Putting your passwords into an online vault — rather than a notebook in a desk — is certainly worth considering now, especially when free options abound. Data breaches are hardly going away, and weak passwords are often the culprit in many cases, those that include a pet's name or even a default code that's never been changed.
Today, there are a lot of good suggestions on how to keep your data secure — we have 12 ways to lock down your digital life, for example. But putting passwords behind a strong online manager is certainly an option. These seven all offer at least two-factor authentication, which is crucial and frankly should be standard for most sites. Some have free pricing tiers, and all are less than what you're likely spending a month on coffee right now.
At Google's annual developer's conference, Google I/O, the company also announced it would be helping people even move their password management files into Google's own Password Manager, which is a free option as well. That has yet to launch, so in the mean time here are seven of the best password managers you can download — for personal use and families — that you can start using now.
- Basic: Free
- Premium: $36 a year
- Family (six users): $48 a year
LastPass is a quick and easy way to create secure passwordsLogMeIn
LastPass has three pricing options, and now includes a family package of $48 a year where six people can store all of their passwords in one location. The free option, which is a great way to test the service, does lack priority tech support, and you can only use the program on one device. That's a new update that LastPass implemented just in March 2021, and what it means is you need to choose between a smartphone or a computer. Log in with a iPhone, for example and you can use it from that and also an Apple Watch — but not a computer.
The Free tier, howeverm does come with 30 days of free Premium to test and see if the tech support is something you'll actually need. With the Premium version, you also get 1GB of encrypted storage, dark web monitoring, and emergency access, among other features.
You can use LastPass by logging in through one password — what the company calls a passphrase — and then use the tool as a browser extension, which works on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Explorer.
The password manager also works on iOS devices, Android and Windows products as well including tablets and smartphones.
LastPass uses what it calls multi-factor authentication to identify people, and you can access your account using a fingerprint. Your account is synced across all the devices you use, and your password is automatically filled into a mobile device.
- Personal: 14-day free trial, then $2.99 a month
- Families: 14-day free trial, $4.99 a month for up to five family members
1Password includes space to save notes and software licenses1Password
1Password has two plans aimed at families and individuals — and all include a 14- day free trial. The basic individual plan include 1 GB of document storage per person, 24/7 email support, plus the ability for 365 days to go back and restore deleted passwords. Go up to a family plan, and you get all of that plus five guest accounts with limited sharing, the ability to recover accounts for family members who are locked out, and you can add more family members for $1 a month each.
The tool will work on Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux and Chrome OS, and on as many computers or devices that someone owns. 1Password also highlights a Travel Mode — which for international travelers may be worth considering. This allows someone to delete, temporarily, data from a device, and then restore it, with a single click, when you're ready. And you can even use iPassword on an Apple Watch.
- Free: $0 a year
- Essentials: 30-day free trial, $3.99 a month; annual billing reduces this to $2.99 a month
- Premium: 30-day free trial, $6.49 a month; annual billing reduces this to $4.99 a month
- Family: 30-day free trial, $8.99 a month; annual billing reduces this to $7.49 a month
As with most password managers, Dashline works on a wide range of devices and web browsersDashlane
Dashlane includes four options for pricing, all include two-factor authentication at least — and all have a 30-day free trial. There's a free model that lets you store up to 50 passwords (which is actually not a lot), plus security alerts. But you can only use the tool on one device. An Essentials plan grants you unlimited passwords stored, plus a one-click solution which will automatically strengthen any weak passwords and use across two devices, like your smartphone and a computer. The Premium plan gives you all that and also 1GB of secured storage, dark web monitoring across five email addresses, a private VPN for Wi-Fi protection — and you can use the program across as many devices as you'd like. Finally a Family plan gives you everything in Premium, but for six private accounts in one plan.
Dashlane works on multiple platforms and devices that run on Windows, Android, Mac and iOS, and on browsers including Safari, Chrome, Edge and Firefox. You can also use Linux on those browsers as well.
- Personal: 30-day free trial, $34.99 a year, or upgrade to the Plus Bundle for $58.47
- Family: $74.99 a year, or upgrade to the Plus Bundle for $103.48
- Student: Currently can get 50% discount on plan
Keeper has multiple services which can be bundled togetherKeeper
Keeper is a password manager that has multiple offers depending on how you want to use its service. The Personal plan starts with unlimited passwords, the ability to generate and auto-fill passwords, use with unlimited devices and more. Move up to the Plus Bundle and you get BreachWatch, a dark web monitoring service for free (normally $19.99 a year) which checks for password beaches, secure file storage and more.
Family plans have a similar breakdown, but with these you get five private vaults instead of one with the Personal plan. And currently, students can unlock a 50 percent off discount for plans as well. You can try a 30-day personal plan for free. The service unlocks with fingerprint and Face ID, works on Mac and Windows desktop computers, and also iOS and Android devices, and on browsers including Chrome, Safari, Opera, Firefox, IE and Edge.
Keeper also has specialized add-ons including the previously mentioned BreachWatch, which increases to $39.99 for families. There's also a Cloud Security Vault, for $9.99 a year for a personal account and $39.99 for a family account, which lets you store more than passwords, but also documents from your tax return to a copy of your passport.
Keeper Password Manager
- Basic: Free
- Premium: $10 a year
- Families: $40 a year
Bitwarden is an open-sourced solution that includes a free serviceBitwarden
Bitwarden is a little different of a tool in that it's open-sourced — and it's basic model is free.
The free version can be used across as many devices as you want, there's two-step authentication, you can store items in a vault as well plus you can invite another person to share with you. With the $10-a-year version you also get 1 GB of file storage, the ability to use it with Duo, U2F and YubiKey, priority support and emergency access. A family version also includes 1 GB of personal file storage and 1GB of additional storage, unlimited shared items, and use for six people.
You can use the tool on Windows, MacOS and Linux desktops, and it works with eight different browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Vivaldi, Brave and Tor Browser. The tool also works with iOS and Android mobile devices.
Open-sourced means that anyone can add and augment the code to Bitwarden, which is stored on GitHub. No, that doesn't mean people can use the code to get into your passwords. What it does mean is that the code can be updated — and more keenly, improved. And you can choose to use the Cloud version or self-host yourself.
- Myki App: Free
- Myki for Teams: Starts at $3.99 a month per user, with a minimum of five users required
Myki has two options, an app you download and a plan for multiple users. The Myki App works on iOS and Android, plus macOS, Windows, plus Linux, ArchLinux and Debain. There's also browser support for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Edge and Opera. The Teams options allows people to use Myki across multiple users.
Unique to Myki is that information is actually stored on their device — and does not use the cloud to store passwords. And everything is protected with two-factor authentication or 2FA.
- Free: $0
- Premium: $1.49 a month
- Family: $3.99 a month
With NordPass there are three options. Free lets you save unlimited passwords, store notes and credit card details, and syncs across multiple devices. Pay a bit more for Premium, and stay logged in on NordPass even as you switch devices, access to a Data Breach Scanner, secure item sharing and more. Plus you get a 30-day money back guarantee. A Family plan is Premium — but for five people, and each person can use this across six devices.
NordPass works on six browsers including Chrome, Mozilla, Firefox, Edge, Safari, Brave and Opera, and is supported on macOS, Windows, Linux, Android and iOS.
NordPass 1-Year Premium Password Manager Subscription - Password Manager Software with Top-Tier Encryption, Data Breach Scanner, Secure Password Sharing, Password Generator, Unlimited Storage