Top Password Manager Apps
Security is everything in our digital-dominated world and there are essential steps every online user should take to keep their personal data safe. Passwords are at the heart of our digital activity but with so many sites, apps and subscription services, it can feel like a chore too far to remember them all. If this sounds like you and you need a helping hand in keeping track, then a password manager is the way to go. The trick is knowing which one to choose.
We take a look at some of the best Password Manager Apps currently available – both free and paid for – to help you stay secure online.
How Password Managers Work
One of the best ways to keep secure online is to have a unique password for every website and service you subscribe to, but all these individual passwords can be impossible to remember or recall when you need them. Jotting them down on a piece of paper, in your device’s notes or a document on your desktop is a no-no, you need something more sophisticated. Which is where a Password Manager steps in. A good Password Manager will store your passwords as well as enable you to generate strong passwords that the manager then takes the hard work out of remembering. They can also store all your passwords in an encrypted ‘vault’, synch data across all your devices and offer an autofill out service to save you time.
Convenient and secure, a Password Manager is an essential for your digital security toolbox and here are our current favorites.
Free and paid for
Best for: All-round convenience and ease of use
As one of the most widely used password managers, there are enough features on the free version of LastPass to make it an effective service for general use. LastPass works across almost all platforms and devices and is really user-friendly. With the free service, you get all the essentials – once you have set up your master password, you can store all your encrypted credentials and sensitive data on its server. It offers a password generator, free password synching, lockbox, supports two-factor authentication, offers auto-fill, will alert you to potential account breaches and you can access your data via an app or browser extension. For general individual use to stay secure online opt for the free LastPass service and you’ll have all your password security bases covered. You can upgrade for a family plan if you need access for multiple users.
Free and paid for
Best for: Intuitive password management
While there’s a good free version of Dashlane if you are a single device user, the Premium version at around $5 per month is worth the extra investment as it gives you a little more flexibility. As an intuitive Password Manager, Dashlane is hard to beat and offers everything to keep you online safe plus some other cool stuff.
One-click password generation, two-factor authentication, storage of passwords, autofill, data storage in an encrypted vault – the usual suspects are all there, as well as a digital lockbox wallet for easy purchase tracking. Extra bonuses include password auto-resets if an account gets hacked and its ‘site breach alerts’, where Dashlane actively monitors the dark corners of the Web for stolen or leaked personal information and alerts you if yours has been found. Dashlane will also synch across all your macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS devices. We think Dashlane is as good as LastPass so try out both on a free trial before you decide.
Best for: Solid security for travelers
Although there’s currently no free version, as an affordable subscription service, you get a lot of reassuring quality with 1Password. Ok, you will need to pay around $3 a month ($5 a month for a family service) but you can try it out for free for 30 days before you decide.
So, what do you get from 1Password for your dollar? Originally designed for Apple products, the service now covers iOS, Android, Windows, and ChromeOS with options for additional browser plug-ins, making it a go anywhere password manager. And talking of travel, we like its ‘Travel Mode’ function, where you can delete any sensitive data before you travel, and then restore it with a click of a button when you arrive at your destination. Then there’s its strong password generator, two-factor authentication, autofill, digital wallet and a built-in ‘watchtower’ that alerts you to any security breaches. For peace of mind, even when you are on the road, this is an easy to use Password Manager workhorse you can rely on.
4. Sticky Password
Free and paid for
Best for: Straightforward and easy to use password management
For easy and intuitive use, especially on your smartphone, then check out Sticky Password, which supports both face ID and fingerprint sign-ins, as well as traditional passwords. Sticky is a straightforward and effective password manager, without some of the extra ‘bells and whistles’ of some other services but what you do get, works well. And the free service is a good one to have as it’s very easy to use. Or upgrade for around $30 a year, for extras such as additional cloud synching features. Sticky is also one of the very few password managers that offers a one-off lifetime license ($150). But back to the freebie package and what it offers. Strong password generation, AES-256 encryption and a very intuitive navigation for starters. You also get cloud-encrypted synching between devices to help protect your data over a wireless connection. Sticky Password works on Mac, PC, iOS and Android with a range of browser extensions.
5. Keeper Security
Best for: Both personal and business use
As an agile password manager, Keeper Security is one of the best if you need to scale up from personal and individual use to business or family. And, while it may not be one of the most stylish when it comes to design, it offers everything you need to keep your online life safe. The core functions are solid – strong password generation, AES 256-bit encryption, dark web scanning, two-factor authentication and secure digital vault storage. Plus, you can customize fields to match the information you want to store. It also offers emergency access for up to five contacts in case they need to access your passwords.
A good all-round and reliable cloud-based solution for businesses that supports all the main platforms and browsers, Keeper Security offers its functionality to individuals and families to use, via its range of subscription packages.
Free and paid for
Best for: An effective and easy to use mobile app
While it may not have a full menu of functions as some of its larger competitors, RoboForm is a quality password manager that’s quietly confident in what it can offer. And you get some top functionality on its free app version. RoboForm is also renowned for its super-strong password generation, giving you additional control over specific characters you need to include or omit. Available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, its free mobile apps are particularly well thought out. Features include a security center which identifies weak and duplicate passwords, a digital inheritance function so you can authorize emergency access and comprehensive web form autofill. With the free version you can store a limitless number of logins and there are an additional range of premium subscriptions, starting from around $16 a year, including family packages.
7. KeePass Password Safe
Best for: Experienced users looking for more customizable options
KeePass is a good option if you’re an experienced password manager user and would like to up your digital security game. As well as offering a robust service when it comes to secure password generation, KeePass is a customizable service which gives you greater user ownership of its functionality, including more control of your stored data. Notable functions include downloadable plug-ins to expand its core features, portable USB installation and a range of file formats. Designed for Windows, it can also work with Mac, iOS and Android with the right ports.
As a free open source service, you can also access the system’s code to check for any weaknesses and flag up potential security issues for a quick resolution. It may not look the most sophisticated when it comes to its layout and design, but KeePass is a dynamic system that is perhaps best suited to the more experienced user.
- Why You Need A Password Manager – Tech Crunch