Dashlane review 2021: Is it safe enough?
Dashlane is the luxurious sedan of the password manager world. It has more features than any other tool on the market, putting it ahead of most competitors both in terms of quality and (unfortunately) price.
You'll love it if you're looking for an all-in-one cybersecurity suite with a focus on keeping your passwords safe. Not only does it offer all the bells and whistles of a password manager, but the tool even includes a VPN and identity theft protection!
So, in this Dashlane review let's take a closer look at massive package of features, compare the pricing plans, and look at the apps. Find out if this great service is for you!
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS|
|Current deal:||Get Dashlane, save up to 20%!|
Dashlane features, pros and cons
- Long list of security features
- Option to update hundreds of passwords instantly
- Syncs across all devices, including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
- Clean and user-friendly layout
- Built-in VPN protection in Premium plan
- Monitors the Dark Web for leaked logins
- More expensive than some competing password managers
- Limited functionality in Free plan
- Limited web app functionality
Dashlane password generator
One of the most fundamental features of any password manager is its password generator. Dashlane's generator coughs up a strong password whenever you decide to create a new one or change the old one.
By default, the Dashlane password generator creates 12-character passwords using all character sets (including numbers and symbols). However, you can go for a shorter or longer password using only letters and numbers, if you want.
The 12-character default is secure enough for almost any situation. Unfortunately, Dashlane can't generate pronounceable word-based passwords, so it probably won't generate anything you can memorize. Thankfully, you don’t actually have to, so you may as well crank up the password length to keep your accounts even more secure.
Dashlane password changer
So the Dashlane password generator is great, but it only helps when you’re creating new accounts or updating each of your existing ones individually. But if you want to secure every single active account, the Dashlane password changer is great. It makes the task of updating old, weak passwords with strong, unique new ones incredibly simple.
Unlike some other password managers, the Dashlane password changer has the option to help you update all out-of-date or unsafe passwords at once. You won’t have to manually log into each account and change every single password.
Dashlane password changer shows your passwords from worst to best and offers to improve them all at once. It's great to know that you don't have to create new passwords for your old accounts one-by-one.
Dashlane’s password changer is able to automatically update passwords for hundreds of websites – everything from CBS Sports to GitHub and Vimeo – with more being added as I'm writing this article. Not every competitor can beat that.
If you're not importing your password database from a browser or another password manager, you'll need to first capture your logins. Otherwise, you will have to enter each of them separately.
Dashlane will capture your login details and credentials whenever you sign into an account. This applies both to one-page and multi-page websites.
You can set Dashlane to:
- Fill in the details and log you in automatically
- Only complete the autofill
- Disable this altogether
For multi-page websites, you might need to manually enter the second (or third) login by clicking on the Dashlane logo and selecting the right login details. This isn't a major inconvenience but we'd like to have it fixed in the near future.
Advanced form filling
In addition to suggesting and generating new, secure passwords for you, Dashlane can fill in personal details in webforms. This includes basic information, such as your name, email address or phone number, of which you’re able to store as many as you like. Whenever you stumble upon a webform, Dashlane will offer you to populate it with your saved information in one click.
Payment information can be added from the main Dashlane menu. In addition to bank accounts and credit cards, you may add PayPal as well. To not mix them up, you can choose a color and even the actual bank.
Finally, storing identification documents is similar. For example, a US passport will have the dark blue color and your driver's license will include the issuing state - all to make it more straightforward and intuitive.
Dashlane Secure Notes
Storing sensitive information like ID scans, wifi codes, software licenses or membership numbers requires a level of security that your computer’s Notepad just doesn’t provide. While at the same time, being able to access this information on multiple devices is incredibly handy.
Dashlane Secure Notes has pre-set options for the following:
- Application password
- Legal document
- Server info
- Software license
You can also add blank notes and attach files and images that you want to keep secure and accessible. Unfortunately, Dashlane offers only paid storage that's limited to 1 GB. For some users this will be clearly not enough. Also, some of Dashlane's competitors offer much better deals when it comes to secure notes storage.
This feature is not just about storing your data. You can also send it to your phone and securely share with your family and friends.
Dark Web monitoring
The Dark Web is a place where most cybercriminals sell stolen data. Dashlane's Dark Web monitoring service checks if your personal info has been compromised. The check is done by entering your email which can then be linked to your credit card or physical address.
Unfortunately, this is a Premium feature, but in a worst case scenario, you can run a similar check using online tools, such as ours personal data leak check.
Share your passwords
There are times when you might need to share access to personal accounts with friends, family or colleagues. Rather than having to disclose your passwords, you can use Dashlane to share access to a particular account.
After selecting “Share item” within your Dashlane account and entering your friend’s email address, they will receive an email and a notification in Dashlane’s Sharing Centre with an invitation to access that account. You can also specify the level of access you wish to grant them, limiting what they’re able to view, edit and share. If you decide to revoke access, you can do that whenever you want.
And now comes the big hit to the convenience of this feature. To access the account, your friend must sign up for a free Dashlane account if she or he hasn't done that already.
Dashlane emergency access
In the event that you’re unable to access your account, Dashlane lets you register someone as your emergency contact. This nominated person will be able to retrieve your passwords and secure documents, which is especially useful for business accounts and passwords.
When your emergency contact attempts to access your details, Dashlane will send a confirmation request to you. If you do not respond within a set Waiting Period, they will be given access to your account.
To set up an emergency contact, simply navigate to the Emergency tab on the desktop app, click Add New and enter your emergency contact’s email. You can then select which accounts you want them to access as well as the waiting period mentioned above.
Is Dashlane safe?
The number of features available in both the free and premium versions is impressive. However, the main question remains: is Dashlane safe?
The quick answer is YES, Dashlane is safe. Security features include 2-Factor Authentication, military-grade 256-bit AES encryption, and zero-trust architecture to name a few. All your data is encrypted using your master password as a key and stored securely on your device.
Like most password managers, Dashlane has 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) which provides an extra layer of security when logging in. With 2FA enabled, Dashlane will require you to verify your identity by sending a one-time password to your designated mobile device.
Dashlane’s 2FA integrates with several different authenticator apps such as Google Authenticator and Authy, while premium subscribers can use 2FA with USB authentication from YubiKey. There’s even an option to use your Apple Watch. However, sending temporary 2FA codes via SMS is not possible due to security concerns.
You can use 2FA every time you log in or only when you're logging in from a new device. With 2FA enabled, Dashlane will offer two backup options should you happen to lose your primary authentication device. These can be a phone number to receive a text message on or a single-use back-up code you can print off.
Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a popular way to keep your personal information safe, especially when using open or insecure networks. A VPN encrypts your data and hides your IP address, increasing your online security and privacy. However, finding a VPN as a password manager feature is rare, to say the least.
At the moment of writing this review, Dashlane's VPN is a unique feature, and an advantage over other password managers. However, it's available to Premium users only.
Dashlane didn't build this VPN from scratch. It's based on the well-known Hotspot Shield service, which is among the fastest ones in 2020. Speed is important for VPNs because they inevitably slow your connection down to some extent due to encryption and distance from servers. Dashlane has decided to keep unlimited bandwidth, meaning it doesn’t place a cap on the amount of data you can send and receive while connected.
To start using Dashlane VPN, you simply need to choose a server and click “Connect” to enable data protection. At the moment of writing this Dashlane review, one could pick from servers in about 30 countries.
Unfortunately for the advanced users, there's no way to choose a tunneling protocol, and the VPN doesn't reconnect when the connection is lost. To make matters worse, Dashlane VPN doesn't have a kill switch. This means that in case of a VPN failure, your real IP will be exposed. Therefore, those looking for a proper VPN should choose a dedicated, well-known service.
256-bit AES encryption
Dashlane uses 256-bit AES encryption which is practically unbreakable. This military-grade encryption is used by the majority of its competitors, making it the industry-standard for password managers.
In addition to this, Dashlane encrypts all your personal data locally on your device, meaning no one within the company reviews or has access to any of your secure data. This zero-knowledge protocol adds yet another layer of protection for users.
Plans and pricing
|Free (1 user)||50 passwords, form autofill, password generator, password changer, security alerts, emergency contact access, basic 2FA||$0.00|
|Essentials (1 user)||Everything in Free + unlimited passwords, Secure Notes, Automatic Password Changer, 2 device access, unlimited password sharing||$23.99/year|
|Premium (1 user)||Everything in Essentials + unlimited passwords, VPN, Dark Web monitoring, advanced 2FA, Remote Access, priority support, secure file storage (1 GB)||$39.99/year|
|Family (6 users)||Everything in Premium + private accounts for each member, Family Dashboard, unlimited devices, unlimited number of logins||$59.99/year|
Dashlane pricing is fairly straightforward, with a Free plan, Premium plan, and a Family plan for personal use subscribers. And while Dashlane prices are slightly higher than those of most competitors, the features included in the Premium and Family plan still make it one of the best value-for-money password managers available.
You can use Dashlane for free, and even this option comes with plenty of features:
- Autofill for forms and payments
- Password generator
- Security alerts
- Emergency contact access
- Limited to one device
However, there are some key limitations that – while OK for casual users – may be a deal-breaker for some.
- Limited to 50 passwords
- Password sharing with 5 people
- Basic 2FA
Dashlane Essentials is a paid plan, which doesn't provide you with all of its features, but doesn't cost a fortune, either. It's a value option that removes the training wheels from your password manager. It includes everything from the free version, plus:
- Unlimited password storage
- Secure Notes
- Automatic Password Changer
- Access on two devices
- Unlimited password sharing
- Priority support
Its cost starts at $2.49/month, which is about what you could expect from most basic premium versions.
Dashlane Premium is where you start to see the real value come in, with all the free features included as well as the following:
- Advanced USB 2FA (YubiKey)
- VPN with unlimited data for wifi protection
- Dark Web Monitoring and alerts
- Secure file storage (1 GB)
- Remote Access using a web app (Chrome, Firefox, and Edge)
- Unlimited password storage
- Priority support
- Access on unlimited devices
Dashlane Premium costs $3.99/month, making it one of the more expensive password managers on the market, which makes sense given the sheer number of features you get access to. However, its Password Changer and Dark Web Monitoring features alone make the Premium subscription well worth the money. Free users get a free 30-day trial of Premium so you can have a proper test in order to see the value.
Dashlane Family is ideal if you have more than one internet user in your household. This plan allows for up to five people to have their own private accounts with unlimited sharing of logins, making it ideal for families. Dashlane Premium Family has all the features of a free account and a Premium account, plus a few extras:
- Invite up to 5 other people
- Manage members and billing in the Family Dashboard
- Private accounts for each member
- Unlimited passwords
- Unlimited devices
- Form & payment autofill
- Share an unlimited number of logins
- Personalized security alerts
- Dark Web Monitoring
- VPN for wifi protection
It costs $5.99/month if you don't go with the yearly option, making it somewhat pricy. Though, if you consider that you're really getting 6 separate accounts, this makes it a pretty good deal.
Free vs Premium
The main difference between Dashlane free vs paid options is the limited number of passwords and devices included. Dashlane free will limit you to just 50 passwords and will only allow you to access them on one device, meaning you won’t be able to sync passwords across your smartphone, tablet, etc. This is a serious drawback for the majority of us who own more than one device.
Probably the biggest pros of Dashlane Premium are the 2FA, priority support, unlimited devices, and Dark Web Monitoring. Of course, if you stop comparing the free and premium plans, those become pretty standard features of any password manager.
Platforms and browsers
When subscribing for a paid plan, you will be able to access your information and use Dashlane’s various security features across a number of platforms, apps, and browsers.
The Dashlane mobile app is seriously impressive as it includes the majority of features that are available on the full version. This means you’ll have the same access to all your passwords, VPN, Secure Notes, and auto-fill information wherever you are and whichever device you’re using.
Password manager on mobile browsers
Some password manager mobile apps aren’t fully compatible with the full range of mobile browser apps. That's not the case with Dashlane.
The Dashlane mobile app supports all the main mobile browsers when running on iOS and on Android.
iOS compatible mobile browsers:
Android compatible mobile browsers:
- Firefox Focus
Password manager on mobile apps
Using a password manager on a mobile browser is one thing, but the defining benefit of Dashlane is how its mobile apps fair. Unfortunately, a lot of features are still fairly limited on iOS due to Apple’s limitations for third-party apps and general security restrictions. In contrast, Android devices have much more freedom and so can benefit from a lot more Dashlane features.
The Android mobile app can easily handle popular apps like Facebook and LinkedIn, making it a simple matter of tapping when prompted to log back into apps. While this is fairly seamless, if the said app has 2FA, you’ll still need to wait for a one-time code to be sent to you via the authenticator app of your choice. This can make the whole process of logging in a little slower and more frustrating, but it’s far more secure than leaving apps logged in.
High-security apps like internet banking or payment apps like PayPal might be more difficult. However, I was able to log in easily as I had already set a biometric lock for those apps and I was prompted to provide a fingerprint scan after Dashlane filled in my login info. If you do struggle, an inelegant alternative is to open the mobile app and copy the password to your clipboard. It’s not ideal but it’s a viable option when necessary.
Secure Notes on Dashlane mobile app
Keeping copies of sensitive documents stored on your phone may be convenient, but it’s a serious security faux pas. Copies of your passport, driver’s license, or bank details should never be left on your phone in case it gets hacked or stolen, so having Secure Notes on your Dashlane mobile app is a safe and convenient alternative.
Once you’ve saved your documents as an attachment in Secure Notes, it’s a simple matter of tapping on the file within the mobile app to download it to your device whenever you need to share or upload a copy of it. Note: just remember to delete it from your device once you’re done.
VPN on Dashlane mobile app
Another great feature of the Dashlane mobile app is the integrated VPN available to all Premium subscribers. Accessing the VPN on your mobile device is incredibly straightforward thanks to the app’s user-friendly design.
Once logged into the VPN, you just need to select a country from the drop-down menu and press the connection switch. However, as mentioned above, this service is miles behind serious VPNs that cybersecurity experts recommend.
Dashlane authenticator app
The Dashlane mobile app can also act as an authenticator, meaning you can use the app to access websites that use two-factor authentication without the need for an additional third-party app like Microsoft Authenticator.
Dashlane for desktop
Upon registering, you’re quickly prompted to download the Dashlane desktop app which will likely be your central hub for managing all your information. The desktop app has a clean design and should be user-friendly enough for most.
Each section is clearly displayed on the left-hand side of the desktop app, making navigation a breeze. The data categories are split into three sections:
- Vault, which includes all your passwords, notes, IDs, payment, and personal information.
- Security, which is where you can monitor your password health and dark web monitoring.
- Contacts, which is where you can share passwords and set up your emergency contact.
If you need to make any changes to preferences, import or export your data, or enable the VPN, you can access those settings from the top menu.
Possibly the biggest drawback of the Dashlane desktop app is the inability to organize entries into folders. Some other password managers allow you to create different vaults or put your passwords into more detailed folders. Unfortunately, this feature is limited to Dashlane business users.
In order to make full use of your password manager, you should install the Dashlane browser extension. This will allow you to fill in passwords, personal details, and payment information while using websites, and at the same time storing new and updated passwords.
You can use the Dashlane browser extension in standalone mode, which makes the service accessible on platforms like Chromebook and Linux, which don't have dedicated apps.
You can view three tabs within the browser extension, each of which offers some limited capabilities.
The Vault section will still allow you to view and launch sites with your details, but you won’t be able to edit or update any of your saved information. This includes personal information, payment details, IDs or any of your secure notes.
The “This Website” section brings up all the information you have saved for that particular site. It allows you to then specify whether you want Dashlane to autofill forms and login information, just login information, or nothing at all for that site. Note: your preferences here do not sync with your desktop app, which you will need to set independently.
Finally, the Generator section is where you’re able to create strong, unique passwords that you can use when signing up for new platforms or when updating your passwords manually.
Dashlane browser extensions
Dashlane browser extensions are available on:
It can be incredibly stressful if something does go wrong with your password manager. Not only are you unable to access your details as normal, but there’s a lot of sensitive information stored on your account, so you’ll want to know you’re in safe hands if you need some support.
Dashlane customer support is another reason why it stands out from other password managers, offering a live chat option during the week. The live chat is very responsive, providing support quickly, professionally, and with little to no wait.
If you need support outside of the live chat hours, Dashlane has an extensively detailed FAQ section with step-by-step instructions for every topic. These could help you with any problems while installing apps or extensions, as well as troubleshooting any problems or errors you encounter. You can access these either through the web app or via the Chrome extension.
Finally, if you’re stuck on a problem outside of the live chat hours, an automated bot will do its best to provide you with relevant resources, and should that fail, email support is available seven days a week.
The only missing customer support options are a helpline phone number and a forum. And while phone support is becoming increasingly uncommon, the support forums run by competitors like LastPass can be very useful.
Dashlane customer support:
- Extensive collection of FAQs in English, French, German, and Spanish.
- Live chat Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm, US Eastern Standard Time, in English.
- Email support 7 days a week in English, and Monday-Friday in French and German.
- Twitter support account @DashlaneSupport.
Dashlane is one of the best password managers available. But how does it stack up to some of its competitors?
NordPass is a simple yet strong security tool that’s especially suitable for beginners.
In comparison to Dashlane, NordPass is a bit better when it comes to the free version, as it doesn’t limit the number of passwords you can store. Meanwhile, Dashlane’s limit is set at 50 passwords.
On the other hand, Dashlane’s Premium plan offers unlimited devices, while NordPass allows only for six simultaneous connections.
Other than that, the services are pretty similar. They both offer such features as secure notes, a data breach scanner, a password generator, and two-factor authentication.
Read more: NordPass review here.
LastPass is probably the most popular alternative to Dashlane and has many of the same features. LastPass’s biggest pro is a strong free plan. Unlike Dashlane, LastPass free version comes with unlimited passwords, multi-factor authentication, audit reports, and sync across multiple devices.
The main limitation for LastPass free plan subscribers is that only one user can be added to your shared folder.
It’s in the Dashlane Premium plan where LastPass falls behind since Dashlane offers more comprehensive audit reports, simple sharing, and the all-important VPN access included.
Read our comparison of Lastpass and Dashlane.
As a Dashlane alternative, 1Password has a lot of great features, and its security arrangements are what make it a strong contender. Both Dashlane and 1Password use 256-bit AES encryption and 2FA, but 1Password also generates a unique "Secret Key" for every user and requires them to enter this key along with the master password in order to unlock your vault.
So while Dashlane is more user-friendly and has more features such as VPN and password-sharing, 1Password is slightly cheaper and ever-so-slightly more secure.
Read our comparison of 1Password and Dashlane.
Again, Keeper is pretty comparable to Dashlane in terms of security and features. In fact, the two are so similar that the only real deciding factor for choosing Keeper over Dashlane is a slight difference in price. Keeper’s paid plan is $34.99 per year instead of $39.99 for Dashlane Premium.
Dashlane is a comprehensive and user-friendly password manager. After writing this review, I can even say that it’s one of the best, and it is bound to stay that way for a while. It offers an impressive bunch of features that will make your online life much, much easier.
For example, Dashlane’s password changer is an incredible time-saver. In addition, its included VPN makes Dashlane stand out from the competition. Keep in mind that it offers unlimited data, which is pretty rare with VPNs that are included as an extra.
And while its Premium plan is slightly more expensive than the majority of its competitors, the cost is far outweighed by the sheer number of features included in your subscription.
In any case, you can start with the app’s free version and pay your way up as soon as you feel the need for all the cool extra features offered by the paid subscription.
More password manager reviews
NordPass review: straightforward and powerful password manager for you
Bitwarden review: trustworthy open-source password manager
Zoho Vault review: perfect choice for multiple users
LastPass review: why is still a popular choice?
How do I get Dashlane Premium for free?
If you recently signed up for Dashlane, you can get a 30 days Premium trial for free. This means that you can try out their exclusive features (except a VPN) for almost a month. Keep in mind that if you don’t cancel your trial, you will be charged for the following month.
Is Dashlane trustworthy?
Dashlane is one of the safest options to store your passwords and personal information. It uses military-grade one-way encryption to store your data on your own device. This means that no one, not even Dashlane employees, has access to your personal information.
Can Dashlane be hacked?
Since Dashlane uses 256-bit AES military-grade encryption to store your personal data on your device, there is much less chance of your information being hacked than when storing it on other cloud-based services.
Can multiple users use Dashlane?
Yes. Multiple users can use Dashlane with a Family Plan subscription, with up to five people able to use the same account, private accounts for each member, and unlimited sharing of logins.
Where are the Dashlane passwords stored?
Your Master password is encrypted and stored securely on your device rather than in the cloud or on Dashlane servers. This means that no one else has access to it, not even Dashlane employees. Other data is encrypted and stored on your device as well, but it's also stored on Dashlane's servers. This allows password syncing across multiple devices.