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Bitwarden vs KeePass: which one wins?


With their similarities and their differences, Bitwarden and KeePass are two extra secure and strong password managers. They both offer great protection against cybercriminals and have solid free versions.

But what are their differences? Is any one of them better than the other? In this comparison of Bitwarden vs KeePass, you’ll find out which password manager is better in terms of security, features, pricing, usability, and more.

KeePass vs Bitwarden - an overview

BitwardenKeePass
⭐ Rating:
3.8
3.9
🥇 Overall rank:#9 out of #12#8 out of #12
💵 Price:From $0.83/monthFree (Donations)
✂️ Free version:YesYes
🔒 Encryption:AES 256-bitSHA-256
🖥️ Platforms:Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOSWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
🌐 Browser extensions:Chrome, Firefox, Edge, OperaOnly with plugins
🔥 Coupons:Cybernews Password Manager CouponsCybernews Password Manager Coupons

Bitwarden or KeePass: which one is more secure?

In the first round of Bitwarden vs KeePass, I reviewed their security. Both providers offer the unbreakable AES-256 encryption which ensures great protection against hackers. However, KeePass also includes the CPU-friendly ChaCha20 encryption.

Moving on, for extra safety, both providers offer two-factor authentication methods. For instance, with KeePass, you can use a USB stick called YubiKey. Meanwhile, with Bitwarden, you get many more authentication methods to choose from, such as email, an authentication app, YubiKey, Duo, and more.

Both password managers let you store not only passwords but important or sensitive files as well. And, you can be sure that your data is kept safe because of the strict compliance with privacy law policies.

In conclusion, it would be unfair to declare a winner in terms of protection as both providers offer great security measures.

Winner: Draw

Encryption

Both Bitwarden and KeePass are very safe password managers. In terms of encryption, both use the famous AES-256 – one of the most secure types of encryption known to mankind.

With Bitwarden, you have a master password-derived encryption key that helps keep your data safe.

As for KeePass, on top of the AES-256 encryption, it also has ChaCha20, which is a faster and even safer encryption. For extra security, KeePass uses the SHA-256 algorithm for protecting your data. It actually makes guessing and dictionary attacks harder for hackers.

Multi-factor security

There’s a reason multi-factor (MFA) security is praised by cybersecurity experts. Imagine you don’t have two-factor authentication (2FA) turned on. In this case, if your password is hacked or even guessed, the hacker gets in immediately. However, if you have 2FA enabled, a password won’t be enough to get in. At least not without your permission.

In terms of KeePass, it offers only one 2FA authentication method – using a YubiKey, which is a USB stick. All you need to do is insert it into your device, click the button on the USB stick, and it will insert a password for you.

As for Bitwarden, it offers more 2FA options than KeePass. If you have the free version, you can either enable 2FA via the provider’s authenticator app or use email authentication. With the premium plans, you get such authentication options as YubiKey, U2F, and Duo.

Two-step login settings on Bitwarden

So, while both password managers offer multi-factor security, Bitwarden has more methods to choose from.

Data storage

While the primary purpose of a password manager is to securely store, organize, and recover login credentials, it can also be used to store files. This way, not only are your passwords protected, but sensitive files can be encrypted as well.

Starting from KeePass, the password manager has a feature called Attachments. It lets you store documents, text files, and even images. You can even edit them inside the encrypted vault so that no prying eyes would have a chance to take a peek.

As for Bitwarden, it includes 1 GB of storage with its premium plan. The good thing is that you can purchase more storage if needed. Bitwarden’s attachment size cannot be higher than 500 MB (or 100 MB when uploading from a mobile device).

However, I have to mention that Bitwarden stores data in the US, which belongs to the 5-Eyes countries. And let’s just say that those countries aren’t very concerned about your privacy. Despite that, there have been no issues with Bitwarden in the past and it uses one of the strongest encryptions on the market, so it’s a trustworthy password manager.

Privacy policy

When choosing any cyber product, knowing what data the providers collect is important when evaluating security. Starting from Bitwarden, it collect certain information about you, including:

  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Your IP address and other online identifiers
  • The type of device you’re using
  • Your operating system
  • Information you enter into Bitwarden’s forms

The provider states that they comply with such privacy laws as GDPR, Privacy Shield, and CCPA regulations. So, the data they collect proves that they do meet these laws.

As for KeePass, collected information includes:

  • Operating system version
  • Internet browser version
  • CPU type
  • Internet connection type
  • Operating system language
  • IP address
  • Cookies enabling
  • Java enabling
  • Screen resolution
  • Information you enter into KeePass’ forms

It’s worth mentioning that KeePass collects personal data, which, in their privacy policy, is defined as “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person”. This includes name, location, and more. KeePass also states that they follow strict compliance with GDPR, just like Bitwarden.

Overall, both providers have similar data handling practices and can be considered trustworthy as they comply with privacy laws.

Bitwarden vs KeePass: features overview

A quality password manager not only lets you safely store passwords – it should also have additional features for your convenience. For instance, when it comes to Bitwarden vs KeePass, both managers allow many password importing options. They also offer great password generators for creating unbreakable and impossible-to-guess passwords.

Moving on, Bitwarden includes an account and password recovery method if you accidentally forget your login credentials. Meanwhile, if that happens with KeePass, you can forget your database – you’re not getting it back. That is, unless you remember your password.

On top of that, with Bitwarden, you get to share your passwords with multiple users (depending on the plan you get). And, once again, KeePass lacks this feature, which makes it troublesome if you need to share login credentials. All you can do is create a separate shared database.

So, KeePass lacks quite a few extras, paving the way for the winner of this round – you guessed it, Bitwarden! Let’s explore what they offer in more detail.

Password importing

A password manager’s purpose is to securely store and organize passwords. So, a quality service should have numerous password importing options. That’s exactly the case with Bitwarden and KeePass.

Bitwarden includes such password importing options as browsers, other password managers, .CSV files, and more. While we needed to use some of Bitwarden’s guides on how to import passwords, it didn’t take long to figure it out.

As for KeePass, you can also choose between many import options. It supports imports from other well-known password managers, .CSV files, browsers, etc. However, it’s quite hard to figure the importing part out if you don’t have any experience. Especially because the guides on KeePass’ website don’t provide any screenshots and are difficult to read.

password-import-keepass

To conclude, while both password managers are extensive in terms of importing options, Bitwarden is easier to get a hang of.

Account and password recovery

It just so happens that people sometimes forget their passwords. After all, as Gediminas Brencius, Head of Product at NordPass, said, “If you can remember your password, it's not secure enough”. That’s why your password manager should include account recovery options.

Luckily, Bitwarden has a method of account recovery, which is a code you get when you first set up 2FA. You must save this code because if you don’t, there’s no way for you to ever recover your account if you forget your master password.

At the same time, KeePass offers no account recovery methods. You have a master key that can consist of a master password, a key file, or a key that is protected using a Windows account. If you lose or forget any of these components, you can say bye-bye to your KeePass account together with all the passwords.

Even if there’s only one account recovery method that Bitwarden includes, it’s still one option more than KeePass. So, Bitwarden gets points in this case, as having no account recovery methods is a huge drawback.

Password generator

A password generator is a feature that does exactly what it says – it generates strong and virtually unhackable passwords. Bitwarden offers an excellent generator with a default of 14 characters.

Password generator on Bitwarden

However, if you wish, you can set the password to be anywhere from 5 to 128 characters long. On top of that, you can choose what you want it to include – letters, symbols, numbers, or all of them.

The KeePass password generator is quite similar. You can indicate a specific length for your password. There are also 9 toggles that you can pick and specify what characters you want your password to include.

KeePass-password-generator

Also, you can even type down all the specific characters that you want the password to have, or choose a custom algorithm.

Password sharing

Whether you can share passwords between users or not depends on your Bitwarden subscription. While the free tier is out of the question, the Premium account lets you share passwords with one other user. And, if you opt for the Family subscription, you can share as many passwords as you want with up to six users.

KeePass, unfortunately, is not designed for password sharing. All you can do is create a separate shared database with the same master password. This way, you share the database with multiple users. What’s good is that if both users make any changes, KeePass will ask how to proceed when saving – synchronize, overwrite, or cancel.

Once again, KeePass lacks something that Bitwarden can proudly brag about. The absence of password sharing options can be inconvenient for some users, which is why Bitwarden wins again.

Bitwarden vs KeePass: which offers better value for money?

The difference between Bitwarden vs KeePass is that the latter has no paid tiers. All that it includes is a free plan in its full potential. While it costs nothing, they do accept donations. However, Bitwarden offers additional features and better apps, so I’d recommend opting for the Premium plan as all you have to pay is less than $1 per month.

PlanBitwardenKeePass
Free$0.00$0.00
Premium$10.00/year
Family$39.96/year
Check pricingCheck pricing

You see, the Premium plan offers advanced 2FA, the Authenticator app, which allows two-step logins, and emergency access for other users. Meanwhile, the Family package lets you get a password manager for up to 6 users which you can share.

So, while both password managers have free tiers, Bitwarden has plans for multiple users with extra 2FA options.

KeePass or Bitwarden: Free vs Premium plans

Starting from the free plans, all that KeePass has or will ever have to offer is completely free of charge. It’s a very customizable password management system, so what you get depends on what kind of plugins (created by the community) you add.

As for Bitwarden, the free tier offers the core features. This includes unlimited vault items, up to 1GB of vault storage, unlimited devices and device types, secure password generator, basic two-step login, free cloud hosting, encrypted export, and storing notes, credit cards, and identities. It’s worth mentioning that Bitwarden actually has two free plans – you can choose between a subscription for one user or a tier for two.

Moving on, if you’re looking into the Premium subscription, you can expect such features as emergency access, Bitwarden Authenticator, and advanced 2FA, such as YubiKey, U2F, Duo, or email. You can get all that for only $10 per year which is super cheap compared to other top password managers on the market.

With Bitwarden’s Family package, you get a password manager for up to 6 people. For $3.33/month, you get unlimited password sharing between all of those users.

Overall, both providers offer free tiers, which is always a big advantage. However, Bitwarden has more extensive paid tiers for users who need a premium password manager with additional features.

Platforms, interface, and ease of use

What’s great about Bitwarden and KeePass is that no matter what OS you’re using, both password managers support all of the most popular ones. Both tools offer apps for desktop, yet KeePass only has third-party developed mobile apps. KeePass also doesn’t have any official browser extensions, only third-party plugins.

BitwardenKeePass
Supported OSWindows, macOS, Linux, Chrome, iOS, AndroidWindows, macOS, Linux, Chrome, iOS, Android
Browser extensionsChrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, Safari, BravePlugins only
Number of devices1, 2, or 6 usersMultiple

Bitwarden allows 1, 2, or 6 users depending on the plan you purchase. Meanwhile, KeePass only specifies that multiple users can share the same database.

As for the setup of both password managers, it’s very simple. Take Bitwarden, for instance. You can either create a free account on their official website and access the password manager online, or you can download the desktop app. With KeePass, the process is similar – you go to its official website and download the app. Both providers ensure a smooth and easy-to-understand installation process.

It’s clear that Bitwarden is a better password manager in terms of compatibility. That’s because it has official extensions for the most popular browsers and mobile apps.

Desktop apps

Bitwarden is supported on all three biggest operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. What’s interesting is that all apps are visually similar and don’t have major differences in terms of interface.

Bitwarden-desktop-app

What I loved about Bitwarden most was the way everything was organized. I found the interface to be similar to folders of Windows and Mac – all of the sections are placed on the left side of the screen. This makes it very easy to navigate and doesn’t take long to figure things out.

The situation with KeePass is very similar as it has desktop apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux. And, the interface of all of them is very similar, which, again, is pretty convenient.

KeePass-desktop-app

However, I didn’t quite enjoy the old-fashioned design. Most of the tools and features can be found in the upper menu section but there are no actual sections and buttons. Because of that, I would call KeePass rather interfaceless (with all due respect). That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it can be appealing to tech-savvy people who want simplicity.

Browser extensions

Bitwarden offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, Safari, Brave, and more. They are similar to desktop apps in terms of interface, so there are no issues understanding how they work.

bitwarden-browser-extensions

One of the main purposes of Bitwarden’s extensions is to generate secure passwords when changing previous ones or creating accounts. They also let you autofill your login credentials, which saves a lot of time, especially if your passwords are long and hard.

As for KeePass, it doesn’t have official browser extensions but there are many third-party plugins. The setup is as simple as with any other official extension. First, you have to find the plugin for your browser and download it. Then, all you have to do is move them into the password manager, and restart the application. They work similarly as if they’d be official ones so this means that you can still auto-fill your passwords, and more.

Mobile apps

Bitwarden has apps for both Android and iOS. To get your preferred app, all you have to do is find it in the app store and download it like any other mobile application. Yet again, Bitwarden stays true to its blue and white design and you surely won’t get lost if you’re familiar with the desktop app. In fact, Bitwarden’s interface is customizable, so you can make it as convenient for yourself as possible.

Moving on, just like with the browser extensions, KeePass doesn’t have official mobile apps for Android or iOS. There are, however, apps created by the community. If you browse through either Android or iOS app stores, you can see that there are multiple apps for both operating systems. They’re all different in terms of design and functionality, so I’d recommend researching them first to find the best one for you.

Customer support

Quality customer support is crucial for any service, and in the case of Bitwarden vs KeePass, both providers offer multiple support options.

For instance, the best support you can get from Bitwarden is by email. However, the company also has many how-to guides, weekly live Q&A sessions, a FAQ, and a community forum. While there’s no live chat available, it’s good that Bitwarden offers at least some type of human assistance.

If you decide to go for KeePass, keep in mind that there are no agent support options. However, you can find extensive amounts of information in their FAQ or help center. There’s even a local Wiki dedicated to KeePass users.

So, even though both password managers have multiple support methods, I prefer Bitwarden as it includes at least some type of human assistance options.

Bottom line

CategoryBitwardenKeePass
Features
Pricing & Plans
Security
User-friendliness
Compatibility

KeePass vs Bitwarden – which is the better password manager? Drum roll, please. That’s right – Bitwarden exceeded KeePass in multiple areas, including features. It also has account recovery methods and allows password sharing depending on the tier you get. KeePass, on the other hand, lacks these features.

Speaking about KeePass, I found it difficult to navigate simply because the design is very old-fashioned and brings back Windows XP vibes. However, if you’re a tech-savvy person, you might enjoy the simplicity which lets you focus on work. Meanwhile, Bitwarden ensures a user-friendly and very organized design, which helps you to not get lost.

In regard to security, I have to hand it to both providers. They both ensure top-notch protection, have great encryption, and claim that they strictly follow privacy laws. And, while KeePass is completely free, Bitwarden offers a much better product even when paying less than a dollar per month. You get official browser extensions and apps for both desktop and mobile devices, while KeePass only has third-party plugins and apps.

At the end of the day, while both providers are great password managers, Bitwarden is just more user-focused. If you lack experience in using password managers, this service will ensure an effortless experience with more features.

FAQ