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Everybody should use a password manager. Whether you only have five online accounts or 500, it’s important to use unique, hard-to-guess credentials for every single one. If you reuse passwords, a breach from one of your accounts could help hackers get access to your whole online life. Password managers simplify and safeguard that process. There are tons of great options to choose from, and we’ve curated a list of eleven of our favorite solutions.
Staying secure online should never be a question of money, which is why we’re starting with solutions that offer the basics for free. All of the options listed here offer syncing across as many devices as you need and allow you to store an unlimited amount of passwords. Many of them also have paid tiers that bring some extra features, but the most important basics are free of charge.
Bitwarden is an open-source password manager that’s gaining more and more popularity due to its incredibly fair basic free account and its mission to make security accessible for everyone. You can store as many passwords as you want and use the manager on as many devices as you have for free. The app supports biometric unlock, uses Android’s autofill API, and can be secured via 2FA. You can also host the manager on your own server if you prefer, an option not available on many competing products. Bitwarden has been audited by a third-party security firm that hasn’t been able to find any exploitable vulnerabilities in 2020.
If you’re willing to pay $10 a year for the premium plan, you also get access to 1GB of encrypted file storage for your most important documents, OTP code management support, emergency access, and priority support. There’s also a $40/year family plan for up to six people if you find yourself sharing passwords often.
MYKI is a little different than the other managers mentioned here. It doesn’t store your credentials in the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about server breaches. Instead, your passwords are synced between your devices only, so an attacker would have to gain access to one of your machines to steal your login data.
Other than that, MYKI behaves much like other password managers. It uses the Android autofill service, supports biometric unlock, and can store OTP codes, payment methods, and secure notes — all completely free for individuals. You can even share passwords with others. For a deep dive, check out our extensive review.
Microsoft Authenticator started out as a 2FA app, but it was turned into a full-fledged password manager that syncs with Microsoft Edge or a Chrome browser extension when you log in with your Microsoft account. Since Microsoft is concerned with enterprise customers, you can rest assured that it’s taking every possible measure to secure the product. On top of that, its Android app offers all the usual bells and whistles: Biometric unlock, Android autofill API, and 2FA code support are all on board. It even allows for password-less logins to your Microsoft account.
The service is completely free of charge — no Microsoft 365 subscription necessary to use it. You can download it from the Play Store.
Zoho is mostly known as a web-based online office suite in the enterprise world, but the company also offers a password manager. It’s built primarily for businesses wanting to share and manage passwords across employees, though there’s a free tier for individuals that’s as fully-featured as it gets. You can store an unlimited amount of passwords and notes, access your vault from multiple devices, save 2FA secrets, and attach files and documents. Being an enterprise-focused business, Zoho takes loads of measures to ensure its product is safe and its paying customers happy, which individuals on the free plan also benefit from.
The paid plans are really only necessary for enterprises and families. You pay $1 a month per person for secure password sharing among each other and with third-parties, admin controls, and more.
If you don’t feel like going through the hassle of signing up for yet another service, you should strongly consider at least using the solution that comes pre-installed: Google’s own password autofill service. Compared to the other options here, Google’s solution is quite lacking, and managing existing passwords is a nightmare, but it’s already on your phone, natively integrated into Chrome, and also available on iOS.
To get started on Android, head to your system settings, search for “autofill service,” and select Google. Then tap the gear icon next to it to see your passwords, addresses, and payment methods. You can also manage your saved credentials under passwords.google.com or in your Google account settings. (We’re not linking to the address for security reasons — always type in addresses involving your Google Account in the URL bar yourself, as a link from a random website might send you to a phishing website wanting to steal your password instead).
KeePass is another open-source tool, but unlike Bitwarden, it’s local and completely free from trackers (though you can back up your database to a cloud storage of your choice if you want to). Setting up the manager across multiple devices is a little cumbersome, and there are multiple Android apps to choose from (KeePassDX seems like one of the better solutions, though you can pick any you like from the KeePass website), but once you find your way around the manager, it should be one of the most secure services you can choose. If you need a cross-platform solution for desktop computers, you can also look into KeePassXC, a spin-off from the original service that’s also compatible with KeePass apps for Android.
While it’s not necessary to pay money for a good password manager, there are a few products out there that improve upon some aspects the free solutions offer. Advantages include encrypted document storage, one-on-one email support, advanced family sharing options, and breach alerts. Here are a few great solutions:
1Password offers just about everything you could want from a password manager: it can generate and store passwords and save credit card information, and it plays nice with Android’s Autofill API, so it can fill that information in on your phone without any friction. It’s got browser add-ons for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge, so it’ll work on your desktop, too. You can even store sensitive documents if you don’t trust Google Drive with your tax returns (or whatever). The company also offers one-on-one support, 2FA authentication, and a travel mode that removes sensitive data from your device when you cross borders.
Plans are $36 a year for individual users or $60 a year for families of up to five. You can try it out for free for 14 days.
Dashlane offers a free option for a single device, although it only stores up to 50 passwords. To get unlimited password storage, you’ll have to pay $40 a year for Dashlane’s Premium plan. The higher fee does come with more features than the other managers on this list, though, including a VPN and what the company calls “Dark Web Monitoring,” which is supposed to let you know if your information turns up anywhere unsavory online.
Enpass does things a little differently than the other paid password managers on this list. You can store up to 10 credentials on your phone for free; if you want more than that, you need to subscribe. By default, passwords are stored locally on your device, but Enpass gives you the option to sync them to the cloud storage service of your choice. Otherwise, Enpass works the same as the rest: it can make up secure passwords for you, store them, and automatically fill them in on desktop and mobile.
Enpass switched to a subscription-based monetization method in 2019, grandfathering in users who paid the previous one-time fee. It now costs $24 a year for individuals and $48 for a family or group of up to six. You can alternatively get a lifetime license for $80. Enpass is also part of the Google Play Pass, which includes many more games and apps at $5 a month or $30 a year, which might sweeten the deal for you.
Keeper offers benefits very similar to 1Password and Dashlane. It’s compatible with the Autofill API, it generates passwords, it stores them (plus other info), it offers emergency access, it has version history, there’s file storage, “BreachWatch,” the whole nine. Pricing is a little lower, too, at $35 a year for individuals (although it’s more expensive at $75 for the pretty-much-identical family plan). There’s also a more expensive plan with a secure messenger and cloud storage bundled in, but why not just use Signal?
You can use Keeper for free on a single device, but if you want your passwords to sync everywhere you use them, you’ll have to pony up that membership fee.
Of these password managers, LastPass used to be among the most generous in its pricing. But starting March 16, 2021, a free account will only let you store passwords on one device type — you can either sync between your desktops or your mobile devices (phones, tablets, wearables). If you’re willing to pay for Premium or if you can live with this limitation, it’s still a fine choice, but there are less restrictive free alternatives — and honestly, the sudden change in business model leaves a sour taste. The company’s extensive reliance on third-party trackers also doesn’t look too good.
A premium LastPass account costs $36 a year for an individual and $48 a year for families of up to six. Paying that fee will let you store and use your passwords on all device types, grant other users access to individual passwords or even your entire account, as well as access to “advanced multi-factor options.”
When it comes to core functionality — and you may be noticing a pattern here — LastPass is more or less the same as the other options. It generates passwords, stores ’em, and automatically fills them in across Android (through the Autofill API) and desktop (by way of browser add-ons).
All of these password managers provide the same basic service: they generate and store passwords and fill them in across all your devices. They all work with Android’s Autofill API, support biometric unlock, and they all use 256-bit encryption. Deciding which is right for you comes down to finer details, like pricing, Bitwarden’s open-source aspect, MYKI’s offline-only approach, Enpass’s local storage, or Dashlane’s VPN. Whichever you choose, you’re getting a quality service that’ll make your life just a little simpler.
Taylor Kerns contributed to this article.