NordPass review: is it safe and easy to use?
NordPass came into a saturated market in 2019 and took one year to become one of the consumer’s favorite password managers. This isn't surprising, considering the tool was created by NordSec – the people behind the popular (and quite awesome) NordVPN service. Security, privacy, and ease of use are in this company's DNA, and NordPass does absolutely great in each of these areas.
Yet there's more to a good password manager than just security and a good interface. So what exactly does this password manager bring to the table? We investigate in our NordPass review.
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|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS|
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NordPass features, pros and cons
NordPass has a lot of interesting features, that make it a very intriguing password manager option. Here are some of the main things you should know about it:
- Very easy, streamlined approach
- Works on up to six devices
- Security and privacy-first service
- Multi-factor authentication
- Cutting edge encryption
- Independently audited security
- Data breach scanner
- Lots of useful how-to guides
- Really good free option
- Live chat
- Not as many advanced features as some competitors
NordPass has all the main features you’d expect from a password manager, and I loved using it. There's a lot the lightweight desktop and mobile apps can do.
- Generating secure passwords
- Arranging information into folders
- Live text scanning
- Biometric authentication
- Data breach scanning
- A web vault
And oh, there's certainly more.
Sure, some features weren't working seamlessly – like the OCR (live text) scanner that can only confidently scan printed data – but overall, it was perhaps the best suite of features out of all password managers.
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.
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.
For Premium users, NordPass offers Emergency Access. It's a feature that gives your closest contacts read-only access to your passwords. Should something happen to you, your personal data will still be able to be accessible.
Emergency Access can also be a useful feature in case you forget or lose your Master Password – think of it as a last resort access solution. While not major, it's still an important addition to a solid NordPass package. Glad to see it here.
This might not be the kind of feature you should base your decision on but OCR scanning is another of those useful extras that show 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.
We tested it - and it was excellent for business and credit cards with fully-printed information. Handwritten notes didn't do as well: OCR scanning struggled with cursive, and did somewhat well with block letters.
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.
After that, you’ll find navigating NordPass really straightforward – everything will require no additional manual tinkering.
A web vault allows NordPass users to access all of their info on any browser, anywhere – without having to download additional software. It's an excellent option when using someone else's device.
Essentially, it acts as a web version of an existing NordPass app: with all the documents, credit card data, and features in one place.
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. On a Macbook with TouchID and an iPhone with FaceID, it was a seamless experience all around.
Most phones out there have some sort of biometric authentication, so it won't be a problem. For many PCs, however, you’ll still need to type in your master password to login.
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.
Now you can also choose words mode, which generates not only a random string of symbols. It creates password phrases that would be easier to memorize, so it wouldn’t be impossible even without the password manager if you remember it.
NordPass supports several multiple-factor authentication methods. Now, it's available for both free and premium users, allowing you to have a full peace of mind, no matter if you're a paying client or not.
This is a very positive change. In the past NordPass used to support only confirmations via email or authenticator app. With the first method, you received a randomly generated code that you received by mail. Meanwhile, the authenticator app continuously generates codes that you can type in when logging in.
Recently, they have added support for security keys alongside their other options. The security code will be generated on a separate device outside of your phone or email. Essentially, this makes it hackproof, only with the physical object will you be able to confirm your identity.
Currently, the only supported security devices are U2F security keys certified by FIDO. This includes models like Yubikey, iePass, MultiPass, ePass, BioPass, and others. These allow you to be extra safe, as they’re not in any way tied to your identity and are the most secure 2FA authentication options.
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.
Data Breach Scanner
Recently, NordPass added a Data Breach monitoring feature. It works like password monitoring that you’ve likely seen in other password managers on the market. It automatically scans for breached databases monitoring whether they had your login credentials.
The alerts are not limited to your account credentials, but banking information as well. For instance, the scanner checks for leaked credit card data that matches your last name and final four digits. That way, you can avoid unauthorized logins to your account and heavy financial losses.
Such breaches often open up a floodgate for hackers to try credential stuffing – reusing your already known email/password combinations on other sites. Since most users do not like memorizing passwords, they’re often reusing them. NordPass protects you in those same areas: it helps you generate a secure password, store it, and autofill it. Plus, it will always warn you about known data breaches. The feature is now also available for business users.
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.
Is NordPass safe?
Yes - NordPass is completely safe to use. 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.
It probably shouldn't be surprising, especially considering NordPass' roots and pedigree in online security – but we struggled to find a way for someone unauthorized to access your passwords. Not with the constant authentication and advanced encryption measures!
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.
In 2020, NordPass underwent an independent third-party audit by Cure53. This includes their desktop, Android, and iOS apps, as well as their browser extensions.
Independent audits are a great way to spot any vulnerabilities before hackers are able to exploit them. Also, a third-party audit is a proof that the application you're using offers a high level of security.
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 operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux. It also works with lots of browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, and Edge.
NordPass desktop apps
When it comes to desktop applications, NordPass offers support for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
The functionality of the app you get greatly depends on the subscription plan you purchase. This means that you’ll unlock the app’s full functionality only with the paid subscription.
However, as most desktop devices aren’t able to support biometric authentication methods, you’ll need to use your master password in order to login to your NordPass account.
In any case, you won’t have any problems using your application, as the software is really intuitive. You won’t get overwhelmed by the amount of features because everything is neatly put under corresponding tabs.
NordPass mobile apps
The NordPass mobile app is every bit as simple and intuitive as the desktop version. We gave it a spin on both Android and iOS, and noticed no discernable differences between the two: and they both fully featured, including the credit card scanner, the option to add folders, and somewhere to save sensitive documents.
Everything from the app is easily accessible from a simple menu at the bottom.
NordPass browser extensions
NordPass offers browser extensions for the majority of popular browsers like Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, and Safari.
The extensions offer the same functionality as the desktop applications. Also, they make it really convenient to autofill your passwords while browsing. However, there's one thing worth noting – the extensions themselves don't do much. To access features, as well as add and edit information, you'll be sent right to the main desktop app.
|Free (1 user)||Unlimited passwords, password generator, credit card info storage, secure notes, sync across devices, one active device at the time||$0.00|
|Two years (6 users)||Everything in Free + six active devices, secure item sharing, Trusted Contacts, Password Health, Data Breach Scanner||$2.39/month|
|One year (6 users)||Everything in Free + six active devices, secure item sharing, Trusted Contacts, Password Health, Data Breach Scanner||$2.99/month|
|One month (6 users)||Everything in Free + six active devices, secure item sharing, Trusted Contacts, Password Health, Data Breach Scanner||$4.99/month|
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 a very reasonable price of $2.39 a month.
But what’s the difference between the two plans? We’ll break it down for you.
NordPass Free vs NordPass 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.
However, just like with the vast majority of other free password managers, you can only use it on one device at a time. When using several devices (often at once!), logging in and out of the password manager can get pretty annoying. However, that annoyance won't upgrade to frustration – the passwords are still synced throughout all of your devices.
If you're fine with logging in a lot, NordPass Free will be a terrific option.
But of course – that isn't the only good thing about NordPass Premium. Not only it lets you use it on as many as six devices without logging you out, but you can also use the premium option to share encrypted passwords and add trusted contacts. A really handy feature if you share a lot!
In addition, NordPass Premium also has a Data Breach Scanner that lets you know if any of your credentials (passwords, credit card numbers, or email addresses) have been compromised. Here's a full list of available features for comparison:
|Feature||NordPass Free||NordPass Premium|
|Unlimited password storage||✔️||✔️|
|Keeping notes and credit card details||✔️||✔️|
|Six simultaneous connections||❌||✔️|
|Secure item sharing||❌||✔️|
|Adding trusted contacts||❌||✔️|
|Password health checking||❌||✔️|
|Data Breach Scanner||❌||✔️|
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.
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.
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. There's also a live chat option that you can access via their customer support website.
Should I get NordPass?
Strong security features and low prices make NordPass appealing, but it's the simplicity that puts it above competitors. The user-friendly design makes this password manager really easy to set up and use, and it works great 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. Still, this is done away with on the Premium account. So, for the sake of a couple of dollars each month, it’s definitely worth upgrading your NordPass account, especially if you want to use it on more than one device.
The simplicity of NordPass makes it an ideal choice for users who are just starting to look into password security. It’s particularly great if you’re setting it up on behalf of a friend or relative who struggles with complex apps.
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Is NordPass free?
Yes. NordPass has a great free version that lets you store unlimited passwords, keep secure notes and credit card details, and sync your passwords across all your devices. However, it allows only for one connection at the same time.
Can NordPass import from Dashlane or any other password manager?
Yes, you can export data from Dashlane, KeePass, Keeper, 1Password, BitWarden, and other password managers to NordPass. However, you have to do this on your computer, as this service is not yet available for mobile devices.
Is NordPass Premium worth it?
It’s worth buying the full subscription to NordPass if you want to use it on multiple devices at the same time, as it offers six simultaneous connections. However, if you are planning to use NordPass on a single device only, then you can continue using its free version.
Does NordPass come for free with NordVPN?
The two products don’t come together. However, you can always download NordPass for free.
Can I use NordPass on Android?
Yes. NordPass has mobile applications for both Android and iOS.
What is NordPass and NordSec?
NordPass is a secure password manager for desktop and mobile devices. NordSec is a company behind NordPass, and some other security products, like NordVPN and NordLocker.
How to create a NordPass account?
To create a NordPass account, simply visit its website, pick a plan and download the app. Then, you'll get a recovery code generated – make sure to keep it safe, it's the main way to get your account back if you forget the password!