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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.
- We've also featured the best password generators around.
Best password managers - at a glance
A great password manager and much more besides
Browser plug-ins: Chrome, Firefox, Edge | Desktop apps: Windows, macOS | Mobile apps: iOS, Android
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.
Easy to use and packed with thoughtfully designed features
Browser plug-ins: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, Opera | Mobile apps: iOS, Android
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Powerful password security software
LogMeOnce is a password management solution that offers cross-platform support, so it doesn't matter what device you use, whether desktop of mobile, your passwords and logins are still accessible as required.
Unusually, LogMeOnce gets rid of the need for a master password by putting in place additional security settings, so that you can't get locked out of your account simply by forgetting your master password.
It's also a service that offers additional security features, which includes the ability to encrypt and store your logins online to help with accessibility.
However, rather than just rely on passwords, LogMeOnce also offers biometric options, such as a selfie, fingerprint, face ID, as well as a PIN or password. The increased number of options means you can apply different levels of security to different logins.
As with other password managers, LogMeOnce is built to provide Single Sign On functionality, so once you're logged in with a service you shouldn't expect to need to keep signing into the self-same service.
A very capable password manager
Browser plug-ins: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera | Desktop apps: Windows, macOS, Linux | Mobile apps: iOS, Android
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.
mSecure covers all the essentials you need from a password manager. There’s no limit on how many entries you can keep and the built-in categories enable you to store much more than passwords. All entries support custom fields and you can also separate entries into groups in lieu of simple tags.
The password generator included in mSecure works well, but it wasn’t our favorite. There’s no option to force it to produce human-readable words. As a result, every password is a truly random string that’s hard to type if you don’t have auto-fill enabled. Notably, you also can’t access the password generator without creating a new record in mSecure.
mSecure is a quality password manager for individuals, with customizable templates and syncing across devices. It's also an affordable password manager that’s capable enough for most individual users. The only major thing missing is secure password sharing for families and teams.
For control of your business passwords
If you need to share passwords between members of a team, Zoho Vault offers the granular control you need. Zoho Vault’s user management, permissions, and password policy features set it apart from personal password managers and you can make batch changes to passwords with ease.
Zoho Vault can integrate with third-party business apps like Gmail, Dropbox, Microsoft Active Directory, and Microsoft 365. Enterprise users can use Single Sign On (SSO) with cloud apps like Salesforce and Slack, and as Zoho Vault has an API, it’s possible to integrate it with any of your own apps.
Zoho Vault has excellent security, fine control over users and passwords, and superb third-party integrations. It’s also inexpensive, and customer support is one of the best we’ve seen in a password manager service.
We don’t particularly recommend it for personal use as most of the features are geared towards teams, making the interface somewhat complex, but it’s an outstanding password manager for organizations and businesses.
Best password manager for families
1Password is a password manager solution that aims to provide protection not just for individuals or businesses but also provides a shared password protection system for families.
There are two main service provisions, with one being for individuals and their families, allowing either a single use or a family of up to five people to use the 1Password service for protected logins. There's also a business service that offers protection for those working from home, as well as business teams and enterprises in general.
As well as providing all of the above, 1Password protects you from breaches and other threats, such as keyloggers and phishing attempts, and will only work in verified browsers.
The result is a very secure and competent password manager that cover both personal use as well as business use, such as working from home, without compromising your security.
The best free password manager
Bitwarden is open-source software that is user friendly and highly secure, and includes almost everything individuals, teams, and businesses require in a password manager.
Bitwarden’s basic plans focus on the meat of password management, but even the free plans include multi-device sync, optional self-hosting, and unlimited online storage. Premium plans include reports on your passwords that highlight things like weak passwords and unsecured websites.
The business plans include features for managing the passwords of a larger workforce, with password sharing, fine-grained access control, user groups, two-step login, and multi-factor authentication.
Bitwarden is not just one of the best free password managers available, it’s so usable and feature-packed it could put paid password managers out of business.
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