Best Password Management Tools

Best Password Managers
Best Password Managers

How many online accounts you have? a dozen, hundred, or thousand? Do you remember all these passwords or you use simple same passwords for all of them? It’s extremely tempting to use single password for all your online accounts, if only one account is compromised then the hackers could take control of your other accounts as well. Creating strong passwords for your accounts that you can remember is hard enough and even impossible unless you use a password manager. Using a unique strong password for each account is very essential and the only way to do this is to use a “password manager”.

Opting for a password manager to create strong password and store them is an excellent step. A password manager can generate a unique strong password for every account, without requiring you to memorize or write down on notepad, sticky notes, piece of paper, or anywhere else. These strong passwords provide protection against traditional password attacks such as dictionary, brute-force attacks, or rainbow tables.

There are some password managers available which allows you to store passwords locally, while others allows you to store on cloud storage. Types of password management tools:

  1. On-premise password manager
  2. Cloud based password manager

A variety of password managers are available in the market, but these five stand out as the best options. Which one you prefer will depend on what feature is more important for you, each is a solid option. 

KeePass
Bitwarden
Dashlane
LastPass
1Password

KeePass (Free)

KeePass is a popular open-source desktop/system-based password management application. KeePass is not a cloud-based application, so you can trust on it that your credentials will never be stolen or leaked in any security breach as your credentials are stored on your local machine, NOT on some third-party cloud. KeePass stores your passwords on your local computer so you remain in control of them. You can fork its code from Github, customize and use it as per your requirements. Some people use a syncing solution like Dropbox to sync the KeePass database between their devices.

Here are some cool features about KeePass:
1. KeePass is really free, and it is open-source (OSI certified)
2. Best and most secure encryption algorithms (AES and Twofish)
3. Plugins to extend functionalities
4. Locking mechanism with one master key or a key file, or Combination of key file and master password.
5. Supports Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android

Downsides:
1. KeePass might not be visually impressive at first glance, but don’t let that deter you
2. You have to synchronize it manually every time.  

For more information, check out the KeePass website.

Bitwarden (Free)

An excellent alternative to KeePass is Bitwarden. After checking out the service, we find that Bitwarden is one of the best password managers out there. It is also an entirely free and open-source tool to manage passwords. The Bitwarden code is available on GitHub and open for anyone to evaluate or audit.

Bitwarden lets you import your data from other password managers, web browsers, and various other apps. It also supports cloud syncing across all supported platforms, including Windows, Linux, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, almost all popular web browsers, its cloud-based client, and more.

Bitwarden features:
1. End-to-end encryption and salted hashing
2. Offers 2FA with Authy, Google Authenticator or via email.
3. Self-host your own server (Host your own server via Docker for small installations. )
4. Clean interface with no ads

Downside:
1. Unable to remove duplicates
2. Cannot store images of ID cards, etc. (only available in premium version)
3. Cannot update data while off-line, requires an Internet connection (doesn’t feature a full offline mode)
4. Web Browser Extension only pastes one field at a time ( i.e. you have to paste User Name and Password in two goes.)

For more information, check out the Bitwarden website.

Dashlane (free basic version for 1 user; $39.99/year)

Dashlane is a versatile cloud-based password manager and digital wallet that allows you to keep your personal information secure. This password manager is make up for with great features and slick apps for almost every platform – Windows, Linux, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android. It has extensions for every browser and features like a security dashboard that analyzes your passwords, and they even have an automatic password changer that can change your passwords for you.

Dashlane has another advantage, with an option to keep all of your passwords locally on your computer, rather than in a cloud. So you have the benefit of something like KeePass, but with a better interface. If you do choose to sync your passwords using the cloud, they are AES encrypted. Dashlane is free to use on a single device. You need to have a premium version if you want to sync your passwords between devices.

Dashlane features:
1. AES-256 encryption
2. Free on a single device
3. Allows securely sharing passwords
4. Dashlane will automatically add passwords to its database when logging into a site
5. Two-factor authentication through mobile apps. Dashlane supports Authy, Google Authenticator and FreeOTP.

Downsides:
1. No Linux support (though it is possible to use a browser extension. )
2. Slow and resource-heavy
3. Massive memory consumption
4. Not seamless with iOS Safari (Users may sometime face issues on Linux and Mac machines)

For more information, check out the Dashlane website.

LastPass (free basic version; $36/year)

LastPass is a cloud-based password manager with extensions, mobile apps, and even desktop apps for all the browsers and operating systems. LastPass’ reliability and user-friendly interface are the most-cited reasons people praise the password-management app. It’s extremely powerful and even offers a variety of two-factor authentication options so you can ensure no one else can log into your password vault. LastPass stores your passwords in an encrypted format in LastPass’s cloud servers – the LastPass app locally decrypts and encrypts them when you log in, so LastPass couldn’t see your passwords even if they wanted to. It even comes outfitted with a password generator to create unique passwords.

LastPass features:
1. Multifactor authentication
2. Automatic cloud backup and cross-device sync
3. All encryption and decryption is done locally
4. Allows sharing passwords with one person or a group of people
5. Allows downloading an encrypted database backup that can only be decrypted with LastPass Pocket.

Downsides:
1. It is not free
2. The cloud-based solution is not secure (It has been hacked before.)
3. LastPass tends to put the wrong info in forms
4. Unreasonably high price (Recently doubled annual subscription rates)
5. Not seamless with iOS Safari (Users may sometime face issues on Linux and Mac machines)

For more information, check out the LastPass website.

1Password ($39.99/year)

Similar to LastPass, 1Password is also a cloud-based password management tool. It’s available for Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android, iOS, and Chrome OS. The nicely designed manager is a premium password manager which lacks a free version, but you can try for free for 30 days before signing up.

Unlike many other password management tools, by default, the 1Password encrypted database is not stored in the cloud, but strictly locally, for added security. Its digital wallet allows you to securely save everything from logins and credit card information to network passwords and sticky notes. You can also use the software to sync your info between computers via Dropbox, iCloud, or another convenient method.

1Password features:
1. AES-256 encryption
2. Doesn’t depend on the cloud
3. Can perform an audit on passwords
4. A clean, good-looking and intuitive UI
5. Top-notch application security (Endorsed by many high credibility security experts)

Downsides:
1. It is not free (Unreasonably high price)
2. Lacks native Linux support
3. Lack of Google Drive sync (Only icloud, wifi and Dropbox support.)

For more information, check out the 1Password website.

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