A password manager is a tool designed to help you store, manage, and create secure passwords for various online accounts. Password managers use encryption to make sure that your passwords are kept safe and secure. They also generate strong passwords for you and can help you change them regularly to keep your accounts extra secure. With a password manager, you only need to remember one master password to access all of your accounts, making it much easier to stay secure online.
If you are already convinced of the important role a good password manager plays in our digital lives, here is a list of the 5 best password managers according to the US online media Wired:
Best Overall: 1Password
Like other password managers, 1Password has apps that work just about everywhere, including MacOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS. There’s even a command-line tool that will work anywhere. There are plugins for your favorite web browser, too, which makes it easy to generate and edit new passwords on the fly.
Best Free Option: Bitwarden
Bitwarden is secure, open source, and free with no limits. The applications are polished and user-friendly, making it the best choice for anyone who doesn’t need the extra features of 1Password.
Did I mention it’s open source? That means the code that powers Bitwarden is freely available for anyone to inspect, seek out flaws, and fix. In theory, the more eyes on the code, the more airtight it becomes. Bitwarden has also been audited for 2020 by a third party to ensure it’s secure. It can be installed on your own server for easy self-hosting if you prefer to run your own cloud.
Best Full-Featured Manager: Dashlane
I first encountered Dashlane several years ago. Back then, it was the same as its competitors with no standout attributes. But recent updates have added several helpful features. One of the best is Site Breach Alerts, something other services have since added as well. Dashlane actively monitors the darker corners of the web, looking for leaked or stolen personal data, and then alerts you if your information has been compromised.
Setup and migration from another password manager is simple, and you’ll use a secret key to encrypt your passwords, much like 1Password’s setup process. In practice, Dashlane is very similar to the others in this list. The company doesn’t offer a desktop app, but I primarily use passwords in the web browser anyway, and Dashlane has add-ons for all the major browsers, along with iOS and Android apps. If a desktop app is important to you, it’s something to be aware of. Dashlane offers a 30-day free trial, so you can test it out before committing.
Best DIY Option (Self-Hosted): KeePassXC
Want to retain more control over your data in the cloud? Try using a desktop application like KeePassXC. It stores encrypted versions of all your passwords into an encrypted digital vault that keeps you secure with a master password, a key file, or both. The difference is that instead of a hosted service like 1Password syncing it for you, you sync that database file yourself using a file-syncing service like Dropbox or Edward Snowden’s recommended service, SpiderOak. Once your file is in the cloud, you can access it on any device that has a KeePassXC client.
Why do it yourself? In a word: transparency. Like Bitwarden, KeepassXC is open source, which means its code can be and has been inspected for critical flaws.
Another Option: NordPass
NordPass is a relatively new kid on the password manager block, but it comes from a company with significant pedigree. NordVPN is a well-known VPN provider, and the company brings to its password manager much of the ease of use and simplicity that made its VPN offering popular. The installation and setup process is a breeze. There are apps for every major platform (including Linux), browser, and device.
The free version of NordPass is limited to one device, and there’s no syncing available. There is a seven-day free trial of the premium version, which lets you test device syncing. But to get that for good, you’ll have to upgrade to the $36-a-year plan. (Like its VPN service, NordPass accepts payment in cryptocurrencies.)
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