Password managers are fast becoming an essential application for everyone to have. It’s quite a no-brainer. Have you ever considered how many open and active accounts you have? It is incredible how many passwords you have to remember every time you need to do something. Think about it: You have to secure your emails, your social media accounts, your devices, and your work accounts. Moreover, why do we have to remember all these passwords again? For security reasons.
Having to remember passwords for all the accounts we have ever created is a truly daunting task. That’s where password management tools come in. Since passwords preserve our privacy, it only makes sense that we should also protect the privacy of our passwords.
Recent history has taught us quite painfully that our privacy, our identities, and our money can quickly be stolen if we do not secure our accounts. Large companies and corporations are not safe, either. As computing power increases, the risk to our secure accounts has also increased. More intrusion and hacking attempts occur daily, and many people’s accounts are compromised. For example, a brute force attack on your accounts can run through thousands of potential passwords combinations per second. This fact is both scary and mind-blowing.
Password Management Tools
To prevent such attacks on any of your accounts, you need to use strong passwords. Modern applications with security checks require your passwords to meet an extensive list of rules. Many companies are adopting mandatory requirements that must be met for a password to be accepted. Passwords for these types of applications must incorporate complex characters. They might also require you to alternate between lower and upper case letters. Moreover, your password will also have to be lengthy, with a specified minimum number of characters.
All these checks and balances leave people with the problem of having to remember multiple complex passwords all the time. Numerous passwords can seriously test any person’s memory. No matter how good your memory is, you may have to find somewhere to store your various passwords.
In this article, we are going to look at six different password managers. We will also look at their distinctive features and capabilities. We will explore everything that makes these password managers stand out in the security market in 2019. They are not in any particular order. You should, however, note that each password manager is about as capable as the next.
Let’s start with a password manager that doesn’t have so many bells and whistles. The Keeper Security Password manager isn’t as fanciful as you’d expect, and this is quite a massive win for them. Behind this cloak lies one of the most secure password management tools in the current security market. Let’s look at some of its features and why it’s included as number one in our list of best password management tools.
Keeper Security employs the industry-standard 256-bit AES encryption in its software. They also give you extra security through PBKDF2 encryption, whose vital purpose is key generation. As with most other password managers, you also create a unique master password for this application. Keeper Security does not store this master password with your other security credentials. Keeper Security also provides you with another standard industry offering: 2-Factor Authentication.
Keeper Security never encrypts your data at an external server. While servers are usually secure, having a system that relies on external resources increases the risk to your data. Keeper Security implements a Zero-Memory Security System. This system works by ensuring all encryption occurs locally on your device. By keeping this encryption in one place, you are safe from any security incident that may otherwise affect an external server or system.
Keeper DNA is an internal system that Keeper Security uses to perform authentication. Authentication is necessary and is usually the first level of security. Keeper DNA allows you to use other devices to verify yourself or another user. You can use your smartphone or any other smart device to authenticate. Confirming a user’s identity relies on what they input in these other smart devices.
It is important to back up your essential files and documents. Keeper Security offers Cloud Backup as a product. Backup synchronization between your devices and the cloud is quite smooth. It also comes in very handy in case of an intrusive attack on your local system. Data stored in the cloud remains encrypted. There is no chance of another user finding it useful even if they manage to access it.
Keeper Security also offers other impressive features we’ve listed below:
- Random password generation: Keeper Security achieves this by using cryptographically secure numbers.
- Keeper Security has centralized password management for both group and individual users.
- Keeper Security provides live support for premium clients
- You can share files documents stored in their vaults. This vault stores other types of information which doesn’t necessarily have to be passwords.
Keeper has a free trial period for people who want to test out their products and services. They also have three other plans:
This plan costs $29.99 per year. You get unlimited password storage on an unlimited number of device linkages. You also get support and cloud backup.
This plan costs $59.99 for five users every year. It includes 5GB of storage and fingerprint authentication. You also enjoy all the benefits of the individual package.
The number of users can be as many as you wish, but each will have to pay $30 every year. You get an admin panel, role-based access control, auditing, reporting, and more.
Dashlane is generally regarded as the best password manager in the market today. Based on the quality of their products and their security structure, We’d say Dashlane offers a very robust product to the market. Let’s look at Dashlane’s features and functionality.
Most password managers have strong security, but Dashlane takes it one step further. They have anchored their security system on simplicity. Simplicity ensures very little chance of breaching. All their security measures are what you’d expect. They offer 2-Factor Authentication, secure algorithms, and local storage of your master password. Also, the steps Dashlane takes to make user authentication safe are top of the range. A hacker would find it difficult to gain access to your Dashlane account. If getting your master password won’t already be hard enough, they would also need your email address or device to break your security. We can assure you, this system is next-to-impossible to breach.
Ease of use and support
The Dashlane interface is pretty straightforward. You’ll have pointers every step of the way, and you will easily navigate this interface. This interface comes with a security dashboard. This dashboard provides you with constant analytics on the security of your passwords. It also gives you recommendations on any changes you need to make to your credentials.
Dashlane excels in the abundance of additional features. They realize that merely being a good password manager isn’t enough. With this in mind, they set about to include features which include:
- Receipt Capture: A convenient service for online shoppers. It captures all your receipts and stores them in your vault. It helps immensely with tracking expenditure.
- Scans: Dashlane performs scans on your inbox and the dark web. Inbox scans are pretty basic, chances of you sending your password via email are pretty slim. Deep web scans, on the contrary, are much more critical. Many stolen passwords are floating around in the dark web where malicious entities can access them.
- VPN: Gives you a free VPN for added security while accessing the internet.
- Other features include dedicated storage for your additional relevant information and identity theft insurance.
1password is always a great option when you’re considering password managers. They pretty much stick to their core mandate, and in doing so, they deliver the best service they can, resulting in one of the best password management tools out there.
As you may now know, 256-AES encryption is nothing less than robust. 1password uses this encryption scheme as well. They also perform end-to-end encryption. This form of encryption essentially makes infiltration by a third party impossible. If by any chance, your data falls into the wrong hands, it is encrypted and therefore useless to them. It is virtually impossible to decrypt your data without the required keys.
1Password also uses random numbers to generate keys. These keys are usually cryptographically secure. They have a higher level of security than mere random numbers. 1Password uses your master password to encrypt your data. By default, the password you choose is robust, probably as a combination of different characters. This password is stored in a different location from your other passwords. The master password doesn’t work alone. It works in conjunction with another secret key to grant you access to your passwords.
1password offers you with other security measures. They include:
- The Auto-lock which prevents access to your data when you are away from the screen of your device.
- An optional Clipboard Manager. This manager erases passwords after some time.
- Browser authentication ensures that you enter passwords only on a verified browser. This feature prevents phishing attacks which are a genuine and growing threat.
- A Biometric Access feature allows you to use fingerprints or other biometrics to grant you access.
1Password gives you added storage for any other files you may have based on the plan you’ve purchased. They store data with the same level of security as your passwords. This option is excellent for storing sensitive files and documents.
We’ll lump these features together because they are mostly extras. You may find many of these features meaningful.
- This essential feature ensures that you have a smooth workflow. All your passwords from different devices will synchronize into 1Password. It doesn’t make a difference where you log in from as long as the device is on your Sync list.
- Travel mode:
- This feature is a critical security option you use in case you lose your device while traveling. Travel mode deletes all your passwords from that device. Therefore, any person accessing this device cannot get into any of your applications.
- Browser extension
- This handy extension manages your vault from your browser. The extension is available for Chrome and Mozilla browsers.
Support and cost
1password, like most other password managers, provide you with as much information as possible so that you can do things on your own. Official channels of help are available, of course, but they aren’t as responsive as many people would like. You can go to the knowledge base on their website or their YouTube channel for video tutorials.
1Password offers a free twenty-day trial period. Their cheapest product is the individual plan at $2.99 every month. It is quite decent for single users. Multiple users can either purchase the family plan or the business plan. They also offer an enterprise package, but you need to contact them directly to get a specific quote.
If you judge Lastpass based on security features only, then it is on par with all other password managers. The Lastpass encryption and zero-knowledge system are features you’ll find anywhere else. However, an exciting thing about Lastpass’s security is that they conduct regular pen tests. These tests are conducted to test the vulnerability of your system to attacks. Regular pen tests mean that any weakness in the system is uncovered and patched. They also have a bug bounty program that rewards anyone who unearths security bugs in their system. This puts Lastpass in the ranks with other best password management tools in this list.
Lastpass has one of the most natural password management tools in the market. You can import passwords through CSV files or from other platforms. They also support manual importation though this isn’t an ideal way of collecting passwords. Automating is much easier. Once you upload your passwords, you can access them in your vault. These vaults organize all your data in vaults. Folders are an intuitive tool in Lastpass. Windows users are familiar with this concept. Understanding and navigating the vault is, therefore, comfortable.
This feature is only available for premium users. You can delegate access to your vault to someone else, most likely a family member. In case you suddenly die, this feature could be a lifesaver to those you leave behind.
Premium users receive advanced customer support on Lastpass. They receive priority access to direct chats and email. However, it isn’t any worse for standard users. There are tons of information you can find. The Lastpass knowledgebase is an in-house resource that pretty much covers all you need to know to use Lastpass. There is also a forum for users where you can find access to help too. All in all, though direct customer support could do better, you cannot fail to find assistance.
Their help page also features links to articles with information on basic and advanced procedures.
Lastpass organizes its pricing on personal and business packages in this way:
Personal and premium plans
The free individual package is probably Lastpass’s best-known product. It is for only one user and provides basic password management tools. When you purchase this plan, you also get a free thirty-day trial of the premium package.
The premium personal package is also for one user. It provides access to all devices due and priority tech support. You will also find all the other premium benefits such as storage, unlimited shared folders, and priority tech support. This plan costs $3 per month.
Business packages are for group users. The Teams package is the only business package currently available on the platform. The minimum number of users the plan can serve is four, and the maximum number is fifty. Each user has to pay $4 per month. There’s a dedicated administrator dashboard with the plan, as well as multi-factor authentication, and reporting.
The sticky password manager is among the decent password management tools. It’s a relatively inexpensive, software, but it offers a proper level of service. Perfect for some of the best affordable password management tools out there.
Sticky Password offers AES-256 encryption and an optional two-factor authentication system. Sticky Password encrypts your data then sends it to storage. They can ideally send it to cloud storage, but for those who fear interception can opt-out of that service. Your passwords and other data are stored locally on your device after that. Master passwords never upload to Sticky Password’s servers. The downside to their security setup is the fact that they don’t offer security analysis. You also can’t do much if your master password gets lost. Their Two-Factor Authentication is also only compatible with Google Authenticator.
Multi-device syncing is a breeze. Cloud storage and backup are what makes syncing so easy.
Sticky password offers email as the most reliable means of direct support at your disposal. However, you may have to wait for a while before getting a response. Premium subscribers have access to phone support, and free supporters do not receive as much priority as to their premium counterparts. Other than direct support, there is a dedicated help center. These help centers are more valuable than customer support. You can find articles on almost any issues you may have. They are written and include screenshots of what to expect. There are also forums that have regular updates. The forums organize topics in a manner that is comfortable for many users.
The interface feels a bit outdated, but the system generally runs fine. Sticky Password has browser extensions for all major browsers. Their user experience is quite straightforward. You don’t fumble to find anything. Sticky Password gives you elaborate steps for setting up.
In the same way, the interface gives you assistance when you import your passwords and manage them. However, the interface is a bit disappointing after you have uploaded your passwords. There isn’t a clear organization structure, leaving your passwords in a jumbled-up mess. This problem doesn’t hurt your experience much as you don’t need to know these passwords. It, however, wouldn’t hurt to have a more organized vault.
Sticky Password has two straightforward options for users. You can either go for their free plan or their premium option. The free option comes with auto-filling, but only for a single user. The free plan also doesn’t sync across multiple devices.
The premium version costs $2.50 per month or $29.99 if billed yearly. This plan is also only for a single user, but it offers multi-device syncing. Backup and saving to the cloud are two other benefits you get when you subscribe to this plan.
You can also buy a Sticky password at a one-off price of $149.99. You’ll then be able to access the program for life and all the updates that come with it.
As we alluded to in the beginning the best password management tools aren’t just provided by companies dedicated to the same. Companies such as Avast which majorly serve in a different area of security have also come into the password management segment. Let’s see what they have to offer.
You can easily install any option of the application into your device from any of the major app stores. They have standard AES-256 Encryption. You will also realize that much of the security Avast offers is also what you’d meet on any other platform. The master password has to be robust, and there are measures to ensure so.
In case you’re in a hurry, you can skip authentication with the master password and instead use your fingerprint.
This software offers efficient syncing. Avast promptly syncs all your devices. You don’t have to worry about accessing your favorite websites on any device or at any location.
You get password management tools when you are an Avast client. Avast also offers you support. Avast has live support as well as a ton of useful articles and video tutorials on all the situations you may encounter. The password manager is a free installation. You don’t quite have to pay for this password manager, but only if you purchased another Avast product.
Last word: best password management tools
These are some of the best password management tools in the market. We invite you to try them out and determine what you like or don’t like. We’d love to hear your feedback on these applications, as well as your experiences with them.