The Best Password Manager for All Your Devices

We've taken a closer look at the top password managers available on the market and narrowed it down to the most secure and most reputable so you can rest assured your passwords are safe and sound.
Best Features
Dashlane
Dashlane
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Password generator
  • Icon Pros  Light
    VPN Wi-Fi protection
  • Icon Cons  Light
    High memory use
Best Free Version
LastPass
LastPass
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Affordable
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Works with multiple devices
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Glitchy
Best Security
1password logo
1Password
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Phishing protection
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Travel mode
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No free version

Between bank accounts, your favorite online stores, remote schooling, working from home, and social media, it’s hard to remember all your passwords. We took a closer look at password manager software like Dashlane that protect your data and the accounts they work with.

Dashlane has a price point and features for everyone. There’s something for individuals, families, businesses, and even a free subscription that gets you all the basics.

The program works with major browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari as well as mobile platforms like iOS and Android. And with over 10 years in business and no security breach, it’s no wonder Dashlane boasts service for over 18,000 companies and 14 million users.

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Working from home?

If you’re a work-from-home warrior as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are some simple steps you can take—beyond using a password manager—to protect your computer from internet threats. Head over to our guide on keeping your computer safe while working from home to learn more.



What is a password manager?

Security experts agree that not using a password manager puts you and your data at high risk for identity theft. But if you put all of your eggs in one basket, make sure that basket's built like a tank.

A password manager is like a digital vault where you can store all the passwords you use for different online accounts, like banking, email, online shopping, social media, and more. You only need one master password to access that digital vault, so it's important to memorize it or keep a hard copy in a safe location.

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Did You Know?

According to a survey by Digital Guardian, more than 50% of the general population reuses passwords, with the worst offenders being those ages 18–24, and 64% of passwords are rated as "weak."

How do password managers work?

Most password manager apps act as browser extensions so they can assist you in creating new passwords, changing old passwords, and auto-filling online forms with your name, address, phone number, and even credit card information.

If you're security-minded, it may feel counterintuitive to put all of that sensitive information in one place, but reputable password managers encrypt your information, making it impossible for even the password management provider to access it.

Some password managers include additional security features like two-factor authentication to keep your information extra safe from hackers.

Compare password managers

Dashlane LastPass 1Password
DashlaneLastPass1Password Password Manager Logo
Max Annual Fee
Free Version
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
EncryptionAES-256AES-256 AES-256
Form Autofill
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Supports Desktop
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Supports Mobile
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Learn More

Info current as of 04/29/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Our top picks for best password managers 

1. Dashlane: Best features

Best Features

Dashlane is easy to use and intuitive, but the additional features make it pricier than more basic password managers.

The service has four plans to choose from:

  • The Free version saves up to fifty passwords on one device.
  • The Essentials saves unlimited passwords and works for up to two devices.
  • The Premium version works for an unlimited number of devices and has additional security features like a VPN.
  • The Family plan offers dark web monitoring for up to five emails, unlimited passwords, and allows you to share service with up to six others.
Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Password generator
Pro Bullet VPN Wi-Fi protection
Pro Bullet Two-factor authentication
Pro Bullet 30-day premium trial
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Limited auto-password changing
Con Bullet Reports of high memory use

Dashlane's password features

One of the best features of a password manager is that you don't have to worry about creating passwords that you can remember—your password manager will remember them for you. Dashlane generates and remembers strong passwords for all your accounts.
Here are some of our favorite Dashlane perks:

  • If you're switching to Dashlane from another password manager, Dashlane can import your passwords for a seamless switch.
  • Dashlane knows when you're shopping online and can automatically save your receipts.
  • Dashlane's user interface is well organized and intuitive. When you enter a credit card number for safekeeping, the site uses an icon that looks like the actual card to make it just like a digital wallet.

But it doesn't all come up roses.

The auto-change password feature is a great time-saver, but it only works on the most popular sites on the web.
And some users report that Dashlane uses up a lot of memory, which could cause your computer to run more slowly or limit valuable storage space on your handheld device.

Dashlane's extra features

Dashlane goes beyond storing passwords though. In addition to keeping them safe, the software offers a VPN (or virtual private network) feature to keep your Wi-Fi connection secure and encrypted on the Premium and Family versions.

Learn more about VPNs or see our favorite VPN services to increase your virtual security.

Some of its other notable features include Dark Web monitoring (also with the Premium and Family plans) that alerts you when your personal info is detected on the dark web. Personalize security alerts also let you know if your data’s been associated with a data breach.

You can also store secure notes for information like ID numbers, PINs, bank accounts, and more.

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Pro Tip

A great way to get a stronger password is to use a series of words, like lyrics to a favorite song. This gives you a long string of characters that will be hard for a computer program to hack but easy for you to remember.

2. LastPass: Best free version

Best Free Version

LastPass password manager offers many of the same features as Dashlane, like a strong password generator and document storage, but at a lower price. It's not quite as user-friendly as some of the other password managers, and it doesn't have a great reputation for customer service. The service was hacked in 2015, but nothing was stolen and LastPass used it as an opportunity to plug security holes.

LastPass allows you to sync passwords across all your devices. And it encrypts and decrypts data with 256-bit encryption only on your device, not through its servers.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Inexpensive price
Pro Bullet Secure input fields
Pro Bullet Multiple device syncing
Pro Bullet Machine level encryption
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Confusing features
Con Bullet Glitches
Con Bullet Price changes
Con Bullet Limited automatic password changing

LastPass free version

While LastPass free version limits you to one type of device (computer or mobile), you get quite a few premium features. 

Unlike Dashlane, LastPass offers free two-factor authentication using the Google Authenticator app or a texting option. 

LastPass doesn’t charge for other perks like Secure notes and access to your cloud vault either. The Free version also comes with unlimited password storage (not bad for free). 

While we understand the appeal of free (who doesn’t?) the paid versions of LastPass only total up to $4/month max. So it’s worth checking out or at least trying the trial. 

LastPass details and extras

To avoid keylogging threats, LastPass uses on-screen keyboards for you to enter in passwords and other important info by clicking rather than typing, protecting you from keyloggers.

Most password managers require you to completely wipe your system and start over if you forget your master password, but LastPass lets you create a password reminder and will let you reset your password.

Another great perk: LastPass Portable lets you install a version of the LastPass browser extension on a USB drive so you can take it with you and use it on other computers. The LastPass Pocket app lets you sync different devices manually using a USB stick, so you never have to put your data online.

LastPass has a variety of categories for different types of information you may want to store, but some of the categories are unusual and probably unnecessary for most users. The overabundance can be confusing for new users.

And watch out for glitches—some users report that LastPass tries to save passwords more than once, which results in duplicated or outdated information.

LastPass recently doubled its subscription rates. While the rate is still on the low end, the unexpected price hike was frustrating for some customers, and many question if it will happen again.

Dashlane limits the number of sites where passwords can be automatically changed. LastPass suffers from the same problem, but even more so—it includes just fifty popular sites on its list (versus Dashlane's 500).

3. 1Password: Best security

1Password has an attractive interface, but it can be awkward to use. Its security features are top notch, and although there's no dedicated customer support, its user forum is a great place to get answers to questions. It would be nice to see a free version of 1Password and more options for importing passwords.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Client encryption
Pro Bullet Clipboard management
Pro Bullet Full transparency
Pro Bullet Phishing protection
Pro Bullet Command-only autofill
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Limited password import
Con Bullet No free version
Con Bullet No automatic password updates
Con Bullet Clunky interface

1Password uses end-to-end encryption to secure files, which means that they are encrypted and decrypted on your device, so no one—not even 1Password—can access them without your master password.

There are times when you may need to copy and paste a password into an online field, which can leave that password exposed on your device's clipboard. 1Password detects passwords on your clipboard and clears them automatically.

1Password's software architecture is fully transparent, allowing for anyone to see how it works, which means that 1Password is secure enough in its design that it doesn't feel the need to be secretive.

It's easy to be fooled by fake sites posing as real ones, and hackers count on you not knowing the difference so they can steal your password and other information. 1Password checks a site's authenticity and will only fill in a password on the site where the password was created.

When you put 1Password in Travel Mode, it removes all your sensitive data from your devices, letting you travel securely.

We also like that 1Password has an active and comprehensive support forum frequented by its own programmers. If you have any questions about your software or problems with it, you'll be able to easily and quickly find the help you need in the forum.

If you're switching to 1Password from another password manager, you'll want to import your passwords, but it may be difficult. 1Password can only import from Google Chrome, Dashlane, LastPass, and RoboForm.

Unlike Dashlane and LastPass, 1Password does not have an automatic password changing feature. Company representatives say the programming required would be cumbersome for their team and that changes in a website could affect the programming of this feature, leaving you locked out of your account.

More password managers we considered

KeePass

KeePass

KeePass is a cross-platform, open-source, free password manager that’s popular with self-proclaimed computer geeks. It has solid security features, and it keeps its database in a single file so it’s easy for you to sync it with your Dropbox. But the interface is dated and it’s not Mac-friendly. There’s also no customer support except for online tutorials created by users, so it’s not for the casual computer user.

Keeper

Keeper offers a free fourteen-day trial of their paid Keeper Backup program, and it has all the security features you’d expect from a password manager. But its interface isn’t quite as polished as other top products on the market. Its autofill feature can be tricky to use, and it doesn’t offer a password strength report for existing passwords like other password managers do. We do like its around-the-clock customer support, which is uncommon for many password managers.

RoboForm

RoboForm

We like that the free version of RoboForm includes a mobile version, and the Batch Login feature allows you to log in to up to five sites at once, which is great for those who like to get a jump start checking email and messages in the morning. But the free version only lets you store ten passwords, and the autofill doesn’t work on mobile apps. And if you have a Mac, you won’t be able to import passwords.

Final word

Logging into your favorite accounts shouldn’t leave you worrying about your data or take forever to do. Password managers like Dashlane, LastPass, and 1Password meet in the crossroads between convenience and security. 

And while all three don’t have free versions available, each is affordable and offers frequent updates to stay prepared for the most recent online threats. 

Check out our other online security pages to help make your computers, mobile devices, and home network as safe as possible.

How we chose the best password managers

To review the best password managers on the market, we studied each program's features, strengths, and weaknesses. We learned more about the pros and cons of each from security experts and users, and we compared our findings to write the top-ranked password managers. To learn more, check out our methodology.

FAQs

Start with your most sensitive accounts, like banking, credit cards, and email. Use your password manager to create unique, complex passwords for those accounts first. 

Because password managers do not have access to your files or your master password for security reasons, most password managers will require you to wipe your account and start over. For this reason, it’s important to memorize your master password or keep it in a safe location.

Two-factor authentication (sometimes called multi-factor authentication) adds an extra layer of security to a password-protected account by requiring an additional password, PIN, or action on the part of the user. Usually this involves using a device you own, like a mobile device, to authenticate your identity. While hackers may be able to crack a password, it’s unlikely they’ll also have access to your phone.

Reading reviews is helpful, but once you’ve narrowed it down, search for videos of your top picks. It’s important to choose a password manager that’s easy and intuitive to use, or you won’t use it. Watching videos of password managers in use can give you a feel for the user interface and help you decide which one will be most comfortable for you.

Kasey Tross
Written by
Kasey Tross
Kasey is a trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and a freelance writer with expertise in emergency preparedness and security. As the mother of four kids, including two teens, Kasey knows the safety concerns parents face as they raise tech-savvy kids in a connected world, and she loves to research the latest security options for her own family and for SafeWise readers.

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