Due to the ever-growing number of hacking attempts and the constant data leaks involving major companies like Google, internet users are paying more and more attention to keeping account credentials as safe as possible by implementing strong passwords. However, memorizing tens if not hundreds of different logins for each account is humanly impossible, especially if they are as complex as then need to be for proper security. Password managers help recall any login details – among other things – but since their most important features are basically all the same, picking the right software can be tough even for the most informed users.
With our side-by-side comparisons, however, making that decision will be just as easy as using the chosen software itself. These pages offer more than just a helpful feature comparison chart, though, since they also reveal crucial information about costs, free solutions, and features to look for, therefore aiding you in making the best possible choice for your needs.
|Free Versions||Free Versions||Free Versions||Free Versions|
|Import Browser Data|
|Import Competitor Data|
|Security and Privacy Features|
|Mobile App Pin Unlock|
|Features of the Free Version|
|Price||$3.33/mo ($39.99/yr)||$2.99/mo||$1.66 ($119.40/5 yrs)|
|Free Trial||No||30 days|
|Money Back Guarantee||30 days||30 days|
|Available Payment Methods|
Comparing Your Options
There are plenty of methods for storing passwords and other important data, but none are anywhere near as safe and convenient as using a password manager. Granted, there are plenty of people who have successfully developed a method to come up with strong yet memorable passwords, but the average user has to remember tens if not hundreds of logins and so this approach is destined to fail at some point.
Keeping credentials in a spreadsheet or a password logbook is a little better – since just remembering passwords isn’t a requirement – but they are far from convenient because of the need to update them manually, not to mention how they can be destroyed by general wear or accidents. Then there are in-built browser password managers, the worst of the lot since through these users can easily fall victim to hacking attempts.
As such, the safest choice is a password manager, with either commercial or open-source suites being equally good options. Although these tools aren’t infallible since their most convenient feature – the browser add-on – is something of a weak link, they still combine the handiness of a password logbook with much greater security.
In fact, due to the bank-level encryption of any stored data, password managers are the perfect pick for average users as anything entered into the program’s appropriately named vault is protected against anyone that doesn’t have the master password, the secret key that gives access to the app. This master password is the only detail that you will have to memorize as password managers will automatically find any previously stored login data and insert it into the corresponding boxes on the visited website via their browser extensions. And the prices of password managers don’t need to be a worry, either, since these programs cost only $20-$40 a year.
Checklist of Must-Have Features
Thankfully the market is full of terrific password managers, many of which come with advanced features to ensure maintaining your most sacred data is as convenient as possible. However, as much as those extras are useful, it’s smart to base your decision on the core features, the sort of functions that are a must when getting hold of a password manager.
For starters, a decent password manager should first and foremost have unlimited storage for credentials and be available for at least the major platforms Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. And since data will be shared across devices, the chosen password manager should preferably encrypt data at a local level because this ensures that your details are made incomprehensible to potential hackers before they enter the cloud or whenever it’s recalled as part of the browser add-on. Speaking of which, such a browser extension isn’t necessary, but it is highly convenient as it speeds up the login process and will import credentials from browsers, CSV files, and even the database of other unused password managers.
Aside from these crucial features, there is one thing that also needs to be decided before opting for any given solution: how many people will intend to use it. In this regard it’s worth knowing that although only a handful of password management companies provide family or team versions of their software.
While there is admittedly always the option to purchase individual licenses one by one, family or team password management software includes multiple licenses at a discounted price. In addition to that, these multiuser versions come with features not present in the equivalent personal license, with functions like unlimited sharing of credentials across devices and accounts or the option to designate a user to monitor all vaults.
Pricing of Password Manager Apps
Although most password manager companies offer a free version of their products – of which we’ll talk about in detail soon – opting for the paid password management solution doesn’t cost a fortune either. However, these cost-friendly prices aren’t as simple as you’d hope because in almost every case the services are actually paid for as part of an annual subscription. The amounts advertised for these services are typically the monthly price and so should be multiplied by twelve to get the true cost – though it is still quite a fair deal considering it’s for the safeguarding of your most precious data.
However, annual subscriptions aren’t the only pricing structures available with password management companies. Quite often there is an option to subscribe for a longer period – from two to five years – that requires a bigger lump sum payment but comes with a nice discount. And then there is the opposite end of the scale with software available as a lifetime license, allowing customers to enjoy all the features of the software without any restrictions for as long as they wish.
Note, however, that typically there is protection against any purchase, allowing you to make the most of a 30-day money-back guarantee to help you jump into any given password management tool to test its full feature set without risk.
Free Password Manager Apps
The good news is that that there are plenty of ways to store and protect passwords and other types of credentials without paying a single dime. However, this should never be through the built-in password managers of the best-known browsers, because no matter how convenient they may seem, they are extremely risky since they can be easily compromised. In fact, just remembering passwords yourself or jotting them down into a password logbook is better than entrusting highly sensitive data to browser password managers.
Thankfully, there are many free password management solutions that combine convenience with outstanding data security. Firstly, there is the option to use open-source solutions that admittedly do require users to monitor and often patch errors for themselves but can be just as good if not better than the free versions of commercial password managers.
But those free versions shouldn’t be underestimated, either, as they at least come with the core features of their paid counterparts, perfect for giving you a taste of what the software is capable of. However, these free versions do suffer from limitations, often lacking important features like syncing across devices, the safe sharing of passwords with other users, or even unlimited storage for your credentials.
The only way to unlock these features is to pay for the software, but at least these solutions can be tested for free via a money-back guarantee that ensures your money is refunded within a certain period of time if you’re unconvinced by the full package.
Side-by-Side Comparisons and Reviews
Password managers come in all shapes and forms, but at their very core they all provide the same necessary features that password management solutions are known for. And because they are all pretty much alike with the exception of their different appearances and secondary functions, choosing a suitable software can be a challenge.
However, it doesn’t need to be too difficult to come to a conclusion. Our detailed password manager reviews pinpoint every important facet of any a particular product, including specialties that you may take a liking to. Then there are our side-by-side comparison articles where either two similar or entirely different solutions are put against one another. These are the ultimate test, since after reading you’ll surely have either confirmed your expectations of a product or discovered a new, even more appealing solution to try.
- 1Password vs RememBear Comparison
- Dashlane vs 1Password Comparison
- Dashlane vs RoboForm Comparison
- Dashlane vs Sticky Password Comparison
- F-Secure KEY vs Dashlane Comparison
- KeePass vs Bitwarden Comparison
- Keeper vs 1Password Comparison
- LastPass vs 1Password Comparison
- LastPass vs Dashlane Comparison
- RememBear vs Dashlane Comparison