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5 Best Password Managers in 2019
Keeping our data safe has been popular since we were kids – we used padlocks to protect our drawers, diaries, and boxes, and we were the only ones who had the key. That exists now, but the key has been transformed into the code.Nowadays, our data is stored on computers and phones, our money is found on plastic cards, and all that is protected with a mixture of digits and letters known only by us. And how come there are so many hacking attacks and virtual thefts, you might be wondering? When crafting a password, many people go for date of birth, 12345, their name and last name, or any combination that’s easy to be guessed. In that way, someone who knows some basic info about yourself can easily break into your small (or broad) virtual world. On the other hand, many users find it annoying to think about a different password any time they open a new account, and when they’re trying to be crafty and create an encryption-alike combination, they often end up clicking I forgot my password. Although the password world might look like an endless circle, there is a way of making things more approachable – a password manager. Accordingly, you can create a list of random alphanumeric symbols, and you won’t have to store it to your little gray cells – the algorithm will do it instead. So, let’s learn more about this handy program, its features, and the most prominent software you can choose.
Why Choosing a Password Manager?
Many of us often choose a simple browser password manager when it comes to remembering multiple logins.Still, it’s not the safest solution, especially if you’re using it for saving the passcode for your banking, or similar activities. Why? Web browsers are usually concentrated on improving some other components, and their focus is not on password managers. Most of them won’t be able to generate long passwords, and they will get you back at 12345 – hence, it’s not the safest option.
To help you understand it better, let's go through the features of the best password manager – that way, you'll have a broader image of its importance and usefulness.
The Features of the Best Password Manager
This handy tool stores, generates, and updates the passwords of all your accounts in a couple of clicks. Most of the best password managers are cost-effective, and they make your everyday password journey more comfortable.And here are the four essential advantages of using it:
1. You’ll Need to Remember Only One Password
Instead of trying to remember all your passwords and writing them down on pieces of paper, you’ll need to remember only one that will protect your realm. However, that one needs to be strong and unique as well.
2. They’ll Help You Generate More Secure Passwords
The "rule" of creating passwords says that you should never put the same password for multiple accounts. In a contemporary era where hackers can break into almost any system, it won't be difficult for them to set foot into your accounts protected with your birthdate.With a password manager, you'll be able to generate more secure passwords that consist of random numbers and letters – that way, you're building a safer environment for your virtual space.
3. Get Notified On Your Compromised Passwords
Most password manager software will notify you in case something suspicious is going on with your password.For instance, if the website where you have an account is breached, and your password potentially becomes compromised, you'll be able to change it quickly. Besides, the manager will go through your passwords to make sure you didn't reuse any compromised codes.
4. You Can Disable Auto-Fill
Even though it’s pretty convenient when password managers automatically fill in the forms, it is not a recommended venture.Auto-fill makes the password manager potentially vulnerable, and some of the software gives you the option where you can turn off this feature, which is suggested for additional security.
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What is the Best Password Manager in 2019?
Now that the importance of using a password manager is quite clear let's jump into the world of the best software you can find nowadays.
1. LastPass – The Best Free Password Manager
LastPass offers both free and paid version ($24.00 per year), and it represents quite an enhanced password manager. It captures your credentials whenever you log in to a secure site, and it "rewrites" them when you visit the website again. Besides, when creating a new account, or decide to update a weak password, LastPass will offer to generate a new, stronger password for you.
- Two-factor authentication: LastPass makes sure nobody can open your vault knowing only the master password. It supports multiple authentication apps, and most of them are designed to be used on a smartphone (both Android and iOS).
- Password inheritance, secure sharing, an actionable password strength report, and automated password changing: These four features are essential for any password vault, and they are present in LastPass free version. With them, you can be sure that your logins are safe and up-to-date.
- Store 13 types of personal data: The free plan allows you to store even 13 types of data, such as driving license, passports, social security numbers, etc.
- Lack of new interface in Opera and Internet Explorer: Many users complain about the old version of LastPass that appears on Opera and IE.
- Offers some dated features: Again, in many users' opinion, LastPass comes with some unnecessary features, like defining if a particular URL requires Host Matching and Port Matching. The truth is, many people don't exactly know what that means.
2. Dashlane – The Most Secure Password Manager ($59.88)
Dashlane is another password manager that you can use at no charge. Unlike the free version of LastPass, that offers a wide range of features, Dashlane limits you to using it on one device only, without an opportunity to sync with your smartphone or tablet. Still, a paid version brings a plethora of innovative and excellent options that will ensure your passwords are stored in the right place.
- VPN included: VPN adds a layer of security to your web browsing, especially when you're connected to the unsecured, public Wi-Fi. You can enable it by clicking on the VPN menu and selecting Settings – you can easily connect or disconnect from the same list.
- Dark Web Scan feature: Dashlane includes a Dark Web scan that checks if your e-mail address has appeared in any data breaches. If something suspicious found, you’ll receive the alert, and you can change the password after that. However, if you’ve already changed your password after the breach, no further action will be required.
- Online shopping receipt capture: When shopping online, Dashlane will offer to capture the receipt for transaction in case you need it for later. You’ll be able to have an insight into the list of receipts and their details right from the main dashboard.
- Limited VPN options: Dashlane comes with pretty simplified VPN, which doesn't allow you to change the server location, configure the protocol, or access it automatically after the lost connection. Besides, the VPN is included to Premium and Premium Plus plans only.
- Pricey: Many users, especially those who already have a VPN connection, find Dashlane too expensive.
3. 1Password – The Best Password Manager for Mac ($35.88)
If you’re looking for the password saver that will be compatible with both Windows and MacOS, then 1Password will be a great solution for you. It doesn’t offer a free plan, but you can use it 30 days at no charge and see whether you are satisfied with the feature it’s offering. It also comes with top-notch authentication features, such as fingerprint reader and FaceID.
- Broad compatibility: 1Password is compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Edge. So, it’s practical for almost every user.
- Account Key: This feature represents a key which is a string of 34 letters and digits divided with hyphens into seven blocks of varying size. Any time you add a new device, or browser extension, you’ll need to enter this key.
- Watchtower: This feature is similar to a Dashlane’s Dark Web Scan – Watchtower warns you of potential compromised passwords and flags all the entries where you’ve disabled a two-factor authentication.
- Not compatible with Internet Explorer: Although it offers a wide range of compatibility, it still doesn’t support Internet Explorer.
- Demanding data import: 1Password allows you to import data from LastPass, and similar password programs, but if you're trying to import data from a browser password saver, you'll need to export them first as a CSV file, which can be a time-consuming activity.
4. True Key by McAfee – The Best Password Manager App ($19.99)
True Key is another way to sign into your accounts without having to enter the password. Since it’s a product of one of the most famous antivirus software developers, McAfee, you won’t have to worry about security – True Key uses AES-256 encryption standard, which is one of the most robust algorithms available. It works perfectly on desktops and smartphones.
- Multi-authentication options: True Key doesn’t require a master password to sign in. Instead, you can use unique features that include fingerprint recognition, FaceID, or your device from which you can confirm your identity.
- Top-notch security: In case you lose your mobile device, you can be sure that nobody can access your accounts. In fact, McAfee won’t let you (or anyone else) reset the master password, and it will unlock your account only if you’ve provided enough authentication factors.
- Free version available: You can download a True Key for free – you can enjoy the full feature set and sync across all your devices, but you’ll be limited to 15 passwords (which is not bad at all). However, you can always upgrade to Premium if you need more space.
- No password inheritance, automatic change, and password sharing: Unfortunately, True Key lacks some basic features regarding password management. That way, you won't be able to categorize, tag, or group your saved logins.
- Lack of Internet Explorer and Safari support: True Key doesn’t support Internet Explorer on Windows and Safari on Mac – so, you’ll have to choose between Edge, Firefox or Chrome.
5. RoboForm – The Best Password Manager for Business ($23.88)
If you want to enjoy a full package of features for business, have a look at RoboForm. It syncs across almost all devices and browsers and helps your company organize logins, generate passwords, and share them more easily. You can go for a 14-day free trial if you want to explore the features first, and you can cancel anytime.
- Security Center feature: Once your passwords have been stored, Security Center will make a list of them, highlighting the weak ones, the reused ones, and total duplicates. In that way, you’ll have a wider picture of your logins.
- Emergency Access: In case something happens, and you’re not able to access your accounts, the Emergency Access can solve that. You can enter the emergency contact’s e-mail address and specify a time-out period (30 days, for instance), and that person will receive the e-mail with a following link and instructions.
- Secure Sharing: RoboForm allows you to share individual passwords. For example, if you change a password you shared with your employees, the changes will sync to them.
- Poor two-factor authentication features: Unlike its competitors, who offer a wide range of two-factor authentication features, RoboForm offers a fingerprint reader which only works with Windows Biometric Framework device, mostly unused by people.
- Confusing user interface: The new version of RoboForm brings an innovative user interface, which is, according to many people, quite complicated.