A great password manager can be a game-changer. Most of us have scores of online accounts, and it’s all too easy to fall into the habit of reusing the same password for multiple different sites. It might be convenient, but it also leaves us in real danger; if just one of those sites is compromised, all your accounts will be at risk.
A password manager will not only save you the effort of remembering dozens of different logins for all your online accounts, it will also help keep them secure by generating strong passwords that are impossible to guess, and storing them all safely in an encrypted vault.
Choosing a password manager is an important decision, so we’ve put all the best options to the test, and picked out the ones that we’d trust to secure our own account details. Many of the password managers here offer both free and paid accounts, so you can pick one that suits your needs, and your wallet.
A great password manager and much more besides
Browser plug-ins: Chrome, Firefox, Edge | Desktop apps: Windows, macOS | Mobile apps: iOS, Android
Easy syncing between devices
Secure document storage
Paid accounts are rather expensive
The free version of Dashlane is a capable password manager for a single device, capable of storing logins for up to 50 accounts in a secure vault with multi-factor authentication, Like LastPass, it can do much more than just fill in passwords for you; it can also store all kinds of information and fill out forms with delivery addresses and contact details automatically.
So far so good, but Dashlane’s premium service is even more impressive. Not only does it let you synchronize all your passwords across all your devices (both desktop and mobile), it also monitors the dark web for data breaches and sends you personalized alerts if any of your stored details appear in a batch of stolen data.
There’s secure file storage too (ideal for scanned ID documents, insurance policies and receipts) and even a VPN for browsing the web more securely via Wi-Fi hotspots.
Unsurprisingly, all of this comes at a price, and Dashlane’s premium plan is one of the most expensive options around, but the extra services (plus remote account access and priority support) do justify the cost.
Read our full Dashlane review
Easy to use and packed with thoughtfully designed features
Browser plug-ins: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, Opera | Mobile apps: iOS, Android
Mobile app logins
Straightforward to use
Occasional server hiccups
LastPass is easy to use, super secure, packed with features, and offers both free and premium tiers so you can choose the option that suits you best.
All data is stored using AES-256 bit encryption with PBKDF2 SHA-256 and salted hashes to keep them secure – and it’s not limited to passwords either. You can also store credit card details and delivery addresses so they can be entered automatically when you’re shopping online, plus encrypted notes, details of insurance policies and much more besides.
The free version of LastPass is superb, but premium accounts are very reasonably priced and offer an extremely useful extra feature: the ability to log into apps on your phone. Very few password managers offer this, and it could prove invaluable if you ever lose your phone, preventing people accessing your emails and social media.
One of our favorite LastPass features is its support for multi-factor authentication, which helps protect you from phishing attempts by requiring an additional form of authorization to log into your accounts, such as a code generated by a mobile app or a fingerprint scan. Although it’s becoming more widespread, not all sites and services offer this yet, so having all your logins secured in a vault that’s protected this way is a real boon.
Read our full LastPass review
3. Keeper Password Manager
A premium password manager that’s a great choice for families
Browser plug-ins: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Edge, Opera | Desktop apps: Windows, macOS, Linux | Mobile apps: iOS, Android
Supports unlimited devices
Secure record sharing
No free version
There’s no free version of Keeper Password Manager, but you can try it for 30 days before deciding whether to commit to a subscription.
As you’d expect from a purely premium product, Keeper is one of the most sophisticated password managers around. Not only does it offer plugins for every major browser, plus mobile apps for iOS and Android, it’s also available as a desktop app for Windows, macOS and Linux. There’s support for biometric authentication on mobile devices too, and syncs your data across an unlimited number of devices.
Like the paid-for version of Dashlane, Keeper will warn you if any of your passwords appear in a data breach. It will also alert you if any of your passwords are particularly weak, or have been re-used, and help you create strong replacements.
There’s an excellent family plan as well. This not only protects the login details of everyone in your household, it also lets you share files securely between one another and offers an encrypted messaging tool that’s a solid alternative to WhatsApp if you’d prefer to avoid Facebook products.
Read our full Keeper Password Manager review
A password manager that’s secure and super affordable
Browser plug-ins: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Edge, Opera | Desktop apps: No | Mobile apps: iOS, Android
Very reasonably priced
Stores data online or locally
No free device syncing
RoboForm is another versatile password manager, with plugins for all the major browsers and mobile apps for both iOS and Android.
The free version is superb, providing you with a secure vault for your logins (though you also have the option of only storing your data on your device if you prefer), an auditing tool to help you identify weak or duplicated passwords, and a password generator for replacing them with strong, unguessable combinations of numbers, letters and special characters.
Unlike LastPass, the free version of RoboForm doesn’t sync your passwords across multiple devices. For that you’ll need a premium subscription, but prices are very reasonable. You’ll also get a host of other useful features, including the ability to share logins securely, multi-factor authentication, and priority 24/7 support.
Read our full RoboForm review
A very capable password manager
Browser plug-ins: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera | Desktop apps: Windows, macOS, Linux | Mobile apps: iOS, Android
Decent free version
Import from all browsers
2-factor authentication option
No autofilled forms
NordPass offers a very capable password manager with browser plugins for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Opera, as well as desktop apps for Windows, macOS, and Linux, plus iOs and Android mobile devices.
As well as storing encrypted passwords, NordPass can also suggest strong passwords as well as offer to safely and securely store credit card and banking details for faster checkouts on ecommerce websites.
With the premium edition, you can then sync this information across up to 6 devices per licence. The free version only allows one, but you get to try out other premium features for a week.
Another positive is that there is no limitation to the number of passwords you can save, unlike some others that have restrictions. However, one limitation is that it won’t autofill forms such as for your name and address and email, like some other password managers offer.
Overall, though, Nordpass is a very capable password manager that does a little more than would be expected, and though the missing autofill is annoying, apparently it’s currently in development for a future release.
6. KeePass Password Safe
A non-commercial password manager for advanced users
Browser plug-ins: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Edge, Opera (unofficial) | Desktop apps: Windows | Mobile apps: iOS, Android (unofficial)
Open source software
No biometric support
No device syncing
It isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing password manager in the world, but KeePass Password Safe offers robust security, multiple user support and downloadable plugins to expand its feature set.
KeePass’s secure password generator can produce logins suitable for those annoying sites with very specific requirements, and clearly indicates any options that might make the generated password weaker.
The password manager features a portable installation, allowing it to run from USB without installing on a PC, it can input from and output to a wide range of file formats, and there are tons of customization options to play with.
The fact that KeePass Password Safe is open source means anyone can inspect the code for potential weaknesses, which means that any security issues can be identified and fixed quickly, and there’s a huge range of browser plugins and third-party apps for integrating its database with your browser and mobile devices.
It lacks the convenience of commercial password managers, but if you’d prefer to keep your passwords stored locally then KeePass is a good option.
Read our full KeePass Password Safe review
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