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Best Password Managers of 2018

Best for value and convenienceBest for security and family sharingBest for updating lots of accounts
Our pickLastpass logo
Find itView plansView plansView plans
Free version device supportUnlimited devicesOne deviceOne device
Works withMac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Apple WatchMac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, BlackBerryMac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Apple Watch
Our pick
Find it
Free version device support
Works with
Best for value and convenience Best for security and family sharing Best for updating lots of accounts
Lastpass logo
View plans View plans View plans
Unlimited devices One device One device
Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Apple Watch Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, BlackBerry Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Apple Watch

We’ll be honest: when it comes to core features, most password managers are about the same.

ASL Take Note

If you just need a secure place to dump all your usernames and passwords, anything on this list will do the trick. You can stop reading now and download LastPass—it’s one of our favorites, and the free version has everything most people need.

But if you want to change dozens of passwords at once, sync passwords across devices, share account information with family members, or make sure the service you choose is compatible with a certain operating system, you’ll want to explore your options more carefully. While any password manager will work, the right one will make managing your accounts faster and easier every day.

Keep reading to learn more about the details that make each password manager unique and find one that works for you.

LastPass | Best password manager for value and convenience

Pros

  • Free version supports multiple devices
  • Paid version is cheaper than competitors
  • Extensions are available on all major browsers
  • Users have lots of options for organizing information
  • LastPass is SOC 2 compliant for more security

Cons

  • Shared folders are only available with family plan
  • LastPass sends more promotional emails than other companies
  • Doesn’t automatically categorize data
  • Doesn’t provide a desktop app

LastPass is more affordable than most password managers out there, but it doesn’t skimp on features. The free version of LastPass is one of the only free password managers that allows you to sync passwords on multiple devices. The paid version of LastPass adds more robust features (extra storage, priority tech support, password sharing, etc.), but it still costs less than the premium versions from Keeper, Dashlane, 1Password, and many other services.

Our experience with LastPass

LastPass stands out by being more affordable than most alternatives—especially if you want to use it on multiple devices. With the free version you can add records in the mobile app and access them easily when you need them on a computer.

LastPass doesn’t do a lot to organize information for you, but we like how easy it is to organize things yourself with customizable folders.

It’s also near the top of the pack when it comes to convenience. The mobile app has all the features you’d need, the browser extensions install quickly, and the interface is intuitive whether you’re on your phone or computer. LastPass is also pretty good at recognizing when you’re logging in to a new site and offers to store login information for you with a single click.

LastPass doesn’t do a lot to organize information for you, but we like how easy it is to organize things yourself with customizable folders.

Unlike many other password managers, LastPass doesn’t offer a desktop app. Instead, everything is contained in your browser. While we liked the simplicity, you may miss having easy offline access to passwords.

Keeper | Best password manager for security and family sharing

Pros

  • You can share folders without family plan
  • Family plan includes extra storage
  • Extra security measures mean only you have control over encrypting and decrypting data
  • Keeper is SOC 2 compliant for more security
  • Records include a spot for custom fields

Cons

  • Users give up some convenience for increased security
  • Keeper doesn’t offer bulk password changing
  • Service costs more than LastPass

All the password managers we recommend will protect your information, but Keeper goes to extra lengths to keep data secure—something we appreciate when we’re talking about sensitive information like the password to your bank account.

And while security is important, we also like Keeper because it offers one of the best plans for sharing account information with family.

Our experience with Keeper

Keeper has been my personal password manager for years, and while it hasn’t always been perfect, I’ve never had a reason to switch to anything else.

While there’s plenty to like about Keeper, security is Keeper’s biggest selling point. It’s one of the few password managers that is SOC 2 compliant. Plus, Keeper calls itself a “Zero-Knowledge security provider,” which means your data is decrypted on your device only when you log in. Keeper never knows your master password and it doesn’t have access to the information in your vault. You can read more about Keeper’s extra security measures here.

Keeper is also useful if you need to share passwords. Unlike LastPass, Keeper lets you share individual folders if you have a premium account (as long as the person you’re sharing it with also has a premium Keeper subscription). This can come in handy for sharing login information with a family member or giving an ex access to important information about your children. If you upgrade to the family account, you can share with five people and you get 10GB of extra file storage.

We also like Keeper because it offers plenty of customization. You can sort your information into folders or add custom fields to certain records. (I like using the custom fields for answers to security questions, but you could also use them for account numbers or notes about which credit card is attached to your Amazon account.)

Dashlane | Best password manager for updating lots of accounts

Pros

  • Dashlane gives users the ability to change hundreds of passwords in minutes
  • Service automatically categorizes for easy record sorting
  • The desktop app provides offline access to passwords

Cons

  • It takes extra steps to add browser extension
  • The browser extension has fewer features and is dependent on app
  • A Dashlane subscription costs more than Keeper, LastPass, and 1Password

You know you’re not supposed to use the same password for all your accounts, but if you’ve been doing that anyway, we get it—remembering dozens of different passwords is tough, if not impossible.

But now it’s time to get your house in order, and Dashlane can help. One of Dashlane’s best features is the automatic bulk password changer. It can help you replace your weak passwords with strong ones. And you can change dozens at once—saving you tons of time. While a few other password managers offer a similar feature, Dashlane works on more websites than most, giving it the advantage if updating old passwords is a priority.

Our experience with Dashlane

Dashlane’s bulk password changer is its standout feature. A few competitors also let you change multiple passwords at once, but Dashlane supports hundreds of sites while LastPass supports only 75.

And while changing all your passwords at once is awesome, Dashlane still offers everything else you’d expect. The premium version lets you sync records across multiple devices and share passwords as needed.

Dashlane automatically categorizes records, so you don’t have to spend time organizing things on your own. It also offers unique minor perks, like the option to flag certain financial accounts with a color so it’s easier to quickly tell which record you’re looking at. This is especially useful if you’ve got credit cards or checking accounts with multiple banks.

One thing we like about Dashlane is the desktop app, which gives you access to records without an internet connection. However, the downside is that Dashlane’s browser extension is more stripped down than the ones from LastPass and Keeper. You can’t install the Dashlane browser extension without the app, and the browser extension often needs to open the app to perform basic functions.

We have no serious complaints about Dashlane—it’s got a great interface and good storage options, and it’s easy to use. However, it costs quite a bit more than equally capable alternatives, so if you don’t need to update a whole bunch of old passwords, we suggest going with something cheaper.

More password managers to consider

1Password | Good for travelers

1Password offers the same set of basic features as most password managers, but it adds a unique feature most competitors don’t: Travel Mode.

If you turn on Travel Mode, all the vaults in your account are temporarily removed from your devices unless they’re marked safe for travel. If someone at a border or checkpoint demands to search your phone or asks you to unlock the app, the data won’t be there for them to see.

If you’re not excited about the travel features, 1Password still has everything you’d want from a normal password manager. It’s not our first recommendation because the interface is less intuitive than Dashlane’s, the security and sharing features aren’t as impressive as Keeper’s, and plans are much more expensive than LastPass.

Sticky Password | Good for people who don’t like subscriptions

Sticky Password has most of the same major features as other password managers, with one glaring omission—there’s no secure password-sharing option. While that might not be crucial to everyone, we’ve found the ability to share passwords essential, so we’re hesitant to recommend a service without that basic feature.

However, if sharing information isn’t a priority, Sticky Password should meet all your other login and password storage needs. Plus, Sticky Password lets you purchase either a subscription or a lifetime license. If you know you’ll be using a password manager for the foreseeable future, opting for the one-time payment and lifetime license is a great way to save money long-term.

What about KeePass?

KeePass is a popular open source password manager that works well for many people. While we don’t have any big hang-ups about KeePass, LastPass offers more support and a simpler interface for free, so we still think LastPass is a better service than KeePass if you’re looking for a free option.

What’s the best password manager for iOS? What’s the best password manager for Android?

For many years, an app that worked well on one platform could be unavailable, or dramatically worse on another. But fortunately, those days are behind us.

While there are small differences between each platform’s mobile apps, all the major password managers we recommend work just fine on either iOS or Android.

How to create a strong master password

Your password manager can build and store your future passwords for you, but you still need a strong, memorable master password to protect all those other passwords. Use these tips to make sure you build a password that’s impossible to crack.

  • Use at least 12 characters (more is better).
  • Include upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Don’t use the same password in more than one place.
  • Don’t base your passwords on personal information (important dates, kid’s initials, previous addresses, etc.).
  • Don’t make your password so complicated that you can’t remember it.
  • Avoid obvious substitutions (spelling a word with the numeral zero for the letter o, or five with the letter s).
  • Avoid basing your password off common phrases.
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You need to protect more than your passwords.

Be careful when you’re answering those security questions (your mom’s maiden name, your high school mascot, the name of your first pet, etc.). In many cases, the honest answers to those questions are readily available to anyone willing to do a tiny bit of sleuthing on your social media accounts. Our team recommends using a password or a fake answer as the answer to those security questions instead of filling in an answer that is easy for any online acquaintance to figure out. Then store the question and corresponding password/answer in your password manager vault.

Passwords and account logins are the last line of defense protecting your sensitive personal information, your bank accounts, and your online identity. When you think about how much is at risk, spending a little bit of money on a password manager is a tiny investment.

What do you do to keep important information safe? Have you installed antivirus software or signed up for identity theft protection? Share your tips in the comment sections below.

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About Brianna Jensen

Brianna Jensen
Brianna is an experienced copywriter and editor who has written about home security, personal safety, insurance, and much more. She loves doing thorough research, finding objective ways to evaluate options, and sharing what she’s learned with others who are interested in new technology and home security.
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