Are you tired of remembering dozens of unique passwords? Has a website asked for identity verification or a password change because you failed to type the correct password? If so, it’s time you get yourself a password manager, an app designed to do all the remembering for you.
Some feel nervous about relying on software to store confidential details, especially since passwords are used for work and personal accounts alike. For one, a password manager with major vulnerabilities may lead to privacy and security issues, with users at risk of financial loss and identity theft.
But with a quality password manager, you can reap all its benefits in efficiency and convenience without compromising privacy and security. Below are our top picks for the best password managers — complete with a detailed buyer’s guide.
Our Top Picks
1. DashlaneBuy here
Editors’ choice 2020tekcompare
Dashlane isn’t as big as LastPass, but its development over the years has been outstanding. This app has gone above and beyond to refine the most essential features — all without raising its prices. So whether you have one or 100 passwords, we highly recommend Dashlane as a top-tier password manager.
Features and Security
A free plan may seem inferior, but Dashlane’s basic features are arguably more than enough for a regular individual. Free users already get secure notes, two-factor authentication (2FA), form auto-fill, password changer, password generator, and they can store up to 50 passwords.
On the other hand, Premium Dashlane features include the ability to store unlimited passwords, use the app on any number of devices, and securely share all accounts. Premium users also get a VPN, helping users address online censorship, bandwidth throttling, and region-blocked content.
If you’re in the US, you can avail of Premium Plus. This plan provides access to credit monitoring, identity protection, and insurance for identity theft. And if you’re managing a team or an entire company, go for the Business plan, which has an admin console and deployment and provisioning tools.
If you need a password manager at all times, Dashlane is an excellent choice. It has official support for operating systems such as Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. Even Linux and Chromebook users can access Dashlane through the browser extension.
Likewise, Dashlane is officially compatible with popular internet browsers: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, and even Internet Explorer. Brave also gets official support — but only on the Android platform. You can only use the password manager in standalone Brave and Opera by installing the browser extension.
Dashlane customer support is almost flawless, but it lacks one crucial option: phone support. Sure, the Premium Plus plan has phone support, but Premium Plus subscribers can only use it if they need help from identity theft — Dashlane doesn’t have general phone customer support.
Still, users won’t have a hard time finding answers. The app has email support not only in English but also in French and German, although the latter two aren’t available on weekends. Also, email support isn’t 24/7.
Similarly, English chat support isn’t available at all times. The chat icon you see on the lower left of their website can’t lead you from a chatbot to a real person if it’s the weekend or it’s already outside business hours. On a more positive note, the official Dashlane Support Twitter account is fairly active.
Understandably, you get priority support with a Premium plan. But if you don’t want to contact anyone, you can likely resolve your Dashlane issues at the Help Center. It has a search bar, and articles are divided into five categories. Lastly, the Dashlane Portal is where users can send feedback and suggestions.
Dashlane has four plans: Free, Premium, Premium Plus, and Business. We advise you not to pay for any plan at the start. Instead, take advantage of the 30-day Premium trial. This is enough time to check the many nifty features before you drop in hard-earned cash.
Premium costs $3.33/mo with annual billing, and that’s honestly reasonable for its features — even just for the unlimited passwords and the VPN. Next, Premium Plus is priced at $10/mo. It’s a steep increase from Premium, but that’s not a high price compared to what you risk losing through identity theft.
As for Business, it costs $4/mo per user with annual billing. This ensures you only pay for what you want, and you can even ask Dashlane for a free trial.
Essential and free features work seamlessly
Supports top browsers and operating systems
Reasonable and flexible pricing
Responsive Twitter customer support
Dashlane has no access to users’ stored information
Lacks general phone support
Premium Plus limited to the US
30 Day money back guarantee
2. LastPassBuy here
Budget choice 2020tekcompare
LastPass remains to be the world’s most popular password manager — and for good reason. Despite the hacking incident in 2015, it protected all master passwords and encrypted vault data. This is largely due to its superb security model, ensuring LastPass didn’t have access to the data in the first place.
With over 17 million users worldwide, it made perfect sense that this single hack resulted in a better LastPass in terms of security and transparency.
This password manager has a digital wallet, which is basically a part of the autofill feature. Instead of manually typing your payment details, LastPass fills all the information with one click. Users can also create separate profiles so that personal credit cards aren’t used for corporate purchases.
Besides, the LastPass vault isn’t limited to securing your passwords. You can store everything from ID numbers and quick notes to corporate login details needed for authorization in company apps. LastPass can generate both secure usernames and passwords as well, giving you an extra level of security.
LastPass encrypts data at the device level. Thus, not even LastPass has a way of breaking into your vault or deciphering your master password. The company even has SOC 2 Type II compliance, which means it passed all security checks when it comes to customer data.
LastPass is available on Mac, Linux, and Windows. The macOS app includes the Safari browser extension while the LastPass Universal Linux Installer gets you extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Similarly, the Universal Windows Installer gives Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera extensions.
Notably, you can download two versions of Chrome extensions: regular and full. The difference is that the latter allows login state sharing to browsers, among other features reliant on binary components. Likewise, LastPass has mobile apps for Apple and Android users alike.
The official website has a dedicated User Manual section, which has FAQs and installation guides in both article and video form. At the top is a dropdown menu to check the status of 20 LogMeIn services. If you click on LastPass, you can see if the app is operational. Plus, you can check its incident history.
Like Dashlane, LastPass also has an official Twitter account. Sadly, it isn’t as active as we would’ve liked. It should be a platform for regularly sharing updates and features. LastPass doesn’t have live chat either, so your best hope is to submit an inquiry. If you have a paid plan, your inquiry gets top priority.
In contrast, we’re impressed with the active LastPass Forums, which boasts over 170,000 members, 33 topics, and 129,000 posts. Usually, forums for digital services like password managers are barren and leave a lot to be desired.
LastPass is appealing to many people because its free plan is reasonable and doesn’t need credit card details. New users get a free 30-day trial of Premium, and they won’t lose their data if they choose to stick with the free plan. If you do prefer paid plans, you can pay using credit and debit cards.
Personal plans include Free, Premium ($3/mo), and Families ($4/mo), the last two of which are billed annually. The Families plan is a steal since it gives Premium LastPass to six people.
For companies, the Business plans are Teams ($4), Enterprise ($6), MFA ($3), and Identity ($8) — and remember that these are the monthly rates per user. Sadly, you can’t refund a prepaid subscription.
SOC Type II compliant
Affordable subscription plans
Active user forum
Solid device-level encryption
Secure username generator
Easy authenticator tool
No live chat support
3. Keeper SecurityBuy here
Granted, Keeper Security isn’t as familiar as DashLane and LastPass, but this app outdoes both of those in a few ways — including pricing and business features. If you’re looking for innovation and a higher degree of management, perhaps Keeper Security is the best password manager for you.
Like the rest of our picks, Keeper Security has a free plan meant for regular users, but it takes things up a notch. Keeper Security doesn’t have a password limit: You can store an unlimited number of passwords — and the same goes for payment and identity details. Users can also open the app through fingerprint or Face ID.
Keeper Security has a password generator and a digital vault. Then again, the free plan only applies to one device. Also, the password autofill feature doesn’t work on desktops or laptops when you’re under a free plan: You can only use it on mobile devices.
Moreover, the app can give access to your vault to a maximum of five emergency contacts. If you want to view your old login details, you can restore them. Keeper Security also has add-ons: dark web monitoring, secure file storage and sharing on the cloud, enterprise-level customizable reporting, and private, secure chat.
Keeper Security has a desktop app for Linux, Mac, and Windows — and Windows has 32-bit and 64-bit versions. For mobile devices, the Keeper app is on Google Play and the App Store. On the other hand, the browser extension KeeperFill is officially available on Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera.
The app offers 24/7 live support — and this applies to both individual users and businesses. Still, we wish that Keeper Security allowed those under the Personal plan to state that they need immediate assistance. As of now, only businesses and managed service providers (MSPs) can request a quick emergency response.
Keeper Security has user guides for topics such as Android, browser extensions, and Enterprise end-user setup. Similarly, the FAQ section has seven categories and over 100 articles. You can also browse video tutorials, release notes, blog posts, the resource library, and the Keeper Security security status page.
Keeper Security has two pricing categories: personal and business. The former includes Personal ($2.49/mo) and Family ($4.99/mo); the latter, Business ($2.50/mo/user) and Enterprise ($3.75/mo/user). Family is good for up to five users. Expectedly, all plans are paid through annual billing.
The pricing page for Business and Enterprise plans have a cost calculator for up to 100 users, but you can bypass this limit. Just contact the Keeper Security sales team. Besides, students get a 50% discount if they register and authenticate their status with Student Beans.
24/7 live customer support
Student discounts and scalable business plans
Add-ons for improved security and reports
SOC 2 and ISO 27001 compliance
Cheap regular subscription rates
Autofill password on a free plan only works on mobile
Emergency assistance only for businesses and MSPs
4. 1PasswordBuy Here
1Password has a clear idea of digital security and privacy — and its features revolve around them. This password manager offers a bevy of cybersecurity tools to ensure that you’re always secure online. It’s such a well-designed service that 1Password allows users to import data from other password managers.
1Password allows users to log in to their favorite apps and websites, but it’s not just with a single click: It enables logging in with just a look or tap as well, depending on your device. Thankfully, the automatic sync works great. The digital vault keeps your passwords, organized according to your preferences.
A fantastic aspect of the vault is the Watchtower, which alerts users about security issues such as weak passwords, data breaches, unsecured websites, duplicate passwords, and accounts with no two-factor authentication. 1Password uses AES 256-bit encryption and has security tools to combat keyloggers.
1Password stands out when it comes to compatibility. Instead of just browser and OS support, this app is also available as a command-line tool. This way, you can use it for integration with workflows and scripts — or let it remain as a self-contained 1Password client. Either way, this should appeal to developers.
Unlike password managers that only have apps for Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, and Windows, 1Password also has one for the newer Chrome OS. And while 1Password doesn’t have an Opera browser extension, it has one for Brave. Besides, it has apps for old macOS versions like 10.8, 10.9, 10.10, and 10.11.
Unfortunately, 1Password lacks live chat support and phone support. All users get 24/7 email support, and we don’t mind sending queries by email, but even the company says that users are better off asking somewhere else. For one, its official Twitter account is fairly active, replying to questions regularly.
Another option is the 1Password Forum, which has a lively community of over 138,000 users. 1Password also has resource articles filled with tips for both families and businesses. Moreover, articles and video guides abound, with the former available in English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, and Russian.
It’s disappointing that 1Password has no free plan, but we applaud its otherwise affordable rates. The Personal plan costs $2.99/mo while the Family plan (good for up to five people) is just $4.99/mo. Groups can avail of Teams ($3.99/mo/user), Business ($7.99/mo/user), or Enterprise (custom pricing) plans.
1Password offers free 30-day trials for all plans except for Enterprise. Additionally, all plans have annual billing.
AES 256-bit encryption
Active official forum
Support articles available in six languages
Watchtower for security alerts
Secure data import and export
No free plan
Lacks live chat support
Average email response time
5. NordPassBuy here
If you find NordPass familiar, it’s because it’s from the same company that brought us NordVPN. Since their VPN service already has more than 12 million users around the world, the team already has the experience to determine exactly how to secure user information at an affordable rate — or even for free.
NordPass has a password generator and allows secure password sharing, which is helpful for families or work teams. The app has both form autofill and autosave features. But what’s even more unique is its OCR scanning tool, which reads paper documents to create a digital copy, and it works on credit cards.
The password manager uses the industry-leading XChaCha20, an encryption algorithm that has support for 256-bit encryption. More importantly, no entity has broken into this algorithm, which is a good thing for all NordPass users.
NordPass isn’t as comprehensive in terms of compatible devices as 1Password and Dashlane, but it does enough to include the most popular platforms. The app is available on Linux, macOS, and Windows. Similarly, you can download the mobile NordPass app if you’re using an Android or iOS device.
As for browser extensions, it doesn’t have official support for Safari and Brave. On the other hand, you can get one for Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Opera.
NordPass does have chat support, but the bot is currently in its beta phase. Then again, it reacts quickly and the responses are reasonable. The chatbot can even lead you to a live support agent, and it allows you to pick a non-English language such as French and German.
To help users efficiently, NordPass divided its customer support into three teams: general information, billing, and connectivity. These teams will assist you through chat or email. Moreover, the Help Center looks clean and easy to browse through, and screenshots help users understand the steps better.
If you don’t want to continue your premium subscription, you can use the 30-day money-back guarantee. Still, you can only get a refund if your account doesn’t have any violations. Similarly, 1Password can’t give refunds if you bought it from the Apple App Store.
You can stick with the free NordPass plan, but you also get the premium plan. Unlike most password managers, NordPass isn’t just limited to annual billing. You can pay monthly ($4.99), yearly ($2.99/mo), or every two years ($2.49). You can pay with credit cards, cryptocurrencies, or AmazonPay.
Zero-knowledge cloud backup
Chat support in several languages
Multiple billing cycles
Accepts AmazonPay and cryptocurrencies
Lacks Safari and Brave extensions
No official forum
No refund for purchases in the App Store
How We Review Password Managers
With all the password managers new and old alike, how did we come up with our top entries? Instead of adding in an app just because of its popularity, we take our time in verifying and evaluating these digital products. Otherwise, we’d end up helping no one and people might waste money on the wrong services.
The following are just some of the aspects we look into when reviewing password managers.
Password managers, like other apps, have official websites where people can read about what they have to offer. Still, not all companies pay enough attention to what information they include on websites. It’s not impossible to spot contradicting details, particularly regarding prices — even websites need updates.
We often spot discrepancies in information from new or small companies, but every service provider has to deal with these now and then. Revising and improving instructions on customer support articles is essential to user satisfaction. Similarly, even long PDF files on legal terms can feel outdated.
Speed and Accuracy
It’s not enough that a password manager promises flawless performance. A great app should work well on all compatible devices and digital platforms. If it’s marketed for Chrome and Linux, then it must run on those without trouble.
We’ve had times when a password manager didn’t work as intended. For example, an extension didn’t fill the login details for us — it only put in the username. That defeats the purpose of getting one.
Offers and Pricing Plans
One way companies attract new customers is by providing premium plans at a steep discount, but only for the first billing cycle. This is normal practice, but every customer must know the regular rates, which can be more than double the discount rate. Likewise, we prefer companies with clear refund conditions.
Features and Practicality
Password managers aren’t just designed to store all your account passwords. For one, such apps can also keep your notes securely, and they can fill out personal information like addresses and contact numbers. Yet some apps are bloated with largely unnecessary features — and we prefer quality over quantity.
What is A Password Manager?
A password manager is a digital application designed to store all your passwords in a highly secure vault. Likewise, it’s not just limited to keeping account details. These days, password managers do everything to make your online transactions and browsing convenient and safe.
The best password managers can fill out entire forms and payment details with one click. You can even use some to authenticate your logins. Thus, you save a lot of time. You no longer have to keep the same password for all accounts and neither do you have to keep all the sensitive information in your head.
How Does A Password Manager Work?
Password managers are available as standalone apps, which you can usually get on your laptop, desktop, smartphone, or even on your tablet. For example, if you log in to Facebook or pay for an item online, you can use the app to fill in or copy the necessary details — as long as you permit it to do so.
Similarly, password managers can be used as extensions on browsers like Chrome and Safari. When you visit a website, the extension detects if you want to log in or authenticate this new login. Moreover, you can click on the extension to generate secure usernames and passwords.
Who Needs A Password Manager?
Yes, even Chrome and other browsers offer users to save both passwords and credit card details. But you shouldn’t rely on these to secure valuable and personal information. Password managers don’t just get these details as an additional feature. Instead, they primarily exist to safeguard passwords at all times.
Everyone these days can benefit, which is why password managers have plans tailored for individuals, families, teams, companies, and enterprises. It’s a convenient app whether you just have Facebook, buy on Amazon, or manage an entire group of professionals across a variety of company-owned apps.
Best Password Manager: Factors to Consider
Features and Security
All password managers have a digital vault, but they all differ in how they protect user information. How do they let users access their vaults? A good password manager shouldn’t be able to access your vault or your master password, which is why we prefer those that encrypt data at the device level or similar.
You should also pick password managers that offer several security features like AES 256-bit encryption, two-factor or multi-factor authentication, zero-knowledge security, secure sync, emergency access, and account recovery. If the company website gets hacked, your vault must remain safe from data breaches.
These days, the typical user doesn’t have to worry about this particular factor. Most password managers support the biggest operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. But not all apps officially support ChromeOS or have a version for a command line.
Password managers also have extensions for top browsers like Chrome and Firefox. Yet if you’re using Safari, Brave, Opera, or Edge, you should look properly at the list of compatible browsers.
Even our top picks don’t all feature 24/7 live chat support. Some are only open during business hours, and that’s a hard thing if you live in a different timezone. Moreover, not all password managers have websites, chat, and guide articles in non-English languages. These can limit the support you can get.
If a password manager doesn’t have an active forum, it should at least respond promptly when asked by email or on social media. Some offer these options but fail to use them as frequently as they should. Also, guides are easier to understand if they have screenshots or accompanying videos.
As you already know from our picks, not every password manager has a free plan. Personal paid plans are around $3/mo, but even free users shouldn’t worry about their digital vaults just because they’re not paying. Check the payment methods and if there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee or a free 30-day trial.
Furthermore, read about the billing cycle. Most plans are only available with annual billing, but some offer shorter or longer billing periods, with the latter likely giving significant savings. If you’re looking for a business plan, ensure that it’s enough to accommodate all users — not all have flexible plans.
Password managers should make your life easier in more ways than one. For one, it should stop you from incorrectly typing passwords ever again, which sometimes prompts websites to request new passwords. Second, it removes the responsibility of remembering dozens of complex passwords in your head.
Yet it’s no longer just about storing passwords. The best password managers of 2020 essentially serve as a highly secure journal where you can list and organize everything from billing addresses to credit cards and entirely random notes. Only you have access to your master password that unlocks your vault.
All in all, we hope our detailed password manager guide will help you pick one that works for you. With the right plan, you pay only for what you need. The best password manager will differ from one user to another, but they must all prioritize user privacy, even if it means they can’t access vaults themselves.