The rules for using passwords state: “Secret combinations of characters must be long and complex.” “One password – one site.”
It is impossible to remember dozens of correctly composed passwords. It is dangerous to store them on the hard disk of a PC, inconvenient on a paper medium. Password managers solve the problem. You can purchase such software or use a program with limited functionality for free.
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What is a password manager?
Programs for working with passwords encrypt secret combinations. They can use your computer or smartphone for storage. Also, paid programs store passwords in the cloud, make it possible to use them on different devices, that is, they are multi-platform. It is not recommended to use hacked programs to post confidential information.
Depending on the functionality, password managers are supplied in the form of:
- programs that are installed on the device;
- browser extension,
- web interface.
Some developers offer the first two or all three interface options. A browser plug-in is the ability to autofill credentials when logging in to sites.
- At the initial stage, the user invents one master password for the program and remembers or writes it down on paper. There is no need to remember other passwords.
- Applications can generate passwords. You don’t have to invent something yourself every time.
Serious developers usually choose one of two ways to promote software:
- The free program has basic functionality, but can be used only on one device, without synchronization. You have to pay for everything else.
- Paid software with trial versions with a limited period of validity.
Commercial software is often divided into individual with 1 license and family with 5-6 licenses.
Now let’s move on to the review of the best password managers for PC, iPhone and Android smartphones.
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The developer has been successfully offering security solutions for a long time. The history of the project spans more than 15 years, and more than 500 people work on it. They are constantly improving the program, which helps secure and automate access to websites, simplifies calculations on the Internet.
Advantages of the program:
- Multi-platform, synchronization.
- Extensions for all major browsers.
- Russian interface.
- Storing passwords on the user’s device, not just in the cloud.
- Password generator with length selection and other settings.
- Searching for compromised and identical passwords among combinations that the user invented himself.
- Travel mode. Before crossing the border or before contacting the law enforcement officers inside the country, you can turn on the option when all safes with passwords except approved ones will be deleted from the device. Turning off travel mode restores everything.
- Generation of answers to control questions. If some site asks you to enter your mother’s maiden name as a hedge, it might make sense to generate an abstract combination of characters instead.
- The possibility of using an unlimited number of safes. You can, for example, create safes for personal, work, shared information.
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Google Smart Lock
The Google browser allows you to save passwords and access sites without manual typing on different devices, that is, it supports synchronization. It seems like a great free solution, but this option does not provide adequate privacy, since another person who has gained physical access to the PC can open the browser settings and see the passwords in them.
To open the settings tab, you need:
- click on the icon with 3 dots;
- go to “Settings”;
- type “passwords” in the settings search bar;
- go to the corresponding tab by clicking on the line with the key symbol.
- enable/disable the option responsible for Chrome’s offer to save passwords when accessing websites;
- enable/disable automatic authorization option on sites;
- checking passwords for confidentiality;
- view, copy, change and delete passwords.
Similar functionality is available on Android smartphones, it is included in the Google program. There is no installed Google application on iPhones, but Smart Lock can be downloaded from the App Store.
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The program is primarily designed to protect card payments. The price of the software depends on the operating system for which it is written. Versions for smartphones are cheaper, for Windows and macOS more expensive. Subsequently, the developer concentrated on updating low-cost applications for iOS and Android.
The program can generate passwords up to 100 characters long, securely stores them, as well as numbers from bank cards. The application is the creation of specialists of a small company that has proven itself well. The company writes software for its English-speaking audience. Due to the lack of other interfaces, residents of post-Soviet countries have to put up with English or choose from the proposals of other developers. The program made it to the list of the best password managers thanks to its convenient card functionality.
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Lastpass is a popular password manager with a web interface. The developer’s website lists a free program for one device and a full-featured program for $36-48 per year. To use the free software, you need:
- Register an account on the Lastpass website, enter your email address and master password.
- Go to the web interface of the program and fill in the cards with logins and passwords for the sites. Cards can be arranged in folders. There is a search bar.
- When entering websites, copy login passwords manually or use autofill.
For autofill, you need to install the Lastpass extension. If you use multiple browsers, you need to install multiple plugins.
The paid program for individual use, unlike the public one, has the following functions:
- encrypted cloud storage,
- darknet monitoring,
- emergency access,
- premium technical support.
The software for family use is 25% more expensive, but includes 6 individual licenses.
The program made it to the rating due to its popularity based on a simple and clear interface. Although the developers have questions about reliability. Yes, in 2019, a vulnerability was discovered: attackers could steal user passwords. However, the program was soon improved and its commercialization continued.
The development company offers additional functionality in addition to the main one. The company offers iPhone, iPad and Windows computer owners a program that safely downloads files with confidential data to a flash drive with the possibility of using them in any browser. The competitive price of Password Wallet is affordable. You can download the software for review for free, the developers offer to pay $5 for permanent full-featured use of mobile versions.
The program can generate complex passwords. The user is given the opportunity to customize the process. Passwords can be:
- Generated from a user-editable template.
- Completely random.
- Phonetically random – from syllables that can be pronounced.
The numbers in the passwords can be made red so that you can’t confuse the letter “O” with the number “0”, etc.
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The developer of Keeper Security offers a family of proprietary programs to companies and individuals. This is commercial software: the program for personal use is sold at a price of $35 per year. The price includes not only a password manager, but also 10 GB of encrypted cloud storage. You can hide documents, photos, etc. from prying eyes. The program supports authentication by SMS and biometrics.
When creating passwords, you can choose their length, use letters, numbers, special characters. Serious attention is paid to checking the confidentiality of passwords. Their encryption and decryption is performed on the user’s device, interception during the transfer of information will not give anything to attackers. There is a proprietary extension KeeperFill for Chrome, which in terms of functions resembles Google Smart Lock.
Keeper Manager can be downloaded from Google Play or the App Store. It has been downloaded by more than 10 million users, the average rating is more than 4, which is a good result. The developer provides round-the-clock technical support for customers. The company has been operating for over 10 years, during which time it has achieved exceptional results. The developer guarantees a reward to people who can find a vulnerability in their program. They are confident that Keeper is one of the best password keepers out there.
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Dashlane is a password manager with a free version for permanent use. Without payment, it is true that you can get only a reduced functionality for one device, but this is enough for some users. As for the paid application with synchronization, here the tariff starts at $48 per year. The fee for 3 years is at the level of the cost of Windows. The developer company offers Dashlane in all 3 interface options.
The user gets the maximum set of functions after installing the program. The program stores not only passwords, but also payment information for online payments. There is a password generator with fine-tuned settings, so you don’t have to randomly tap on the keyboard, typing complex combinations yourself.
Limitations of the free program:
- only for one device;
- without checking information about e-mail (meaning mail) in the darknet;
- no VPN, secure notes, encrypted file storage;
- without automatic password change.
All these features are available in the Dashlane paid manager. After purchasing the software, the user receives 1 GB of encrypted cloud storage.
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Enpass doesn’t have its own servers, so those who want to sync need to use Dropbox, OneDrive, or another third-party cloud. The developer of the password manager has a flexible pricing policy: you can choose a suitable package with a monthly payment or pay $80 once to use the software on a permanent basis.
Advantages of Enpass:
- Multi-platform. There is even a desktop program written for Linux.
- In addition to passwords, you can hide documents, credit card numbers, airline tickets, a Wi-Fi code for a home router, and more. In the interface, categories are allocated for storing information, you can configure them at your own discretion.
- Configured password generator, audit of your secret combinations.
- Protected notes.
- Authentication using biometrics.
- Interoperability with other password managers, such as 1Password.
Enpass is a comfortable solution not only for a PC, but also for a smartphone. It is one of the best password managers for Android in terms of ease of setup and use. But you won’t be able to use it for nothing, since the free version of the program is only for computers.
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When visiting the sites of the Canadian company, a cute bear always appears, symbolizing the power and reliability of the offered software. The developer became famous thanks to the VPN service, then the firm began expanding into the password manager market. You can download a free program for one device on the company’s website. There is also a paid application with synchronization and premium technical support for $6 per month.
The company sells multi-platform software, as well as extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari. The program is aimed primarily at private individuals and small businesses, it lacks functionality that a large company may need. If you need centralized management of user accounts, emergency access, general use of passwords, it is better to try RoboForm or other software. The main advantage of RememBear is a simple and clear interface. We are unlikely to wait for Russification, since $6 a month is expensive for the post-Soviet space.
Features of the program:
- Storage of passwords, logins, credit card numbers, notes.
- Autofill when visiting websites and paying for online purchases.
- Two-factor authentication.
- Work with biometrics.
- Password generator.
The fact that RememBear was once presented as the app of the day in the Apple Store speaks of the quality of the software.
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RoboForm is a popular Russified password manager with free download and mid-market rates. During the installation process, the user creates an account, then integration with Chrome takes place. You will need a mail and a master password for authorization.
The main functions of the program: automatic filling of forms, generation and auditing of passwords. There are two options for autofill:
- Just fill in the login and password for the site.
- Fill them out and send them
After paying for the software product, the user gets access to synchronization, use of several devices. Asking price: $24-48 per year. Corporate software with centralized management costs an order of magnitude more.
In addition to passwords, RoboForm stores:
- Login. By login, the developer means a card with data for entering the site.
- Bookmarks — site addresses. Keeping bookmarks is relevant for people who use multiple browsers.
- Notes are text documents stored in the cloud.
- Personas — profiles to speed up registration on sites. They include: full name, date of birth, etc. Users enter credit card numbers there to pay for purchases.
Users arrange cards in folders. The search for stored information has been implemented.
In conclusion, a small comparative table: