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How many passwords do you have? If you are like most people, you have dozens — even hundreds. But how do you manage this nightmare? For most people, the answer is: badly.
Password managers offer a simple and secure way to end this nightmare.
With a password manager, you can essentially “set it and forget it.” They help you create different secure passwords for every website where you need one. And then they remember them for you.
This is a great benefit in an online world full of dark and looming threats. No more using [email protected]^ttle123 on every website. No more using bad passwords on any websites. And no more sticky-notes!
If you need convincing, jump to Why Use a Password Manager? Otherwise, read on to find our picks for the best password managers — even ones that are free and built for newbies.
The Best Password Managers
There are so many password managers that it can overwhelm potential users. So we’ve made it easy on you by providing our picks for the best password managers: overall, free, and for beginners. We also have a list of honorable mentions that you should check out if our top picks don’t work for you for some reason.
Best Overall: 1Password
1Password is a great password manager. It is among the most heralded password management applications available on the market today. Receiving plenty of online accolades and a rapidly growing fan base, 1password continues to be the premier choice for many people in their password storage and security endeavors.
1Password is flexible and user-friendly with an impressively engaging user-interface. One of 1Password’s greatest features is its ability to work powerfully and smoothly across all web browsers.
1Password’s portfolio of services includes the following:
- Secure, solid, and strong password generator
- Ultra-secure notes for your other passwords
- Ability to make private notes
- Convenient digital wallet for payment information and bank accounts
1Password is more expensive than many other password generators. But it is hardly unaffordable: $2.99 per month ($4.99 for a family account). It can be used on Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Android, and iOS. And it supports browsers Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, and Microsoft Edge.
About the only thing it doesn’t support is Internet Explorer on anything but Windows machines. But few people are using Internet Explorer and even fewer are using it on non-Windows machines. Unless this is a deal killer, 1Password is the way to go.
Screenshot via 1Password
Best Free: LastPass
LastPass password generator has both free and premium accounts ($24/year). Its paid version is certainly worth looking at. But it is its free version that is difficult to beat.
It holds the distinction as being the clear frontrunner for its well-rounded breadth of services and ease-of-use.
It is a pioneering force within the password management industry due to its being among the very first to enable users with security concerns to safely store their collection of passwords and to be able to easily sync all of their other personal technology, including cell phones and other computers.
Utilizing Google Authenticator, a range of USB devices, or a YubiKey, LastPass employs a dual-factor authentication for an unparalleled level of security. The services user interface recently underwent a comprehensive visual makeover to streamline the user experience and make it easier to use than ever before.
But there is more to LastPass:
- Document storage
- Credit monitoring
- File sharing
- Emergency notifications about compromised accounts
LastPass is available for Windows, Android, Mac OS, Linux, and Windows Phone. It is also available via plugins for Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Edge, and Safari. You really can’t go wrong with LastPass.
Screenshot via LastPass
Best for Non-Technical Users: Dashlane
A relative newcomer on the password manager scene, Dashlane launched back in 2012. Despite its few years on the market, Dashlane has made a splash within the industry and has accumulated a loyal user base.
With its massive user interface update in 2016, Dashlane has risen from underground popularity to a prominent position within the password management industry. Many users love its bright, easy-to-use interface with its effortless log-in, auto-fill capabilities, online ordering and shopping logging, and much more.
Other notable Dashlane services include two-factor authentication, secure password sharing with emergency contracts, effortless changing of multiple passwords, and an innovative built-in password changer.
Dashlane is available for use with Mac OS, iOS, Windows, Android, and via plugins for Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Chrome. It is relatively expensive at $4.99 per month. But Dashlane also offers a free version that allows you to store up to 50 passwords. So you can check it out first to see if it is right for you.
Screenshot via Dashlane
Below are other notable password generators that might work better for you. They are all very good so you won’t go wrong with any of them.
Enpass Password Manager
Enpass Password Manager has been heralded as one of the best free password manager tools currently available. Their software can support Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome, and several others.
The free version of this application does not skimp on notable features either. It offers cloud backup services, fingerprint recognition and support, a password generator, encryption, autofill, and much more. When using the application on your computer, it is free. However, if you plan on using it on your Android device, then you will be limited and will only be able to store up to twenty passwords at a time.
Enpass offers a very reasonably priced premium edition that has no limits. It is just $9.99 per device — for life. So if you need a password generator for your computer and phone, it would only require a one-time $9.99 fee.
Screenshot via Enpass
KeePass is known by many users as the first and foremost within the secure password manager industry. Completely free of charge, KeePass is a venerable service that has been around for years and has amassed a significant user base due to its open-source functionality.
It stores passwords in a highly encrypted database that users autonomously control via their own systems. The passwords remain static and are never uploaded or synced to other devices unless the user transports them to another system.
The portable application is one of the best aspects of their portfolio of services, giving users the ability to take it with them for use on multiple devices. Additionally, the services robust password generator assists users in generating passwords that are unique and strong.
Among the many highlights of KeePass’ service repertoire includes the following: the ability to create physical keys for passwords on USB drives or compact discs, a multitude of third-party plugins to enhance overall functionality through the incorporation of adjunct tools and platforms, and far more.
KeePass supports Windows and (via Mono) other operating systems including mobile.
Screenshot via KeePass
Keeper is a full-featured password manager with different products for individuals, families, and businesses. Of particular note is that Keeper allows you to use it on all of your devices, so you don’t have to worry whether you are working on your desktop computer or your phone.
Additionally, Keeper supports two-factor authentification — something not all password managers offer.
User licenses cost just a couple of dollars per month. The family plan is even cheaper if you are using it with four or five people. There is another version, Keeper Free, which works great as long as you don’t mind being limited to a single device.
Screenshot via Keeper
LogMeOnce offers many features that other password managers do not. For example, they offer the patented technology PasswordLess PhotoLogin, which does exactly what you would expect.
If you want all the features LogMeOnce has to offer, the product is pretty expensive: roughly $40 per year. But the professional version at roughly $10 per year and even the free version provide all the features most people would want — including basic two-factor authentification.
Screenshot via LogMeOnce
Myki is unique in that it runs as an app on your iOS or Android phone. But that doesn’t limit your use to your phone. Myki can sync to your other devices via a web browser plugin — as long as you use one of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, or Opera.
Another unusual aspect of Myki is that your password data is stored locally on your phone rather than in the cloud. This does avoid the potential problem of cloud data being hacked. One downside to this, however, is that if your phone is damaged or stolen, you will lose your data. As a result, Myki allows you to copy backups of your data onto other devices. But you must remember to do it.
Perhaps the best aspect of Myki is that it is free. There is a commercial version, but that is only for team management. If you are an individual, you get the complete product.
Screenshot via Myki
Password Boss offers both individual and team (business) versions. The individual version contains all the basics and more — including two-factor authentification and unlimited devices.
The team version allows you to set security policies, manage team authorizations, and more.
Although Password Boss is reasonably priced — even for its team versions — it also offers a free version. The main limitation of it is that you can only use it with one device. Even if that isn’t for you, it provides a 30-day trial for the paid version.
Screenshot via Password Boss
RoboForm has had a substantial presence in the password manager market for years. Since its inception in 1999, RoboForm has amassed a robust base of die-hard users.
Used for far more than just creating and storing passwords, RoboForm is an excellent tool that also offers the following:
- Online form-autofill
- Encrypted data storage
- Device syncing
- Multiple identity storage — great for family use, different users, addresses, or any other type of distinctive data
- Local storage option via USB drives for computer to computer access
- Shared log-in via email
- Bookmarking abilities
The recent system-wide overhaul resulted in increased performance, browser support, expanded options for offline and online password management storage options, attractive and engaging user-interface, heightened security, and an all-new data storage file that surpasses the performance of previous storage files.
RoboForm can be used on Linux, Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, and Edge. Available for free via download for a single device or for $23.88 per year for multiple devices and syncing abilities.
Screenshot via RoboForm
Sticky Password is another free password manager. It is available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android devices. It also supports all of the major web browsers.
In addition, Sticky Password provides autofill, password management, and two-factor authentication. It also supports biometrics such as fingerprints. For most users, Sticky Password provides everything you would want.
A big part of Sticky Password is its form autofill feature. This is a common addition to password managers, but most free versions have limited or no support for this. Autofill is not usually a feature people new to password managers think much about, but it is extremely useful.
There is a low-cost paid version of Sticky Password. It allows users to store their payment details along with their other credentials. It is also capable of syncing across local Wi-Fi if you decide you do not want to do anything over the cloud.
Screenshot via Sticky Password
True Key is another password manager application that can be used on a variety of devices including Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. It also supports the Chrome, Firefox, and Edge web browsers.
It boasts of a very simple and easy to use design with a variety of different sign-on methods including biometrics such as fingerprint and facial recognition. This application is mainly used to protect a user’s login credentials and provides you with a master key that only requires one device for authentication purposes.
They offer both a paid and free version. The free version of True Key allows users to save up to fifteen different passwords. If you will need the capability of saving more than this, then you may want to opt for the paid version, which costs $19.99 per year. The app also comes equipped with a digital wallet to save your information.
Screenshot via True Key
Zoho Vault is a business-oriented password manager. It has many features for people working in groups and — more important — managing groups. For example, members who leave a group can quickly have their access removed to the group’s password-protected areas.
Because the focus of Zoho Vault is on business, their paid versions add business functionality. This means their free version provides all of the features one normally requires in a password manager (eg, support for two-factor authentification and multiple devices). So Zoho Vault is worth a look even for people who are not looking for a business password manager.
Screenshot via Zoho Vault
Why Use a Password Manager
In addition to keeping your collection of passwords safe, most password managers help users by providing strong, hard-to-break passwords that are complex enough to provide heightened security.
Strong passwords are the biggest defense we have in terms of protecting our private and privileged information. So it is important that we find ways to create passwords that have a large amount of:
- Length (number of characters)
- Depth (type of characters — upper and lower case, and special)
- Width (hard to guess)
This is where we can find tremendous use from a strong password creator.
Read on below for more information on the best password managers and their password creating services available today.
Are Password Managers Safe?
With a password manager, you need to remember only one or (in the case of biometric systems) no password. This might seem counterintuitive. After all, isn’t it a bad idea to have just one password for all of your sites? Yes, it is. But with a password manager, you do have different passwords for each website.
The issue is that the password for the password generator is encrypted and stored in one location either locally or in the cloud. The same password isn’t stored on numerous machines where if it is hacked on one it is hacked on all.
It is certainly true that the cloud or your devices can be hacked. But encryption and a strong password make this almost impossible. The main concern with a password generator is that someone has installed a keylogger on your device. But if that’s the case, you will have major problems regardless of whether you are using a password manager or not.
Whether you have a dozen online accounts or hundreds, it is a difficult endeavor to create secure, strong, and hard-to-break-into passwords that protect you and your privacy. In today’s modern technological times, the internet is booming, and along with it is a growing sector of hackers in business for a range of nefarious activities.
We recommend three different password managers depending upon your situation and needs:
In addition to these, we’ve listed 10 honorable mentions that are worth your consideration. Many of these applications can be had free of charge or for a nominal fee. Available to a variety of consumer budgets, the essential password manager market caters to users by providing a bevy of features, easy-to-use user interfaces, and implementation of the latest technologies.
Frank has been working on the internet since 1987. When blogs first came on the scene, he dismissed them as crutches used by people who couldn’t code. But in 2008 he started his own personal blog and fell in love. He’s produced roughly 10,000 blog posts on it since then.