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The best password managers in 2022

best password managers

By using one of the best password managers, you can easily give your online security a major boost. This is because you will no longer have to remember dozens of long, complex passwords or have to rely on a few terrible, repeatedly used passwords. Instead, you’ll have a single master password that can unlock the credentials to all of your online accounts.

The best password managers can also quickly and easily generate strong, complex passwords for you so that you don’t have to come up with them on your own. Most can automatically fill in login forms for you and many have the ability to fill in credit-card numbers and other personal details.

With one of the best password managers installed on your devices, your passwords and other sensitive data are encrypted and securely stored on the password manager’s servers. At the same time, two-factor authentication (2FA) makes it more difficult to break into your account, especially if someone else learns your master password.

It’s worth noting that none of the best password managers allow you to recover your master password if you forget it, which is why you should write it down and store it somewhere safe. However, some of them allow you to regain access to your account in other ways for security reasons.

The best password managers offer clients for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS but some support Linux and Chrome OS too. You can sync your passwords across an unlimited number of devices but you may have to pay for this capability. Free password managers often limit password syncing to one or two devices.

If you’re wondering why you should use a standalone password manager when most modern browsers can now store your passwords, this is because it’s not difficult to steal passwords from web browsers and malware that can do so has become increasingly common.

Although Apple’s own Keychain software is more secure and there is now even a Windows version available, it’s bare-bones and doesn’t work on Android devices. Standalone password managers are very secure, offer tons of features and work across all major browsers and devices.

Despite Microsoft’s best efforts, the password-free login is still far from a reality for most services and devices. Passwords will be with us for many years to come so why not store users securely with one of the best password managers. 

What are the best password managers?

We’ve tried out nearly a dozen password managers with a focus on user experience, platform support, security and overall performance. We think that LastPass is the best password manager for its ease of use, convenience and security.

Latest password news and alerts

> LastPass had its source code stolen by hackers but fortunately your passwords are still safe

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Up until recently, LastPass had the best free tier of any password manager with unlimited syncing across all devices. However, in March of last year, LastPass cut back on features so that LastPass Free no longer syncs across all your devices. Now, it only syncs across your computers or your mobile devices.

LastPass’s paid tier adds unlimited syncing, encrypted online storage, advanced two-factor authentication (2FA), dark web monitoring of your accounts and emergency access for your friends and loved ones. At $36 per year for individuals, it’s still not expensive and the family plan covers up to six people for $48 per year.

1Password (also $36/year) is a very close runner-up. A longtime favorite of Mac and iPhone users, 1Pasword has significantly improved its Windows and Android user experiences and also now has a desktop app for Linux.

There isn’t a free tier for 1Password but it’s well worth paying for if you travel a lot. Its unique Travel Mode can temporarily delete stored passwords and other valuable pieces of information to protect them from snooping border guards.(Here's a head-to-head comparison of LastPass and 1Password's various features and benefits.)

Keeper is another one of our favorites but its free tier won’t let you sync your passwords across devices. It’s premium tier is inexpensive ($35/year) and is a close match for LastPass and 1Password. Keeper also has a tight focus on user privacy and security.

Dashlane has an excellent user interface and can change dozens of passwords at once. However, its free tier is very limited while its new $36 annual plan syncs across only two devices and its premium plan is pricey at $60 per year. Unless you plan on utilizing the built-in VPN, you’d probably be overpaying for Dashlane’s premium plan.

The best free password manager remains Bitwarden as it allows you to sync all of your passwords across devices for free. However, upgrading to Bitdwarden’s $10/year premium plan gets you secure cloud storage as well as more 2FA and sharing options.

The best password managers you can buy today

best password manager: LastPass Logo

(Image credit: LastPass)
(opens in new tab)
Still the best password manager overall

Specifications

Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS
Free-version limitations: Syncs only among same device 'type'
Two-factor authentication: Yes
Browser plugins: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera
Form filling: Yes
Mobile app PIN unlock: Yes
Biometric login: Face ID, Touch ID on iOS & macOS, most Android & Windows fingerprint readers

Reasons to buy

+
Full-featured browser extensions
+
Extensive two-factor-authentication options
+
Consistent, simple design throughout

Reasons to avoid

-
Free version no longer what it used to be
-
Many unique features have been nixed

LastPass is still our choice for best password manager because of its ease of use, its support for all major platforms and its wide range of features, even though its once-excellent free tier has been greatly diminished. 

The free version of LastPass no longer syncs across all your devices, but instead only among your computers or among your mobile devices — not both. Otherwise, it still has nearly as many features as the paid version, such as a password generator, unlimited passwords and secure storage. 

The paid version adds unlimited syncing among all devices, support for physical two-factor-authentication keys, 1GB of online file storage, dark-web monitoring of your accounts and access to premium tech support. 

You don't need to install an application on your computer to use LastPass. Instead, the software can live entirely in browser extensions and in the full-featured web interface. 

There are legacy desktop applications for Windows and Mac still available, with some limits. But the local-network-only LastPass Pocket (opens in new tab) option for Windows and Linux has been discontinued.

LastPass Premium won Best Password Manager in the most recent Tom's Guide Awards.

Read our full LastPass review.

Best Password Managers: 1Password

(Image credit: 1Password)
(opens in new tab)
Best for Mac users, and maybe everyone else too

Specifications

Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android. Linux, Chrome OS, Darwin, FreeBSD, OpenBSD
Free-version limitations: No more free version
Two-factor authentication: Yes
Browser plugins: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Brave
Form filling: Yes
Mobile app PIN unlock: Yes
Biometric login: Face ID, Pixel Face Unlock, Touch ID on iOS & macOS, Windows Hello, most Android and Linux fingerprint readers

Reasons to buy

+
Travel Mode keeps out prying eyes
+
Strong organizational tools
+
Secret Key encryption

Reasons to avoid

-
Very basic mobile apps
-
No more free version

1Password no longer leaves its non-Apple users lagging behind. Its Windows app has reached feature parity with its Mac app, and 1Password's first Linux app was launched in early 2021. The Android and iOS mobile apps aren't quite as versatile as the various desktop interfaces, but they are easy to use and support autofill on both platforms.

It also has excellent stand-alone browser extensions for Brave, Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Safari. They work directly with web browsers and now support biometric logins. The Chrome extension brings 1Password to Chromebook users, and you can also access your 1Password account through the company website.

1Password's killer feature is a Travel Mode that deletes sensitive data from your devices (you'll get it back later) so that snooping border-control agents can't find it. 1Password also has great form-filling abilities and true two-factor authentication.

Most recently, 1Password began offering "masked" email addresses (opens in new tab) for greater privacy through a deal with email provider Fastmail. The catch is that you have to subscribe to both services.

It also added a secure data-sharing service called Psst! (opens in new tab) that lets 1Password users send a temporary weblink to anyone to share information, such as a password, that has already been saved in 1Password. The recipient does not need to be a 1Password subscriber.

1Password asks new users to sign up for a $36 yearly cloud subscription. The older stand-alone application that let Mac users sync devices locally has been discontinued, and so has the free version of 1Password.

1Password merited a Highly Recommended mention for Best Password Manager in the most recent Tom's Guide Awards.

Read our full 1Password review.

Best password manager: Keeper

(Image credit: Keeper)
(opens in new tab)
A great password manager with top-notch security

Specifications

Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS
Free-version limitations: Single device
Two-factor authentication: Yes
Browser plugins: Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari, Edge, Opera
Form filling: Yes
Mobile app PIN unlock: No
Biometric login: Face ID, Pixel Face Unlock, Touch ID on iOS & macOS, Windows Hello, most Android fingerprint readers

Reasons to buy

+
Offline mode works without internet
+
Very strong security & verification
+
Solid, no-nonsense apps, browser extensions and web interface

Reasons to avoid

-
Stand-alone apps required for desktop biometrics
-
Can be a little buggy

Keeper ($20.98 per year for Tom's Guide readers (opens in new tab)) is fast and full-featured, stores files and documents of any kind and has perhaps the best security of any password manager. 

It offers a consistent, if not flashy, user interface no matter which platform you're using, and just recently added 20 templates to fill in personal documents such as passports and driver's licenses. Keeper's free tier gives you everything except syncing among devices.

For an extra $25 per year, Keeper will also monitor the internet for unauthorized use of your personal data and give 10GB of secure cloud storage, or you can add those services individually for $20 and $10 per year, respectively. It also offers a free secure messaging service.

Read our full Keeper review.

Dashlane

(Image credit: Dashlane)
(opens in new tab)
The best password-manager desktop-app interface

Specifications

Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS
Free-version limitations: Single device; 50 passwords max
Two-factor authentication: Yes
Browser plugins: Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari, Edge
Form filling: Yes
Mobile app PIN unlock: Yes
Biometric login: Face ID, Pixel Face Unlock, Touch ID on iOS & macOS, some Android & Windows fingerprint readers

Reasons to buy

+
Intuitive interface across all platforms
+
Built-in unlimited VPN service
+
Bulk password changer

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive for a password manager

Dashlane matches LastPass, 1Password and Keeper in platform support and has very good desktop software, at least for now. Its killer feature remains a bulk password changer that can reset hundreds of passwords at once, which has recently been overhauled (opens in new tab).

The password manager is well designed, easy to use and excellent at filling out your personal information in online forms. A scanner goes through your email inbox to find online accounts you may have forgotten about. 

Dashlane's drawback is its high price. Its Premium plan is $60 per year, or $78 per year if you pay monthly. Dashlane's free plan is limited to 50 sets of credentials and won't let you sync among devices. 

An Essentials plan that costs $36 per year ($4 per month) tries to close the gap between the two, but it limits you to only two devices — not much of a winning proposition when LastPass, Keeper and 1Password's unlimited plans cost the same.

On the upside, the Dashlane Premium plan offers dark-web monitoring and unlimited VPN service, the latter courtesy of Hotspot Shield. By itself, the VPN costs $96 yearly, so it's a huge bargain when bundled with Dashlane. 

That makes Dashlane Premium's $60 price tag well worth it if you need those extra services. (The Premium Plus plan, which added identity-theft protection, has been discontinued.)

Read our full Dashlane review.

Bitwarden logo in blue against a light gray background.

(Image credit: Bitwarden)
(opens in new tab)
The best free tier among major password managers

Specifications

Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
Free-version limitations: Limits on file sharing and 2FA
Two-factor authentication: Yes
Browser plugins: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, Brave, Microsoft Edge, Vivaldi, Tor
Form filling: Yes
Mobile app PIN unlock: Yes
Biometric login: Face ID, Touch ID on iOS and macOS, fingerprint and face unlock on Android, Windows Hello

Reasons to buy

+
Totally unlimited free version
+
Inexpensive premium pricing
+
Open-source and very secure

Reasons to avoid

-
Not many bells and whistles
-
Not all features are intuitive to use

Launched in 2016, Bitwarden has soared into the top ranks of password managers with its low prices, attractive design and full-featured free tier. Now that LastPass has hobbled its own free service, Bitwarden is the best option for anyone who wants to sync all their logins across all their devices without paying a dime. 

Meanwhile, Bitwarden's $10-per-year paid version has most of the features you'd find with LastPass, Keeper or 1Password, though it can be a bit counter-intuitive to use. Privacy geeks will appreciate that Bitwarden gives you the option of setting up your own server to sync your passwords. 

Other key features are an innovative secure information-sharing service called Send, a "portable" Windows version that you can install on a flash drive and extensions for eight different browsers. The only major downsides to Bitwarden are a somewhat limited desktop app and the fact that the mobile apps can't auto-fill credit-card numbers or other non-login information.

Read our full Bitwarden review.

NordPass password manager logo

(Image credit: NordPass)
(opens in new tab)
Essential features, but for a high price

Specifications

Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS (web vault only)
Free-version limitations: Can log into only one device at a time
Two-factor authentication: Yes
Browser plugins: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, Brave, Opera
Form filling: Yes
Mobile app PIN unlock: No
Biometric login: Face ID, Touch ID, Windows Hello, Android fingerprint readers

Reasons to buy

+
Full-featured free plan
+
Clean, consistent design

Reasons to avoid

-
Setup requires creation of two accounts
-
Pricey unless you catch it on sale

NordPass comes from the security-conscious folks at NordVPN and offers all the password-manager basics, even on its free tier. It's also got a simple, consistent design that's easy to navigate and use and biometric login support for desktop apps.

We thought it was a bit strange that during setup we first had to create a Nord company-wide account, then a specific NordPass account, but that's over with quickly. Another oddity is that you can stay logged into only six devices at a time with the Premium plan, yet that will inconvenience relatively few users.

The bigger downside is that NordPass Premium costs $60 per year for a single user, nearly twice as much as what better-known password managers charge, even though NordPass still lacks some extra bells and whistles those brands offer. You'll want to keep an eye out for frequent NordPass sales, which can knock the Premium plan down to just $18 per year.

Read our full NordPass review.

Myki password manager logo

(Image credit: Myki)
Totally free, with a unique security approach

Specifications

Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
Free-version limitations: None
Two-factor authentication: Yes
Browser plugins: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, Opera
Form filling: Yes
Mobile app PIN unlock: Yes
Biometric login: Face ID, Touch ID, Windows Hello, Pixel 4 Face Unlock, Android fingerprint readers

Reasons to buy

+
Free for consumer use
+
Unique offline security model
+
No web-based vault

Reasons to avoid

-
Some buggy features
-
No web-based vault

UPDATE: On March 1, 2022, Myki announced that its parent company had been sold and that all Myki software would stop working on April 10, 2022 (opens in new tab). We can no longer recommend Myki as a password-management solution, although anyone interested in how password managers work might want to try out Myki's unique (and free) approach in the month remaining.

The sleek, stylish Myki is completely free for personal use and does everything a password manager should, including unlimited syncing across devices, password generation and sharing, and notifying you of weak or reused passwords. 

All your data is stored on your own devices rather than on Myki's company servers. Rather than logging in with a master password, you use a six-digit PIN code that can be different on every device. An optional Paranoid Mode requires manual approval for every autofill request. 

The downside is that Myki has no web vault that you can access from anywhere. Security experts might see that as a bonus because there's nothing to lose in a data breach. 

Some of Myki's features were a bit buggy to use, and the experience wasn't too smooth overall. As far as free password managers go, Bitwarden's no-cost tier may be better choice for most people. 

Yet Myki is well worth a look for the security-conscious user who doesn't want personal information stored online but who might find KeePass too difficult to use. We're eager to see Myki develop further.

Read our full Myki review.

RoboForm

(Image credit: RoboForm)
(opens in new tab)
Basic, but reliable and inexpensive

Specifications

Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS
Free-version limitations: Single device; no 2FA
Two-factor authentication: Yes
Browser plugins: Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari, Edge, Opera
Form filling: Yes
Mobile app PIN unlock: Yes
Biometric login: Face ID, Touch ID on iOS & macOS, Windows Hello, Pixel Face Unlock,most Android fingerprint readers

Reasons to buy

+
Robust form filling
+
Relatively inexpensive
+
Attractive mobile apps, web interface

Reasons to avoid

-
Unintuitive desktop apps
-
Features don't match those of top rivals

RoboForm has been around since 1999, but its recently overhauled web interface and mobile apps are modern and responsive. The desktop app still feels a bit clunky, yet retains RoboForm's famously excellent form-filling.

RoboForm offers quite a few features, such as password sharing, two-factor authentication, a password generator and, most recently, notification of exposure in data breaches and a one-time-code generator for website 2FA. The features' functionality is a bit limited compared to those of some other password managers, but they'll do the job. 

The free tier works well and includes most RoboForm features. However, it won't sync across multiple devices. At a list price of $24 per year (plus a 30% discount for Tom's Guide readers), RoboForm's premium version is cheaper than those of most other password managers, and may be just the thing for someone seeking the basics at a budget price.

Read our full RoboForm review.

Blur

(Image credit: Blur)
(opens in new tab)
OK at managing passwords, great at protecting privacy

Specifications

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux (via browsers); Android, iOS
Free-version limitations: Single device; fewer privacy features
Two-factor authentication: Yes
Browser plugins: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari
Form filling: Yes
Mobile app PIN unlock: No
Biometric login: Face ID, Touch ID on iOS, most Android fingerprint readers

Reasons to buy

+
Unique privacy-protecting features
+
Strong autofill support

Reasons to avoid

-
Unreliable password import
-
Poor mobile app experience
-
Expensive for a password manager

Blur is a privacy-protection service with a password manager tacked on. It's fine as a browser-based desktop password manager, but it's a bit more expensive than LastPass, Keeper or 1Password. And its mobile apps are out-of-date and hard to use.

What Blur excels at is keeping your data private. It offers one-time-use credit-card numbers for online purchases, different email addresses for every online service you sign up for, and even a second phone number for when you don't want to reveal your real one.

You get all that for $39 per year with Blur's basic premium plan, although you have to pay a small fee for every one-time-use credit number. Those fees disappear with the $99 unlimited premium plan. (Each paid plan can be tried free for 30 days.) The free tier is pretty bare-bones, with few privacy features and no syncing across devices.

If you just want a good password manager, there are better and cheaper options. But if comprehensive online privacy is your chief concern, then Blur is definitely worth considering.

Read our full Blur review.

KeePass

(Image credit: KeePass)
(opens in new tab)
Great — if you're highly technical

Specifications

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux; unofficial Android, iOS, Chrome OS ports
Free-version limitations: None; it's all free
Two-factor authentication: Via plugins
Browser plugins: 3rd-party extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari
Form filling: Yes
Mobile app PIN unlock: Depends on 3rd-party app
Biometric login: Via plug-ins

Reasons to buy

+
Completely free & open-source
+
Gives you total control of data
+
Runs on almost anything

Reasons to avoid

-
Very unintuitive
-
Third-party Android, iOS apps

KeePass may be the most powerful and customizable password manager around, and it's entirely free. The catch is that you'll have to put a lot of the pieces together yourself.

The core KeePass desktop application is written for Windows and runs on Mac or Linux with a bit of tweaking. Syncing among devices is up to you: You can use Dropbox, OneDrive or similar online accounts, or you can share files on your local home network. 

Likewise, you can choose among several third-party apps for Android, iOS, Chrome OS or other platforms, as well as third-party browser extensions. These daunting tasks are made easier by more than 100 plug-ins and extensions that bolt onto KeePass. 

There is definitely a bit of a learning curve to KeePass, and the average user may want to stick to one of the easier-to-use password managers. But if you're technically minded and enjoy a bit of a challenge, give KeePass a try. 

Read our full KeePass review.

Other password managers

We can't review every worthwhile password manager every year. Following are a few that are well worth considering even if we tried them some time ago, plus one that we've reviewed again recently and found that we can no longer wholeheartedly recommend.

Best password manager: Enpass

(Image credit: Enpass)
(opens in new tab)
Not bad for $24 a year

Specifications

Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS
Free-version limitations: 25 items on mobile; no biometric login on desktop
Two-factor authentication: No
Browser plugins: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera, Vivaldi
Form filling: Yes
Mobile app PIN unlock: Yes
Biometric login: Touch ID on iOS & macOS, Windows Hello, most Android fingerprint readers

Reasons to buy

+
Strong free desktop version
+
Easy to keep your data offline

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited features and syncing options
-
No two-factor authentication

Enpass has strong, unlimited free desktop applications for Windows, Mac and Linux, but its free mobile apps for Android and iOS are limited to 25 passwords. 

Unlimited coverage on all devices costs $15.99 for 6 months, $23.99 for a year or $55.99 for a one-time lifetime purchase. 

Enpass handles the basics well, but you'll have to sync your own devices. The easiest way is via Dropbox, OneDrive or a similar cloud-based service, as Enpass doesn't offer any cloud-syncing of its own. (Some users might see that as a security advantage.)

The other option is to sync locally, which Enpass now makes easy(ish) by building a mini-file server into its desktop app. Other devices on the same local Wi-Fi network can sync with it. This is ideal for users who are wary of putting their data online.

The Enpass desktop interface is a bit spare, but functional; the mobile apps are sleek. All handle biometric logins to some extent. Overall, Enpass belongs on our best password managers list, but it's not our top pick.

Read our full Enpass review.

Best password manager: Zoho Vault

(Image credit: Zoho)
(opens in new tab)
Totally free for personal use

Specifications

Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Windows Phone
Free-version limitations: No sharing
Two-factor authentication: Yes
Browser plugins: Chrome, Firefox, Safari
Form filling: No
Mobile app PIN unlock: Yes
Biometric login: Touch ID on iOS, most Android fingerprint readers

Reasons to buy

+
Solid free offering
+
Inexpensive family plan

Reasons to avoid

-
No form filling
-
Bare-bones mobile apps
-
Poor handling of Google login

Zoho Vault is part of a larger suite of paid enterprise tools, but the company makes its password manager free for individual personal use. Group plans that can be used by families start at $12 per user, per year.

You won't get consumer-friendly features such as personal-data form-filling or a bulk password changer with Zoho Vault, but all of the essentials are in place and work smoothly.

Zoho Vault does the password syncing for you using its own servers, and there's no fee to sync all your desktop, laptop and mobile devices. 

The only drawback we encountered was that Zoho Vault sometimes tripped over Google's two-page logins in our testing, but Zoho representatives tell us that has since been fixed.

Read our full Zoho Vault review.

True Key

(Image credit: McAfee)
(opens in new tab)
Once promising, but now a has-been

Specifications

Platforms: Windows, Mac (both through browser extensions), Android, iOS
Free-version limitations: Single device; 15 passwords max
Two-factor authentication: Yes
Browser plugins: Chrome, Edge, Firefox
Form filling: None
Mobile app PIN unlock: No
Biometric login: Face ID, Touch ID on iOS, Windows Hello, most Android fingerprint readers

Reasons to buy

+
Inexpensive
+
Extensive multi-factor authentication

Reasons to avoid

-
Hasn't been updated in years
-
Limited features
-
Useless free version

True Key was one of the most impressive and futuristic password managers of 2015, with an appealing, user-friendly interface, strong support for biometric logins and innovative multi-factor authentication.

The problem is that True Key has barely been updated since then, and other password managers have passed it by. Even its $20 yearly subscription price hasn't changed.

The features True Key does have, including note-taking and ID record-keeping, work well, although its Mac and Windows desktop apps have been replaced with browser interfaces. The mobile apps do a good job. 

Unfortunately, the free tier is next to useless, as it permits only 15 password entries, and True Key's developers never seem to have gotten around to adding form-filling.

True Key is often bundled with McAfee antivirus software, and if you get it that way, it's perfectly fine to use. But it's not worth paying for.

Read our full True Key review.

How to choose the best password manager for you

Most of the best password managers have the same essential functions but things differ when you get to their extra features.

Some of them, such as Dashlane, 1Password and Keeper, alert you about the latest data breaches, sometimes for an extra price. Many password managers can also offer to save your personal details, credit card numbers and other frequently used information so that they can quickly fill out online forms for you. (This is much safer than letting retail websites save your credit card information.)

LastPass once offered an excellent, unlimited free service tier but that baton has since been passed to Bitwarden which also has a $10 annual premium plan that covers most of the basics.

1Password’s Mac and iOS apps have generally been kept more up-to-date than the company’s Android and Windows applications. It may be the best choice if you exclusively use Apple devices, but the other password managers work just fine across all platforms.

The biggest decision to make is whether you want your passwords to be stored locally on your own computers and mobile devices, or in the cloud on someone else’s servers. There are pros and cons to each approach though.

Cloud vs. local management

When it comes to picking the right password manager for you, it’s worth considering whether you want your saved passwords to be stored in the cloud or locally on your devices.

For instance, 1Password still gives you the option to store and sync your “vault” of passwords and other sensitive information locally (opens in new tab). However, the company still prefers that you use its cloud servers instead.

For KeePass though, local sync is the default option but setting up your Dropbox, iCloud or other cloud storage accounts to sync online isn’t difficult. Meanwhile, the third-party cloud-account option is standard for Enpass but the service has also added a local Wi-Fi syncing feature (opens in new tab).

By default, Bitwarden syncs passwords on its own servers but it does provide very detailed instructions (opens in new tab) on how to shift this function to servers you control instead.

Syncing your passwords locally does provide a security advantage as none of this data needs to reach the internet. For those who want to maintain total control over their passwords, this is the way to go.

The downside here is that it can be a hassle to synchronize these passwords on all of your devices. Some services will allow you to do so over a local network such as a Wi-Fi network or on your own server. Alternatively, you could also put your password vault on a USB flash drive and physically move it from one computer to another.

Cloud-based password managers are far more convenient as these services keep encrypted copies of your vault on their own servers. This ensures that all of your devices will be synced and transmissions between your devices and a company’s servers are encrypted.

Although small, the risk is that one of the cloud servers – even one that you control using Bitwarden or use with Enpass – could be breached and your passwords could be leaked into the wild. For instance, LastPass has had a few documented security issues though all were quickly fixed without any passwords being lost.

If a password manager is doing its job correctly, it’s storing all of your passwords in an encrypted format and only storing your master password as a “hash” that is the result of an irreversible mathematical process.

Whether it’s local or cloud-synced, a password manager puts all of your eggs in one basket, so to speak unless you use more than one password manager. For most people though, the demonstrable benefits of using a password manager far outweigh the disadvantages.

Anthony Spadafora
Senior Editor Security and Networking

Anthony Spadafora is the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to password managers and the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. Before joining the team, he wrote for ITProPortal while living in Korea and later for TechRadar Pro after moving back to the US. Based in Houston, Texas, when he’s not writing Anthony can be found tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home. 

  • Paul Wagenseil
    Archived comments are found here: http://www.tomsguide.com/forum/id-3366251/password-managers.html
    Reply
  • tslifkin
    Be aware that some of these tools do NOT store passwords on your device and so you CANNOT see them if you are not online. OK if you live at work or at home always connected. No so much if you travel or move around a lot. Keeper JUST CHANGED THEIR DESIGN. You can still see your passwords when not connected, but you CANNOT EDIT. so you cant add new data or do any editing if, for example, you are on long flight or a location without an inmediate link. This is a BAD THING and indicative of companies taking the easy way out to get your cash but reduce the meaningful feature sets! Just be careful!
    Reply
  • edwardmeijers
    Why is safe in cloud not compared?
    Reply
  • google02
    You are wrong to imply that 1Password is not available for Windows as of 2018. My hosting company uses 1Password internally. It should be included in your comparative review.
    Reply
  • merytsekhmet
    I had a premium account with LastPass for about 5 years. This week I unsubscribed after hearing they were killing off XMarks. I was particularly disgusted because the news was sent very shortly after they renewed the joint subscription. Happily though, I am far more satisfied with Dashlane and Eversynch so LastPass did me a favour in the end.
    Reply
  • jslezak57
    I purchased Dashlane only to find out that it doesn't have full functionality in MS Edge (default browser windows 10). It wanted to force me to use Chrome or IE. I tried to use the online chat, only to hear that "the software will improve with time". I requested a refund because when I purchase a software app, I want something fully functioning - not a "beta" that leaves me with partial functionality!
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  • merytsekhmet
    20951584 said:
    I purchased Dashlane only to find out that it doesn't have full functionality in MS Edge (default browser windows 10).

    I refuse to use Edge even though it is among the bloatware that came with Windows 10. I use Firefox and Chrome and have had no problems.

    Reply
  • hokfujow
    I'm amazed that Lastpass is still getting such high ratings. Go on their forum and read the thread in troubleshooting about not saving passwords. Lastpass does not reliably save new passwords entered for web accounts. People create new accounts, use LP to generate a new password, and then discover that it wasn't saved and they have no idea what the password for their new account is. It's been happening to me more often than not. I'm not going to renew my premium account, and switching to something else.
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  • vsneers
    20959340 said:
    I'm amazed that Lastpass is still getting such high ratings. Go on their forum and read the thread in troubleshooting about not saving passwords. Lastpass does not reliably save new passwords entered for web accounts. People create new accounts, use LP to generate a new password, and then discover that it wasn't saved and they have no idea what the password for their new account is. It's been happening to me more often than not. I'm not going to renew my premium account, and switching to something else.

    I 100% agree with this. I used LP for around 2 years with Chrome and found it would constantly not update any changed passwords in the vault properly and so seeing as I used LP to generate the password in the first place and it then didn't save it or saved a messed-up version of it that just contained a bunch of dots, I would end up generating a password, copying and pasting it to Notepad and then manually adding it to the vault at which point I thought what is the point of LP, I might as well do this myself and save me the money.

    Plus a recent major security breach causing all my passwords and banking details to be hacked by someone and the lack of support from LP, was the last straw for me. If someone does try to access your account with them then they don't actually stop the person, they just send you an email or notification on your phone telling you but do nothing about it to block them. This happened to me overnight while I was in bed and unable to respond to the notifications and despite the hacker using an entirely different IP address and location (their IP address even said it was from IPVanish.com), they did nothing to block their access and due to the hacker having access to my email account, they were then able to request a password and login email reset from LastPass who duly obliged. I spent the next couple of days desperately trying to get in contact with LastPass as I was locked out of my own account and all they did was send me links to articles about either changing your password or if your email address was compromised, suggesting to just set up a new account and start again changing passwords. Meanwhile the hacker still had full access to my account!

    As hokfujow says, their forum is full of people complaining about the service and they never seem to respond to the posts. I'm amazed how they still get to the top of most recommended password manager lists.
    Reply
  • redneck1st
    Mr Waenseil talks out of both sides of his mouth. He gives Roboform 5/5 then talks negatively about the program and all it's short comings. You cant have it both ways Paul. It's either a good product or it's not. It cant be both.
    Reply