Best password managers to avoid getting hacked

When it comes to free password managers, Bitwarden and NordPass offer users the most functionality with the least compromise, a MyBroadband analysis shows.

Reusing the same password on more than one online service is dangerous because of the prevalence of data leaks. If your password gets compromised in one place, attackers can use it to breach all your accounts.

Security firm Spycloud’s 2022 Identity Exposure Report showed that 70% of users exposed in 2021 data breaches reused compromised passwords.

This, combined with estimates that the average online user has over 100 passwords, means it is more important than ever to manage your passwords effectively.

Password managers simplify this by letting users save their login details in a central encrypted digital vault.

Users only need to remember a single master password to access their password collection.

While many of these third-party password managers require an annual subscription fee, a handful gives consumers free access to enough features for everyday use.

For this comparison, we only considered third-party password managers with a free tier — built-in password managers like Apple’s Keychain and Chrome’s password functionality are not included.

Neither were popular options such as Keeper and 1Password — though they deserve an honourable mention.

We compared some of the most popular free third-party password managers: Bitwarden, Lastpass, Dashlane, and Nordpass.

Bitwarden is an excellent choice for users who want a free, open-source password manager with the fewest compromises.

Unlike many other third-party password managers’ free tiers, Bitwarden does not limit you to one device or cap the number of passwords you can save.

Bitwarden’s web vault includes features like a username and password generator, username data breach reports, importing passwords from other applications, and web form filling.

The mobile application’s free version only lets users generate passwords and does not offer the data breach report feature.

LastPass previously offered free users the ability to use the service across any of its supported platforms but limited it to a single device on 16 March 2021.

LastPass’s free plan lets a single user save an unlimited number of passwords, but users must choose to sync their passwords on either a computer or a mobile device.

LastPass is also the first to launch a passwordless authentication application that lets users avoid retyping their master passwords whenever they want to access their vault.

NordPass’s free plan allows an unlimited number of saved passwords but does not let users access their vault on multiple devices at a time.

However, free users still get access to a random password generator via the desktop and web versions and saved passwords automatically sync across devices.

Although NordPass does not have integrated encrypted cloud storage, users can get 3 GB of free cloud storage via NordLocker.

Out of the password managers listed, Dashlane is by far the most restrictive with its free features.

Like LastPass, Dashlane’s free tier limits users to a single device. It also restricts you to a maximum of 50 passwords.

However, Dashlane’s free plan lets users check their password security status and allows them to share their passwords with up to 5 accounts.

The table below compares the free plans of Bitwarden, Lastpass, Nordpass, and Dashlane.

Feature Bitwarden LastPass NordPass Dashlane
Password storage Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 50
Password importing
Two-factor authentication login
Web form autofill
Password sharing 2 users one-to-one X up to 5 users
Password generator
Cross-device support 1 device 1 device
Data breach report X X X
Password health check X X X
Export passwords
Cloud storage X X X X

Now read: Google Chrome update fixes four severe security flaws

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Best password managers to avoid getting hacked