- Strong security features
- Password generator
- Excellent free-forever version
- Attractive price
- Easy to use
- Doesn't work on Safari
- Not open source
- Limited data types
NordPass might be the new kid on the block, but having been created by the experienced team behind NordVPN, this password manager shows a lot of potential. It offers a simple way to save all passwords, personal notes, and credit card details, securing everything with the encryption method of the future: XChaCha20. Of course, this is not where the security features end. Due to its experience in the VPN industry, NordPass developers know well the dangers lurking all over the internet. Because of this, all users enjoy a zero-knowledge architecture, which makes it impossible for anyone to gain access to information saved in their vault. NordPass comes with a password generator that goes up to 60 characters, an autofill, and an auto-save. It's available for desktop and mobile, offering synchronization among devices through a secure connection. All features are available for free forever, although a premium account is required to have NordPass working on multiple devices. The price starts at $2.49 per month, and users enjoy a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
NordPass has a minimalistic interface that makes it very easy to use. There are three different entries that users can add to their vaults: passwords, personal notes, and credit card details. Each one has its own category, and it's possible to scroll through the different tabs for easy access. It's not possible to add tags, though. It's therefore impossible to aggregate passwords by type, such as social media credentials, email accounts, etc. Nevertheless, there's a search bar on the program’s top left that users can use to find information faster.
Adding new entries is a breeze and just takes a few seconds, but some details could be improved. One of them is the password generator, which is way too difficult to find. Instead of being near the password field, users need to right-click on the icon near the Windows clock or go to the browser extension to create a random and secure password.
Users who don't like to spend time copying and pasting passwords will be happy to know that NordPass offers auto-save and autofill. If the browser extension is installed, every time a user logs into a website a popup will appear asking if they want to save the login details. If the user accepts, a new entry in the vault is automatically created, storing the username, password, and website. The next time the user tries to log into the site, NordPass will show the saved credentials, and with one click everything will be ready for the user to access the website.
The password generator works the same way. While creating a new account, NordPass will suggest a strong password when you reach the password field. Through this method, the keys have 15 characters and are composed of lower and upper case, digits, and special characters. However, users unhappy with the strength of these passwords can use the password generator feature, which goes up to 60 characters.
Premium users can share entries with other NordPass accounts, even if they’re freemiums. Information is sent through an end-to-end encrypted connection, ensuring that nobody is able to get a glimpse of the sensitive data being sent.
Apps and Browser Extensions
Since the browser extension and the desktop app work so closely together, using the former is a must to get the full extent of NordPass. It's available for Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, and Opera. Of course, it also works on other Chromium-based browsers such as Brave or Avast Secure Browser. However, Safari is out of the equation. Because of this, even if there is a macOS app, NordPass just won't work as well for users who prefer the Apple browser.
On mobile, NordPass is available for Android and iOS. Like the desktop software, NordPass mobile apps are free to use forever. The interface is not as good looking, though. It maintains the minimalistic interface, but it feels a bit outdated due to the design. Using the app is the same as using the software, as it has almost the same features, like autofill and import. However, the password generator was left out, which is a disappointment. Security-wise, besides the two-factor authentication users can use their fingerprint to unlock the software. Furthermore, the blocking of screenshots while the app is open is enabled by default.
It's always refreshing to find software that is as easy to set up and work with as NordPass. Creating an account is straightforward: users just need to add an email, confirm the account, insert a password, and that's it. Afterward, NordPass logs in and prompts its users to download the desktop app.
After installing the app and logging in, the two-step factor authentication is already in place – users get a six-digit code in their email that they need to insert into the app. For first-time users, NordPass prompts them to add a master password right away and add the extension for the browsers installed on the computer.
The software is now ready to start saving passwords. Existing users of a different password manager or browser can import all their keys directly. Even if the previously used app cannot be found in NordPass list, it's possible to import everything through a CSV file.
Security and Privacy
Created by the team behind NordVPN, it's a no-brainer that special care was given to security and privacy. NordPass uses one of the most recent encryption algorithms on the market – XChaCha20. It's used to encrypt users' password vaults, supporting 256-bit encryption. It's considered to be the encryption algorithm of the future because it's faster and safer than the standard AES, with companies like Google and CloudFlare already using it.
While passwords are encrypted end-to-end when they're sent to NordPass servers or synced through all users' devices, NordPass still goes a step further to ensure that even if they're hacked, nobody can get access to your sensitive data. By applying a zero-knowledge architecture, NordPass can keep proof that users have inserted the correct master password, but don't actually get the key itself. Everything is decrypted locally, and not even NordPass employees have access to the content in your account.
However, what happens if someone steals your device and has access to your master password? In this case, they'll still have a hard time logging into your account due to the two-factor authentication and biometric authentication.
NordPass really puts effort into making everything easy to understand, and the pricing options are no different. There are two different account types – free and premium. The only difference between them is the number of devices users can use to sync their passwords. Yes, you read that right. Unlike most companies in the password management business, NordPass offers the full array of features completely for free with unlimited passwords, personal notes, and credit card entries. The only limit NordPass seems to impose is that the free account can be used on one device only.
Of course, it's possible to create multiple accounts and add the password to all of them when a new key is created. However, this process may become tiresome over time, and since prices are so low, you'll see yourself quickly upgrading to the paid plan. The premium account works on up to six devices simultaneously and includes secure password sharing. Prices start at $2.49 per month with a two-year subscription, but it's also possible to get a yearly billing cycle – $2.99 per month – or a monthly plan for $4.99. Users can still enjoy a seven-day free trial to test the premium features, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The NordPass customer support team works around the clock to ensure you get answers to your questions 24/7. It doesn't have a live chat, though. Instead, users are invited to get in touch by email. However, with the amount of content the FAQ offers, speaking with customer support is not something that will be needed very often. It contains guides on how to install and use NordPass on all compatible systems, information about all features, basic troubleshooting, and some entries about billing. Social Media advocates can also reach customer support through Twitter or Facebook. There's a YouTube channel as well, but for now it only has a video with an introduction to the product.
There's no question that NordPass came to shake the password management industry. Unlike most of its competitors, NordPass offers a free account with very few limitations. Furthermore, as expected from a team that created one of the most praised VPNs of all time, significant focus was given to security. Everything is encrypted end-to-end, and the zero-knowledge architecture ensures that no one can get access to the data saved in your vault. Although the available data types are limited, and the password generator isn't built into the software, NordPass is a reliable password manager to use, especially if you're looking for a free option. Still, getting the premium account is required for those who want to synchronize passwords through various devices. Prices start at $2.49 per month, with seven days to test the premium plan for free, and an extra 30 days to get a full refund, no questions asked.
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|Editor's Choice 2020|