I have seen so many people struggling to keep up with their password situation that I have stopped keeping the count. Either they always forget their passwords and have to reset their accounts again and again, or, they use the same generic password for all of their accounts. I am certain that every one of you know at least one such person, and may be, just may be, that person is you. If you are, now is the time to take matters in your hand, and safeguard your online presence as much as possible. There are a lot of password managers which can help you do that. Not only they make the task of managing your passwords easier, they also auto generate random and strong passwords to make your account more secure. We have tested and ranked the best of them, and updated the list for 2018. So, here are the 10 best password managers you can get in 2018:
The Qualities Of A Good Password Manager
Before we get into the actual list itself, let us spend a little bit of time understanding, what actually you should look for when you are choosing a password manager. The first thing to consider is the inbuilt security features. Today, almost all the password managers come with a standard AES-256 encryption, so you should avoid those who don’t. If you want extra security, look for the ones which also provide 2-factor authentication. Ease of use is as important as the security itself. The best ones provide auto-filling and auto-capture of passwords, cross-platform apps, plugins for all the major browsers, syncing across devices, and the ability to import and export your data.
Other important features include secure password generation, one-click password change automation, and flagging of the weak and duplicate passwords. Depending on your requirements, the following features must also be considered. For example, one thing that matters to me is the ability to autofill web forms. Filling online forms take up a lot of time, that’s why I save all my details in my password manager and use them to fill up the forms with just a click. Another such feature is the ability to save credit/debit card details to make online purchases smooth and secure. Depending on your usage pattern, some of these features might be more important than the others. So don’t just choose the first one on the list, but choose the one which fits your requirement criteria.
Th Best Password Managers in 2018 (Free and Paid)
LastPass suffered a security breach in the June of 2015, and although no master passwords could be decrypted (even the LastPass employees cannot do that), the hackers were able to extract the password hints. The incident severely damaged LastPass’s image, but, I would argue that it is still one of the best password managers available out there. What I loved about the LastPass incident, was the way the company handled the whole situation. They immediately took the full responsibility and notified all their users, and although nothing important was stolen, they upgraded their service.
The newer version of the LastPass is better than ever before. The encryption has been upgraded and now uses AES-256 bit encryption with PBKDF2 SHA-256 and salted hashes, which basically means that hackers cannot get into your account without knowing your password. The UI is slick and looks modern. It has all the features that we discussed above. The service is cross-platform with support for all the major operating systems. The browser plugins allow you to automatically record your password and then subsequently fill them when needed. You can use the service to auto-generate strong password for your accounts and can replace your existing ones easily. The service also supports 2-factor authentication.
Apart from its awesome feature set, there’s one more reason why LastPass is our top pick. It provides the best value for your money. At just $24/year, LastPass is the cheapest password manager with such a big feature set. The free version of the LastPass is even more lucrative than other password managers. Other password managers generally keep the sync feature behind the paywall, however, with LastPass, you can sync data across all your devices, even with the free version. The premium version of LastPass is just for people who need additional features. The additional features include biometric authentication, 1GB of encrypted file storage, and priority tech support among others. If you don’t need these features, you will get one of the best password managers for free.
I started using Dashlane since last year or so, and I completely fell in love with the service. It has everything I need, and it packages all its features inside the nicest UI I have seen on any password manager. The main features include AES-256 bit encryption, 2-factor authentication, automatic password capture, one-click login and password change, support for all the major platforms and browsers, and auto filling of the forms. Not only it packs all these features, but it also executes them properly. For example, the sync is fast and reliable and the one click login is extremely quick. However, the reason I love Dashlane the most is because of the extra feature sets. The built-in Security Dashboard shows you the overall security of all your accounts. It also shows the accounts with weak passwords and enables you to change them. .
The service also allows me to save my credit card information making it easy for me to make online purchases. I hate taking out my cards every time, when I need to make a purchase. Using Dashlane, I can enter my credit card info with just one click. Another feature that I love about Dashlane is the ability to keep the digital copies of my ID cards (such as driving license, passport) inside its secure vault. That way even if a lose the physical copy, I at least have their digital copies with me. You never know when you might need them. I have mentioned earlier, that you should choose a password manager based on your own user criteria. Dashlane fills mine and that is the reason I chose it above LastPass, even when that is cheaper and packs almost similar feature set.
For a brief period of time, 1Password used to be my favourite password manager. It had all the features, looked really beautiful, and worked without fail almost all the time. But, times have changed and it is no longer that. Don’t get me wrong it still has the best UI and I love its minimalistic design. The feature set is still there and it’s vault still is the best in my opinion as it lets me store tons of information and not just my password. It has a menu bar icon, allowing me to quickly access my data. The service also supports touchID authentication on iPhones and Mac. Then you might be thinking, why it’s not my favourite service to use.
Well, it’s not that 1Password has declined over the years, it’s just that it competitors have become better, and offer services at a lower price point. The first major missing feature from this service is the 2-factor authentication. I believe any service which holds all your important passwords and data should use 2-factor authentication. If you don’t care about 2-factor authorisation, 1Password will serve you greatly. The service is especially recommended for people who are in Apple’s ecosystem because here it feels more like a native application rather than a 3rd party one. If you are ok with its pricing (it does not offer a free service) and don’t care much about the 2-factor authentication, 1Password is hard to beat even by the top mentions on our list.
4. Sticky Password
Sticky Password is one of the lesser known password managers out there, but it is a good one. It hits all the right check boxes and is also reasonably priced. You get the military grade AES-256 bit encryption along with support for biometric (fingerprint) authentication. The master password is encrypted in such a way that not even the employees at the company can decrypt it. So much so that, when you first sign up for the service, they explicitly tell you that if you lose your master password, there’s no way to recover your account.
But, by far the best feature of Sticky Password is its ability to sync your passwords across your devices without saving it on the cloud. Sticky does that by utilising local WiFi syncing. If there’s a network that you trust (like your home WiFi), Sticky will use the local WAN network to sync your passwords across your devices. This is best for people who don’t trust the cloud services in spite of their encryption. Of course, you also get the ability to sync your data with the cloud. The app is available for Mac, Windows, Android, and iPhones, so pretty much every device is covered here.
But, not everything is good here. I am not a fan of the UI or the colour choices of the app. It just feels old. Also, it lacks some of the extra features that I love, like the ability to add your credit/debit cards. Apart from that, it is a strong service which focuses heavily on security. The local WiFi sync feature is one of the best assets of this service, and I would totally buy its premium version just for that. You can choose a subscription model or can buy the service with a one-time lifetime payment.
5. KeePass 2, KeePass X, KeePass XC
Many people do not prefer using proprietary software and only use open-source software when it comes to using a secure service like a password manager. Open-source software offer a couple of benefits over propriety software. Firstly, open-source software are mostly free. Secondly, the code is open for anyone to inspect, so you know what kind of service you are opting for. Lastly, since a large number of people are looking at the code, finding and patching a bug is immediate. However, open-source software also have their own drawbacks. Firstly, most of them look ugly and are very hard to navigate. Secondly, normal users (for example, me) don’t know a thing about coding, hence the open nature of the software has no use for us.
However, if you do fall in the category of users who only use open-source software. KeePass 2 is the most renowned password manager out there. Although the UI as expected is bad and you can only use it as a local password manager (there’s no mobile app or sync facility), its major focus is on security and that it does pretty well. Since it doesn’t save your password on the cloud, there’s zero chance of someone hacking into your vault. KeePass X and KeePass XC are both built on the same code which is used by the KeePass 2. The only difference is in the platform they serve. KeePass 2 is for Windows, while the KeePass X is for Linux. KeePass XC serves all the three platforms including Mac, Windows, and Linux. All of them are free to use forever. So, if you are looking for a great free password manager, the KeePass password manager is certainly a great option for you.
RoboForm in its current version has become a very good password manager. It has the AES-256 bit encryption with PBKDF2 SHA256, basically meaning it is pretty secure. The service supports all the major platforms including macOS, Windows, iOS,Android, Linux, and Chrome OS. It is really good at capturing your login information. All the passwords are synced across your devices using its own secure cloud services. One of the features which RoboForm executes better than any other service on the list is the filling up of the online forms. I don’t know how the service does this but it can populate pretty much every field doesn’t matter how long the form is.
Moreover, it also supports fingerprint authentication which is always a plus in my books. However, there is one missing feature here. I could not find a full-fledged 2-factor authentication, something which is very important for me. However, your milage might vary. I am also not a fan of its UI. Still, its pros far outweighs the cons. The service is also very reasonably priced costing less than half of the ones like 1Password and Dashlane. If you are looking for a cheaper password manager which does most of the things quite efficiently, you should try this one out.
Just like LastPass Premium allows you to go truly password-less by allowing you to use biometric authentication, LogmeOnce also does that, albeit in a slightly different way. For utilising LastPass’s password-less logging feature, you will have to have a device which supports biometric authentication, however, with LogmeOnce, you can do that on any device. How cool is that? Basically, the service utilises 2-factor authentication in a very innovative way. When you try to log in on your desktop, LogmeOnce will randomly click a photo using your webcam and show you on the screen as well as send it to your mobile device. Once you authenticate on your mobile device, that it is indeed the same picture, you will be automatically logged in. Apart from that, the service also lets you log in with fingerprint authentication.
The app essentially removes the hassle of remembering even the master password. Another unique feature is called Mug-shot. In this, the app basically takes the picture of someone logging into your vault and saves it for you. It also has built-in anti-theft features allowing you to remotely wipe your device. Apart from these unique features, LogmeOnce gets everything else right too. In encrypts both the user-ID and the password with a military grade AES-256 encryption with SALT and HASH algorithms. It supports all the major platforms including macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. However, it only has native apps for iOS and Android. For the desktop platforms, it works strictly as a browser plugin. The app is free to use with some features restricted behind a paywall.
If you love the security and freedom that comes with the open-source softwares, but, at the same time wish for the convenience and the slick UI of the proprietary ones, your dream might come true sooner than expected. Padlock is an open-source software, which is easy to use and also looks good. It has app for all the platforms including macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS with the Linux version releasing soon. You get various methods to add your login information here. You can either import it, add it manually, or let it capture from your browser using its plugin.
However, that’s where it strengths end. It doesn’t do anything other than that. There’s no auto filling of forms, no place to store your credit cards and even no secured notes. And considering the price it’s asking for the pro version, the lack of features is pretty hard to swallow. Still, watching the previous track record of its updates, I am hopeful that the developers will add these features soon. If you love open-source software, keep this one on the radar.
9. True Key
True Key is a password manager which is launched and managed by the Intel security team. It has all the usual features like AES-256 bit encryption, auto-capture and auto-fill of passwords, and a virtual wallet to secure your credit cards among others. True Key gives you multiple ways to login into your vault. You can use your master password, fingerprint-authentication, trusted devices, and your face to get into your vault. True key also works pretty much all the time without any hiccup.
However, I don’t like the fact that we don’t get native desktop apps to manage our data. Instead, we have to make do with its web apps. I feel a native app is a must when it comes to using a password manager. Other, than that I don’t think I have any other gripe with the app. I also love that the free version allows syncing your data across all your devices up to 15 accounts. You only have to pay, when the number of your accounts surpasses 15.
Bitwarden is one of the newest players on the list and it’s one of the good ones to keep an eye on for the future. Just like Padlock, Bitwarden is trying to bring the best of both the worlds by combining the security of open-source software platform and the UI of the proprietary one. The service has an open code base which anyone can go and check out. It is also available cross-platform with native apps for iOS and Android together with browser plugins for all the major browsers for desktops. This means that there are no native apps for desktops and you will have to use the browser plugins to get all your data.
In its current form, I don’t think I am ready to recommend this software, especially when it is costing $10/year. But, still, for people who love open-source softwares, and this can be a fine choice in the future if the service launches its desktop apps and include extra features like credit/card management and online form filling. Keep this one on your radar for the future.
Don’t Remember Passwords With The Best Password Managers for 2018
Today, it is must to keep a strong and different password for all your accounts, if you want to keep them safe. It’s not humanly possible to remember all of your passwords, especially if you are using random strings of numbers, special characters, and alphabets to create them (which is what you should do). It is here password managers come to our help. I hope this list has helped you in deciding which one is the best for you. Drop your choices in the comment section below and let us know if you think we left a good password manager out, which deserved to be on the list.