It also means that there will not be a way to restore your account via the company if you forget your master password.
A few password managers provide the means of restoring your account on your own. You will start over with a new password manager account in the worst-case, and you can then restore and save passwords for all your accounts and applications in the new one.
How Safe is a Password Manager?
Password managers are safe and far safer than not using one. Much of this because password managers encourage you to follow a good practice where you can make every password a unique password that is long and complex.
Some experts reckon the average user can use almost 200 passwords; thus, a password manager is essential. Using these, you have one secure password, and you use this on your desktop or mobile device. You get lots of security features from the mobile apps that are not possible anywhere else.
Many of the password managers use zero-knowledge, and as a result, even the password manager itself doesn’t know the passwords it contains.
With just one long and strong password to remember, and by enabling two-factor authentication in the password manager app, they are as safe as any way of remembering passwords can be.
What is the Best Free Password Manager?
You can find many areas that come up with the same conclusion. LastPass is the best free password manager.
You can have unlimited password management features, password sharing, and a built-in authenticator; with this, you can generate one-time passwords to cover all your 2FA logins.
You can audit your passwords, update them using a single click, and much more. All this is wrapped up in an excellent user interface. You miss out on file storage, yet you can get this anywhere, and using LastPass to remember your password, your storage is safe.
With extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and edge, among others, it is easy to use anywhere. If you need to move away from the free plan, you can find even more features on the LastPass premium version. As it stands, LastPass is the best free password manager.
Many of the password managers here offer a basic set of features such as browser extensions, web monitoring, and in most cases, they are easy to use.
With form filling, password management, and unique password with free versions, there’s no reason anyone should not be using password manager desktop apps to beef up their password strength.
Besides this, when passwords are above 20 characters, these are virtually unbreakable, and it does go a long way to help protect your online anonymity.