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There was a time when most people could get by with a handful of easy-to-remember passwords. But with more and more personal and financial data being stored online, the need for complicated passwords and secure ways to store them has given rise to the password manager.
According to Keeper Security, over 81% of data breaches are due to weak password security. Password managers let users create hard-to-break passwords and automatically log in to websites without remembering those passwords. Many also analyze the strength of passwords, monitor accounts for data breaches, and provide secure private browsing networks. The average cost of a data breach to a company is $4.24 million, according to The International Business Machine Corporation's (IBM) Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021.
The best password managers help protect your personal and financial data, and choosing one should be based on features like ease of use, added security financial features, and free options.
Best Overall : LastPass
LastPass is our top pick for the best overall password manager because it offers a rich set of free features allowing most users to get everything they need without paying anything. It can also be accessed on most browsers and virtually all smart devices and offers more robust sharing features through its paid versions.
Easy to use
Feature-rich free version
Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
Outdated desktop apps
Can’t auto-fill some personal data types
Website hacked in 2022
LastPass was created in 2008 by four developers tired of having to encrypt and decrypt their password document every time they updated it. By the time it was bought by SaaS company LogMeIn in 2015, it had grown to seven million users, supported by just 30 employees.
LastPass is a browser-based password manager with extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Edge, as well as Android, iOS, and Windows phone apps. It uses the industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption and offers multi-factor authentication (MFA), which lets users access their accounts using a smartphone or fingerprint.
LastPass’s free plan offers unlimited passwords, multiple device syncing, one-to-one encrypted password and information sharing, and a digital wallet that stores and automatically fills in credit card information. All of this makes it a robust option and our choice as the best overall password manager. The free version is available on one device type.
Users can choose a Personal plan for $3 per month, which includes password sharing on multiple devices and 1GB of encrypted file storage, or a Family plan for $4 per month, which adds six additional sharing licenses. Both offer a 30-day free trial.
Best for Extra Security Features : Dashlane
- Cost: $59.99-$89.99/year
- Free Trial: Yes
- Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Android, and IOS (and Linux browser extensions)
Dashlane offers dark web scanning for data leaks, a secure virtual private network (VPN), and a password changer option. These combined benefits make it the best password manager for extra security features.
Easy syncing between devices
Dark web monitoring
50 password limit on free plan
Free plan limited to use on one device
Limited cloud storage
French-based company Dashlane launched its password manager in 2009, quickly becoming a major player in the marketplace. It offers both a robust free plan and paid plans with additional security support for its customers.
In addition to offering apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and IOS, Dashlane can be accessed through Linux-based platforms and Chromebooks via browser extensions.
A personal Premium Dashlane account costs $59.99 for one year and offers unlimited passwords, unlimited devices, dark web monitoring that scans the web and alerts customers of leaked personal data, and a built-in VPN, giving this product the edge over other password managers when it comes to extra features.
Customers can also choose a Premium Family account for $89.99 per year, which includes all of the features of the personal Premium account for five people with private accounts for each member and the ability to share an unlimited number of logins.
One fancy feature we liked about Dashlane that few other services offer is a password changer that replaces hundreds of passwords with a single click.
Best Multi-Device Platform : LogMeOnce
LogMeOnce is our pick as the best for cross-platform support since it allows users to access their passwords and log in on just about any browser, computer, or mobile device with a photo, fingerprint, or PIN.
Can be overwhelming to new users
Add-ons can get expensive
LogMeOnce has launched multiple security, network management, CRM, and security management companies and products since 1986. Its password manager offers cross-platform support, making it easy for users to access their passwords and logins on any desktop or mobile device.
LogMeOnce offers a free ad-supported plan that includes unlimited passwords and devices, two-factor authentication, and 1MB of encrypted file storage. Users are limited in the number of secure notes, credit cards, and shared passwords and can expand each limit with add-on costs. Three paid plans ranging from $2.50 to $4.99 per month add additional storage and sharing as well as the ability to add up to six family members.
LogMeOnce boasts an impressive list of over 50 features, many of which are unique to their platform and allow for deep customization. Users can get a customizable dashboard, a snapshot of anyone who tries to hack their account or device, scheduled logins, photo logins, and more.
Best Free Option : Bitwarden
Bitwarden beats out even LastPass’s free plan by offering all of the same features plus unlimited devices and sharing, making it the best free option.
Unlimited passwords and sync in free version
Secure password generator
Some issues with Edge browser extension
Limited iOS support
Secure sharing costs extra
Founded in 2015, Bitwarden was originally launched as a password manager. It released its iOS and Android app a year later. It is the only open-source password manager we reviewed and offers an impressive range of features in its free plan, giving it the edge over comparable password programs.
Bitwarden’s free plan includes syncing across devices, secure note and credit card storage, two-factor authentication, and the option to store passwords offline rather than in the cloud.
Bitwarden’s Premium plan costs only $10 for one year and includes 1GB of encrypted file storage, additional authentication options, a password generator, and advanced support. Upgrading to the Family Sharing plan costs $40 and adds up to six users with unlimited collections and sharing as well as an extra 1GB of personal storage.
As an open-source platform, Bitwarden’s code is freely available for anyone to inspect, test, and fix, making it potentially more resilient than many other password managers that have to wait for developer updates. Bitwarden also regularly uses third parties to audit its platform for security.
Bitwarden is available as an app for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux, and offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, Safari, and more. However, some users have reported problems with the Edge extension.
Best for Families : 1Password
1Password is the best for families because it offers a deep level of protection beyond simple password security that extends to the whole family and also makes it easy to manage and add individual users.
14-day free trial
No free version
Sharing limited to family plans
Originally developed as a password manager for Mac computers in 2005, 1Password currently offers apps for Windows, Android and iOS, as well as extensions for all major browsers, and boasts over 15 million users worldwide.
Although 1Password doesn’t offer a free plan, users do get a 14-day free trial with any paid plan.
The 1Password plan costs $2.99 per month billed annually and includes unlimited passwords and device syncing, 1GB of secure document storage, a digital wallet, and 24/7 email support.
The 1Password Family plan costs $4.99 per month billed annually and adds the ability to share passwords and data with five family members and easy account recovery. Users can also set different permissions for each family member and add more users for $1 each, making it the most cost-effective solution for big family needs.
Additional features for both plans include 1Password Watchtower, which scans the web for potential security breaches, and a travel mode that lets users delete sensitive data from their devices before they travel and restore it later with just a click.
Best Enterprise-Level Manager : Keeper
Keeper offers advanced levels of security for teams of all sizes with additional security add-ons that allow businesses to customize their security based on their needs, making it our pick as the best enterprise-level password manager.
Secure password sharing and inheritance
Full password and file history
No free version
No quick access PIN
Keeper, founded in 2011, was created by two developers who were frustrated by the lack of password managers for mobile devices at the time. Today, the company offers advanced password management and security for individuals, families, and businesses.
Although Keeper doesn't offer free plans, a 14-day free trial is available for its Business level service. Keeper Business costs $45 per user per year and includes an encrypted vault for every user, shared team folders, unlimited device access, security auditing, activity reporting, and team management. Its big business solutions are more robust compared to other password managers, helping it win the enterprise-level category.
Keeper Enterprise has a single sign-on (SAML 2.0) authentication, automated team management, and advanced two-factor authentication. Both plans also include an admin console, role-based access, version control and record history, and secure file storage.
Keeper offers plugins for every major browser, plus apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. Users can also pay for add-ons, including an encrypted chat messenger, advanced reporting and alerts, dedicated onboarding and training, and dark web and security breach monitoring.
When it comes to choosing the best password manager, LastPass is our top pick. It can be accessed on nearly all browsers and smart devices, like iOs and Android. Its free version stands out among its competition with its features like multiple device syncing, one-to-one encrypted password sharing, a digital wallet, and unlimited passwords.
Compare the Best Password Managers
|Company||Cost||Free Trial||Compatibility||Important Feature|
|LastPass Best Overall||$0 for basic plan or $3-$4/month for Personal plan||Free plan and 30-day free trial||Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux||MFA|
|Dashlane Best for Extra Security Features||$59.99-$89.99/year||14-day free trial||Windows, Mac, Android, and IOS (and Linux browser extensions)||Built-in VPN|
|LogMeOnce Best Multi-Device Platform||$2.50 to $4.99/month||Requestable demo||Any||Cross-platform support|
|Bitwarden Best Free Option||$0 for basic plan or $10/year for premium||Free plan||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux||Unlimited passwords and sync|
|1Password Best for Families||$2.99-$4.99/month||14-day free trial||Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS||Travel mode|
|Keeper Best Enterprise-Level Manager||$45/year per user||14-day free trial||Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android||Advanced security|
Frequently Asked Questions
What password manager is the most secure?
Dashlane is our pick as the best for extra security features. It offers a secure VPN, an option to change your password, and a scan for data leaks on the dark web.
Are password managers easily hacked?
In many ways, password managers are safer than companies that actually store their customers’ data and passwords. Since each password is encrypted on a user’s device, password manager providers don’t actually keep any lists of passwords.
Because password managers don’t actually store passwords, hackers can’t access them by breaching their databases. Instead, most would have to work around the system to access customer emails and attempt to trick users into revealing their master password.
Has LastPass ever been hacked?
Some major password managers suffered data breaches in 2018 and 2021, including Keeper and LastPass. Hackers were unable to break each company’s encryption keys and instead targeted vulnerabilities in browser extensions and apps to access customer data to get users to enter their passwords.
What is the downside to a password manager?
Password managers encrypt every password, meaning they do not technically store your passwords in a readable list. Therefore, this management software is fairly safe. If a hacker was to gain access to your master password, however, that could give them access to all of your other passwords at once.
We looked at over a dozen password managers for this review. At the top of our list were providers who were widely used and trusted with no critical security issues. Ease of use was also important as was the ability to share data across multiple devices and platforms.
We also looked for password managers with a good set of features in their free plans. We only included a few that don't offer a free plan because of the quality of features in their tiered paid plans.
Finally, we assessed the cost. Although most offer strong free plans, we made sure to include options that provide additional security features, accessibility, and users (like families) for a reasonable price. In the end, paying for a password manager is an investment in a company dedicated to protecting sensitive customer data from the onslaught of cyberattacks and a small price for peace of mind.
Keeper. "Business Password Manager."
The International Business Machines Corporation. “Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021.”
The Verge. "LastPass Says No Passwords Were Compromised ... - The Verge."
ZDNet. "Password Manager Maker Keeper Hit by Another Security Snafu."