Sunday, July 21, 2024

The best free password managers

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Login screen on a MacBook.Geralt / Pixabay

If you’ve decided it’s time to use a password manager, then you probably want to start with something affordable. And what’s more affordable than free?

Below are the best free password managers along with their features, security methods, availability, and other details so that you can pick the right one for you.

Keep in mind that like many other types of applications, password managers available for free normally have limited features. You can always check out their paid plans for those extras or look at our list of the best password managers, which includes both free and paid options.

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Bitwarden

Digital Trends

Bitwarden is a popular password manager for its free robust feature set. You can use Bitwarden on unlimited devices with any number of passwords. You can also store secure notes and credit cards, use and manage passkeys, share data with a significant other, and take advantage of the username and password generator.

Bitwarden also offers two-step login options, email alias integration, and self-hosting for running the application on your own server or network.

This open-source tool uses end-to-end encryption, a zero-knowledge model, and undergoes annual third-party security audits. Bitwarden also complies with GDPR, Privacy Shield, HIPAA, and CCPA.

Availability: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS with extensions for most major web browsers.

Paid plans: Premium plan for $10 yearly, Families plan for $40 yearly, and Business plans for teams. All Bitwarden paid plans include extra features.

RoboForm

Digital Trends

Another solid free password management option is RoboForm. You can store unlimited passwords on one device, automatically fill web forms, generate passwords, save secure notes, and manage passkeys.

Roboform also offers cloud backup of your logins and 24/7 email support if you need help. Plus, you can also check out the Security Center for weak or compromised passwords, enjoy secure sharing with a loved one, and receive breach alerts with recommendations.

For security, RoboForm uses AES 256-bit encryption with PBKDF2 SHA256, has a zero-knowledge infrastructure, and provides multifactor authentication.

Availability: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Chrome OS with extensions for most major web browsers.

Paid plans: Personal & Family plans for $2.49 monthly and Team & Business plans for $29.95 yearly. All RoboForm paid plans include extra features.

Norton

Digital Trends

Best known for its antivirus software, Norton also offers a free password management tool with the basics you need. You can use autofill for online forms, sync logins across your devices, and check the strength of your passwords with an option to create and save more secure ones.

Norton uses a zero-knowledge model, provides two-factor authentication, and offers a biometric unlock for quick access to your logins.

If you already use Norton to protect your devices from viruses and threats, its free password manager is the ideal addition to your Norton product set.

Availability: Android and iOS with extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge.

Paid plans: Currently only free.

Dashlane

Digital Trends

Dashlane is recognized as one of the most secure password managers. Its security measures coupled with a healthy feature set definitely make it a worthwhile option.

You can store unlimited passwords and passkeys, sync logins across devices, use the password generator, and switch to more secure passwords with the Password Changer. It also provides secure sharing, dark web monitoring, VPN protection, and real-time phishing alerts.

Dashlane uses AES 256-bit encryption, a zero-knowledge system, two-factor authentication, a bug bounty program, and has a patented security model.

On its pricing page, you won’t (currently) see an option to sign up for a free “plan” or “subscription” like similar tools. However, you can start with a free trial, check out the premium features, and then stick around for free with a limited feature set after the trial ends.

Availability: Android and iOS with extensions for most major web browsers.

Paid plans: Premium plan for $4.99 monthly, Friends & Family plan for $7.49 monthly, and Professional plans for teams and large businesses. All Dashlane paid plans include extra features.

Sticky Password

Digital Trends

From the team that created AVG Antivirus, one of the best free antivirus applications, comes Sticky Password. The tool provides unlimited password storage, autofill for forms, a password generator, secure notes, and a digital wallet on one device.

Sticky Password works with Intel to store sensitive data directly in the CPU providing extra protection if you’re using a seventh-generation or newer Intel core processor. You can also check out the portable USB option for Windows to save your data elsewhere as a backup.

Sticky Password uses AES 256-bit encryption, two-factor authentication, and fingerprint scanning for biometric verification.

Availability: Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS with extensions for most major web browsers.

Paid plans: Premium plan for additional features at $19.99 yearly along with Sticky Password plans for teams, teachers, and students.

Proton Pass

Digital Trends

This last free password manager may not be one you see pop up often in searches but is certainly one to consider, especially if you use its other products. Proton Pass offers a host of features, some beyond the other free applications on our list. Plus, if you use Proton Mail, VPN, or Cloud Storage, this is a sensible option.

Proton Pass offers unlimited logins, notes, and devices, passkey support, secure sharing with two vaults, an included VPN, and an encrypted cloud drive. You can also take advantage of aliases to hide your email address and use Secure Remote Password authentication.

Similar to Bitwarden, Proton Pass is open source and independently audited with security reports available for viewing. It uses 256-bit AES-GCM end-to-end encryption including metadata and two-factor authentication.

Availability: Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS with extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Brave.

Paid plans: Pass Plus for $1.99 monthly, Proton Unlimited for $9.99 monthly, and business plans starting at $1.99 monthly. All Proton Pass paid plans include extra features.

Which free password manager will you choose?

Many times, this adage is true: “You get what you pay for.” But when it comes to the password managers on this list, you receive everything you need to securely and safely add, edit, store, and access your passwords for free.

Check out the features, visit the websites, and even try more than one for a short period of time to see which works best for you.

Need help deciding? Look at our comparison of Dashlane versus Bitwarden if you’re on the fence with these two password managers.

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