Best Password Manager in 2020

By Jovan Milenkovic December 14, 2020

Passwords are everywhere. For every account you have on the internet – from food delivery to social media, and even the simple act of starting your computer – you’ll need a password. 

Many of us go for the simple ones such as ‘password1’ or ‘qwerty’, but these simply don’t stand up to any sort of scrutiny. What’s worse, many of us use the same password for multiple websites. However strong your password may be, if it is compromised once, it can be used to access multiple accounts, causing a complete catastrophe. 

What you need is the best password manager on the market to keep on top of your digital security. That’s because you should have multiple unique passwords that are incredibly strong, ideally more than 20 characters long. To remember all of those would require a photographic memory, and writing them all down leaves you exposed to losing them or having them stolen. 

The only realistic option is to use a password manager. Read on to examine our top picks and see which one is right for you.

  • Secure mobile app
  • Works seamlessly across platforms
  • High-end extra security features
  • No free version
Price $5.26/mo
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  • Excellent free version
  • Built for simplicity
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Price has skyrocketed recently
Price $3/mo
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  • Easy to use
  • Identity theft protection
  • VPN protection
  • Expensive if you don’t need extra features
Price $3.33/mo
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  • Excellent free version
  • Top-end security functions
  • Synchronizes across multiple platforms
  • Desktop version isn’t as strong
Price less than$1/mo
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  • Brilliant travel feature
  • Extra-secure Secret Key function
  • Great for Apple products
  • Not as great on Windows or Android
Price $2.99/mo
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1. Keeper

" Best password security "

  • Free plan:
    No
  • Password generator:
    12 characters
  • Supported platforms:
    Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS
  • Mobile pin unlock:
    No

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Secure mobile app
  • Works seamlessly across platforms
  • High-end extra security features
  • No free version

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Secure mobile app
  • Works seamlessly across platforms
  • High-end extra security features
  • No free version
  • Free plan:
    No
  • Password generator:
    12 characters
  • Supported platforms:
    Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS
  • Mobile pin unlock:
    No

First up on our list of top password managers is Keeper. Formed in 2009, this is one of the premier products for keeping your passwords safe. It uses cloud-based software to do so.

Indeed, Keeper offers perhaps the best password manager security on the market. Two-factor authentication is included, meaning any potential hacker would need physical access to your phone to break in. AES 256-bit encryption is used to save your data on your device, so even if Keeper’s servers were to be compromised, you’d remain protected. 

Keeper has also been successfully audited by System and Organization Controls (SOC), proving that its security measures are of the highest order. If you forget your master password, it can be recovered via a question and answer system where you form the questions yourself. We think this is a good compromise between security and practicality.

Keeper works across multiple devices and has a top-level mobile app. According to user reviews, it ranks as the best password manager for iPhone, while its Android app also fares well. 

Security is just as strong on the mobile app. It doesn’t let you use a pin number; instead you must enter your full password every time you open it. While this may be frustrating, it further confirms Keeper’s adherence to strict security principles. Alternatively, fingerprint and facial recognition can be used to access your account.

The app itself is highly functional, and while the interface could do with a facelift, you won’t have any issues using it. Unlimited passwords can be saved on unlimited devices across all of Keeper’s packages. 

Speaking of packages, Keeper’s best password manager software is available in three tiers for personal use. The basic package covers all of your password management needs, auto-generating passwords over an unlimited number of accounts and devices. This comes at a price of $34.99 per year, which is a reasonable deal. 

Extra features can be found if you upgrade to one of the higher-tier packages. The Plus bundle includes the password manager, dark web monitoring for your details, as well as secure file storage for $58.47 per year. You can upgrade to the Max bundle for $72.22 per year to receive all of these features as well as the Keeperchat function, which claims to be the most secure messaging app in the world. The messaging app’s privacy features help to make Keeper the best password manager for teams.

A family package covering five different users is also available across all of the packages for an extra, but not unreasonable charge. There are also business plans and a great discount for students.

The 30-day free trial gives you access to all of the features of the basic package. Should you choose not to purchase it, you can keep the free version, which will store and protect your passwords on one mobile device. 

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2. LastPass

" Best overall password manager "

  • Free Plan:
    Yes
  • Password generator:
    12 characters
  • Supported platforms:
    Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS
  • Mobile pin unlock:
    Yes

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Excellent free version
  • Built for simplicity
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Price has skyrocketed recently

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Excellent free version
  • Built for simplicity
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Price has skyrocketed recently
  • Free Plan:
    Yes
  • Password generator:
    12 characters
  • Supported platforms:
    Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS
  • Mobile pin unlock:
    Yes

LastPass is an industry leader and arguably the best password manager all-round. You’ll be able to get to grips with the program’s software very quickly. The interface is inviting, and you can quickly drag and drop the accounts that you want to be protected by LastPass. 

As the name suggests, once you sign up with LastPass, that’s the last time you’ll need to create a password. Choose a strong one when you sign up, and from that point onward it will be the only one you’ll ever need to remember. 

LastPass ticks all of our security boxes with flying colors, which is another reason why it’s one of the best safe password manager programs. This company uses local-only encryption to protect your information, meaning your password is only saved to your device. Not even LastPass has access to it, as it is not sent to the company’s servers. Multi-factor authentication is also used to log into your LastPass account, providing an extra blanket of security. 

LastPass is straightforward to use on both desktop and mobile, covering the standard operating systems: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux. It also scores bonus points for keeping the interface and usability consistent across all platforms. This means you can switch between your preferred methods of use seamlessly. You can use a pin to access the mobile app, which is more convenient but also more likely to be compromised than a complicated password.

Is this the best free password manager? We’d argue that it is, mainly because the free version of LastPass gives you an unlimited number of passwords on your devices. This is enough to cover the standard user who just wants to have their passwords covered and doesn’t want access to any extra security features. As well as this, you’ll receive 30-day access to the Premium version of the software for free.

The paid Premium version costs a respectable $36 per year and provides a plethora of features to help make it the best paid password manager. With this, you’ll receive 1 GB of secure online storage and dark web monitoring. Note that this costs only a dollar more than Keeper’s basic version yet contains the online storage and dark web monitoring found in Keeper’s higher-tier package. 

Until recently, this package cost just $12 per year. It’s price recently tripled, so watch out for any future price hikes. 

An extra $12 per year will give you all of these features for six members of your family, which represents great value. It’s often overlooked, but children are very susceptible to identity theft and are more likely to choose a simple password. By getting them onboard and teaching them how to use a password manager, you can protect them properly and educate them about internet security. So take the correct course of action and make sure you select the best password manager for a family. 

Overall, LastPass is a superb password manager that’s adorned with bonus features, making it an easy choice given its price.

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3. Dashlane

" Best all-in-one password manager "

  • Free plan:
    Yes
  • Password generator:
    16 characters
  • Supported platforms:
    Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS
  • Mobile pin unlock:
    Yes

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Easy to use
  • Identity theft protection
  • VPN protection
  • Expensive if you don’t need extra features

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Easy to use
  • Identity theft protection
  • VPN protection
  • Expensive if you don’t need extra features
  • Free plan:
    Yes
  • Password generator:
    16 characters
  • Supported platforms:
    Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS
  • Mobile pin unlock:
    Yes

If you’re looking for a password manager that packs a punch with its features, then you’ve found it with Dashlane. We’ll kick off by discussing its design, which is accessible and coherent. Have an elderly relative who could be susceptible to online fraudulence? Look no further – Dashlane is perhaps the best password manager for seniors. After a little bit of digging, you’ll find that even people with little technical knowledge can soon get to grips with Dashlane. 

Using Dashlane on a desktop device is simple, as the app gives you three options depending on how you wish to operate it. You can choose the Dashlane website, a browser extension, or the desktop app. The interface is consistent between the three, but most users will probably prefer to use the desktop app, as it offers the best overview of all the features included in Dashlane. We think you too will find that it provides the best desktop password manager experience

Similarly, the Dashlane mobile app is also highly functional. You’ll find that almost every feature of the desktop app is also included in the mobile app. Everything integrates seamlessly across all of your registered devices, even if the platform software is different. This is crucial, as it allows you to protect your laptop, desktop, mobile phone, tablet, and any work-related devices you might use regularly. Whether you’re using Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS, we think you’ll find Dashlane to be the best password manager for multiple devices.

Again, Dashlane ticks all of the boxes on the security front. The industry standard AES-256 bit encryption is used to protect your information, with your data only being unencrypted on your device once you’ve entered your password. Your password information is saved on Dashlane’s secure servers, defending it from any intruders.

The option of two-factor authentication is there, and we recommend that you use it to keep your account safe. Even the best encrypted password manager won’t be able to save you if someone gains access to your account, compromising all of your precious information in an instant. 

Dashlane provides three tiers of packages: Free, Premium, and Premium Plus. The free package can be of use to basic internet users, providing you with up to 50 passwords on one device, which is more than enough for most people. You’ll also get 30 days to test the Premium version to see if the upgrade is suitable for you. 

The cost of the Premium version is $59.99 per year, which is a steep jump compared to the competition. First, take into account that Dashlane has arguably the best password manager features. You’ll receive unlimited passwords on unlimited devices, as well as dark web monitoring, which is on par with competitors’ offers.

Where Dashlane excels is with its offer of a VPN. If you already have a strong, paid-for VPN, then it’s unlikely that this is worth going for, but if you’re on the hunt for one then we recommend that you at least give the Premium free trial a go to see how it fares. The overall plan costs around $25 more per year than the competition, which is a very good price for a VPN, so it balances out at the end of the day. 

Premium Plus is double the price at $119.99 a year. This adds identity theft protection to your package, including credit monitoring, recovery, and insurance. The extra cost of $60 per year compares well to the price of identity theft protection when purchased separately. 

Dashlane wins our badge for the best password manager for families. You can upgrade the Premium package to $89.99 per year or Premium Plus to $179.99 a year. This gives up to five family members access to Dashlane’s password manager and extra security features, keeping everyone safe online. 

Although the price is steeper than the competition, you should remember that protecting up to five people for only a 50% increase in cost is actually an incredible bargain that shouldn’t be sneezed at. If you’re looking for an all-encompassing internet security package, then Dashlane is the best secure password manager you can find. 

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4. Bitwarden

" Best free password manager "

  • Free plan: Yes
    Yes
  • Password generator:
    30+ characters
  • Supported platforms:
    Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS
  • Mobile pin unlock:
    Yes

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Excellent free version
  • Top-end security functions
  • Synchronizes across multiple platforms
  • Desktop version isn’t as strong

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Excellent free version
  • Top-end security functions
  • Synchronizes across multiple platforms
  • Desktop version isn’t as strong
  • Free plan: Yes
    Yes
  • Password generator:
    30+ characters
  • Supported platforms:
    Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS
  • Mobile pin unlock:
    Yes

Are you looking for sound internet security but on a strict budget? Then take a look at Bitwarden, a password manager that is tough on security measures but very easy on the wallet. 

Bitwarden is designed to be uncomplicated in its use, which you’ll notice off the bat during the installation process. You’ll be provided with the option of using either the web app or the downloadable desktop app depending on your preferences. It’s easy to navigate your way around and configure your preferred settings.

Bitwarden also matches up to the other best password manager programs with its security functions. It protects its users with 256-bit encryption, matching up to the standards of internet security companies. An extra touch of security is given with the  time-based one-time password algorithm, which offers further protection against intruders. 

Your password is also never sent to Bitwarden’s servers, so even if the company were to be hacked, you don’t need to break a sweat. There is also the useful function of automatic logouts if you don’t use your device for a period of time. You can alter this from one minute to four hours, giving you flexibility with how you operate.

Bitwarden wins our award for being the best free password manager of 2020. The free package includes the fundamental feature of any good password manager; you’ll get to sync an unlimited number of computer-generated passwords across all of your devices. You’ll also be able to self-host on a private server. To be honest, we couldn’t ask for much more given that this is a free version, as it matches up to some of the paid versions offered by competitors.

Bitwarden further cements its place as the best-rated password manager for people on a budget, as the paid version comes for just $10 a year. This is far more affordable than any other password manager out there. The paid package offers extra security features including a TOTP algorithm, 1 GB of encrypted file storage, and two-factor authentication, as well as reports on your internet security’s health. The family package comes in at a neat $40 per year and protects the passwords of up to six users. As well as that, families get priority customer support.

Just because it comes at a lower price than some competitors, don’t feel that Bitwarden cuts any corners when it comes to security. After having tested it, we can attest to its quality. Indeed, many other best password manager services had similar prices recently before abruptly increasing them. 

Bitwarden may lack some of the extra security features that other providers have, such as dark web monitoring, but if you don’t feel the need for this and simply want an affordable yet competent password manager, you can’t go wrong with Bitwarden.

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5. 1Password

" All-around best password manager "

  • Free plan:
    No
  • Password generator:
    Up to 64 characters
  • Supported platforms:
    Windows, Mac, iOS, Android. Linux, Chrome OS, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Darwin
  • Mobile pin unlock:
    Yes

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Brilliant travel feature
  • Extra-secure Secret Key function
  • Great for Apple products
  • Not as great on Windows or Android

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Brilliant travel feature
  • Extra-secure Secret Key function
  • Great for Apple products
  • Not as great on Windows or Android
  • Free plan:
    No
  • Password generator:
    Up to 64 characters
  • Supported platforms:
    Windows, Mac, iOS, Android. Linux, Chrome OS, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Darwin
  • Mobile pin unlock:
    Yes

Some Apple users may be familiar with 1Password, as it has long been considered the best password manager for Apple products. Nowadays it’s a password manager that functions to a high standard across a range of products. We’ll start off this review by saying that 1Password meets our requirements of having a clean interface, which is essential for user accessibility. The design is minimalist and down to earth, which suits some users, although others may prefer something more creative.

The interface is also excellent on mobile devices, and while the Android version is still slightly behind in its functionalities, 1Password is one of the best password managers for iOS. We would say, however, that the desktop version of 1Password is a step ahead in terms of its usefulness.

1Password applies stringent security measures to protect you and your accounts. This password manager uses industry-standard 256-bit encryption and also has a two-factor authentication option, which we recommend you enable. A unique, locally located Secret Key function is also provided, making 1Password one of the most secure password manager softwares there is. 

The 34-character Secret Key code is used in conjunction with your master password and allows you access to your account. This feature protects your data outside your devices, so even if someone were to hack 1Password’s servers, they still wouldn’t get access to your account.

One interesting feature that is unique to 1Password is Travel Mode. You can turn this on or off when traveling to prevent border security from snooping on your device and accounts. This is particularly useful if you tend to travel to countries with poor data protection laws, making it the best personal password manager for journalists and other traveling professionals. 

There is no free version of 1Password, which is a bit disappointing. Thankfully, you can get a 30-day free trial for both its personal and family packages. The individual plan costs a competitive $35.88 per year and includes all of the aforementioned features. 

Instead of a higher tier there’s the family package ($59.88/year), which appeals to parents who want to monitor or restrict what their children get up to online with some advanced protection features. Unlike some of the other best password managers, the family package also allows banking information and passwords to be shared among the family. Accounts for the other family members (up to five) can be recovered if someone is locked out, providing a handy safety mechanism that doesn’t tend to come with competitors’ offers. 

Overall, 1Password offers a couple of unique security features that merit taking a closer look at. It can be used across various platforms, but doesn’t feel quite as familiar with Android or Windows. Instead, it remains strong for iOS users, and as such is our recommendation as the best password manager for Mac and iPhone users.

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Methodology

With so many excellent password managers on the market, it can be difficult to work out which one meets your needs best. Many of the differences are small, so reading through each company’s offer can be a pain.

We wrote our best password manager review to simplify this process by giving you concise, relevant, and honest information. Before we get to the password managers themselves, we’ll give you a brief rundown of our methodology for selecting a strong password manager.

Local or Cloud-Based?

Password managers operate on two different systems: locally or on the cloud. Local-based password managers save, encrypt, and decrypt all of your passwords onto one device. Cloud-based password managers store your password information on the cloud so that it can be distributed between different devices.

If you only wish to have a password manager on your primary device, then local storage might be the option for you. However, if you want to have passwords managed over your whole network, then look out for some of the best cloud-based password manager systems.

Security

This is an obvious highlight to look out for. If security isn’t the password manager’s top priority, then the firm has no business looking after your passwords. Some things to look out for are 256-bit encryption and two-factor login authentication.

Check to see if the password manager saves your master password on its server, and if it does, check that there are measures in place to stop it from being stolen if the password manager is hacked. If there are security concerns with a certain company then you should look elsewhere, as it’s not the best password manager program.

Interface and Ease of Use

You want password managers to get the job done without wasting your time. This can be done by having a clean interface that is easy to navigate. If the average user has trouble making their way around an app, it’s not going to be an appropriate password manager for most subscribers.

Instead, you want something that does what it says on the tin without any fluff. Luckily, most software companies understand this. Although the intricacies of computer technology seem to get more complicated as each year passes, apps tend to become easier to operate for the standard user.

Extra Features

With many of the best password managers being very similar in their functionalities, you want to keep a keen eye out for some extra features that enhance the product. For instance, many have extra security layers, a VPN, or an extra-practical mobile app. Having these extra features gives the password manager an edge and allows the user to enjoy bonus services with their subscription.

Price

It’s only natural that you’d evaluate a product’s price compared to its competition. But of course, the dollar value on the bottom line isn’t everything. While the best password manager should be affordable, it doesn’t necessarily have to be dirt cheap, especially if that means sacrificing security or functionality.

If you’re hunting for a product with some bonus features that improve your overall experience, carefully examine what these features would cost if they were purchased independently from the password manager. This can be a great way to save money on services that you either want or need. A brief evaluation of this cost-benefit spread will allow you to decide if you’re getting a great deal by subscribing to the password manager.

Best Password Manager App

  1. Keeper
  2. LastPass
  3. Dashlane
  4. Bitwarden
  5. 1Password

FAQ

Can password managers be hacked?

At the end of the day, pretty much anything can theoretically be hacked, but a password manager is the safest way to look after your online accounts. Password management companies use strict security software to protect your passwords and information. Features such as 256-bit encryption and two-factor authentication help to protect your account. Many of them don’t even store your password on their servers, meaning that even if they were hacked, there’s no way that the hackers could obtain your passwords. Overall, a strong password manager is an almost surefire way to protect yourself online.

What is the best password manager app?

All of the password managers we’ve reviewed have intuitive interfaces and are easy to use on both desktop and mobile, which is why we recommend them to you. Going by reviews on both the Apple and Android stores, we can affirm that Keeper takes the award for its iOS app, while Dashlane and Bitlane are currently tied for the best Android password manager. However, we’d say that all of the apps we’ve tested are competent and there’s not a huge difference between them in a practical sense.

Are password managers worth it?

When it comes to internet security, we recommend that you take as many precautions as possible to help to ensure your safety. There are far too many privacy and identity theft breaches to keep track of, which is why we suggest that you install the best password manager of 2020 to combat this. These are relatively affordable given the insurance they provide you with. There are even some great free password managers such as Bitwarden for those who really don’t like to part with their hard-earned cash.

What is the safest password manager?

All of the password managers we’ve reviewed have strong security measures in place. However, the one that takes the prize for being the safest has to be Keeper. This company has been audited as being secure by the SOC and offers features such as requiring your full password instead of a PIN code for the mobile app.

What is the best password manager?

This is a hard call to make, as most password managers provide the same functions. When comparing practical features to the price, we consider LastPass to be the best all-rounder. It’s simple to use, highly secure, and has some excellent features. The free version is great, and the paid version’s price is competitive for what you receive.