Bitwarden Review: Pros & Cons, Features, Ratings, Pricing and more

A powerful, feature-packed open-source option with a free option and decent pricing

Bitwarden website screenshot
(Image: © Bitwarden)

TechRadar Verdict

One of the top password managers around, Bitwarden is secure, feature-packed, open-source, and has support for mobile devices.


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    Lots of features

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    Open-source design

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    Multi-platform support

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    Passkey support


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    Support could be better

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    Desktop clients could be better

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Bitwarden takes a different approach to most password manager tools – because it’s released under the open source license.

Its open-source status doesn’t just mean that, either. That designation means that people can view, access, and contribute to the app’s development. When you want an app to be secure and transparent about the way it works, that can only bode well for Bitwarden’s effectiveness.

There’s more to like about this app beyond it being open source. Bitwarden promises easy, powerful security within minutes, unlimited password and device support, and secure, encrypted sharing.

Need more advice on passwords? Then look no further than our reviews of the best password managers. And if you need some help with images, take a look at our coverage of best password recovery software.

Bitwarden pricing July 2023

Bitwarden’s business and personal plans are packed with features and are affordable (Image credit: Bitwarden)

Bitwarden: Plans and pricing

There’s plenty of variety when it comes to Bitwarden’s products. On the personal side of things, the firm offers a free version, a premium individual plan that costs just $10 / £10 / AUD$15 per year, and a family package for six users with a $40 / £40 / AUD$60 annual price.

For many, the free version will be more than sufficient, because it supports an unlimited number of passwords and device syncing. Typically, rival companies’ free plans limit users to just one active device, so this is a real selling point for Bitwarden. Sharing passwords is also included in the free plan, as is a password generator and support for email aliases.

Upgrading to the $10 / £10 / AUD$15 per year Premium plan adds emergency access, advanced 2FA, an authentication module and security reporting alongside priority customer support. Paying customers can also send encrypted files, which is good for sharing sensitive information like bank statements and bills.

The family plan includes up to six separate users, unlimited sharing and collections, and improved storage organization, which makes it easier to manage all of the passwords associated with business households. It also includes all of the features you’ll get with the individual Premium account. Whether you need a more advanced plan for yourself or the whole family, these two paid plans are packed with features at a really attractive price point.

For companies, the Team Organization plan costs $3 / £3 / AUD$5 per user per month. It includes a wealth of added features such as user groups and API access – and you get better logging and unlimited sharing, too. You’ll get all of this with the Enterprise plan, which costs $5 / £5 / AUD$8 per user per month, alongside custom roles, SSO integration, in-depth admin options, and self-host settings. 

Bitwarden signup page

Bitwarden’s installation process is one of the simplest you’ll find. (Image credit: Bitwarden)

Bitwarden: Setup

Don’t worry when confronted with Bitwarden’s open-source status – installation couldn’t be easier. Download the app, create an account with your master password, and you’ll be ready to go.

Bitwarden has superb platform support, too. There are Windows, macOS, and Linux desktop clients, and the extensions are built for every major browser like Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge – alongside more obscure options like Vivaldi, Brave, Tor and Opera. Bitwarden is also currently testing a DuckDuckGo for Mac extension as if support wasn’t good enough already. For mobile users, the iOS app is accompanied by a watchOS app for Apple Watch users, and Android users are also catered for. Bitwarden supports command line usage and can also be accessed directly on the web.

Bitwarden's key features

All of Bitwarden’s features can be administered in the web application (Image credit: Bitwarden)

Bitwarden: Interface and performance

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 cloud storage.

Premium plans include reports on your passwords that highlight weak passwords and unsecured websites. Also, advanced features are added, such as two-factor authentication (2FA) and emergency access. A Data Breach Report can tell you whether an email address has been compromised in a known data breach.

Bitwarden has a sleek, straightforward interface that allows users to easily search and access their passwords and secure data. And while it’s not as slick-looking as some other tools, that doesn’t really matter when the app’s functionality is more important.

While there are desktop clients for viewing and editing credentials and checking other account information, most will rarely use them in favor of the extensions that serve the password manager’s primary function: to automatically fill out login details and capture new ones.

Adding a new item is as easy as filling in a simple form, and you can attach notes and custom fields to each entry for total personalization.

We prefer using the web app, as it still includes complex authentication options and access to reports. The browser extension resembles the web app and includes a password generator, which makes using the password manager on the fly even easier.

Bitwarden includes plenty of features to make life easier. It automatically fills forms, quickly syncs passwords and data across devices, and tests your passwords for strength levels. Like many other apps, it monitors your password vault and lets you know if your information has been exposed in a security breach.

The web portal and apps come into their own when it’s time to access the other types of information stored in the vault. Saved payment details work with autofill, but you’ll need to log in to find identity information like driver’s licenses and passports. This can be really handy when you’re booking travels, so long as you know where your passport is when the time comes to board the plane!

Bitwarden: Passkeys

Bitwarden has announced that passkey support is coming in the summer of 2023, so it should be just around the corner. It works both ways, which means users will soon be able to set up a passkey for their Bitwarden account to skip the master password stage.

Most importantly, third-party sites that support passkeys can be added to the extension or app. Upon creation, Bitwarden recognizes the passkey and offers to save it. We asked Bitwarden when passkey support would arrive, but the company declined to comment.

Bitwarden security and compliance

Bitwarden promises to be compliant with a range of industry standards (Image credit: Bitwarden)

Bitwarden: Security

It’s got a robust slate of security features, too. Your Bitwarden vault is secured with AES-256 encryption and your master password is never sent to Bitwarden – so there’s no chance of a breach from Bitwarden’s side of things.

Besides using Bitwarden’s own servers to keep your passwords online, so that you can access them from anywhere, you can also opt for self-hosting. This is designed primarily with businesses in mind, who can apply their own firewalls, proxies, and other services to maintain optimal security and compliance, keeping passwords inside their trusted infrastructure.

Bitwarden’s security measures go beyond zero-knowledge encryption, too. The app’s open source status means its source code is available online, resulting in more scrutiny from security experts – so problems get sorted in a timely fashion.

Screenshot of Bitwarden's help center

Bitwarden has a useful help center and you can email the developers for support (Image credit: Bitwarden)

Bitwarden: Customer support

Bitwarden is an active open-source project, so there’s plenty of support in the form of an online community, tutorials, a knowledge base, and forums. Every common feature has a well-written tutorial and the user forums, while basic, are active and helpful.

You can even email the developers for support via an online support portal, with Premium subscribers getting priority. It’s impressive for an open-source project like Bitwarden to have the level of customer support that rivals commercial products. The only thing missing is phone support – that would have been a welcome addition, especially for business customers.

Unlike most other companies, because Bitwarden’s individual developers all have their own preferences, many of them are happy to interact with customers on other platforms, like Reddit and Twitter. These aren’t considered official help channels as such, but sometimes they’re a way to get a more authentic, personalized response.

Besides troubleshooting, the company’s blog is generally a good place to visit now and again to check for content relating to up-and-coming features, or just to alert you of something you might not have known such as how to create secure passwords.

Bitwarden: The competition

If you’re willing to spend a little more, Dashlane adds identity theft protection to the mix. This adds credit monitoring, identity restoration support, and identity theft insurance that covers you up to $1 million should the occasion occur. Another paid password manager with more features than Bitwarden is LastPass

If you have a specific feature or trait in mind, you may want to consider alternative avenues. For example, KeePass is another open-source password manager, while the likes of iCloud Keychain and Google Password Manager are among a growing number of services with support for passkeys.

Bitwarden: Final verdict

There’s lots to like about Bitwarden. It’s got rock-solid security options bolstered by the app’s open-source status. It works with virtually every device and browser you could think of – so it’s impressively versatile too.

When it comes to features this app ticks every mainstream box and it’s easy to use, even if it’s missing out on some of the slick design and high-end ability you’ll find elsewhere. But that's not a big issue when it’s got a tempting free product, good pricing on all of its paid options, and solid open-source security. 

We've also featured the best business password managers.

Mike has worked as a technology journalist for more than a decade and has written for most of the UK’s big technology titles alongside numerous global outlets. He loves PCs, laptops and any new hardware, and covers everything from the latest business trends to high-end gaming gear.