Best password managers in 2020

password managers falling in to the hand

We use passwords to protect our most important accounts and data. That’s why it makes sense to use only the best password manager. But do we really need one in the first place?

The answer depends on how well you can remember dozens of different passwords made from the lower case, upper case, numbers, and symbols. If your memory is not that good, you definitely need a password manager. When each year ends with multiple data breaches, re-using the same password in 2020 is counter-intuitive and irresponsible at best.

Table of Contents

The best password managers of 2020:

  1. Dashlane – Most versatile password manager in 2020
  2. LastPass – Most feature-rich free option
  3. 1Password – Top service for families and businesses
  4. NordPass – Most secure and streamlined experience
  5. RememBear –Best password manager for new users

What do password managers do?

The primary purpose of every good password manager is to generate, store, and help you manage passwords. Most of them can also store other sensitive information, such as credit card details or secure notes. 

Password managers also ease your life by allowing autofill on trusted devices. You won’t need to remember every password that you have and use password recovery when you don’t. Some will even check the dark web routinely to see if any of your passwords have become publicly available.

But there’s more to that, even if you have only a few passwords to remember. A password manager makes it much harder for hackers to steal your data. What’s more, it helps against phishing and pharming attacks, which are two of the most popular ways to get someone’s password. 

Furthermore, password managers help against keylogging and screen logging by using the above-mentioned autofill function. They also help against credential stuffing. Most people don’t realize that it’s easy to test their password on thousands of different websites automatically to see if it was used more than once. With a password manager, this is no longer your concern.

Finally, password managers can help you share passwords and other data with your friends without copy-pasting everything to your email or chat window.

Best password managers – our curated list

Since losing one’s password might mean losing money or reputation, it seems wise to invest in the best possible protection against that. That’s why below you will find only premium password managers known for doing the job. All of them come with military-grade encryption, work on all popular platforms, and have responsive customer support.

While it’s possible to find good free password managers, they cannot offer the same set of features as the premium ones do. You can easily see the difference by comparing a free and paid version of the same password manager, like our #1 Dashlane. 

1. Dashlane – most versatile password manager in 2020

dashlane logo
Price: From $4.99/month
Free version: Yes
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
Pros: Easy-to-use, Great autofill, Dark web scanning, VPN as a bonus
Cons: Not the cheapest option, No password import from phones

Don’t listen to the naysayers – Dashlane IS the best password manager in 2020, even though the competitors are not that far behind. And while it costs more than your average competitor, Dashlane more than makes up for it with an impressive feature list.

Dashlane uses military-grade encryption to protect your password storage. It also supports three authentication methods, the first being Two-factor authentication (2FA). It’s a great way to protect your account even if someone gets your master password. The second factor can be something that you know (a PIN code), something that you have (a smartphone), or something that you are (Face ID).

The premium plan offers universal two-factor authentication (U2FA). This is a more secure version of 2FA where a USB or NFC device can be connected to any computer to instantly access your passwords. At the same time, U2FA is more easy-to-use because you don’t need to install anything – your device communicates with the computer via HID protocol.

Finally, we have the biometric login which can be used instead of your master password. Dashlane supports both Touch ID and Face ID, so it all depends on your device. One thing to note – the biometric login won’t replace your master password. You will need it when accessing Dashlane from a new device.

Next on Dashlane’s feature list comes the Dark web scanner. If you wish, Dashlane can use your email to check if there are any leaks, such as passwords or banking details. Having in mind that millions of new records come up every day, the Dark web scanner can be a great tool to prevent personal data theft.

Dashlane also has a built-in VPN. While it’s not on par with the best VPNs overall, it still is a good tool to encrypt your traffic and hide your IP. Besides, you can connect to 20+ countries that cover most regions.

This password manager is really easy to install and use. It works on all major platforms and has browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Edge. You can also import passwords from most browsers, with the exception of mobile devices.

But the best part is that you get to try most of the features for free. And when you are ready, you can get the premium version for $4.99/month annually. No doubt, the Dashlane password manager is worth it.

Visit the Dashlane website

2. LastPass – most feature-rich free option 

lastpass logo
Price: From $3.00/month
Free version: Yes
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
Pros: Powerful free version, Plenty of browser extensions, Fair price, Easily customizable
Cons: No live chat or phone support, No anonymous payment, Website was hacked in 2019

LastPass is a solid password manager that fiercely competes for the top spot. For some, it automatically is better than Dashlane because of a significantly lower price, starting at $3.00/month. But is there anything you leave behind apart from cash by going with LastPass?

This password manager uses the industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption. However, they also state that neither your master password nor decryption keys aren’t sent to LastPass servers and they have no means to access such data.

LastPass uses multi-factor authentication (MFA) which can range from “something that you have” (smartphone) to biometric data (fingerprint). You can use not only the in-house authenticator but also the one from YubiKey, Sesame, Google, or Microsoft.

You can install this password manager on all major platforms and a bunch of browsers. LastPass has extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Edge, and Edge Legacy. While it doesn’t support Vivaldi or Brave, the same can be said about Dashlane.

Installing and using LastPass is easy. The company has also upgraded the import/export feature. It now works without an extra component, installing which often gave problems. The autofill and autosave features work very well – you won’t need to remember anything but your master password.

For all the good we’ve said about LastPass, we also want to remind one less known fact. In 2019, the LastPass website was embedded with malicious code, resulting in more than 16 million users getting exposed. While LastPass fixed this quickly, they still ended up with a tarnished reputation.

We also missed the “24/7” paired with “customer support.” Even though LastPass states that premium users get priority support, that still means you will have to wait long enough if you’re in a different timezone. Maybe that’s the price you pay for paying less than Dashlane asks.

Visit the LastPass website

3. 1Password – top service for families and businesses

1Password logo
Price: From $2.99/month
Free version: No
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
Pros: Checks for compromised passwords, Good price, 30-day money-back guarantee, 24/7 email support
Cons: No free version, No live chat support

1Password is a truly powerful tool to store, generate, and manage your passwords. It’s adequately-priced and full of features, although not without some rough edges.

1Password uses military-grade encryption. As always, you need only one password, the so-called Master Password. However, you can use a biometric login instead, which can be both fingerprint or face ID. Another 2FA option is to use your phone to generate a one-time password.

This password manager has autofill and synchronizes your data across all devices. It also makes sharing passwords easy by setting up guest accounts. And the best part is that contrary to the competition, 1Password has no limit for the number of users that can share your account.

1Password has two other features that we really loved. The first one is called the Watchtower. It’s a dark web scanner, similar to the one that Dashlane has. However, this one also checks if a website supports 2FA and whether it uses HTTPS.

Travel Mode is the second feature that we wanted to discuss. Essentially, it’s for hiding sensitive information on your phone while you’re away. If you lose the phone or someone steals it, you can be sure that all personal information is safe.

In addition to all major platforms, 1Password also supports Chrome OS and command line. When it comes to browser extensions, you can choose from Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Brave. The latter isn’t supported by Dashlane and LastPass.

Switching to 1Password is easy. You can import from Chrome, plain CSV, and other popular password managers, including LastPass and Dashlane. And while it doesn’t have a free version, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind.

While the price of 1Passwords starts at $2.99/month annually, you can get a great Family plan for 5 users that cost $4.99/month. Inviting another member is $1.00/month extra and there are another 5 slots for guests with limited access. Of course, all this wouldn’t work if 1Password didn’t offer unlimited simultaneous connections.

Visit the 1Password website

4. NordPass – most secure and streamlined experience

nordpass logo
Price: From $2.49/month
Free version: Yes
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
Pros: Next-gen XChaCha20 encryption, Cheap, Powerful free version, Anonymous payment option
Cons: Doesn’t scan the dark web, Premium version lacks features

Launched in 2019, NordPass is part of the online security suite that includes NordLocker file encryption and NordVPN. Despite being young, this password manager is already among the top, ready to climb even further. So what makes NordPass worth your time?

To start with, NordPass walks the extra mile to offer next-gen XChaCha20 encryption with Argon 2 for key derivation. While there’s nothing wrong with AES 256-bit used by the competitors, XChaCha20 is easier to integrate and less prone to misconfiguration. Add in zero-knowledge architecture, and you’ve got yourself a truly secure password manager.

Learning to use NordPass is a breeze. Just like the rest, it uses a master password to protect your vault and synchronizes all data across devices. There’s also an option to use Touch ID or Face ID (iOS only) instead. For 2FA, you will need the authentication app and an email where a 6-digit code will be sent.

While NordPass is user-friendly, it still lacks features compared to the rest. You can generate passwords and evaluate their strength, use autofill & autosave, and share login credentials. However, we missed some sort of dark web scanner or an alternative to the in-house authenticator app.

NordPass does have some unique features, though. You can organize your data in folders for easier access and use OCR to automatically scan text information from credit cards, documents, and photos. What’s more, the Offline mode will let you access your vault even when there’s no internet connection.

This password manager has apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. When it comes to browser extensions, one would be hard-pressed to find a wider selection. You can install NordPass on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Brave, Vivaldi, and Edge.

NordPass also offers plenty of options to import your passwords. That includes the most popular password managers, except Zoho Vault, and the most popular browsers, except Safari. Unfortunately, you will have to manually check if the exported file meets NordPass criteria.

The free version is pretty powerful, even though it allows only one active device and lacks secure sharing and Trusted Contacts. Starting from $2.49/month bi-annually, NordPass won’t break your bank and will give you 30-days to change your mind. Besides, it also accepts AmazonPay and cryptocurrencies.

Finally, NordPass has great customer support, which includes 24/7 live chat, email, and an ever-growing knowledge base. It’s only a matter of time when they add more features and challenge Dashlane for the #1 spot on the best password managers list.

Visit the NordPass website

5. RememBear – best password manager for new users

remembear logo
Price: From $2.50/month
Free version: Yes
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Pros: Cheap, Funny, Easy-to-use, Simple master password recovery
Cons: Few import options, Free version is a lackluster, No anonymous payment

From the makers of TunnelBear VPN comes a product that aims to further bear-ify the world. Introducing RememBear, a fun, furry, and user-friendly password manager. But don’t let the looks fool you – inside this bear you’ll find not intestines but an unlimited storage space for your data, encrypted with a bank-grade cipher.

RememBear is an independently-audited password manager that lets you store, sync, and generate passwords. You can also save notes, credit cards, and logins, which can be later used for autofill. Just like the rest, RememBear supports 2FA and biometrics (fingerprint and face). And should you lose your master password, a unique New Device Key can be used to access your account.

When it comes to importing, you can transfer passwords, credit cards, and notes from 1Password and LastPass. RememBear can also import from Chrome. All in all, this is a poor selection that will make you think twice if you already have an established database.

RememBear has apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. There are also browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, but they aren’t stand-alone. The company cites security concerns as the reason, but this sounds weird when the competitors don’t have this problem.

The free version might give you a glimpse of what RememBear has to offer, but there are some serious limitations. For starters, you won’t be able to back up your passwords, which means you will probably have to store the second copy somewhere else in a less-safe fashion. Also, syncing between devices is not allowed, so after creating a database at home you may find yourself locked out while on the go. Last but not least, the free version doesn’t come with priority support, so getting a reply might take a while.

RememBear starts from $2.50/month, which is considered cheap among premium password managers. Unfortunately, the features advertised as “Premium” are given away for free by most competitors. Even the priority customer support doesn’t sound that exciting because it’s neither live nor 24/7. All in all, we can recommend RememBear to bear lovers and bears.

Visit the RememBear website

6.Keeper – for those who want ALL the features

keeper logo
Price: From $2.91/month
Free version: No, 30-day free trial 
Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
Pros: Great compatibility, 24/7 live chat customer support, Private messaging app, Multiple 2FA options
Cons: Few export options, No free version, Outdated interface

Keeper is a solid and secure password manager that uses military-grade encryption and zero-knowledge approach. That means your data is encrypted not on the server but your device and only you can decipher it. Of course, a good master password is a must to reap all these benefits.

All password managers must have some sort of Two-factor authentication, and Keeper comes with a bunch of options. You can use SMS, Google and Microsoft authenticator (TOTP), RSA SecurID, Duo Security, U2F (YubiKey), and KeeperDNA. The latter is a proprietary 2FA option that allows biometric authentication using a smartphone or a smartwatch.

Keeper is a feature-rich service. In fact, some of them aren’t available on any other password manager. One of those is KeeperChat – a secure messaging system with self-destructing messages and media gallery for private photo sessions and saxophone-heavy music videos. Another one, Security Audit, checks all your passwords, evaluates their strength and suggests changing the weak ones. There’s also a dark web scanner named Breach Watch that checks if your usernames or passwords haven’t been stolen.

Most likely, you will be able to import from your current password manager or web browser to Keeper. It supports Dashlane, 1Password, ZOHO, and others. When it comes to browsers, you can import from Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, and even Internet Explorer. Export is available to PDF, .csv, or .json file.

Keeper has apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. As for the browser extensions, they’ve decided to use them for auto-filling login credentials only. Naturally, this enhances compatibility – the so-called KeeperFill works with Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, and IE. Finally, you can also login to your vault from Keeper’s website.

There’s no free version this time, but you can try Keeper for one month without exposing your payment info. This should be enough time to see that these guys are serious about securing your data, even if you get only the web application for free. There’s also a 14-day free trial for B2B clients.

Keeper has a mid-range price of $2.91/month, billed annually. However, features like KeepChat and Dark Web monitoring cost extra. Then there are personal, family, student, business, and enterprise plans, so the final price depends on who you are and what you want from life. And should you need help picking the plan, Keeper’s 24/7 live chat support will gladly help you out.

Visit the Keeper website

7. Zoho Vault – part of the best cybersecurity suite for teams

zoho vault logo
Price: From $0.90/month
Free version: Yes
Platforms: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Pros: Easy-to-use, Some plans are cheap, Plenty of browser extensions, Great for teams
Cons: Outdated interface, Standard and Professional plans don’t add much value, No import from Safari

Most of the best password managers are consumer-oriented. Even if they have a business solution, the B2C segment drives their revenue. That’s not the case with Zoho Vault, which is somewhere between the consumer and the business sector. However, the company positions Vault as a password manager for teams.

Some password managers are part of an online security suite that includes a VPN or a file encryption tool. In the meantime, Zoho has a huge list of apps that integrate with Vault, which is just one of many services available. The same can be said about third-party software – this password manager offers single sign-on for Office 365, Windows AD, Dropbox, and ZenDesk, among others.

Zoho Vault uses military-grade encryption and zero-knowledge architecture. Your master password is protected with the PBKDF2 algorithm which gives it more strength. You can also set up 2FA using the One-Time-Password algorithm (OTP), voice call, Yubikey, Google authenticator, or proprietary OneAuth.

This password manager supports over 400 sites, meaning that you’ll be able to quickly login to most of your accounts. Zoho Vault has a sophisticated password sharing system that gives you multi-layer filters, time-restricted access, and one-click approval or revoke. You can also easily specify how often your team has to change passwords and automatically inform everyone when this happens.

You can import to Zoho Vault from more than 20 apps and browsers, including Dashlane, LastPass, 1Password, and Keeper. Unfortunately, importing from Safari or Edge is unavailable. Export is available in either simple .csv or the one that fits Zoho Vault’s format.

Zoho Vault doesn’t have a desktop app and uses web application instead. There are clients for Android and iOS, though. As for the browser extensions, the selection is pretty wide. You can pick from Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Brave, and Vivaldi.

The free version is pretty strong, lacking only cloud backup and more business-oriented features. You can get all that plus priority support for just $0.9/month, billed annually. And for $3.60/month, five devices per account are allowed, in addition to sharing folders and password access reports.

Zoho Vault offers support via email, submitting a form, or a 24×5 call line. While we’d switch the latter for a live chat, it’s still a great feature, knowing that some of the best password managers use only email. Finally, the outdated web application interface is already being updated, making Zoho Vault even more attractive to both users and business entities.

Visit the Zoho Vault website

Should you consider a free password manager?

For some users, a free password manager might be enough. However, we should first separate premium ones that offer a free version from the truly free password managers. Unfortunately, most of the latter are not worth your time. In fact, some might be even dangerous, stealing all your data inside the vault.

Most of the best password managers have a free version for you to try. Of course, they all come with fewer features and various restrictions, such as one connected device at a time. Others won’t let you backup your data and deny priority customer support. That being said, we advise trying a free version of any password manager listed above to see if you need to upgrade to premium.

5 best free password managers

The list below combines the best free password managers and the best premium ones that have a free version. Most will likely have some kind of limitation that will make you think about upgrading, such as a limited number of entries or no sharing option. Nevertheless, we recommend checking these five first before spending your money.

LastPass

It’s only fitting that one of our best password managers also wins in the “free” category. That’s because LastPass will let you try most of its features without spending a dime. It works on all devices, synchronizes between them, and doesn’t limit how many passwords you can save. What’s more, LastPass enables password sharing, multi-factor authentication, and allows saving other types of data, such as credit cards or notes.

You can install LastPass for free on all major platforms, including Linux. And when it comes to browser extensions, the selection is as wide as a barn door. This free password manager supports Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Edge, and Edge Legacy.

NordPass

Another entry from the list above, NordPass has a very generous free version. There’s no limit to how many passwords, secure notes, or credit card details you can save. Besides, all this data is backed up and synchronized on all of your devices. Autofill and autosave features are also present.

On the NordPass Download page you’ll find apps for popular desktop and mobile platforms and browser extensions: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Brave, Vivaldi, and Edge. No other service supports that many browsers. Lastly, throw in 24/7 live chat support and you have an excellent free password manager.

KeePass

KeePass is a free open-source password manager. This means that some of the features, such as password strength reports or autofill, are released in a form of plugins. Naturally, less experienced users may want to look for a more user-friendly option. After all, there’s no live chat nor email support – users will have to do the old-school digging in forums and knowledge bases.

This password manager supports 2FA and has a password generator. It also differs from most competitors by not storing your passwords in a cloud. While the service can run without installation, on the KeePass Downloads page you’ll find a Windows installer and unofficial ports for macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and browsers.

Dashlane

Dashlane is our best password manager and its free version is full of features. However, there’s also one big caveat – you get to save only 50 passwords. While this may be enough for some users, most likely you will either have to upgrade to premium or choose a free password manager without such limitations. What’s more, syncing between devices is also unavailable.

Despite its shortcomings, this free password manager has 2FA, autofill, sharing, and security alerts. Dashlane is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Browser extensions can be downloaded for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, and IE. Finally, if you’ll need some help, Dashlane has live chat and an extensive knowledgebase.

RoboForm

RoboForm is a great password manager and its free version is worth looking at. It has no limit for the number of passwords but works on one device only. You’ll also get the autofill, password audit, and password generator. Sharing logins, 24/7 customer support, and backing up data are left for the premium version.

RoboForm has neatly-designed and user-friendly apps, available on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Chrome OS. Browser extensions are available on Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, and Safari. Finally, should you decide that the free version is not enough, RoboForm offers some of the cheapest pricing plans available.

DIY or self-hosted password managers

Best password managers use robust security to protect your vault from hackers. However, some users may see their data cloud-hosted as a potential risk. After all, if your data is online 24/7, there’s a chance that someone might find a way to get it.

Luckily, there are plenty of self-hosted password managers that let you store your data on a USB, hard disk, or another offline medium. Below are three services that we can recommend trying out.

KeePass

KeePass is a highly customizable free open-source password manager. It’s portable, meaning it doesn’t require installation and lets you store your valuable information on your desktop or USB stick. However, should you change your mind, there’s an option to store everything on third-party cloud storage.

This password manager is an epitome of a DIY service. Since it’s free and open-source, most of the features have to be installed via plug-ins. This means you can set up your very own version of KeePass. Of course, this requires some prior knowledge and research, so amateur password manager users should look elsewhere.

RoboForm

While unavailable to Business plan subscribers, self-hosting is possible to other users. The only thing that you need is either a desktop or a mobile app. RoboForm is available on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Chrome OS. There are also browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, and Safari.

RoboForm is an affordable password manager, starting at $1.66/month, billed every five years. There’s also a strong free version that will allow unlimited entries, autofill, password audit, and secure sharing, among others. Upgrading will get you synchronization across devices, backup, 2FA, and priority 24/7 support.

BitWarden

BitWarden allows self-hosting your own server for all users, even those with a free plan. The application can be set up on Windows, Linux, or macOS, thanks to Docker Linux containers. Updating the BitWarden server is just as easy as installing – you only have to regularly run the update commands found on the website.

The free version of this password manager gives you 2FA, synchronization, unlimited vault items, and a password generator. For $0.83 only, you get more two-step login options, 1 GB of storage, priority customer support, and other features. If you want to learn more about a quality self-hosted password manager, read our BitWarden review.

How do password managers work?

Password managers store your passwords in an encrypted database, which can be either local (on your device) or remote (online). In some cases, it can also be credit card info or important documents that you don’t want to keep in the cloud. All the information that’s inside is usually unlocked with a master password. That’s the only one you have to remember.

Whenever you need to log in to your email or another account, you simply copy-paste the username and password. Most password managers also have an auto-fill function which does the job for you. In either case, the point is that you no longer have to remember any of these passwords.

Password managers also generate strong passwords for you. They can even remind you to change them regularly, which is a recommended practice. You will also be notified about  duplicates, which are often found when you enter all the passwords to the database for the first time.

What’s more, password managers work on multiple devices and also come with browser extensions. This means that you won’t be locked out either on your desktop or your smartphone.

Have a look at our comprehensive guide about how do password managers work and the technology behind that powers them to learn more.

How we curated our best password managers list?

Most password managers offer the same set of features, such as synchronization, password generation, and two-factor authentication. However, when the time comes to separate the best from the rest, we used the following criteria:

  • Encryption. Anything less than military-grade AES 256-bit cipher is unacceptable. Bonus points for the next-gen XChaCha20.
  • Additional features. Dark web scanning, U2FA, VPN, or a secure chat are just some of the examples that give extra value to the product.
  • Multi-factor authentication. In addition to its own authenticator, a good password manager should offer several others. Biometrics (Touch ID and Face ID) should also work on all devices.
  • Import and export. There’s not much use from a password manager than can’t import your vault from another service or browser. Export is also important in case you decide to switch password managers.
  • Apps and browser extensions.The more the merrier.
  • Value for money. Is there a cheaper password manager with the same set of features?
  • Customer support. Live chat or phone support is a sign of quality service. The same goes for 24/7 availability.

Why using a built-in browser password manager is a bad idea

Browser password managers are getting better every day, not only saving but also generating passwords for you. 2FA, autofill, and synchronization have also become common features. What’s more, Apple users now get alerts from Safari if any password is used more than once. 

Despite all that, we recommend using a dedicated password manager. For starters, they synchronize your data on multiple browsers and devices, which makes it much easier to access it on the go. Secondly, most password managers also save credit card information and notes, making it much easier to share them securely.

Finally, best password managers can check the dark web if any of your log-in credentials have been compromised. In such a case, changing all of your passwords with new strong ones will be much easier compared to the browser password managers. 

Features of a good password manager

A good password manager should have all or at least most of the following features:

  • Keeps your passwords safe. This is not possible without military-grade encryption.

  • Uses zero-knowledge architecture. Only you should be able to access your passwords. The zero-knowledge architecture ensures that even the service provider cannot access your data.

  • Generates strong passwords. They should be at least 12 characters long, with uppercase letters, numbers, and special symbols.

  • Improves weak passwords. When you import your password list, at least some will probably not qualify as strong. It’s the task of a good password manager to strengthen them, like steroids strengthen an athlete.

  • Scans the dark web regularly. You never know when your username, password, or, God forbid, both, end up on the dark web for sale. Therefore, choose a password manager that can alert you if that happens.

  • Lets you save other data. While usernames and passwords will populate the most of your vault, credit card details and secure notes are also important, especially if you need them on a daily basis.

Password Managers — Frequently Asked Questions

How do password managers guarantee your password security?

Password managers protect your data not only from hackers but also from themselves. Thanks to zero-knowledge architecture, your information is encrypted using a military-grade cipher before it gets to the provider’s server. That’s why it’s virtually impossible to decipher your data. 

What’s more, you can choose a password manager that lets you store your passwords locally on a USB or your computer. You can find the list of best self-hosted password managers in a section above.

Additionally, there’s no way to open your vault without knowing the master password. Some password managers allow sending a reminder in case you forgot it, but resetting would require the hacker to access your email and also identify with your fingerprint or face.

Do password manager apps track or sell my personal information?

A password manager can’t track let alone sell your data if it implements zero-knowledge architecture. And that’s what the best password managers do. They encrypt your personal information before it reaches their servers, so there’s no way to access it without a master password.

Other password managers allow you to store your data locally, which means that it never reaches your provider’s servers. Again, the only way to access such a vault is by using a master password. An alternative to that is a brute force attack, trying all possible combinations, which requires more than a lifetime.

As you can see, the only real way for a password manager to track your data is to not use zero-knowledge architecture. This is reserved for less known services which are often free. To avoid losing your precious data, we recommend choosing from our top free or best overall password managers in 2020.

Are there password manager apps to avoid?

You should avoid most free password managers, especially if they say nothing about zero-knowledge architecture. Without one, there’s no guarantee that they don’t eavesdrop on your passwords before encrypting them and storing on their server.

Another red flag is the lack of two-factor authentication. Using only your master password to access your banking account and other sensitive info is too risky. Also, there should be an option to use biometric authentication instead of a master password.

The best way to avoid installing a poor password manager is to use our recommendations above. All five free services either use zero-knowledge or let you store passwords locally. The same goes for best overall password managers, which also implement both 2FA and biometric authentication.

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