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Dashlane vs KeePass: which one to pick?


Dashlane and KeePass are popular solutions to securely store and manage passwords. However, as far as password managers go, the two providers are more different than they’re alike.

Dashlane offers great security, robust features, and helpful customer support. Meanwhile, KeePass is an entirely free customizable open-source solution. However, at the same time, its flexibility is a source of frustration for some. So, which is the better password manager?

This Dashlane vs KeePass comparison will help to answer the question. We’ll pit the two password managers against each other and find out which one has the better security, functionality, pricing, usability, support, and more.

Dashlane vs KeePass – an overview

DashlaneKeePass
⭐ Rating:
4.6
3.4
🥇 Overall rank:#4 out of #15#15 out of #15
🔥 Coupons:Dashlane coupon 25% OFFCybernews Password Manager Coupons
💵 Price:From $3.75/monthFree (Donations)
✂️ Free version:Yes, +30 days trialYes
🔒 Encryption:256-bit AESSHA-256
🖥️ Platforms:Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, Edge, Android, iOSWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
🌐 Browser extensions:Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, EdgeOnly with plugins

Which one is more secure?

The password managers are on an equal footing in the Dashlane vs KeePass security matchup. While their approaches are generally different, each has its own strengths and shortfalls.

With Dashlane, you get 256-bit AES encryption, extensive multi-factor authentication (MFA) options, and a reasonable privacy policy. However, its storage is on the smaller side, and the provider ominously doesn’t disclose much about independent security audits.

As for KeePass, it very impressively offers 256-bit AES, ChaCha20, and Twofish for encryption. But, it lacks MFA options. Moreover, the provider is extremely vague when it comes to data storage capacity and independent audits.

Encryption

Dashlane and KeePass go all out to protect your data with the best encryptions. However, KeePass has the advantage because of its bigger selection of advanced encryption methods.

In Dashlane’s case, your vault is closely guarded by the unbreakable 256-bit AES encryption. Alongside AES-256, Dashlane uses a ciphering key derived using 10,000 PBKDF2 iterations, which adds latency to protect against brute force attacks.

Additionally, its zero-knowledge architecture means that all encryption/decryption takes place locally, and only encrypted data is sent to Dashlane’s servers. Thus, only you have access to your master password and vault.

As for KeePass, your edition will determine which algorithms are available to you:

  • KeePass 1.x – 256-bit AES and Twofish
  • KeePass 2.x – 256-bit AES and ChaCha20

All three options are considered the most cutting-edge and secure encryption algorithms on the market.

Multifactor security

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of security that protects against breaches – even if your master password is compromised. To put it simply, the security measure requires that you verify your identity with more than just a username and password.

Dashlane allows a large variety of two-factor authentication (2FA) methods, including:

  • Verification code sent to email
  • Dashlane Authenticator
  • Third-party authenticator apps like Google Authenticator and Authy
  • Biometric authentication using PIN or fingerprint
  • USB authentication from YubiKey for premium subscribers

In striking contrast, KeePass only supports 2FA using YubiKey. If that’s not an option for you, you’ll need to install third-party plugins to use other authentication methods.

In brief, Dashlane wins this round of KeePass vs Dashlane. Its many options for MFA mean that users will have no trouble finding one that suits their preference.

Data storage

It’s common for password managers to also serve as a secure cloud storage vault for other sensitive data.

With Dashlane, all plans get Secure Notes with 1GB of encrypted document storage. The feature supports most formats, but each file must be below 50MB. Frankly, 50MB is too low a limit. It might be sufficient for basic documents but far too skimpy for other resource-heavy items.

KeePass, meanwhile, has an Attachments feature where you can store documents, text files, and images. While that sounds great in theory, the provider is vague about its capacity.

That said, creator Dominic Reichl did confirm that KeePass isn’t designed to store huge attachments and the maximum file size is about 4GB. True to his words, users have complained about running into various issues when they store larger files.

Overall, both password managers’ data storage could be significantly more generous and flexible.

Privacy policy

Most password managers collect personal user data – whether they’re zero-knowledge solutions or otherwise. Fortunately, both Dashlane and KeePass’ privacy policies are quite standard for the industry. However, between them, KeePass is a smidge more intrusive in its data collection and handling.

Among other things, Dashlane collects registration and billing data, personal data, feedback, device and browser data, and usage data. If you go through its privacy policy, Dashlane also spells out how your data is used.

KeePass collects pretty much the same thing, but it’s a tad more heavy-handed. Some of the data it logs includes:

  • Personal data like email addresses, names, and physical addresses
  • Device and browser data like types and versions, operating systems used, internet service providers, and IP addresses
  • Usage data such as date and time of access
  • Cookies

While that might seem like a lot, it’s pretty standard for the majority of password managers.

Third-party security audits

Frequent independent security audits are important to provide credibility to a password manager’s claims. Unfortunately, both Dashlane and KeePass dropped the ball in this regard.

Dashlane is determinedly silent when it comes to the subject of third-party audits and their findings. The only thing that the password manager would share is that its products “are audited regularly and by different security auditors.” The claim is undoubtedly ambiguous, so it’s really up to you whether you’re willing to take its word for it.

As for KeePass, it’s more forthcoming on this subject. However, its security audits are on the thinner side.

For now, what we do know is that it’s an open-source password manager and OSI-certified. It was audited in the EU-FOSSA 1 project, too. Besides that, the European Commission sponsored bounties for finding security vulnerabilities in KeePass 2.x for the EU-FOSSA 2 project. A few issues were found, but they’ve since been fixed.

Dashlane vs KeePass: features overview

The differences between Dashlane and KeePass really come to light when you compare their features. Dashlane has the upper hand here as it brings to the table wide password importing options, helpful recovery methods, a versatile password generator, handy password sharing, and a convenient autofill feature.

In contrast, KeePass relies heavily on plugins for functionalities and, even then, still leaves users hanging with many standard and core features unavailable.

Password importing

It’s just plain business sense for password managers to offer a convenient password-importing feature to make it easier for users to switch to their service. Dashlane and KeePass are no different.

Dashlane allows easy bulk password importing from a variety of sources.

Dashlane password importing

Among them are:

  • Browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge
  • Other password managers such as KeePass, Keeper, and RoboForm
  • CSV files

With KeePass, your edition will determine the available options. If you’re on KeePass 1.x, your selection is significantly slimmer and limited to just CSV files, CodeWallet, Password Safe, and Personal Vault.

KeePass import

Meanwhile, KeePass 2.x supports far more applications, including:

  • KeePass 1.x
  • Other password managers like Dashlane, RoboForm, and Keeper
  • Google Chrome
  • CSV files

However, KeePass’ password-importing process is somewhat tedious. There are guides available, but they’re dry, technical, and just a wall of text.

Account and password recovery

When it comes to lost and forgotten passwords, both lack recovery methods. However, Dashlane has a narrow edge since it still has minimal recovery options, while KeePass ruthlessly doesn’t offer recourse.

Dashlane eliminated its emergency access feature when it, in a controversial move, discontinued its desktop apps. With that option gone, there is very little that you can do.

Those on Starter, Team, and Business plans can send an account recovery request to the admin. Meanwhile, individual users can only reset master passwords with fingerprint or Face ID on iOS and Android devices. However, if you’ve not enabled biometrics on your devices, you’ll need to reset your Dashlane account.

As for KeePass, it has absolutely zero account and password recovery methods. If you’ve forgotten your master password or keyfile, it’s time to abandon ship and create a new account.

Password generator

A password generator is a standard tool included in most password managers’ packages as it’s extremely helpful for quickly creating random and strong passwords.

Dashlane’s password generator is modern and easy to use. It allows you to customize by including/excluding letters, digits, symbols, and more. Additionally, you can also tweak the length of the passwords. The default length is 16 characters, but you can go all the way up to 40 characters.

Dashlane password generator

KeePass’ password generator is even more versatile. Besides length, you can choose to include/exclude things like upper and lower cases, numbers, spaces, and special symbols. For more technologically-inclined users, you can even generate passwords based on patterns or custom algorithms.

KeePass-password-generator

In brief, Dashlane’s password generator is great for those who want an easy-to-use, no-frills option. Meanwhile, KeePass’ version could be slightly intimidating to the general users but an excellent tool for users who want a highly-customizable generator.

Password sharing

When it comes to Dashlane vs KeePass for password sharing, it’s an easy victory for Dashlane. Dashlane's hassle-free password-sharing feature is a definite win over KeePass’ lack of sharing options and its second-rate workaround.

With Dashlane’s sharing feature, you can share passwords with others by sending them an email invite. Before sending the invite, you’re free to configure the access levels. Plus, you can also revoke access at any time. The only condition is that your recipient must sign up for a Dashlane account beforehand, which isn’t too bad considering that there’s a free version.

Dashlane's sharing feature

In a glaring omission, KeePass doesn’t offer any password-sharing feature. Your only makeshift solution is to create a shared database and share the master password with those who should have access. Quite obviously, this is a massive compromise in terms of convenience and ease of use. Plus, it’s also far from secure.

Autofill

A well-designed autofill feature will help to speed up and simplify form-filling processes. In this aspect, Dashlane nailed it with its convenient autofill feature, while KeePass’ version is clunkier and trickier.

In Dashlane’s case, all you have to do is click on its icon, and it’ll automatically fill in all the necessary fields with your saved credentials. This works for things like usernames, passwords, addresses, credit card details, and more. Quick and easy, you’ll breeze through the form-filling processes.

KeePass, on the other hand, doesn’t have an autofill feature. Instead, it switches it out for the auto-type feature. Here, you’ll need to input your own keystroke sequence exactly like you’d if you were logging into the site manually.

It’s not excessively complicated, but it certainly isn’t anywhere close to easy, either. And those less tech-savvy would likely be overwhelmed by its complex process of creating customized sequence associations.

Plans and pricing

Dashlane has a lead in the Dashlane vs KeePass pricing battle as it caters to different users with its range of competitively-priced plans, including a free version. The password manager is also liberal with features, and they’re all ready to use right out of the box. Moreover, it has a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind, too.

PlanDashlaneKeePass
Free$0.00$0.00
Premium$3.75/month
Family$5.62/month (6 users)
Try DashlaneTry KeePass

Meanwhile, KeePass’ free plan means that it’s accessible to all. However, that one plan certainly wouldn’t be enough to meet every user’s needs. Plus, its bare-bones functionalities also necessitate the use of plugins to extend functionalities. While that customizability is being sold as an advantage, which is true for some users, many others would find it unintuitive and troublesome.

Dashlane pricing

For individual users, Dashlane offers three plans:

  • Dashlane Free
  • Dashlane Premium – $3.75/month for 1 user
  • Dashlane Friends & Family – $5.62/month for 6 users

Dashlane’s free plan is quite basic, but you still get all the core features. To access more features, get its Premium plan. It comes with unlimited password storage, dark web monitoring, Secure Notes, a VPN, and more.

Meanwhile, the Friends & Family plan comes with everything in Premium as well as a management dashboard. The plan can support up to 6 users.

For more information, visit our in-depth Dashlane review.

KeePass pricing

KeePass has two editions, KeePass 1.x and 2.x, and they’re both completely free. That said, you can always donate to “support the development of the project.”

KeePass 1.x is the older version, while KeePass 2.x is a complete rewrite that supports more features. Both editions work on Windows but KeePass 2.x has the advantage of running on other operating systems like macOS and Linux, too.

In any case, both editions let you extend functionalities with plugins. The provider has 100+ community-created plugins for different purposes, like database backup, password importing, and auto-type.

Learn more in our dedicated KeePass password manager review.

Platforms, interface, and ease of use

Dashlane has a marginal advantage when it comes to usability, but it’s a game of give-and-take, with both password managers falling short in one way or another. To start, Dashlane has no desktop apps, but it does compensate with a very functional mobile app for Android. Plus, it puts ease of use at the forefront of its interfaces.

DashlaneKeePass
Supported OSWindows, macOS, Android, iOSWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
Browser extensionChrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, EdgePlugins only
Number of usersUp to 6Multiple users

Meanwhile, KeePass has desktop apps but they’re rather dated. Its technical nature also makes it less than ideal for beginners and those looking for an easy-to-navigate platform. Additionally, KeePass’ complete lack of official browser extensions and mobile apps is a huge hit on ease of use, too.

Desktop apps

Back in early 2022, Dashlane adopted a “web-first experience” and got rid of its desktop apps for both Windows and Mac. This means that users are left with the slim selection of either using its web app or its mobile apps.

As for KeePass, its desktop apps are archaic and put utility above all else, including ease of use. Hence, tech fans and experienced users are likely to find open-source software a huge playground for customizations. Meanwhile, newbies and casual users run the risk of losing their way or just being overwhelmed by the apparent complexity.

KeePass-desktop-app

Overall, it’s a case of picking the lesser evil as KeePass’ desktop apps might be complicated, but they’re still a big step up from Dashlane’s zero desktop apps.

Browser extensions

Dashlane offers browser extensions for all the main ones, like Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. Installation and setup are swift and easy since you only need to click when prompted.

As for functionalities, they’re heavily tied to Dashlane’s web app. So, you only get the core features like autosave, autofill, and password generator on the extensions. All other features will need to be accessed via the web app.

In contrast, KeePass doesn’t have any official browser extensions. Instead, your only options here are a selection of community-created plugins by users who try to plug the gap. Now, whether the convenience of a browser extension is worth the risk of using a third-party plugin is entirely up to you.

Mobile apps

When it comes to mobile apps, Dashlane easily defeats KeePass. With Dashlane’s mobile apps, whether for Android or iOS, you only need to download the app either from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Dashlane’s mobile app for Android is extremely functional and has most of the features that are available in its full version. For instance, Secure Notes, dark web monitoring, and VPN are all accessible on Dashlane’s mobile app. The iOS version, meanwhile, is more restrictive because of Apple’s third-party apps and security restrictions.

Dashlane mobile app

KeePass, on the other hand, skipped out on mobile apps. That said, you can find quite a few apps created by the community, like KeePassDroid, KeePassMob, KeePassium, and MiniKeePass. However, they vary wildly in terms of quality and functionality. And, just like the browser extensions, you’re taking a risk by using a third-party app.

To find the suitable option for your needs, check the top-rated password managers for iPhone and the best password manager apps for Android.

Customer support

Dashlane has significantly better customer support than KeePass. Dashlane offers quick and helpful assistance via live chat and email support. The agents are responsive, knowledgeable, and eager to help. The only catch here is that agent assistance is only available during business hours on weekdays.

Fortunately, Dashlane also has a massive knowledge base. This is where you’ll find scores of articles, FAQs, tutorials, and more covering all-thing password management. This should come in incredibly helpful when you need DIY troubleshooting outside of business hours.

In clear contrast, KeePass doesn’t have any agent support. Instead, its official assistance channels are limited to just its FAQ and help center. As a last resort, you could also try the local KeePass Wiki or the user forum for help.

Dashlane vs KeePass – which one to choose?

CategoryDashlaneKeePass
Features
Pricing & plans
Security
User-friendliness
Customer support
Compatibility

Meanwhile, KeePass could be a feasible option in a pinch. However, it’s mostly geared toward experienced and tech-oriented users who are looking for advanced encryption and customizability at no cost.

While Dashlane is the more recommended option when it comes to this comparison, there are even better solutions in the market, so make sure to check our guide on the very best password managers.

FAQ