Everyone needs a password manager. Period, full stop. It's the only possible way to maintain unique, hard-to-guess credentials for every secure site that you, your family members, and your team access daily.
The six password manager apps and services listed in this guide all offer a full set of features in exchange for a monthly or annual fee. Although some offer a limited free plan, our evaluation is based on the full feature set available with a paid subscription.
- Security details arehere.
Although 1Password earned its reputation on Apple's Mac and iOS devices, it has embraced Windows, Android, Linux, and Chrome OS as well; the 1Password X browser extension fills in credentials, suggests passwords, and provides 2-factor authentication in Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. After an initial 30-day free trial, a 1Password personal subscription costs $36 per year; a five-user family subscription costs $60 annually.
1Password works best when its data files are synced from 1Password's servers, but you also have the option to save passwords locally and sync the data file with your own network or a Dropbox or iCloud account. (The company boasts that it doesno user trackingof any kind.) 1Password Business accounts add advanced access control, with activity logs and centrally managed security policies, cost $96 per user per year and include 5GB of document storage (compared to 1GB for personal accounts) plus a free linked family account for each user.
- Big changes to 1Password in the browser as it adds biometric unlocking
- Security details arehere.
Founded in 2011, Keeper has probably the widest assortment of products of any developer in this guide, with separate offerings for personal and family use, business, enterprise customers, and managed service providers. Personal plans start at $30 a year for Keeper Unlimited, which (naturally) allows storage of an unlimited number of passwords and syncs them on an unlimited number of devices.
A $60-per-year bundle adds the KeeperChat encrypted messaging program, secure file storage, and a breach monitoring service that scans saved passwords to find any known to be compromised. The family version of each plan doubles the cost and supports up to five users. Keeper stores synced data files on the Amazon Web Services cloud. Student plans are half-off the listed prices.
- Security details arehere.
Dashlane doesn't have the longevity of its chief rivals, but it's been around long enough to earn a reputation for ease of use. Apps are available for Windows PCs, Macs, Android, and iOS. If your password vault includes fewer than 50 entries and you only need to use the software on a single device, you can get by with the free version, which also supports two-factor authentication. Dashlane does not offer a family plan, but it does support sharing of passwords between accounts.
The $60-per-year Premium version removes limits on the number of saved passwords and synced devices and includes a VPN option. The $120-per-year Premium Plus bundle adds identity theft insurance and credit monitoring. Business plans include the same features as Premium, at $48 per user per year, with provisioning and deployment options as well as the capability to segregate business and personal credentials. (All prices require annual billing.)
Bitwarden brags that its core features are "100% free," and that's not an idle boast. That free version has none of the limitations associated with commercial software. Instead, the paid versions ($10 per year for a single user, $40 annually for a family of up to 6) adds advanced features like a built-in TOTP authenticator and two-step login with a hardware key.
The source code for Bitwarden is hosted on GitHub, with separate repositories for desktop, server, web, browser, mobile, and command-line projects. It has all the checklist features of commercial personal password managers, including secure cloud syncing. If you're uncomfortable with storing your passwords in the Bitwarden cloud, you can host the infrastructure on your own server, using Docker.
- Security details arehere.
Sticky Password was founded in 2001 by former executives of AVG Technologies, which was a pioneer in the freemium category for security software. True to their roots, this password manager offers a full-featured free version that works on all major device categories and browsers, allows an unlimited number of saved credentials, and supports two-factor authentication and biometric sign-in.
The $30-per-year premium version includes the ability to sync between devices, using either the company's servers or a local-only option using your own Wi-Fi network. It also supports cloud backups and secure password sharing and includes priority support. If you're really committed to the service, you can purchase a lifetime subscription for $200.
- Security details arehere.
LastPass, which has been a member of the LogMeIn family since 2015, is one of the best-known brands in a very crowded field, largely because for years its free edition offered a robust set of features and supported an unlimited number of devices per user. That policy changed in March 2021, when the company revised its offerings to require a paid plan for use on both mobile devices and one or more personal computers. The company's personal and business product lines work on all major desktop and mobile platforms and browsers. The service is cloud-based only, with files stored on the company's servers and synced to local devices.
The Premium version ($36 a year), besides enabling cross-platform support, adds a few extra features, such as advanced multi-factor authentication options, 1GB of encrypted file storage, and the capability to designate a trusted contact for emergency access. The family plan, which covers up to six users, costs $48 a year and includes a management dashboard. Business plans start at $48 per user per year. If you're already a subscriber, it's worth staying. But there are better choices for everyone else.
What is the best password manager?
1Password is ZDNet's top choice. Although it is a paid service, it is very safe and easy to use, and it includes a wide range of extra features. It also offers one of the best encryption methods (256-bit AES), a zero-knowledge policy, and two-factor authentication. It's a great all-around password manager.
How did we choose these password managers?
In putting together this list of the best password managers, we looked at third-party reviews and opinions from security experts, with a goal of finding the broadest possible selection of products from established developers. We supplemented that knowledge with our own hands-on experience.
Four of the password managers in our list offer free versions, typically with some limitations and an option to upgrade to a paid subscription for additional features. All offer both personal and business versions of their products, and some offer family subscriptions that allow multiple user accounts with the option to grant access to credentials for shared services. If you prefer open source software, look at BitWarden, which offers an excellent free version as well as subscription options.
Our capsule descriptions are not intended to be comprehensive but rather are designed to help you create your own shortlist of password manager apps. After you narrow down possible contenders, we encourage you to look at the feature table for each one to confirm that it meets your needs, and to take advantage of free trial options before settling on your final choice.
Because security is such an important feature of a password manager, we've tried to address the key question many of our readers ask: Where is your data stored? All of these commercial products offer a cloud sync option; some also include the option to save and sync files locally, so you don't have to trust your online keys to someone else's infrastructure.
And rather than summarize the encryption and data handling precautions each developer takes, we've included a link to their online security page so you can read that information and decide for yourself whether you trust their design and encryption decisions.
How do password managers work?
All of the password managers run on Windows or Linux PCs, Macs, and mobile devices. To get started, you install a stand-alone app or browser extension and sign in to your account. The app does the work of saving sets of credentials in a database whose contents are protected with high-grade, 256-bit encryption. To unlock the password database, you enter a decryption key (your master password) that only you know. The browser extension or app handles the work of automatically filling in credentials as needed.
Different password managers have different user experiences and different feature sets, but all offer subscribers a similar set of core features:
- A password generator that puts together a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Secure sharing of passwords with trusted contacts.
- Form filling, including the option to automatically enter credit card details.
- Secure notes.
- A sync engine that replicates the database across devices, using a cloud service or a local host.
Password managers that sync the saved password database to the cloud use end-to-end encryption. The data is encrypted before it leaves your device, and it stays encrypted as it's transferred to the remote server. When you sign in to the app on your local device, the program sends a one-way hash of the password that identifies you but can't be used to unlock the file itself.
Are there alternative password managers to consider?
Here are a few other options to look into:
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1Password is the world's most trusted password manager. Here's why. Security isn't a feature – it's our foundation. Rather than relying on an account password alone, we add an additional layer of security with a unique Secret Key.Are password managers safe 2022? ›
Yes, password managers are definitely safe to use for business. In fact, they aren't only safe to use, but rather essential. The majority of data breaches inside of companies happen due to weak and re-used passwords.What makes a strong password 2022? ›
A strong password should be impossible to guess, and that means using a mixture of lowercase and capital letters, numbers and symbols. Passwords are stronger the longer they are and shouldn't contain any intuitive patterns or memorable keyboard paths that can easily be guessed, like 123, ABC or QWERT.Has 1Password ever been hacked? ›
1Password has never been hacked
But even if our infrastructure were to be breached in the future, you can rest assured your data wouldn't be at risk. Every decision we make at 1Password begins and ends with the safety and privacy of your information.
Best Password Managers.
- Dashlane. Best for Security-Focused Extras. ...
- Keeper Password Manager & Digital Vault. Best for Secure Cross-Platform Password Management. ...
- Zoho Vault. Best for Sharing Features. ...
- Bitwarden. Best for Open-Source Password Management. ...
- LastPass. ...
- 1Password. ...
- LogMeOnce Password Management Suite Ultimate. ...
Due to the progress in graphics technology, most types of passwords require less time to crack than they did just two years ago. For example, a 7-character password with letters, numbers and symbols would take 7 minutes to crack in 2020 but just 31 seconds in 2022.What are four 4 best practices for passwords? ›
- Never reveal your passwords to others. ...
- Use different passwords for different accounts. ...
- Use multi-factor authentication (MFA). ...
- Length trumps complexity. ...
- Make passwords that are hard to guess but easy to remember.
- Complexity still counts. ...
- Use a password manager.
There is no better way to keep your passwords safe than to use a password manager, like Bitwarden. A good password manager should do more than store passwords, such as generate strong passwords and monitor data breaches for compromised passwords.Which is the toughest password in the world? ›
1. Mix meanless Word, number and symbol randomly, and at least 15 length. Mix meanless Word, number and symbol randomly, and at least 15 length (mix uppercase and lowercase). Actually, strongest password equals to hardest remember password, for example “E7r9t8@Q#h%Hy+M”.
- At least 12 characters (required for your Muhlenberg password)—the more characters, the better.
- A mixture of both uppercase and lowercase letters.
- A mixture of letters and numbers.
- Inclusion of at least one special character, e.g., ! @ # ? ]
According to NordPass' latest list of top 200 most common passwords in 2022, “password” is the most popular choice, followed by “123456”, “123456789”, “guest” and “qwerty“.What's better than 1Password? ›
LastPass beats 1Password hands-down on one important security perk -- password generation. While both have random password generators, LastPass spits out stronger passwords more quickly than 1Password with a one-click process.Does Ryan Reynolds own 1Password? ›
Reynolds is also an investor in 1Password, alongside fellow stars Robert Downey Jr. and Justin Timberlake.Which is better LastPass or 1Password? ›
The big difference between the two apps is how they think about sharing: 1Password works exclusively in vaults, while LastPass lets you share both folders and individual logins. Sharing of individual logins is available on all LastPass plans, while 1Password has no similar feature.Is it worth paying for a password manager? ›
Paying might be worth it, of course, if you feel you need emergency access or encrypted file storage. But in general, the free version probably does what you need. From there, the hurdle is coming up with a master password to unlock the manager. It must be something you can remember but others can't guess.Which password manager is easiest to use? ›
- Keeper — Most Secure Password Manager. ...
- LastPass — Excellent Free Plan. ...
- Sticky Password — Portable USB Version & Local Storage. ...
- Avira Password Manager — Easy Setup & Intuitive Features. ...
- Password Boss — Good Value With Many Extra Features. ...
- Bitwarden — Best Open-Source Option.
The quick answer is “yes.” Password managers can be hacked. But while cybercriminals may get "in" it doesn't mean they will get your master password or other information. The information in your password manager is encrypted.Are password managers better than your own? ›
Password managers are a good thing. They give you huge advantages in a world where there's far too many passwords for anyone to remember. For example: they make it easy for you to use long, complex, unique passwords across different sites and services, with no memory burden.Why dont older adults use password managers? ›
Older adults that do not use a password manager feel that their current way of storing passwords, such as writing them down, is a safe and easy method. These adults note the importance of having control over who has access to their passwords.
Keep A Copy In A Safe Deposit Box
Most banks will have safe deposit boxes that allow you to store valuables. This is great for storing a copy of your master password. It's not perfect as you can only get the paper when the bank is open. But it is away from your home in case of fire or other natural disasters.
Although Chrome Password Manager is free and convenient to use, Last Pass offers more security and privacy features. Since the goal of a password manager is to protect your passwords, Last Pass is the better choice. However, you must upgrade to Last Pass's Premium plan to access Last Pass on unlimited devices.What type of password are hardest to crack? ›
A strong password is a unique word or phrase a hacker cannot easily guess or crack. Here are the main traits of a reliable, secure password: At least 12 characters long (the longer, the better). Has a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, punctuation, and special symbols.How fast can a computer guess your password? ›
A standard eight-letter password contains 209 billion possible combinations, but a computer could calculate the right one in a matter of seconds. Adding even one uppercase letter to a standard password could increase a computer's calculation to 22 minutes, an increase of more than 1000 percent.What sort of passwords do hackers use? ›
The list ranges from simple number and letter sequences like "123456" and "Qwerty" to easily typed phrases like "Iloveyou." Choosing easy-to-remember passwords is understandable: The average person has more than 100 different online accounts requiring passwords, according to online password manager NordPass.What are 2 basic rules for passwords? ›
And once you finally select a password, its strength needs to observe these parameters: Length of the password – preferably over 12 characters. Complexity of the password – must contain letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and symbols and have a minimum number of each. Contain no repetitive characters.What is the 8 4 rule for passwords? ›
This is often called the “8 4 Rule” (Eight Four Rule): 8 = 8 characters minimum length. 4 = 1 lower case + 1 upper case + 1 number + 1 special character.What is the most common 6 digit passcode? ›
Creating a strong master password means choosing something long, generally 14 characters or more, something that is random (no one can easily guess it), and something that is completely unique to Bitwarden. Many people suggest creating passwords out of common phrases you remember, or a song lyric.
The most common four-digit PINs, according to the study, are 1234, 0000, 2580 (the digits appear vertically below each other on the numeric keypad), 1111 and 5555.What is the most secure way to remember your passwords? ›
- Think of a sentence. ...
- Combine two words. ...
- Turn vowels into numbers. ...
- Remove the vowels. ...
- The keyboard trick. ...
- Mix a number and a word together. ...
- Use the account as a base. ...
- Roll a dice.
If your device is hacked or stolen, storing passwords on your device gives hackers easy access to all of your accounts and personal information. Although it might be tempting and convenient, you should never save passwords on your phone, tablet, or computer.What is the hardest 4 digit password? ›
This is what they found.
- Create Strong Passwords. ...
- Avoid Passwords Containing Info Easily Found Online. ...
- Use a Unique Password for Every Website or App. ...
- Avoid Linked Accounts. ...
- Use Multi-Factor Authentication. ...
- Beware Where You Enter Your Password. ...
- Take Note When a Data Breach Occurs.
A strong password is: At least 12 characters long but 14 or more is better. A combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Not a word that can be found in a dictionary or the name of a person, character, product, or organization.What is a good 4 digit password? ›
Every four-digit combination that starts with 19 ranks above the 80th percentile in popularity. Month/day combinations—those in which the first two digits are between 01 and 12 and the last two are between 01 and 31—are also popular.How do I contact 1Password by phone? ›
To learn more about pricing or how you can secure your business with 1Password, fill out the form below or reach us at 1-888-710-9976. For general inquiries please visit the 1Password Support Site or 1Password Support Community.Is 1Password manager safe? ›
1Password uses AES 256-bit encryption, which banks and governments around the world also use. This means your passwords are secure, and the likeliness of someone trying to hack your account head-on is extremely unlikely. The master password you receive when setting up is also a 34-character secret key.How do I get the 6 digit authentication code for 1Password? ›
On your mobile device, open your authenticator app and use it to scan the QR code. After you scan the QR code, you'll see a six-digit authentication code. On 1Password.com, click Next. Enter the six-digit authentication code, then click Confirm.
[we don't offer live chat/phone support] — 1Password Support Community.How much does 1Password cost per month? ›
Although 1Password offers a 14-day trial, it does not have a permanently free version. For 1Password's standard edition, you pay $35.88 annually (effectively $2.99 per month).What are the cons to 1Password? ›
Pros & Cons of 1Password.
|Categories are an excellent organization tool||Presently lacks the ability to share secure notes with, or invite, non-users|
The only link between the 1Password Families membership and the 1Password Business membership is for billing purposes. Business admins can't see any details about the 1Password Families memberships of their employees or remove the employee's access to the family membership.How do I find my 6 digit authenticator code? ›
You need to install the Google Authenticator app on your smart phone or tablet devices. It generates a six-digit number, which changes every 30 seconds. With the app, you don't have to wait a few seconds to receive a text message.What is 1Password secret key? ›
Your Secret Key keeps your 1Password account safe by adding another level of security on top of your 1Password account password. Your Secret Key is 34 letters and numbers, separated by dashes. It's stored on devices you've used to sign in to your account, and in your Emergency Kit. Only you have access to it.Where is the secret key 1Password? ›
You can find your Secret Key and Setup Code in your Emergency Kit, which you downloaded if you created your account on 1Password.com. If you don't remember saving your Emergency Kit, look in your Downloads folder for a PDF file named “1Password Emergency Kit”.How many people use 1Password? ›
Over 15 million users trust us to keep them safe online.Is 1Password any good? ›
1Password is great for both single users and families. Its Families plan is a great value — with both private and shared vaults, encrypted file storage, and coverage for 5 or more users. Overall, 1Password is a great password manager — it's my top choice in 2022.Should I use 1Password? ›
Considering how safe is 1Password, even if it does not offer a free version like LastPass, for example, it provides all the must-have features you'll ever need. And for a company or a family that needs to share permissions, 1Password is the only way to go and definitely worth the money.