In the digital world, we can all agree that passwords are a constant source of stress. Different sites often require all kinds of seemingly random password conditions. Some will ask for at least one capital letter and one number; others will need a minimum of 8 characters, including a special symbol, such as $ or &.
Remembering all variations of your password is neither easy nor secure. Once hackers have cracked any of your passwords, they will have access to some of your other accounts. In the worst case, they will enter your email account. From there, they can request a password reset for each unique account linked to this email.
Fortunately, we now have access to password managers and password applications. First let's take a look at the best password managers, and then we'll discuss them in detail.
Best password managers
We have gathered the best password managers and evaluated them so that you can choose the one that suits you best! Prices range from $ 11 to $ 40 per year – a small amount if you consider that the financial and emotional implications of your accounts fall into the wrong hands. However, if price is an issue, we also have some providers on the list that offer a free version of their service.
Dashlane is the most expensive option on the list, but it offers a free plan and a 30-day money-back guarantee. The free plan may not be viable in the long run as it only stores a maximum of 50 passwords and can only be used on one device.
Dashlane premium includes a limited VPN service, which justifies its relatively high price. This gives the user additional security when connected to public WiFi. Overall, Dashlane is very impressive, earning its place on our list of the best password managers.
1Password is a more expensive password manager, and it doesn't provide a free plan. However, it does have a trial version, which could help the user to know the functionality of 1Password before deciding to subscribe.
It would take a long time to list all the features of 1Password. In short, it is easy to use, offers great cross compatibility and fantastic security. However, what really makes 1Password special is that Apple hired them to provide password management for all of its 123,000 employees. Now we like to do our research, but we're sure Apple has looked at a lot more factors and competitors before choosing 1Password.
It might not be the cheapest on the list, but 1Password is one of the best password managers in 2019 with a relatively affordable family plan of $ 59.88 for up to 5 separate users.
NordPass is a new addition to the people of NordVPN, offered as a standalone product or as part of an all-inclusive subscription. Like the company's services, its prices are incredibly competitive, especially if you opt for long-term plans. There is no free trial, however, you can use the 30 day money back guarantee without any problem if you are not satisfied.
It's an incredibly strong entry into a relatively crowded market, offering enhanced security via end-to-end encryption, browser extensions for the most popular customers, and taking a distinctly user-friendly approach.
Like other freemium services, LastPass locks a range of features behind a paid wall. However, its main password management services are completely free, including the ability to save, fill in and generate passwords as well as access them on any device, secure and share notes and lock your account with two-factor authentication.
For more than a decade, LastPass has supported 58 languages, all major operating systems, and most browsers. With extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera and Internet Explorer now obsolete, it is one of the best free password managers for those who work on multiple systems and use multiple browsers at any time.
LastPass has not had the most fluid route with its security in the past, with vulnerabilities appearing several times since 2011. Despite this, LastPass has continually impressed with the latest flaws fixed a few days only after their discovery, strengthening its place among the most popular platforms.
RoboForm is perhaps the longest player in the password management game, which attests to their long-term viability. However, its age is also manifested in terms of functionality compared to its competitors and personalization. These additional options are not exactly necessary, but offer a lot to change for those who are more technologically inclined.
Due to its age, RoboForm has many forms and features. Unfortunately, they seem to be far behind in terms of modernization. This does not mean that they are bad in any way, it is just that we do not hope for their future. However, while they are there, they are a great password app.
KeePass is an open source password manager that offers extensive customization and encryption, with the only limitation being the number of passwords that your hard drive can store. There are no hidden costs or locked features with KeePass and it is very portable being an executable that does not need to be installed on a system to run.
It remains one of the most secure due to its default offline nature, storing passwords locally. If you want to use cross-platform synchronization, then you will want to couple the service with a reliable cloud storage provider, then save the .kdbx file to a shared folder.
KeePass is not the most user-friendly or accessible service on the market, requiring elbow grease to be operational. Fortunately, we have our own KeePass guide to help you with the process.
StickyPassword stands out from the crowd of password managers for several reasons. They offer a free annual bonus and a special lifetime bonus plan. Even his free plan has biometric authentication as long as the device is equipped with a fingerprint scan.
If you are an animal lover, Sticky Password has launched a charity campaign to save the endangered manatee. Unfortunately, this does not mean that its service could not be improved. Overall, however, it is a decent password manager – although we are still wary of companies that offer lifetime subscriptions.
Thanks to limited ads in the free version, LogMeOnce can be used on as many devices as you want and most of its functionality is now unlocked. In addition to standard password generation, it provides one-click login functionality and password strength reports that detect poor and duplicate passwords.
LogMeOnce uses a multifactorial authentication methodology, providing the most versatile bi-factor. Not only does it support a master password, PIN code and biometric fingerprint authentication, but LogMeOnce also uses its proprietary PhotoLogin as an additional measure. By default, this uses your webcam or built-in camera to take a self-destructive photo of yourself that must be verified manually by your connected mobile device within 60 seconds before being discarded. If you don't like images, you can still use PhotoLogin through a visual OTP code that uses an authentic image on your desktop.
Using LifeLock's identity theft protection expertise, Symantec's Norton security professionals have designed a completely free password manager. And unlike KeePass, Norton Password Manager offers synchronization on supported platforms without turning to third-party cloud providers. This has its own limits, because the password manager gives up Windows and macOS applications in favor of the direct integration of the browser.
Oddly enough, the password generator is not a built-in function but rather provided directly on the website. This is a particularly odd minor drawback as it is one of the strongest password generators available, allowing you to customize the length of your password and the combination of capital letters, numbers or punctuation. Fortunately, this approach means that anyone with a password manager can use their browser functionality if they wish.
Zoho Vault is a relatively new password manager (or should we say password vault). He has a 15 day trial on his business plan and if he runs out, they just move you over to their free plan. No sneaky automatic billing after your trial ends.
There is no limitation on the number of passwords you can store with Zoho Vault, even in the free version. One of its drawbacks, however, is that you cannot manage logins on two pages, which could be a minor inconvenience when logging into Gmail. Another drawback is its lack of web form filling functionality.
Zoho Vault's business plan is cheaper than most other standard versions of password managers. It offers, among other things, notifications on password events and the management of user groups. Zoho Vault recently stepped up their game, you may want to get their annual plan now before raising their prices.
How password managers work
A password to govern them all
Password managers work by storing all of your different passwords behind a master password. This password is the only one you need to remember. Your passwords and master password are encrypted for absolute security.
Most password managers offer browser extensions and mobile apps, which automatically fill in passwords for you. It is very convenient, especially when using public wifi. there is always the danger that someone will access your credit card information when you enter it in a public space.
Password managers can also synchronize your passwords across all your devices. Whether you want to access your account via your desktop, mobile or tablet, your trusted password manager will be ready to fill them out for you.
To take into account when choosing a password manager
When choosing a password manager, you will have to take into account several elements depending on your configuration and your situation. We review them below.
Password managers can be ridiculously cheap despite being an exceptionally useful tool. The price of a coffee a month really ($ 1-3). In addition, most password managers also offer a trial or free version. This can be useful when users want to try the product before putting their money on the table.
Password managers come with many useful features. Here are some of the important things to watch out for when choosing the password vault to use.
An integrated customizable password generator is just one of the many useful features of password managers. After all, free online password generators may not be as reliable. Some sites do not allow special characters in passwords. To obtain a password without special characters, simply uncheck a box before generating.
Most password managers are compatible with all kinds of devices. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, you name it! They also synchronize your passwords and personal data on all devices, which avoids many connection problems and failures. Most will also allow you to share passwords between users in your family or business.
Password managers automatically fill in the password for websites. This is a very useful feature, especially for applications that log you out after a certain period, such as your bank.
Many password apps now allow you to use your fingerprint or FaceID as your master password. So when you use your mobile or tablet, the connection to apps and websites is absolutely seamless.
The purpose of password managers is not only for convenience – they also offer great security to its users to protect their password.
TFA – Two-factor authentication
One of the security measures is two-factor authentication. This requires that the user confirms his access on his phone. Even if, by some miracle, a stranger has entered your master password, they still will not be able to access it. He would need your phone and could unlock it to enter.
Encryption also plays a huge role in ensuring the security of your passwords. This is one of the reasons why you need a strong password. Obviously, besides the obvious fact that it is more difficult to guess.
The stronger the master password, the more impenetrable its encryption. A simple 4-digit date of birth cannot be encrypted as complex as a string of 16 random characters. Of course, you need to make sure that the password manager uses strong encryption. If the encryption is weak and hackable, it is useless.
The biggest problem with password security is that you may need to enter them when you are in public. This can be problematic for several reasons. Hackers could inject keyloggers on your laptop or cellphone via public wifi. People can also look over your shoulder at a crowded cafe while you enter your password.
Password managers completely solve this problem by automatically filling in your details. Keyloggers track your key hits, which is useless if your passwords are filled in automatically. It is also extremely convenient since you will not need to search for and enter any of your complicated passwords.
Are password managers secure?
Password managers have a duty of care towards your data because their entire business model would be unsuccessful without trust. Your information is generally protected with the best possible encryption, which means that it is almost guaranteed to be secure in the event of hacking. Unfortunately, the same might not be said for your master password.
Password managers that support a zero knowledge policy do not store your master password or encryption keys, allowing you to control who has access to your data. Those who do not have a zero knowledge policy grant the option of recovering your password if you forget it, but present many problems as a result. While there are preventive measures to protect the master password when it is stored in the cloud, it is not unlikely that it will fall into the wrong hands. It can even be requested by intrusive governments depending on the country of origin of the platform.
As it stands, there is no real alternative, and using a password manager is infinitely better than manually managing many accounts with duplicate passwords. Remember to choose a strong but memorable master password, use reliable antivirus software to prevent malware from getting your data and keep your system up to date as known bugs can be exploited.
Overall, password managers are essential in today's cyber environment. Both for security reasons and for convenience. They are much more than just a digital sticky note for your passwords. Combine that with its low price, there is no good reason not to use one.