NordPass came into a saturated market in 2019 and took one year to become one of the consumer’s favorite password managers. Created by NordSec, the people behind the popular NordVPN service, NordPass is understandably all about security, privacy, and ease of use. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of market veterans, but it does a few things extremely well and fills an important niche.
So what exactly does this password manager bring to the table? We investigate in our NordPass review.
NordPass pros & cons
- Very easy, streamlined approach
- Works on up to six devices
- Security and privacy-first service
- Cutting edge encryption
- Independently audited security
- Data breach scanner
- Lots of useful how-to guides
- Really good free option
- Not as many advanced features as some competitors
What is NordPass?
NordPass is a secure password manager that you can use on your mobile, desktop, and tablet. In a nutshell, it lets you store, generate, and manage all your passwords for your online accounts in one place.
The benefit of this is you don’t have to remember passwords. Which not only makes logging into your accounts quicker and easier, but it also means that you can set a unique and strong password for each of your online accounts that you’ll never need to worry about remembering. So your accounts will be much safer than they would be if you used the same easy-to-remember password for everything.
How good is NordPass?
NordPass has been created by the same company as NordVPN, one of the most popular VPNs on the market.
Given NordVPN’s reputation for excellence, we had high hopes for NordPass. And we’re delighted to say that NordPass delivered on our expectations. It’s incredibly easy to use, super secure and it offers a really good free version and an even better Premium version that’s still very reasonably priced.
Is NordPass safe?
With sophisticated encryption, automatic back-ups and that all-important two-factor authentication offered as standard, NordPass uses all the necessary security measures needed to keep your passwords safe without impacting the user experience.
Rather than using the industry standard AES-256 encryption, NordPass has opted for the more modern XChaCha20 encryption. And seeing as the newer algorithm is said to be up to three times faster than AE5-256, it’s not hard to see why so many Silicon Valley companies are switching.
Because all passwords are end-to-end encrypted, even NordPass staff can’t access your login details.
Although not switched on by default, it’s really easy to add two-factor authentication to your NordPass account. For those of you who don’t use it, two-factor authentication sends you a unique code to enter each time you log in, thereby offering an added layer of security.
As with other password managers, NordPass requires you to set a master password to unlock your account. So it’s really important that you set a secure password. And by that, we mean one that’s at least 15 characters long and made up of a seemingly random selection of symbols, digits and uppercase and lowercase letters.
If you’re struggling, NordPass has a really handy password generator that’ll give you one that fits all your requirements.
Of course, because all passwords on NordPass are encrypted, you’ll need to remember this one. Not even the customer service team would be able to decrypt your password and share it with you if you forget it.
In fact, the only way to recover your account is by using the recovery code which will appear on the screen when you first sign up. You must save this code and keep it somewhere really secure. As we said, NordPass won’t be able to re-share this code with you if you lose it.
One of our favourite features of NordPass is that it lets you use your fingerprint or face to unlock your account. It’s so much quicker and easier than entering a long master password.
Naturally, this only works on devices that have biometric security features, like fingerprint scanners or FaceID built-in. So, with most laptops and older phones and tablets, you’ll still need to type in your master password to login.
Secure backup and sync
NordPass stores all your passwords in the cloud to make sure you don’t lose them, even if your phone or laptop breaks. But it encrypts them first to keep them secure. In fact, they’re so safe, not even the people who work for NordPass can decipher them.
NordPass has all the basic features you’d expect from a password manager. So it does everything from syncing and saving all your passwords to auto-filling them in and generating new secure passwords whenever you need one.
Auto-saving and auto-filling
As with all good password managers, NordPass lets you save all your passwords automatically. Whenever you log in to an online account for the first time, NordPass will prompt you to save your password.
Then, anytime you go back to that online account, NordPass will auto-fill your saved credentials and log you in by default. So you don’t have to go to the effort of remembering passwords or filling them in. And because you don’t have to remember them anymore, you can choose passwords that are much more secure, thereby making your accounts much safer.
Importing existing passwords
We were really impressed by how easy it is to import your existing passwords across to NordPass. You can either import them in bulk using a CSV file from another password manager or add them manually by following the step-by-step instructions in the settings. Either way, it takes a matter of seconds and it’s really simple to do.
Generate unique passwords
If you struggle to come up with secure passwords, NordPass will do it for you. The NordPass online password generator is really useful as it lets you choose how long you want your password to be, as well as whether you want it to include numbers, symbols and uppercase and lowercase letters.
Sharing login details
Whether you share an online subscription with your partner or you need to give your work colleague access to a shared account, there are bound to be times when you’ll need to give a password to a trusted contact.
And when you do, the NordPass Premium account not only makes it simple, but also really secure. You can select whichever password you want to share, type in the recipient’s email address and it’ll encrypt the password before sending it, so that no one but that person will be able to use it.
Syncing with other devices
You can add your NordPass account to six different devices. And, to make this experience seamless, it automatically syncs between your devices and backs up to the cloud without you having to remember to do it.
This means that, whenever you add a new password, you’ll find it automatically added to all of your devices. And when we tested this out, it seemed to work pretty well instantly.
Having said that, it’s worth noting that the free version of NordPass only lets you use NordPass on one device at a time. So if you go from using it on your desktop to your mobile, for example, it’ll log you out on your desktop. But the Premium version lets you stay logged in on all six devices at the same time.
If you have a lot of passwords you need to store, like we do, it’s actually really useful to be able to organise them into folders. So you can have one for work, one for social media accounts, one for shopping apps, and so on.
Although it’s not the most important factor when choosing a password manager, it’s a nice little feature. And it’s yet another reason why this is the most user-friendly one we’ve tested.
Again, this isn’t exactly the kind of feature you should base your decision on but OCR scanning is another of those useful extras that shows NordPass has really thought about ways to make things easy for its customers. You can scan in information on anything from written documents to images and credit cards. So you can save important data without having to type it in.
NordPass supported browsers and operating systems
Of course, the most important thing before selecting a password manager is to make sure it works on your browser or operating system.
Luckily, NordPass supports most of the main ones, including:
Unfortunately, NordPass doesn’t support Safari. So if that’s your browser of choice, you might want to select a different password manager.
NordPass doesn’t have to cost you anything. You can sign up for a free account. Or, you can opt for a NordPass Premium account, which starts at the very reasonable price of $2.49 a month.
But what’s the difference between the two plans? We’ll break it down for you.
Free vs Premium
Unlike a lot of free password managers, the NordPass free account has no limit on the number of passwords you can store. So, no matter how many you save, you’ll never have to upgrade your plan because you’ve run out of space.
You can also add your NordPass account to up to six devices. But, with the free version, you can only use it on one device at a time.
And in a world when so many of us are forever flipping between our laptops, smartphones and tablets, it’s actually pretty annoying to be always logging in and out of your password manager whenever you switch devices.
Of course, as you’d expect, the Premium version does away with this problem entirely by keeping you signed in on as many as six devices without logging you out.
There are some other important features that the NordPass free account doesn’t come with. The paid-for version lets you share encrypted passwords and add trusted contacts. Which is a really handy feature if you share a lot. But if you always keep your passwords to yourself, you can probably make do with the free version.
The Premium account also tells you how strong your passwords are. But, if you use the free NordPass password generator to create your passwords, you can be confident that they’re already strong enough.
Free vs Premium overview
To sum up, the free NordPass account:
- Gives you unlimited password storage
- Allows you to store credit cards and notes
- Can be used on up to six devices, although you can only use one at a time
- Doesn’t allow secure item sharing
- Won’t let you add trusted contacts
- Doesn’t check password health
Meanwhile, the NordPass Premium:
- Gives you unlimited password storage
- Allows you to store credit cards and notes
- Can be used on up to six devices at once
- Offers secure item sharing
- Includes trusted contacts
- Checks password health
Overall, the free version of NordPass is actually pretty good, so long as you don’t mind logging back in whenever you switch between devices.
But, if you know that’s going to drive you mad or if you want a secure way to share passwords, you should probably opt for the Premium account.
How much does NordPass cost?
NordPass Premium starts at a suspiciously reasonable $2.49 a month. But, once you click through, you’ll see that this low rate only applies if you sign up for a lengthy two-year plan.
If you sign up for a one-year contract, it’ll cost you $2.99 a month. Or, if you just want to try it on a month-by-month basis, so you can get out at any time, it’ll cost $4.99 a month.
The free version is excellent if you want to give NordPass a try before committing to a long payment plan.
How to use NordPass
It’s really simple and easy to create and use a NordPass account.
First off, go to NordPass and choose whether you want a free or Premium account. You’ll then be prompted to download the app and, once it’s downloaded, you’ll need to enter an email address and password.
As soon as you’ve got your account set up, your recovery code will appear on your screen. As we mentioned before, if you ever get locked out of your account, your recovery key will be the only way you can get it back. To keep your account secure, you’ll only be shown your recovery code the first time you log in. So be sure to copy it somewhere secure and make sure you don’t delete it. You never know when you might need it.
Once you’re in, you’ll be asked if you want to import all your current passwords from your old password manager or browser. The easiest way to do this is by using a CSV file. In keeping with NordPass’ customer-friendly approach, there are links to simple how-to guides to help you export your passwords into a CSV file and import them into NordPass.
After that, you’ll find navigating NordPass really straightforward. Everything is easy to find and it gives you handy prompts to make your life easier, like adding browser extensions so you can access NordPass with just a click.
NordPass mobile app
As you’d expect, the NordPass mobile app is every bit as simple and intuitive as the desktop version. We tested it out on Android and it was incredibly quick and easy to set up. It has all the same helpful features that you’ll find on the desktop version, including the credit card scanner, the option to add folders and somewhere to save sensitive documents.
NordPass customer support
Although online help centres aren’t always that useful, NordPass has loads of handy how-to guides and a really useful search function that’ll actually answer your questions more often than not.
And if you still need to get in touch with a member of the customer service department, you can email [email protected] and someone will get back to you to help resolve your issue.
Is NordPass included with NordVPN?
Currently, NordPass Premium isn’t included with NordVPN. You can choose to add NordPass Premium to your basket when you sign up for the VPN, but it’s still the same price as it is to sign up for each separately. So, there’s no advantage to signing up for both at the same time aside from the convenience of doing both in one transaction.
Should I get NordPass?
Although NordPass doesn’t quite have as many advanced features as a lot of password managers, its simplicity actually makes it the most straightforward one we’ve tested out. Its user-friendly design makes it really easy to set up and use and it works really well on both desktop and mobile.
The only thing that jarred with the otherwise flawless user experience was the fact that you can only be logged in on one device at a time. Which made switching between mobile and desktop a bit annoying. Still, this is done away with on the Premium account. So, for the sake of a couple of quid each month, it’s definitely worth upgrading if you know you’re going to be using NordPass on more than one device.
The simplicity of NordPass makes it an ideal choice for someone who’s just starting to look into password security, particularly if you’re setting this up on behalf of a friend or relative who struggles with complex apps.