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The best password managers for 2020

Post corona virus just made it more difficult for your brain to keep track of all of your different passwords. So it’s time to think about a Password managerif you don’t have someone to do your business. With a password manager, you can monitor and manage the credentials of all your devices, automatically fill out forms in your web browsers and synchronize your data on Macs, Windows PCs and iPhones ($ 699 at Apple), IPads ($ 41

9 on eBay), Android phones and more.

A password manager is essentially an encrypted digital vault that stores the credentials that you use to access apps on mobile devices, websites, and other services. A password manager not only protects your identity, credentials and confidential data, but can also be strong unique passwords to make sure you don’t reuse them on your devices and services. With all the recent news about security breaches and identity theft, using unique passwords can do a lot to ensure that your stolen password cannot be used on other websites when a website is hacked.

Continue reading: Password Security Guide (and Why You Should Care About It)

In addition, you don’t need to remember a manager’s various credentials, such as credit card information or shipping addresses. With just one main password – or in some cases a PIN or even your fingerprint – you can fill out a form or password field automatically. Some also offer online storage and an encrypted vault for storing documents.

All of our best password manager choices are available in free plan versions that you can normally use to securely store passwords for one device (although our selection for the best free manager can be used to sync across multiple devices). Our best password manager options also offer subscription options that allow you to sync your credentials across all of your devices, access secure online storage, and share credentials with trusted family and friends. They all do hardware authentication too YubiKey. And if transparency is important to you, some of our recommendations are open source projects. We also look at what a password manager is and how to use one.

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In a password-free future


Note that these services are independently selected by our editors. The current version of the list is largely unchanged from the previous iteration as we haven’t seen any new services worth removing our favorites. If this changes, we will update this story accordingly.

Sarah Tew / CNET

  • Offers free version
  • Base price also free: $ 36 per year
  • Works with: Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iPhone and iPad. Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Edge and Opera.

Some of our other picks have a free option, but most limit you to just one device if you don’t pay. The free version of LastPass is the best password manager in this category because you can save passwords, user credentials and credentials and sync everything wherever you want – on desktop and mobile devices as well as in browsers. You can also share a login item with someone else.

For $ 36 a year, you can purchase the premium version of Password Manager to share passwords, logins, memberships, and other items with trusted family and friends, use multi-factor authentication via YubiKey, and get 1GB of encrypted storage .

With an annual subscription of $ 48, you can sign up for the family plan, which gives you six individual accounts, shared folders, and a dashboard to manage family accounts and monitor the security of your account.

No, LastPass is not error-free: a privately reported vulnerability in September 2019 was a scary mistake that could potentially compromise passwords. But the company patched it before it was known to be exploited in the wild.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

  • Offers trial version
  • Base price: $ 35.88 per year
  • Works with: Windows, MacOS, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, iPhone and iPad. Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge and Opera.

If you’re looking for a trusted password manager app to keep your credentials private and secure, 1Password is the best password manager for this task, which allows you to access your accounts and services with a master password. It is available for all major device platforms.

The well-designed password manager is missing a free version, but you can check it out for 30 days before signing up. An individual subscription costs $ 36 a year and includes 1 GB of document storage and optional two-factor authentication via Yubikey for added security. In a travel mode, you can remove your 1Password-sensitive data from your device when traveling and restore it with a simple click when you return so that it is not susceptible to border controls.

You can unlock 1Password on Macs, and you can use Face ID on iOS devices. For $ 60 a year, you can cover a family of five and share passwords, credit cards, and everything else in the group with a password manager app. Each person gets their own safe and it’s easy to control who you share information with and what they can do with it.

You can also create separate guest accounts, for example, to share WiFi connection passwords or house alarm codes with guests.

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Other free and paid options that are worth considering

Both LastPass and 1Password are solid, affordable password keepers, and a straw poll among CNET employees was about the neck and throat – although the latter may also take advantage of the 1Password for Journalism initiative, which offers us hacks for free. However, if you find that neither of our two recommended password managers works as you want, you should consider a handful of other apps. These all have free versions available.

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  • Offers free version
  • Base price is also free: USD 10 per year
  • Works with: Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iPhone and iPad. Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera, Vivaldi, Brave and Tor Browser.

Bitwarden is a lean, open source password manager for encryption software that allows you to generate, save and automatically enter your passwords on your devices and popular browsers – including Brave and Tor – for free. Some of the frills of our tips are missing, but if you’re just looking for a service to manage your credentials, Bitwarden is difficult to share. And you can share all your credentials with someone else. You can add 1 GB of encrypted file storage for $ 10 a year. And for $ 12 a year, five family members or friends can exchange credentials.




  • Offers a limited free version (50 passwords on one device)
  • Base price more than free: $ 59.88 per year
  • Works with: Windows, MacOS, Android, iPhone and iPad. Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Edge and Opera.

Dashlane provides an easy and secure way to manage your passwords and save other credentials. Only for managing passwords do we like it as much as our selection, but the free Dashlane app limits you to one device and 50 passwords. The $ 60 premium subscription is similar to the plans of 1Password and LastPass. The $ 120 Premium Plus annual subscription provides additional monitoring for credit and ID theft.




  • Offers a limited free version (unlimited passwords on one device)
  • Base price also free: $ 29.99
  • Works with: Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iPhone and iPad. Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Edge and Opera.

Keeper is another secure password manager that you can use to manage credentials on Windows, MacOS, Android, and Windows iOS Equipment. A free version gives you unlimited passwords on one device. The step-up version costs $ 30 a year and enables passwords to be synchronized across multiple devices. For around $ 60 a year, you get 10 GB of secure file storage.




  • It’s free
  • Donations accepted
  • Works with: Windows, MacOS, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, iPhone and iPad, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Palm OS. Access via the web as well as popular browser extensions. (Except for the official version of Windows, KeePass are unofficial ports for other platforms.)

KeePass, another open source software password manager, was launched on Windows and ported to other platforms like MacOS, Android and iOS using the same code base. On the plus side, it’s completely free and is recommended by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. On the other hand, it is really only intended for advanced users: the user interface is a bit cumbersome so that all independently created versions of KeePass work together.

What about NordPass and Norton Password Manager?

The market for VPN and antivirus software has changed in recent months. Many of the companies behind these software packages are expanding them into broader software suites. For example: NordVPN now offers NordPass, a dedicated password manager, and Norton now offers a Norton Password Manager as part of its anti-virus and identity theft packages. We haven’t specifically reviewed them, if only because they don’t appear to have a feature set or pricing option that surpasses any of our preferred options above. If this changes, we will examine them more closely.

Basics of the password manager

Do you need more information about what password managers are and why they are better than the alternatives? Continue reading.

How does a password manager work?

To begin with, a password manager records the username and password you use when you first log in to a website or service. The next time you visit the website, forms will be automatically populated with your saved user credentials. For websites and services that are not automatically populated, you can use a password manager to copy the password to paste it into the password field.

If you are unable to choose a good password, the manager can generate a secure password for you and be careful not to reuse it across services. If you use more than one device, you want a manager that is available on all of your devices and browsers so that you can access them from anywhere via the Manager app or your passwords and login information – including credit card and shipping information – their browser- Extension. Some offer secure storage, so you can keep other items too, e.g. B. Documents or an electronic copy of your passport or will.

Note: Many password managers keep the master password that you use to unlock the manager locally rather than on a remote server. Or if it is on a server, it is encrypted and unreadable for the company.

This ensures that your account remains secure in the event of a data breach. If you forget your main password, there may be no way to recover your account through the company. For this reason, some password managers offer DIY kits that you can use to restore your account yourself. In the worst case, start over with a new account and manually reset your passwords at each specific location and account and start again.

Continue reading: So we could finally replace passwords

What is a secure password?

A good password should be a long string of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, punctuation marks and other non-alphanumeric characters – something that is difficult for others to guess, but a breeze for a password manager. And despite what you may have heard, you don’t have to change a good password or passphrase regularly once you’ve selected it.

Can I manage my passwords and login information using a web browser?

You can certainly use Chrome, Safari, or Firefox to manage your passwords, addresses, and other credentials. You can even set up a master password to unlock your credentials in a browser. And although using an online browser’s password tool is certainly better than using a password keeper, you can’t simply access your passwords and other credentials outside of the browser, or give credentials to anyone you trust.

What about iCloud keychain?

ICloud Keychain allows you to access your Safari website usernames and passwords, credit card information and Wi-Fi network information from your Mac and iOS device. It’s great if you live in Apple’s world. However, if you venture outdoors and have a Windows or Android device or use the Chrome or Firefox browser, iCloud Keychain comes up short.

Continue reading: Google is trying to leave passwords for a billion Android devices

David Gewirtz contributed to this story.

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