Best Over All Pic: LastPass
LastPass offers the best value of any password manager currently in the market. You can opt for the free version or go with something more premium. LastPass offers a full suite of features either way. The service will even let you import your saved login credentials from your browser.
Best Budget Pick: Sticky Password
If you need a premium password manager, but you must budget the expense, you should go with Sticky Password. From the creators of AVG Antivirus, this password manager’s premium plans offer extra cloud features, strong password generation, and AES-256 encryption.
Best Premium Pick: DashLane
While not very different from other top-of-the-line password managers, you pay a steep premium if you need Dashlane for more than their free basic service. At $60 per month, the service does pack some impressive security features in its surprisingly small footprint.
You cannot go anywhere online without a password manager today. With everything we do, none of us will remember every password we have. Password managers keep our information safe behind a master password, letting us automatically log into our accounts from anywhere.
Password managers work by remembering your passwords for you so do not have to remember them. They also let us have different passwords for each of our accounts. They solve the riddle of trying to remember your passwords despite our human limitations.
However, not all password managers are equal. While most managers offer the same basic features, their additional features and benefits can vary widely. Generally, you want a manager that works best for your situation. Fortunately, we did most of the work for you.
The following password managers work for most people. They have their pros and cons, but each is good in their own right. While this list is not the most definitive of lists you will find, it will get you started.
How We Picked the Best Password Managers
When considering a password manager, we looking into the following factors. Each one reflects what we would want in from our manager.
- Secure Cloud-based Password Vault – Password managers are worthless if they do not have a secured backend for storing your credentials.
- Cross-platform support – A good password manager lets you access and store your passwords from any device.
- Decent Free Features – Every manager boasts top performance from their premium plans, but what about their free basic ones?
- Secure Password Generator – A good manager stores your passwords. A great manager lets you create them as well.
- Reliability – Can we expect the manager to existing when we need it?
- Premium Cost – Does the premium plans offer enough quality additional features for their prices?
- Works with: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iPhone, and iPad.
- Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Edge, and Opera.
- Basic – Free
- Premium – $36
- Family – $48
LastPass offers everything you need to stay secure and safe online. The password manager offers both free and premium accounts. So, you get to decide how much LastPass manages your passwords and information.
The free basic plan provides enough features for most users. You can add and delete information from your computer, mobile device, and everything in between. The app integrates well with most browsers. So, you only need to remember your super-secure master password, as it will fill in the rest.
After creating your account and establishing a master password, the service lets you get up and running quickly by letting you import your saved login credentials from other password managers such as the built-in ones that come with the Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, and Opera web browsers.
LastPass also bundles two-factor authentication, secure password generation, free credit monitoring, bookmark management, multiple identities, secure notes, single-use passwords, and auto-fill features that streamline your life online.
You also get to store your information encrypted on Lastpass’s secure cloud servers. Because of this, you can use your passwords and information on any computing device including your friends’ and families ‘ and your mobile devices. You can even use the service on public computers.
For the cost of the premium suite, you also get everything from the basic level along with additional authentication options. You also get a stellar customer and technical support along with direct syncing between your devices.
While LastPass suffered security breaches in the past, they have since done their due diligence to fix their past issues, leading them to be our top password manager on this list.
- Cross-platform access – works with Windows macOS, OSX, Linux, and Android as well as the Opera, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer web browsers.
- Robust free option – LastPass does not lock you out of anything if you decide to just stick with their basic plan. You get everything you need to stay secure such as 1 GB of password storage, login credential, and information auto-fill, and unlimited syncing between all your devices and web browsers.
- Login sharing – by going with their premium plan, you can share your LastPass your login account information, passwords, memberships, and anything else you want to give to others you trust. LastPass makes it easy to set up your emergency contacts.
- YubiKey integration – LastPass offers full YubiKey multifactor authentication with their premium option
- Robust Family Plan – LastPass lets you secure your entire family with a single account. The $48 Family plan gives you six individual accounts and shared family folders you can manage through a single dashboard.
What We Like
We like that LastPass gives you so many security options with just the free basic plan. You get a large storage space for your passwords and information you can access from all your devices wherever you may be.
LastPass is the best overall password manager. It has everything you need to stay safe online all in one place. The app even comes with its web browser if you need the extra peace of mind. You just get a great password manager with one of the best encryptions on the market today
- Limited free version
- Works on macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android
- Compatible extensions for Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Edge, Opera, and Internet Explorer
- $60 premium pricing
Dashlane provides a simple interface to your password management needs. It features an intuitive, two-factor authentication, and lets you update all of your passwords and credentials with a single click. The service will also store your notes while letting you share your credentials with an emergency contact.
You can even store your credentials in a local encrypted vault and still use the software as it Though, most people choose the automatic cloud storage solutions, which lets you sync your password with all your devices.
You can even configure your Dashlane account to automatically secure, change, and update your login information if the service ever gets hacked. The company also offers this feature for free to consumer account holders.
The company actively monitors the deep web for any signs of a possible breach of their security. This ensures you will know immediately if your data was leaked or stolen.
However, you can only have one device with 50 passwords with the free basic account. If you want to use Dashlane as your password manager, you must pay the annual $60 for the premium version. This puts Dashline among the most expensive managers on the market.
- Intuitive interface across all platforms, including Linux and Chrome OS.
- Bulk password changer – can change almost all passwords instantly
- Compatible with all web browsers
- Dark web and Identity theft monitoring
- More expensive than other password managers
What We Like
Dashlane lets you sync your information across all your devices. They also provider dark web monitoring to keep you safe online. Plus, it has a simple interface.
Dashlane’s premium subscription provides a well-designed and executed password manager. It keeps you safe and sound while letting you do what you want with your information. It is quite expensive compared with other comparable managers on the market.
- Works with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android. Linux, and Chrome OS
- The limited, single-device free version
- Extensions for Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari, and Edge
- Sample: Free
- Personal: $36
- Family: $4.99
AgileBits 1Password is relatively new to the market, which means their interface and features appear unfinished compared with other managers. It is still a decent cloud password manager for its annual price of $36. Though, Mac uses can double the price to revert to their old versions.
They do have a robust browser extension which gives you access to most of the cloud features. Though, you must use the cloud version to access Travel Mode, which can temporarily delete sensitive data on your devices to hide them from border control agents.
The password manager also supports an excellent form-filling function and true two-factor authentication.
1password’s major drawback is the lack of a free, basic option. There is only a small trial version of the app that only gives you only the most basic functions. You must pay for one of the paid versions to use the manager.
- Strong password generator and an Intuitive user interface
- Cloud username and password storage
- Secure sharing
- Built-in “watchtower” service that monitors for security breaches
- Digital wallet for network logins, notes, and credit card information
- $100,000 as a prize for anyone who could break it
- Two-factor authentication:
- Compatible with most biometric authentication including Face ID, Touch ID, most Android fingerprint readers
- Travel Mode
- Stripped-down mobile experience
What We Like
We like the Travel Mode feature as it gives extra security while on the road. The rest of the features are nothing new for the market and often lack a decent interface.
1password looks promising. If the developers fix the interface, it could be a major contender as the best-paid password manager out there.
- Works on macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS
- Compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Edge, and Opera.
- A limited free version (unlimited passwords, one device)
- Personal ($25.49 – $29.99)
- Family ($59.99)
Keeper Security boasts being the most scalable password manager on the market, and they may be correct. They offer four, highly-customizable, plan levels which store your data in secure file storage behind two-factor authentication.
Each plan comes with the usual password manager features along with version histories and emergency access sharing. These features let you or a trusted friend restore your stuff from a backup if anything goes wrong.
Beyond their base features, you can configure each plan to meet your needs and requirements. You can even set custom data fields allowing you to store your driver’s license number, passport information, and anything else important to you.
- Solid browser extension and web app
- Intuitive design across platforms
- Customizable database
- Very strong, two-factor authentication security
- Free-version limitations: Single device
- Weak form-filling capabilities
- Biometric login compatible with Windows Hello, Touch ID, most Android fingerprint readers
- Some security-related inconveniences
What We Like
Keeper is a fast, customizable, and full-featured password manager with a robust interface. It lets you store any information or file you want or need behind the best security system on the market. The premium service is also cheaper than others in the industry as well.
Keeper is a good password manager for those who do not need the extra features that come from other managers, such as mobile PIN access support. Still, if you can use it, we recommend that you considered it before you try the others.
- Works on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
- Widest browser combability list including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Edge, Opera. Pale Moon, Yandex, and SeaMonkey.
- Unrestricted Free Version
- Basic – Free
- Premium – $29.99 per month
- Lifetime – $199.99 one-time fee
Developed by the AVG Antivirus group, Sticky Password is the best free password manager on the market. It provides AES-256 encryption and strong password generation with a very intuitive interface, even on mobile devices.
AVG gives you ample secure cloud storage with many encrypted syncing options between your devices. You can even use the service to protect and encrypt your sensitive data over wireless connections.
The Premium plan includes extra syncing options while Lifetime gives you these options indefinitely
However, Sticky Passwords does have a few drawbacks. For one, it does not have a master password recovery or digital inheritance. So, if you lost your Sticky Password account info, you lose everything. There are some bugs when filing or capturing passwords from their limited web app.
- Widest browser combability list
- Biometric authentication from Face ID and fingerprint login available
- Offers a simple basic and a robust, professional service level
- Two-factor authentication.
- Secure no-cloud Wi-Fi sync available
What We Like
AVG made a really good free password manager. It has all the features one needs in a manager including two-factor authentication, no-cloud syncing. The app also supports an impressive browser compatibility list.
Sticky Passwords offers everything you want from a password manager, especially a free one. It may lack some more advanced features, but it is a good manager if you are on a budget or already use the AVG ecosystem.
- Works with: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iPhone, and iPad.
- Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera, Vivaldi, Brave, and Tor
- Free version
- Basic – Free
- Premium – $10 per year
- Team – per-seat
- Enterprise – per-seat
Perfect for older hardware, Bitwarden offers a lean, open-source, encrypted password manager. It can store and fill passwords automatically. It may lack some more common features, but is a great slim package when you only need the basics.
The service provides a nice balance between the free and paid versions. You get all the main features for free. The premium plan just adds 1GB of encrypted file storage along with other useful bonus features. You can even add secured account sharing for an extra $1.
The company even provides team and enterprise tiers for a business that needs bulk pricing and other specialized features. For instance, these higher tiers let you host your Bitwarden account in-house or on your cloud servers.
The only downsides are some minor browser compatibility issues that may get fixed in future patches.
- Native app for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux
- Extensive browser compatibility including a few less common ones
- A cloud-based, secure storage vault
- Two-factor authentication using Yubikey or FIDO.
- Generates TOTP codes for 2FA-supporting sites
- Password and Security Analysis
What We Like
Bitwarden offers a feature-rich free version that works well with slower, older hardware. This lets you customize your password security according to your budget.
Bitwarden Premium offers decent features such as advanced two-factor authentication which you can use an authenticator itself. It does this with a slim package that fits nicely on all hardware platforms.
- Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Windows Phone Compatible
- Browser plugins for Chrome, Firefox, Safari
- Limited free version
- Free – Free
- Standard – $1/month
- Family – $12/year
- Professional – $4/month
Most people cannot get Zoho Vault as a standalone product. It is a component of a large suite of enterprise tools you bust buy as a unit. Only the free version of the password manager is free for public use, but only for individuals. Families and groups must pay for the Family package.
Luckily, the free version is good. You get all of the manager’s features except for emergency sharing. Sure, LastPass offers more on their free version, but Zoho Vault is a decent alternative, especially if you need the rest of the Zoho ecosystem.
As it is a business tool, you will not find some of the common, consumer-friendly features you expect in a password manager. Zoho Vault has no personal-data form filling nor will it let you change passwords in bulk. You must also deal with a very simple, bare-bones mobile app.
Fortunately, it does have all the basic password manager features though. It will automatically sync your data across all your devices through Zoho’s servers. It has issues with Google Oauth logins, but even those situations have technical workarounds.
- Two-factor authentication
- Mobile app PIN unlock
- Biometric authentication: Touch ID on iOS, most Android fingerprint readers
- Inexpensive family plan
- Solid free offering
- Free, cloud-based syncing across all devices
What We Like
Zoho Vault takes full advantage of its enterprise nature to let you transfer credentials between different users. It also supplies an actional password strength report to let you know the quality of your passwords, and which ones you need to change.
Zoho provides business-strength security for your credentials in a platform that is easy to integrate into other business platforms. It lacks some quality-of-life consumer features, and has issues with some consumer-friendly sites, but overall a decent password manager.
- Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS compatibility
- Plugins for Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari, Edge, Opera
- Limited free version
- Basic – Free
- Everywhere – $16.68/year
- Everywhere Family – $33.40/year
As one of the oldest password managers still on the market, RoboForm shows its age. While not expensive, it still lacks a decent, modern interface. Its website interface is still read-only. The Desktop app Is not user-friendly and limited. At least, the mobile apps are decent.
The latest version does offer all the basic features you expect from a manager though. It has a neat digital interface with secure file sharing along with form-filling capabilities. It just lacks many of the quality-of-life updates many other password managers offer for free.
It does come with a decent, full-featured free version. The only downside is that you are limited to a single device. You have not synced or online access. So, you cannot take your passwords with you on the go, but they at least removed their old one-time payment basic plan structure.
- Biometric authentication: Face ID, Touch ID, most Android, and Windows fingerprint readers
- Two-factor authentication
- Supports a wide range of platforms
- Relatively inexpensive
- Stale, unintuitive design
- The web interface is read-only
- Limited functionality
- Mobile app PIN unlock
- Manual and Robot Form filling
What We Like
RoboForm has 2 decades of experience behind it, making it one robust password managers out there. It even helps you identify your weak and duplicate passwords. The premium version will sync your data across all your devices and browsers as well.
RoboForm is a good password manager with a history in the market. It does not do anything spectacular, but it does do what you need to keep your credentials secure. It lacks many of the more modern features that other managers provide, but it is a great solution if you only have a few devices.
How to Choose the Right Password manager
Password managers are just encrypted digital databases in which you can store user account credentials and other important information. Some managers will help you create unique, strong passwords for every website and app you use, keeping your sensitive data safe and portable.
In recent years, password managers have also become a requirement if you plan to go online for any reason. Criminals and identity thieves improve their hacking every year, leading to more frequent and prolific security breaches. However, you are not a robot and cannot keep your data safe on your own.
While every password manager offers the same basic features, not everyone can use them all. They are not interchangeable. While you need one so you do not have to create clever, cryptic passwords you will ultimately fail to remember, you just need the manager that is right for you.
Generally, you want a password manager that offers:
- A random password generator
- A secure password-protected “vault”
- End-to-end encrypted
- Underactive development
- Audited by independent researchers
- Should support your operating systems
- Should support extensions for your browsers
You also want a manager that is easy-to-use and makes it easy to securely integrate your account credentials across every device you plan to use. You should also want to one which will fill every form automatically in a secure fashion regardless of how you access them.
Random Password Generator
Any good password manager must include a decent password generator. As most modern browsers feature password storage and automatic form filling, you want a reason to get a standalone password application.
You specifically want one that can generate long, unique passwords you can customize to use random letters, numbers, and symbols. You also want the option to choose the password length. That way you can make passwords for every website regardless of their password rules.
Secure Password Vault
Any reliable password manager will secure your passwords against third party access. No one other than you should have access to your account and the information it holds without your permission.
In other words, your password manager must store your information in a secure password “vault” or database protected through a master password. This master password should be the only password you must generate and remember yourself.
By the third party, we mean no one other than you can those who you deem worthy to have access will know your master password. No one else, not even the manager’s developers have access to your account and the data it holds.
Some high-end managers will let you store copes on your vault locally. However, this is not necessary to secure your data, leaving such features up to personal preference. It does make it easier to sync passwords across multiple devices, though.
Because a thief can get to your passwords just by listening to your connections, you want a password manager that offers end-to-end encryption. This encryption must be in place during any transaction with the vault
Under Active Development
New security threats and breaches happen every day. Your password manager must update itself regularly to keep up in the arms race. Regular updates only happen if there is still an active developer behind the manager project.
Audited by Independent Researchers
Anyone can release a password manager, even criminals who want to use the manager as a front for their activities. Thus, you want to ensure your password manager is from a reliable and trustworthy developer. Only a trusted, independent, third-party auditor can reliably do that.
A trustworthy independent researcher can take a close critical look at the code that runs the manager and then publish their findings on how safe they find the manager. These reports let the developers know where they can improve, and it gives you the peace of mind that your information is safe and sound.
Support for Your Web Browser and Operating System
Even the best password managers in the world are useless if you cannot use them. Therefore, you want one that works with any computer, mobile device, and web browser that you plan to use.
That also means the manager offers browser extensions. These extensions are what lets you securing fill forms on the correct web pages, and not on phished or importer sites.
Dispelling password manager myths
Here are some other tips and tricks you should understand before downloading and installing a password manager.
Password managers help protect your passwords
It may seem obvious, but password managers do protect your passwords. That is why you get one in the first place. They can even prevent password-reuse attacks to break into your accounts using another, previously compromised, account.
Manages also make it easy to renew and replace your old passwords with newer more secure ones as needed. That is on top of the normal anti-phishing features built into them.
Password managers can also put passwords at risk
Password managers work wonders to keep your information safe, but they are not bulletproof. You are putting all your passwords in a single place, making them more of a target. It just takes a hacker to break into your password manager account to get everything with any additional work.
You may also lose your passwords if you forget your master password. While most managers have recovery options for those emergencies, none of them are perfect.
Remember, a password manager is just another piece of software. Not only can hackers crack into them, but they are also vulnerable to bugs and other security compromises. While rating and reviews can help you find the least broken manager, you still run the risk of losing your stuff regardless of the one you use.
Don’t Have to Save Every Password in a Manager
You do not need to store every password you need in a password manager. Managers are just tools. You can use them as you wish. You can start using them by only adding the passwords you do not mind losing. You can then add more accounts as you need them and learn how your manager works.
You also can just use your password manager as just a password generator. You do not have to save those random passwords to use them. You can write them down or just use them for single-use sites that have simple recovery options for when you need them again.
Plus, most web browsers already have a password manager built into them. While bare-bones, these managers are good entry options to learn how managers work and their limitations. You can then move to standalone managers as your need grow beyond what these simple managers can provide.
Make Strong Master Passwords
Your master password is the main way your password manager protects your passwords. Most good managers will ask you to make one when you create your account. Even when they do not, a master password is still there serving as the gatekeeper.
As your master password is just another password, you want to make one that is as sure as possible, but still rememberable. That means you must use all the standard rules for creating a secure password.
Some important master password tips include:
- Never reuse any of your other passwords as your master password
- Use a randomly-generated, long string as your master password – Use your password manager to create it
- The best master passwords have at least 12 lowercase characters or five words
- Take time to learn your new master password – You may not get it right away. Write it down and use it often until you can recall it from memory
- Presume you will lose your paper copy of the password – be prepared for the inevitability
Factor Recovery in Your Password Manager Decision
Because you must presume that you will forget your master password, you want a password manager that will let you recover it or the data it protects. Thus, you want to evaluate a manager’s emergency recovery options before you spend any money on it.
Also, once you do decide on a manager, you should configure its recovery process along with your master password. That way you will have some means of getting your passwords back when such emergencies arise.
Every manager does it differently due to the inherent complexity of the problem. So, you should never expect that you understand how a manager does things if you used managers before.
Please note that the manager’s customer service cannot help you if you forget your master password. The representatives have no way to get into your account on your behalf. While some reps will help you reset that password, others may not for security reasons.
Because most recovery procedures send a recovery email message, you also want to give your primary email password some special consideration. You must be able to access your email without the password manager, making it the most important password you have.
Take Precautions Before Storing High-Value Passwords
The moment to start using a password manager for strong password storage is a personal decision. Only you know when you are ready for it. However, most of the decision revolves around the devices you use to access your passwords.
For instance, most people must access and use their passwords on their phones. As typing on a phone can be a challenge, you may want to add your app passwords first. That way you can use your much easier desktop keyboard to write them and then just sync them to your phone.
Thus, you may only want to add your app passwords to your manager if you expect your phone will be safe regardless of who uses it.
The Best Password Manager is the One That Meets Your Security Needs
Remember, you do not need to save your every password in your password manager. If you fear the risks of losing your high-valued passwords outweigh the benefits, you can choose to store them through other means.
As mentioned before, a password manager is just a tool among many. How you use them is completely up to you. You must weigh the risk of compromising your credentials and sensitive data with the benefits that come from using a manager.
Remember, you must unlock the manager each time you use it. So, each time you access your passwords is a moment of vulnerability. However, using your passwords without a manager makes them equally vulnerable as nothing exists between them and hackers.
Thus, the best password manager for you depends largely on which scenario makes you more vulnerable to attack.
If you spend a lot of time online on a sandboxing operating system (iOS and Android), your biggest risks are phishing sites managers can help you avoid. Otherwise, if you tend to use the latest new software on the market, you may see more attacks from malicious software.
Remember, attackers have time on their hands. They can wait until you reuse your passwords to steal them if they have already compromised your computer. Password managers can save a lot of headaches from lost or stolen passwords, but they cannot do everything. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
In the end, your greatest protection against cyber-attacks is to use every precaution available, of which password managers are just one step. If you need it, you can do a lot by learning how to keep you and your family safe while online with or without a password manager.