Keep your login credentials safe. The best password manager can be your first line of defense against hackers. Read on for a full disclosure article about why you need one and what some of the best available options for you are.
In a post COVID-19 world, where most of us are working from home, the need for securing online accounts with strong passwords has become all the more important. But memorizing multiple lengthy passwords is quite a challenge, and using the same old password time and again can be dangerous. That’s where password managers come to the rescue.
Best Password Manager: Frequently Asked Questions
So it might not be the most conventional move to start off an article with a FAQ, but we think it really helps explain the whole reason why making sure you have the best password manager is such a big deal in the first place. Hopefully this helps you understand what we considered when we were making our best password manager picks!
What makes a strong password?
Today, hackers use sophisticated software to decipher passwords. Your pet’s name or mother’s home town, while personal, are easy to crack for the account cracking software commonly used these days. You need long and unique strings of randomly generated passwords to beat the hackers, and the best password managers do just that.
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Why not store passwords in your browser, computer or smartphone?
Because, when you do this, your passwords become an easy target for hackers who may gain remote access to your device. Passwords stored in browsers are much more vulnerable than than if they were either memorized or stored in a more secure place. If one small extension gets compromised, all of your online activity along with all of your passwords gets hacked. The best password managers offer the option to store your details on secure servers away from the prying eyes.
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So, what does a password manager do?
Password managers are like encrypted digital vaults. They help you store, oversee and remember all of your login details. The best password manager can even create a strong password for you using complicated combinations of characters. Beyond that, it can store and then automatically enter the the secure password it generates when you access a particular online account.
Password managers also come in handy for syncing user data across multiple platforms such as PCs, Macs, Smartphones, iPads and more. So, your days of using the same password for all of your apps and websites are over. Remember one master password and leave the rest to this handy little piece of software.
Can you rely on a password manager?
Now, this is an interesting question. What if a hacker acquires the master password and breaks into the password manager? First of all, it’s an unlikely scenario. You need to remember ONE password and keep it secure. However, even if it happens, a best password manager encrypts all of your data and makes it unreadable for hackers. Moreover, you can follow some of the best practices to make it even more useful.
- First and foremost, always use a reliable VPN like IPVanish to browse the internet. Using a VPN is an incredibly important way to add another layer of protection. One of the most important steps you can take are to make sure that your personal data (like your bank accounts, email passwords, browsing history) is safe is to make sure that you’re using a safe, fast VPN.
There are already companies and government agencies collecting your browsing data, and it’s not as difficult as you’d think for hackers to do the same. You can make your browsing safe and anonymous through a VPN, which means you can be sure that no one is looking in on your activity.
As a bonus, there are tons of side benefits to using a VPN, like unlocking region restricted content on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. Watch anything from anywhere! Check out our how-to install a VPN on anything guide for a little extra help on the technical end of things.
- Second, ensure that the master password is as strong as possible. That means it should be a random mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Third, make sure the autofill feature on your browser is off. Always copy and paste your passwords from the manager manually.
The Best Password Manager Simplifies Security
The best password manager is a highly effective and convenient product. It offers a single location to store and manage all of your passwords securely. Besides this, it also protects your bank account details, email login credentials, website forms, and social media activity from intruders. Therefore, you gain the peace of mind knowing that your valuable information is in safe hands.
Moreover, we recommend choosing a password manager that instantly lets you create complex passwords to protect your online activity from hackers. As the icing on top of this very well secured cake, it should also provide a private portal or website where you can access your passwords from anywhere in the world.
Top 4 Best Password Managers
With that out of the way, let’s take a look now at the top four best password managers today.
1Password started as an iOS and Apple-focused password manager. However, since then, it has widened its support base to include not just Android but Windows and Chrome OS as well. Its command-line tool can be utilized almost anywhere. Plus, the company recently announced the release of a native client for Linux based devices. What’s more, it offers plugins and extensions for your favorite internet browsers too. So you can generate, edit and store new passwords on the go wherever you go.
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That’s not all, though. What differentiates 1Password from the competition is the sheer number of extras it offers. For instance, it can double as an authentication app just like Google Authenticator and Microsoft Authenticator. It can integrate with several mobile apps and autofill information when necessary. Activate travel mode, delete sensitive data with one click of a button and restore everything just like that whenever you feel like a security risk has passed.
For added security, it generates an additional secret key to the encryption key. This means no one can decrypt your passwords or data without this key. However, despite this cementing 1 password as one of the best password managers out there, there is also a disadvantage to this; In the eventuality that you lose this key, no one, not even 1Password itself, can decrypt your passwords and other stored information. 1Password costs $3 per month (at the moment) and has a 30 days trial, so you can test out its service before subscribing.
LastPass is perhaps the most popular option, among others. It works with all operating systems and offers browser extensions for popular internet browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and IE, and Safari. It comes with a free version, which gives you limited options and two premium packages with a cost of $36 and $48 per year.
While most other free versions of the best password managers limit you to only one device, LastPass is different. It stands out from others by giving you the option to store your credentials and synchronize them all across multiple mobile devices and internet browsers. Plus, you can also share login credentials with anyone you want.
The $36 per year premium version gives you the ability to share user passwords, logins and other details with trusted family members and friends. You can also utilize multi-factor authentication through YubiKey and get 1GB of protected storage. Likewise, the $48 per year package is another family plan that offers six individual accounts, multiple shared folders, and a dashboard to manage them all.
Bitwarden is popular among open source enthusiasts. It’s free, and the best thing is that the free version is as user-friendly as our top picks. As it’s open-source, you can install it on your server for self-hosting if you want to run your own cloud. Bitwarden has apps and extensions for all operating systems and major internet browsers (including Tor).
Moreover, it recently added support for Touch ID and Windows Hello to its app for mac OS and Windows, giving you the added support of biometric verification. You can share all of your login information with another person. For a meager price of $10 per year, you can add 1GB of encrypted storage to your free version and for $12 a year, share everything with up to five family members.
Of course, Bitwarden lacks the bells and whistles of our top picks. But, hey, if all you want is a way to manage your login credentials and auto-fill information, then it’s hard to ignore Bitwarden as one of the best password managers out there.
The lesser-known Keeper is another one of the best password managers that helps you manage login details. Like our top picks, It has well-optimized apps and browser extensions with the ability to allow cross-platform syncing. It also keeps a Microsoft Store version.
When using the free version, you can store unlimited passwords on a device. The step-up versions like Enterprise, Business, Personal, Family and Student offer different features suitable to every category’s needs. All of these packages give you two-factor authentications, form filling for payments, an option to sync across multiple devices/platforms and get up to 10 GB of secure file storage.
Furthermore, its password generator creates a new password every time you make a new record. Logging in with an old password simply overwrites the new one. Keeper regularly monitors the dark web for publicly posted data to make sure yours remains safe.
All things considered, the best password manager makes your life easier by managing all of your passwords and login credentials in one place. However, keep in mind that your internet traffic is still insecure. For additional security, use a reliable VPN service provider like IPVanish to encrypt all of your outgoing internet traffic completely. We hope you got to learn a thing or two from this article. Let us know your thoughts in the usual space!