These days there’s a password for everything, especially if you’re online. And depending on the kind of sensitive information you’re protecting, the password requirements for each account become more complicated than the next. Now, just try remembering them all.
Luckily, there’s an app for that. Find out more about the best password managers, why you most definitely are going to want one and how to pick the right one for you.
Why you need a password manager
The best password manager can be a lifesaver and do several things to keep you safer online. Yes, you’ll have to create an account with the password manager of your choice … and remember the password to that. But once you let the manager take over, you can say goodbye to the “Forgot your password?” button for good.
The best password manager doesn’t just store your passwords, it also generates and suggests stronger ones when creating a new account or if you’re just looking to double down on security. You can also count on your manager to remember other sensitive information, including credit card numbers, billing addresses and bank accounts.
How to pick a password manager
Because your password manager will be housing some very important information, it’s imperative that you pick one that meets a few requirements:
- Encryption – Encryption will act as armor around your data while it’s traveling from your computer server to the manager’s server. Your account will house some of your most sensitive data, so be sure to get one that’s properly equipped to protect it.
- Suitable storage – The amount of storage you need in a manager is up to you and how much you’ll rely on it. If you plan on storing a lot of information, go ahead and look for a password manager with unlimited storage.
- Cloud syncing – If you have multiple devices (let’s be honest, you probably do), you’re going to want your password manager to work on all of them and not just one. Make sure your manager has cloud syncing so you’re able to store info on as many devices as you please.
- Compatibility – A good manager should work on different devices, web browsers and operating systems. Otherwise, you may find yourself feeling like your service is spotty. Check the fine print before you start your subscription or take advantage of a free trial and run the service on all the devices and systems you frequent.
Price is also typically at the top of user’s minds as well. Most paid managers will start at $20/yr.* and increase with the addition of premium services or features. Free password managers like LastPass and RoboForm are available as well if you’re happy with basic service and willing to give up certain features.
Top six paid and free password managers
We all need a little help with organization. Check out the top six password managers and why users trust them with their lives. (Yes, really.)
- 1Password: Starting at $2.99/mo.* when billed annually, includes two-factor authentication, unlimited passwords, items and 1 GB document storage, apps available for Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, and Chrome OS
- LastPass: Starting free for one user. Premium plans include multi-factor authentication, 1 GB of encrypted file storage and unlimited shared folders, access on all devices
- Dashlane: Starting free for one user, including storage of up to 50 passwords, access on one device, instant form and payment autofill
- Keeper: Starting at $2.50/mo.* with unlimited password storage, unlimited identity and payments, fingerprint and face ID login, unlimited devices and sync
- Enpass: Starting free for unlimited items, autofill with browser extension, cloud sync and multiple vaults
- Sticky Password: Starting free for unlimited encrypted password and data storage, automatic form-filling and autologin, two-factor authentication, compatibility with all devices and browsers and a password generator
Each of these services offers a free trial for users looking to test out the product before they commit. Take advantage of that trial period and get to know the service and its features. If your needs aren’t being met, there’s definitely a competing service out there that has everything you’re looking for.
*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. Speeds may vary. As of 07/31/19.
Frequently asked questions about password managers
What is the best password manager?
The best password manager for you will depend on your needs in terms of storage, compatibility and services. Do some self-evaluation beforehand to determine how much information you’ll need to store and what features are most important to you.
Can’t I just use my web browser to store my passwords?
Browsers like Chrome and Safari will also store your financial information and passwords upon request. However, password managers offer additional features such as password reuse alerts and password sharing among multiple users. If you don’t feel extra services from a dedicated password manager are necessary, a web browser may suffice.
What is the best Chrome password manager?
Because Google Chrome is so popular, there are many password managers that are compatible and enhance the browser. Check out Sticky Password, LastPass, Keeper, EnPass and 1Password to see which service is the best fit for your needs.