Best Password Managers - Keep your Passwords secure in 2019

In the digital world, we can all agree that passwords are a constant source of stress. Different sites often require all sorts of seemingly random password conditions. Some will ask for at least one uppercase letter and a number; others will need a minimum of 8 characters, including one particular symbol, such as $ or &.

Remembering all the variations of your password is neither easy nor secure. Once hackers crack one of your passwords, they will gain access to some of your other accounts. Worst-case scenario, they will get into your email account. From there, they can request a password reset to every single account linked to that email.

Luckily, today we have access to password managers and password apps. First, let's have a look at the best password managers, and then we'll discuss them in detail.

Best Password Managers

The competition is fierce on the password manager market. We have collected the best services and evaluated them so that you can choose the one best suited for you! The prices for these password managers range from $11 to $40 per year. This is a small amount if you consider the financial and emotional implications of your accounts falling in the wrong hands. However, if price is a concern, we also have some providers in the list offer a free version of their service.

1. Dashlane

  • Pricing

    From $0 / month
  • Supported platforms

    • Windows
    • Linux

Dashlane is the most expensive option from the list, but it offers a free plan and 30-day money-back guarantee. The free plan may not be viable in the long term as it only allows a maximum of 50 passwords to store and it can only be used on one device.

Dashlane premium includes a limited VPN service, which justifies its relatively high price tag. This grants the user extra security when connected to public wifi. On the whole, Dashlane is very impressive, with a clear dedication to security, a solid runner up.

2. Sticky Password

  • Pricing

    From $0 / month
  • Supported platforms

    • Windows
    • Linux

StickyPassword stands out from the password manager crowd for a number of reasons. They offer free, annual premium and a special lifetime premium plan. Even its free plan has biometric authentication as long as the device is equipped with fingerprint scanning.

If you're an animal lover, Sticky Password has started a charitable campaign to save endangered manatees. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that its service couldn't be improved. On the whole, though, it's a decent password manager - though we're always wary of companies that offer lifetime subscriptions.

3. Zoho Vault

  • Pricing

    From $0 / month

Zoho Vault is a relatively new password manager (or should we say password vault). It has a 15 day trial on its enterprise plan and if it runs out, they simply move you onto their free plan. No underhanded automatic billing after your trial is over.

There is no limitation how many passwords you can store with Zoho Vault, even in its free version. One of its drawback though is that you can’t manage two-page logins, which might be a minor inconvenience when logging in to Gmail. Another downside is its lack of web-form filling features.

Zoho Vault’s enterprise plan is cheaper than most other password managers’ standard version. It offers, among other things, notification on password events and user group management. Zoho Vault has stepped up its game lately, so you might want to get their annual plan now before they raise their prices.

4. 1Password

  • Pricing

    From $0 / month
  • Supported platforms

    • Windows
    • Linux

1Password is a pricier password manager, and it doesn’t provide a free plan. However, it does have a trial version though, which could help the user to get to know 1Password’s features before deciding on subscribing

Listing all the features of 1Password would be pretty time-consuming. In short, it's easy to use, has great cross-compatibility, and has fantastic security. However, what really makes 1Password special is that Apple has hired them to provide password management for all 123,000 of its employees. Now, we like to do our research, but we're sure that Apple examined a lot more factors and competitors before choosing 1Password.

It might not be the cheapest on the list but 1Password is one of the best password managers around in 2019 with a relatively affordable $59.88 family plan for up to 5 separate users.

5. RoboForm

  • Pricing

    From $0 / month
  • Supported platforms

    • Windows
    • Linux

Roboform is perhaps the longest player in the password manager game, which is an attest to their long-term viability. However, its age also shows in terms of features compared to its competitors and customizability. These added options aren't exactly necessary but offer a lot to tweak for those more technologically inclined.

Due to its age, Roboform has a lot of form and functionality. Unfortunately, they very much seem to be lagging behind when it comes to modernizing. This doesn't mean that they are bad in any way, it's just we're not hopeful for their future. However, while they are around, they're a great password app.

6. Keepass

  • Pricing

    From $0.00 / month
  • Supported platforms

    • Windows
    • Linux

KeePass is an open-source password manager that offers extensive customizability and encryption, with its only limitation being how many passwords your hard drive can store. There are no hidden costs or locked features with KeePass and it is highly portable being an executable that doesn’t need to be installed onto a system to work.

It remains one of the most secure due to its offline nature by default, storing passwords locally. If you wish to utilize cross-platform synchronization, then you will want to pair the service with a reliable cloud storage provider, subsequently saving the .kdbx file into a shared folder.

KeePass isn’t the most user-friendly or accessible service out there, requiring elbow grease to get up and running. Fortunately, we have our very own KeePass Guide to help you along with the process.

7. LastPass

  • Pricing

    From $0 / month
  • Supported platforms

    • Windows
    • Linux

Like other freemium services, LastPass does lock a range of features behind a paywall. However, its core password management services are completely free to use, including the ability to save, fill and generate passwords as well as access them on any device, secure and share notes and lock your account down with two-factor authentication.

Having been around for over a decade, LastPass supports 58 languages, all core operating systems, and most browsers. With extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera, and the now-outdated Internet Explorer, it is one of the best free password managers for those working across systems and using multiple browsers at any given time.

LastPass hasn’t had the smoothest journey with its security in the past, with vulnerabilities cropping up multiple times since 2011. Despite this, LastPass has continually impressed with the latest flaws being patched out within mere days of discovery, cementing its place as one of the most popular platforms.

8. LogMeOnce

  • Pricing

    From $0 / month
  • Supported platforms

    • Windows
    • Linux

Thanks to limited advertisements in the free version, LogMeOnce can be used across as many devices as you choose with many of its features now unlocked. Alongside standard password generation, it provides a one-click login functionality and password strength reports detecting poor and duplicated passwords.

LogMeOnce uses a multi-factor methodology when it comes to authentication, providing the most versatile two-factor around. Not only does it support a master password, a pin code and biometric fingerprint authentication, LogMeOnce uses its proprietary PhotoLogin as an extra measure. By default, this uses your webcam or built-in camera to snap a self-destructing picture of you that must be manually verified by your connected mobile device within 60 seconds before it is discarded. If you don’t like pictures, you can still use PhotoLogin thanks to a visual OTP code that uses a genuine image on your desktop.

9. NortonPasswordManager

  • Pricing

    From $0 / month
  • Supported platforms

    • Windows

Using LifeLock’s identity theft protection expertise, security professionals at Symantec’s Norton have crafted a password manager that is entirely cost-free. And unlike KeePass, Norton Password Manager features synchronization across supported platforms without looking towards third-party cloud vendors.  This does come with its own limitations, as the password manager forgoes Windows and macOS applications in favor of direct browser integration.

Oddly, the password generator is not a built-in function but one that is instead provided directly on the website. This is an especially strange minor inconvenience as it is one of the most robust password generators available, allowing you to customize your password’s length and combination of uppercase letters, numbers or punctuation. Fortunately, this approach means that anyone with any password manager can utilize the feature from their browser if they choose.

How Password Managers Work

Password managers work by storing all of your different passwords behind one master password. This one password is the only one you need to remember. Both your passwords and your master password is encrypted to ensure absolute safety.

Most password managers offer browser extensions and mobile apps, which auto-fill passwords for you. This is very convenient, especially when using public wifi. here is always the danger of somebody gaining access to your credit card information when you enter it in a public space.

Password managers can also synchronize your passwords across all of your devices. Whether you want to enter your account through your desktop, mobile or tablet device, your trusty password manager will be ready to fill them out for you.

What to consider when picking a Password Manager

Cost

Password managers can be laughably cheap despite being an exceptionally useful tool. The price of a coffee per month really ($1-3). Furthermore, most password managers also offer a trial or a free version. This can be useful when users want to try out the product before placing their money down the table.

Features

Password managers come with a lot of useful features. Here are just a few of the important ones to look out for when deciding on which password vault to use.

Password Generator

A built-in customizable password generator is just one of the many useful features of password managers. After all, free online password generators may not be nearly as trustworthy. Some sites don’t allow special characters in passwords. To get a password without any special characters, all you need to do is to just untick a box before generating.

Device Cross-Compatibility

Most password managers are compatible with all sorts of devices. Smartphones, tablets, laptops you name it! They also sync your passwords and personal data across all devices, saving a lot of trouble and failed logins. Most will also allow you to share passwords between users in your family or company.

Autofill

Password managers automatically fill in the password for websites. This is a really useful feature, especially for applications that sign you out after a certain period e.g., your bank.

Biometric Security

Many password apps now allow you to use your fingerprint or FaceID as the master password. Therefore, when you're using your mobile or tablet, logging into apps and websites is absolutely seamless.

Security

The purpose of password managers isn’t just for convenience - they also provide a great deal of security to its users to keep their password safe.

TFA - Two Factor Authentication

One of the security measures is two-factor authentication. This requires the user to confirm his access on his phone. Even if by some miracle an outsider got a hold of your master password, he still won’t be able to gain access. He would need your phone and be able to unlock it in order to enter.

Encryption

Encryption also plays a huge role in ensuring that your passwords are safe. It is one of the reasons why you need a strong password. Obviously, besides the obvious fact that it’s harder to guess it.

The stronger the master password is, the more impenetrable is its encryption. A simple 4 digit birth date cannot be encrypted as complexly as a string of 16 random characters. Of course, you need to make sure that the password manager uses strong encryption. If the encryption is weak and hackable, then there's no point to it.

Public Security

The greatest issue with password security is that you might need to enter them while you are out in public. This can be problematic for a number of reasons. Hackers could inject keyloggers to your laptop or mobile phone through public wifi. People could also simply look over your shoulder in a crowded café while you are entering your password.

Password managers completely fix this problem by auto-filling your details. Keyloggers track your key hits, which is useless if your passwords are automatically filled in. It is also extremely convenient as you won’t need to look up and enter any of your complicated passwords.

How safe are password managers?

Password managers have a duty of care towards your data as their entire business model would be unsuccessful without trust. Your information is usually protected with the best encryption possible, meaning it is almost guaranteed to be safe if a hack occurs. Unfortunately, the same might not be said for your master password.

Password managers that support a zero-knowledge policy do not store your master password or encryption keys, keeping you in control of who has access to your data. Those without a zero-knowledge policy grant the ability to recover your password should you forget it, but present numerous problems as a result. Although there are preventative measures in place to protect the master password while it sits stored in the cloud, it isn’t impossible for it to fall into the wrong hands. It can even be requested by intrusive governments depending on the platform’s country of origin.

As it stands, there is no real alternative and using a password manager is still infinitely better than manually managing numerous accounts with duplicated passwords. Just remember to choose a strong, yet memorable master password, use reliable antivirus software to prevent malicious malware from getting its hands on your data and keep your system updated as known bugs can be exploited.

Conclusion

All in all, password managers are essential in today’s cyber environment. Both due to security concerns and for convenience. They are so much more than just a digital sticky note for your passwords. Combine that with its low price, there is no good reason not to sue one.

Written by: Damien Mason

Damien is ProPrivacy’s latest expert reviewer with over 2 years’ worth of technical writing under his belt. Originally setting out to be a screenwriter, he turned his attention towards computers thanks to his lifelong love of video games. Whenever he’s not embracing the classics like The Legend of Zelda or Metal Gear Solid, he can be found climbing the ranks on Rainbow Six Siege. 

5 Comments

  1. Eva

    on August 12, 2019
    Reply

    I understand why it is important to have and use a password manager, but I am quite cautious person and can't fully trust companies without a history in cyber security. I guess, I just wait for NordPass to launch, since their first product is well trusted, a password manager should be also good to go.

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Eva

      on August 13, 2019
      Reply

      Hi Eva. I'll just note that open source end-to-end encrypted self-hosted solutions such as KeePass require no trust in any company whatsoever.

  2. macca

    on July 3, 2019
    Reply

    Password managers are ok but meh! Nothing is going to stop someone stealing your data if you click a dodgy email, Or go to some website that has an advert that you click catered for you and injected with malware. Best you can do is use a VPN and be careful online clicking anything, Because it doesn't matter what strong password or password manager you use, All it takes is one click from a momentary lapse of concentration after a hard days work! I'll stick to my encrypted USB stick locked away in my drawer, Until we see all sites use a 2 step authentication with random generator for logging in, Everything is still up for grabs in my opinion.

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to macca

      on July 3, 2019
      Reply

      Hi macca, We are not going to argue with 2FA being important, but it supplements, rather than replaces, the need for strong unique passwords for every website you use. And for that, you need a good password manager.

  3. Joe

    on April 13, 2019
    Reply

    You didn't mention Lastpass?!

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