Finding the best password managers can appear challenging due to the various options available on the market — 1Password, Dashlane, Keeper and so many others.
Our research and in-depth testing have highlighted five password manager options, but which is the perfect choice for your digital lifestyle? We’ll take a closer look at what each password manager has to offer so that we can find you the best option.
What Is a Password Manager?
A password manager is a piece of software that stores all your passwords for signing into your digital services, such as your bank or Netflix account.
The best aspect of a password manager is that you need to remember only a single master password to unlock your “password vault.” All the actual passwords for your digital services can be complex yet secure, combinations of numbers, letters and symbols as you don’t need to remember them — phew!
If you need assistance with creating a secure password for your vault, you won’t need to fret, as a password generator is typically included with most password managers. With the use of a password generator, your secure password manager can automatically create a password for you that is more likely to stand up to malicious attacks.
When it’s time to sign in to your financial institution, favorite streaming video service or that fantastic cat blog you love, your password manager will ask you for the password for your vault, then automatically fill in the needed login information from right within your web browser or via a desktop app. Staying secure has never been easier with a password manager.
Best Password Managers for 2023
What we love
Data breach notifications
What Are the Best Password Managers?
While all of the password managers we will discuss are solid options, each offers a few different features that make them stand out. Keep reading to learn about our top picks for the best password managers and find out which solution is the best for you.
1Password: Best Overall Password Manager
Desktop app available for Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux and Chrome OS
Easily share password information with others whether or not they have 1Password installed
Watchtower features alert to you to any security breaches that may occur involving your accounts
While a free trial is available, 1Password doesn’t offer a free version tier for its users
Pricing: Starts at $2.99/mo.
1Password is our top pick for the best overall password manager. If you are looking for the best solution to secure your passwords and manage your security online with ease, 1Password is an option you can jump into without much doubt.
You can install the 1Password password manager onto a wide breadth of platforms, including Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux and Chrome OS. This means that no matter what platform or devices you use — smartphone, tablet or computer — you’ll always have access to your passwords.
One feature we love: In addition to storing unlimited passwords, you can also store up to 1GB of documents. With 1Password, you can store sensitive notes or documents such as tax documents or notes that include sensitive information such as Social Security numbers.
Do you need to share information with others, such as your HBO Max or Disney+ login? With a few clicks or taps, you can share a password to a fellow 1Password user’s vault or create a secure web link to the password that expires within a set period.
Another excellent feature that highlights 1Password’s commitment to keeping its users secure is its Watchtower feature, which allows you to keep an eye on your accounts and receive an alert if there are any security issues. 1Password will then walk you through resetting your password to restrengthen your account security.
The primary downside to 1Password is the lack of a free version, which most password managers do offer. If you want to use 1Password, you’ll need to pony up at least $2.99 a month for a personal account or $4.99 a month for a family account that supports up to five people. Business and enterprise offerings are also available, starting at $7.99 a month per user.
Bitwarden: Best Free Password Manager
Excellent free version that allows users to store unlimited passwords
Unlimited ability to connect with and sync multiple devices
Encrypted export if you choose to switch password managers
Free version doesn’t offer encrypted file storage or advanced security features
Pricing: Free or starting at $10/yr
If you are looking for a password manager but aren’t sure you want to shell out the dough for a subscription, you’ll want to try out Bitwarden. We found the Bitwarden password manager to be well designed while supporting various platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android and Linux.
The Bitwarden free tier offers the majority of the platform’s features, including unlimited device syncing, mobile device and browser apps, unlimited vault items and the ability to generate secure passwords. This all means that you can store your valuable password data without worrying about hitting an arbitrary limit.
The free tier supports only a single user, and there’s no option to store encrypted files in your vault; if you want to keep a few sensitive documents secure, you’ll need to look into the paid plan.
Like many other password managers, Bitwarden allows you to export your vault if you wish to make a backup or decide to move to a different password manager. In particular, we praise Bitwarden for allowing users to export their vault as an encrypted JSON file to keep it more secure.
If you decide you want more than what the free version offers, you can upgrade to the Premium tier for an impressive $10 a year. At that level, you’ll gain the ability to share encrypted files, store up to 1GB of secure files, gain access to additional security features and be able to contact Bitwarden’s priority support if the need arises.
NordPass: Best Password Manager for Business (Enterprise)
Provides a security dashboard with the ability to set companywide password management settings
Offers SSO (Single Sign On) with Google Workspace, Azure AD, MS ADFS and Okta
User provisioning is available via active-directory
Best features are on the more expensive Enterprise plan
Pricing: Starting at $3.59 per user/mo.
NordPass is a new pick on our list for 2023, but it shouldn’t be a surprise. Nord Security has been offering powerful tools to protect personal users and businesses while surfing the web. While the company is most famous for its NordVPN offering, NordPass provides a compelling password management solution for small and large companies.
Starting with the basics, NordPass provides a secure solution for storing passwords, credit cards and other sensitive information. Users can quickly generate a strong password when signing up for a new website or account. NordPass also provides built-in tools for sharing passwords with co-workers securely and notifying users of any potential security breaches.
From an IT perspective, NordPass’ business and enterprise password management offerings enable companies to monitor accounts and emails for data breaches, receiving real-time notifications. Administrators can also set companywide settings, such as the minimum requirements for generating new secure passwords.
The NordPass Business plan includes SSO (Single Sign On) with Google Workspace; Enterprise users can upgrade and gain access to Azure AD, MS ADFS and Okta SSO options. User provisioning is also available via active-directory, and shared folders can be created for sensitive documents.
NordPass Business accounts are limited to 250 users; however, the Enterprise account option provides unlimited user seats. If you’re not a business, NordPass also includes personal and family account options.
Other Excellent Password Managers
While we’ve shared our top picks for the best password managers, there are still a few other options that you may want to consider. Sometimes, you’ll find an aspect of a password manager that simply doesn’t work for your digital life; these are some excellent alternatives in those scenarios.
Emergency Access feature in case of an emergency or death
Save and restore your vault to past points in time
Offers a free 30-day trial of its Unlimited tier before defaulting to the free version
Secure file storage is limited without paying for the “Secure File Storage” add-on plan
Dark web monitoring is also an add-on and will cost you extra
Pricing: Free or starting at $2.91/mo.
While Keeper didn’t make it into our top three choices for the best password managers, that doesn’t mean you should avoid it. Keeper is a highly competent option.
Keeper offers many of the same benefits as other password managers on our list, such as login autofill, the ability to store credit card information and other sensitive data, as well as secure file storage. However, Keeper limits the number of files you can store unless you add its “Secure File Storage” feature to your subscription.
One feature that we love from Keeper is the ability to save and restore your vault to a previous point in time. Let’s say there’s an issue and your password vault gets scrambled; with only a few clicks, you can restore everything to how it was a few days, weeks or months ago.
Keeper also implements a smart Emergency Access feature that allows up to five emergency contacts to access your vault in the case of an emergency or death. Perhaps you are in the hospital and a secure insurance file needs to be accessed within your vault. If your spouse has been granted access, they would be able to retrieve the file.
Keeper does offer a free version of its password manager, but we find it quite limited without web access and multi-device syncing. Luckily, you can enjoy a 30-day trial of Keeper Unlimited before deciding if it’s the right choice for you. Just note that if you want secure file storage or BreachWatch dark web monitoring, you’ll need to pay extra.
Includes a VPN for better protection when using public Wi-Fi
Automatic Password Changer feature to change potentially compromised passwords
Dark web monitoring for up to five email addresses
More expensive than the competition
Pricing: Free or starting at $4.99/mo.
If you watch YouTube, it’s unlikely that you haven’t heard of Dashlane, as the company has been sponsoring many YouTubers’ channels. Dashlane is yet another solid password management option, and it includes a few excellent features, such as a VPN with all non-free account subscriptions.
A VPN allows you to browse the web while disguising your IP address; the result is a more secure experience that is perfect for banking or accessing other sensitive online accounts. We highly recommend using a VPN when using public Wi-Fi (such as at a hotel) for such tasks, and we’re thrilled to see that Dashlane includes one with its services.
Dashlane has another great way to look out for your security — dark web monitoring. You can register up to five email addresses and receive an alert if one is seen on the dark web, a place on the internet where hackers may be attempting to sell your data.
Suppose any of your data does happen to be compromised. In that case, Dashlane’s Automatic Password Changer will automatically log in to and change your password on affected sites. However, the feature works only with supported websites.
The biggest downside to Dashlane would have to be its pricing. Dashlane Premium will cost you at least $4.99 a month. That’s if you plan to pay yearly; if you opt to pay monthly, Dashlane Premium will run you $6.49 a month for a personal account or $8.99 a month for a family account.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Unfortunately, hacking and security vulnerabilities are something that every password manager on our last has had to deal with in the past. But the rating of a password manager’s security is also based on how well the company can patch the problem or alert its users.
The only password manager that we do not recommend due to a major breach incident is LastPass, which was hacked in 2022.
It’s challenging to determine which password manager is the strongest, but each option in our guide has proved effective in managing customer passwords. The password managers we recommend use strong encryption standards and two-factor authentication to keep users safe.
The biggest reason you wouldn’t want to use one of our best password managers is that forgetting your master password would mean losing access to your entire vault. However, utilizing a password manager is the best way to manage your online account security. Some password managers even offer to have family members unlock your vault if you forget your password or the need arises.
All of the password managers we recommended can auto-fill passwords, making the process of using a password manager a cinch. Our top-rated password manager is 1Password, and it offers an elegant and easy interface to navigate across multiple device types.
1Password took the award for our top recommended password manager. In previous years we recommended LastPass, but due to a major security breach in 2022 we no longer recommend it for personal or business use.
Michael Archambault is a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder specializing in technology.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.