- Simple, straightforward downloadable manager
- Data sync between devices
- Flawless data import (browsers)
- Password Changer
- Advanced iOS/Android app
- Cheap premium service
- Limited free version
- Manual import from other password managers
Responsible internet users know that using multiple strong passwords is the best way to protect yourself on the internet; however, keeping all those passwords in your head or even written down on paper or in a document isn’t exactly convenient. Thankfully password managers come to the rescue, including Dashlane, which can be used for free but also bundles in a number of extras for an insignificant monthly fee.
Dashlane is a multi-device program with which you can securely store all your passwords in bank-level encrypted cloud storage or on the device the program is installed on. Dashlane also sports some unique features like the Password Changer, a password generator, a password strength evaluation tool, secure data sharing, and syncing – all of which help achieve complete protection when surfing the web. And we haven’t even mentioned the stellar mobile app, the various authentication methods, continuous security monitoring, and the unlimited data and password storage…
Video Introduction to Dashlane
The browser version of Dashlane’s password manager is limited to providing access to the most necessary information in a more or less editable format. Its complete capabilities and full potential are unlocked in the downloadable desktop app available for various platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux and Chromebook. Once the simple and straightforward program is installed and the master password is provided, it instantly taps into previously installed browsers to automatically collect existing credentials and save any necessary data when creating a new account. Additionally, the process can be repeated any time, with the addition of manually importing CSV files and data from five other password managers (including LastPass and 1Password). When it comes to logging into websites, however, the program offers two choices: either an auto-fill option that displays Dashlane’s logo in the fields, or a toggle-able auto login feature that can be selected for certain – or even all – websites saved on the program. And as a nice addition, all account credentials can be exported to Dashlane’s archive or a strictly read-only Excel/CSV file, too.
Dashlane has three very distinct categories: the first is “Wallet” where all your personal data and information regarding ID cards, credit cards, PayPal account and the like are stored, and is also where receipts of your online purchases are created and kept. “Contacts”, as you might expect, is where encrypted passwords are shared with others – also useful in case of emergencies.
Then there is the primary category – “Password Manager” – where secure notes are stored alongside passwords. Paid subscribers will have these automatically synced with the added option of doing the process manually without the involvement of Dashlane’s cloud service. Any data here can be searched and ordered in alphabetical order or according to various categories, which is especially helpful when looking to maintain the password collection. By double clicking on an entry within this section, the password can be quickly shared, edited, its associated website opened, or even have its password history displayed. As a nice addition, Dashlane places visual warnings in case the saved credential lacks either a username or an email address associated to the password in question.
For a detailed password analysis, though, you need to visit the “Security Dashboard” tab where the strength of each password is highlighted. Here weaker passwords can be replaced – even those created with the program’s own password generator – by going to each website via the software and manually changing the necessary details. This can be avoided by using Dashlane’s super quick and effective Password Changer, which automatically updates your password for selected websites without having to actually visit the website. Not all websites and online services currently support functionalities like Dashlane’s Password Changer, though the share of websites supporting this is growing rapidly.
Apps and Browser Extensions
Dashlane seamlessly integrates into various web browsers, including third party programs like Chrome and Firefox or default browsers like Internet Explorer, Safari, and Microsoft Edge. In fact, the Edge extension is independent from the desktop app, meaning that it’s able to give access to the browser version of Dashlane without the need to launch the desktop app. However, in order to properly save and store login information, Dashlane always requires the installation of a browser extension. This add-on, which is the same in all browsers, only displays the most necessary data from your account’s Password Manager tab: web pages with account credentials, the option to save login information from the site you are on and the password generator. Additionally, it is possible to access the Password Changer, the security dashboard, your password history, and the Help Center, too.
Although the iOS and Android-compatible app doesn’t serve as an authenticator, it is something to celebrate: it includes everything that the desktop software has, serves as an authentication tool to register Dashlane on other devices and allows users to log into the app with a PIN number or even a fingerprint. The application even provides the option to auto-login into the phone’s compatible apps, plus it has its own in-built web browser that can replace the default one and automatically save login credentials to Dashlane’s cloud storage. To top it all, Dashlane’s mobile version is incredibly secure, too: not only can it be locked as already discussed – and with the master password, of course – but by default it also prevents others from taking screenshots while the app is in use.
Using Dashlane for the first time is a piece of cake. The software automatically starts downloading and installing to the default program folder on your computer, after which a valid email address and a master password is all that are required to start importing various account credentials from both your browser and various devices. Thankfully the import is fully automated when the desktop software or app is first launched, but even after the first batch of passwords are safely stored adding new ones into the software remains pretty simple, too. This is courtesy of a number of smart tools: the Dashlane add-on that automatically integrates into your browser; the mobile app that basically provides just as much as the desktop version; and the app’s own browser that stores account credentials without any major intervention from the user.
Admittedly the setup process is far from ideal since Dashlane only works flawlessly with web browsers and its own tools. This means that importing data from the five other password managers can cause a few problems: since directly importing is not supported, passwords need to be exported from your previous password manager first and then be imported into Dashlane. As for files not created by a password manager, Dashlane can only import login credentials when they’re in a generic CSV format – which is odd considering that the program is capable of exporting your passwords as a simple Excel file too.
Security and Privacy
Dashlane takes user security and privacy very seriously, which is proven by several facts – primary among them being the U.S. patent the company filed for its extra safe security architecture. The most important security feature – aside from storing everything in the cloud – is the AES-256 bank-level encryption Dashlane uses, with which it is ensured that your master password and passwords gathered from other sites are only known and can be modified by you and nobody else. In fact, the only way for others to see your passwords are if you choose to share them via the sharing feature that further encrypts each of your account credentials before sending them out to the designated person.
Additionally, Dashlane evaluates each of your passwords and warns of any that have to be replaced by a stronger password, which can be done manually or via the software’s own password generator or Password Changer tool. The program and the app can only be accessed from devices that are authenticated, while the two-step authentication adds an extra level of security by requiring the master password and either a PIN code sent by email or the use of a secondary authenticator (Google Authenticator or U2F YubiKeys). As a nice extra Dashlane continuously monitors each and every site where passwords have been saved, and immediately presents a warning if those websites have been compromised.
It’s not enough that Dashlane provides many useful features to securely store your passwords, it also offers its services for modest prices too – both for its personal and business users. Even the free forever version contains the core features like unlimited password and data storage, security monitoring and alerts, the password generator, and so on. Not to mention the first 30 days of use entitles you to enjoy all the features provided by the pay-only Premium subscription without restrictions. These features include password syncing on multiple devices, online backup, unlimited password sharing, VIP support and the two-step authentication.
Dashlane Premium is only $39.99 per year ($3.33 per month), but if you choose either the three- or five-year plan you can save up to 25% depending on which you choose, paying as low as $2.50 per month. But no matter which subscription plan is picked, Dashlane provides a 30-day prorated money back guarantee on the premium version as well as a $20 coupon reward as part of its refer a friend promotion.
Additionally, there is Dashlane Business that costs $4 per month per user and provides such extras as an admin console, unlimited password sharing and, a customer success manager if the number of employees exceeds 50.
Although it’s not a 24/7 service and it lacks support via phone, Dashlane’s customer support is pretty decent – and, as a nice extra, is available in French and Spanish as well. Aside from the live chat, the main source of support is a highly detailed FAQ where all information regarding the use of the software and app can be found. Additionally, customers can visit the company’s YouTube channel for tutorials, read online security and company related articles on the blog or contact the staff directly via Dashlane’s regularly updated Twitter account. As for the email support (via an inquiry form), it is mostly reserved for Premium subscribers – since they receive quicker responses than those who don’t pay.
Dashlane is one of the best password managers on the market and after our thorough testing there can be no doubts about that. Although there are some criticisms – such as the free version being a little limited and the importing of passwords being far from perfect – Dashlane still manages to easily compensate for these mistakes with plenty of advantages.
With the simple and straightforward desktop client all your passwords can be managed with ease across multiple platforms or even have new ones generated for yourself. The bank-level encryption ensures protection for all data entered into Dashlane’s cloud storage, while the advanced application further secures your passwords with its various authentication features. Additionally, there is the unique Password Changer feature that automatically changes weak passwords to secure ones on selected sites. But the best thing is that all the extra Premium features are available in the subscription that actually costs a very insignificant amount of money per month. In other words, Dashlane is a more than affordable and convenient means of full-on password protection.