Identity thefts. Security breaches. Millions of compromised accounts in just one cyberattack. It’s as if, with all the security we have in place, hackers won’t stop. But if these attacks are still to come, why not do some damage control? Better yet, why not minimize the risks before the threat comes into play?
A secure password manager can do all that in your name. Many people think it’s just for keeping login credentials, identity information, and other sensitive data safely locked. Though at the same time, the best password manager will generate unique, strong passwords that you can use instantly.
With the best password manager for Mac, Windows, Android or iOS, you get a lot more than the best passwords. You get different passwords for each account AND the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re better protected.
When you set these unique passwords for each account, it’s not a tragedy if one account gets hacked. The attacker won’t be able to use its password on your other accounts. Meanwhile, you keep minding your business, busy to remember just this one password, the master password. For everything else, you have your password manager to create, memorize, and autofill passwords.
Now, there’s a little something you are about to find out from our next series of password manager reviews summaries… It has to do with the fact that there’s a lot more you can benefit from, when choosing a top password manager.
In the world of passwords, easy to remember = easy to crack
Well, we’ve talked about setting up secure passwords before. We’ve also made it clear how hackers find out passwords. It’s a no brainer that easy to remember for you means easy to crack for their brute force attacks. And still, many people are reluctant to using a password manager.
In practice, however, a good password manager solves your two biggest problems: generates passwords that are almost impossible to guess and safely stores them in an encrypted vault, ready to fill it out automatically.
Some would go the old-fashioned way of storing the encrypted data on your device. While others would follow the trend of uploading it all onto their servers, or in the cloud, giving you access to it from anyplace, anytime (read “from any internet-connected device”).
When looking to protect your passwords, the most important factor is always going to be security. Style and design come second, though these can also make a difference. Then, if you like how it looks and feels, whether it is paid or not will probably tilt the balance towards the best password manager for your needs.
Where can the balance tilt?
Because security is essential, it is harder to pick from a list of names that don’t ring a bell to you. Especially when you match it against big names like Norton or Kaspersky… So, we’ve looked into the top-rated software that specifically falls into the category of best password managers in 2019. And then we looked at the extra tools developed by the big brands.
Whether it’s the names you’ve never heard of before, or the Norton password manager, or the Kaspersky password manager… They all try to stand out through:
- Free versions with attractive features or paid, premium versions with extra features;
- A wide range of storable logins, up to an unlimited number of free logins to be stored;
- The ability to generate strong passwords, not just to memorize whatever you’re typing;
- Cross-platform compatibility as in Windows desktop program, browser plugins, mobile version;
- Compatibility with multiple OS;
- The inclusion of a digital wallet;
- Different security layers, like the multi-factor authentication or the decision factor regarding the autocomplete of forms on unknown phishing websites;
- Access to the secure vault from any internet-connected device;
- Option to export all your data directly, to any other password manager, even if it’s a competitive software;
- Extra features:
- Secure storage for text notes
- Sync of credentials across browsers
- Option to set up a contingency plan
- Cloud storage of files
- Dark web scan
You’ll see, there’s no perfect password manager out there, but there are certainly a few options that come as close to it as they can. Here they are…
Generates strong passwords, automatically fills the forms, and allows an unlimited number of logins to store. Available for free and as a premium version (a few bucks a month for the premium), it offers multi-factor authentication, on top of the master password that locks down the secure vault. Hardware authentication can be made via YubiKey and it works with pretty much all the devices out there, from Windows and Mac to Android and iOS.
The LastPass.com website lets you log in from anywhere, to access your logins and text notes from any device with an internet connection. Notably, if it has even the slightest reasons to suspect that a website can facilitate phishing, it will deactivate the autocomplete of forms, on that website, on its own.
If and when you’ll want to give another secure password manager a try, LastPass will let you export all the data stored on it to your new account.
Generates strong passwords at the click of a button and, just like many other top-rated password managers out there, it supports automatic form completion. As another attractive feature, it comes with a digital wallet. All of its features, from storing notes to setting up top-notch passwords, are easy to grasp and easy to use.
The premium version (just a tad more expensive than LastPass, billed annually) makes room for unlimited sharing and syncing options. As a bonus, you have secure VPN and Dark Web monitoring.
Still, the free version alone is more than decent even without the extras we just mentioned. It works with Windows devices as a desktop program, but can also be implemented through a browser plugin. Mobile versions are available as well.
You’ll hardly find something not to like about it. We, for instance, couldn’t find anything…
If you’ve researched on the topic of best password managers before, you have most certainly bumped into the Keeper Security. It is, after all, one of the oldest managers on the market and security is still one of its core features, even in 2019. As an “aged” product, it enjoys lots of certifications and successfully-passed audits, which only adds to the general trust that users invest in it.
You’d think, however, that its long history has given its developers the time to excel in terms of design as well. If you’ll compare it to the other two options we previously mentioned, you’d see that it isn’t particularly attractive in terms of design, hence its lower position in our top-rated software list.
Despite its looks, Keeper is… a keeper for both corporate clients and home users. It works on desktop and mobiles and it scores pretty much all the great features of a great password manager.
One look on Norton password manager’s official page and you get the obvious. It packs all of the Norton wisdom in terms of security and design, making for an enchanting option from the first glance. They call it “secure, smart, simple” and it certainly appears to be so. If you go for the full manager software (instead of just using their option to generate secure passwords), you’ll like what you’ll see.
As expected, it packs all of the standard features – the digitally secured vault, the secure password generation and encryption, the autofill. On top of that, it gives you hints about the previously created logins, indicating which ones can be a potential weakness (all these stats are available within the Safety Dashboard).
The “simple” part regards the accessibility options, with the Norton password manager supporting automatic login syncs on all your devices. And if you’re using it on your mobile, you can play around with Android biometrics or the Touch ID/Face ID options.
The two main reasons why we’ve chosen to showcase the Kaspersky password manager in this top of the best password managers in 2019? The popularity of the Kaspersky brand and the wide range of basic features that it comes with. In other words, the Kaspersky password manager stands to the security reputation of its name and offers the standard options that all decent managers should come with.
It is affordable and intuitive to use, compatible with all the main platforms, accessible via master password or fingerprint. It supports auto-fill and multi-device sync and also has a free, limited (in options) version. Just like the Keeper Security, it relies on zero-knowledge security, meaning that the developer knows nothing about your personal information.
It doesn’t have, however, the two-factor authentication and neither direct support. Moreover, it is a bit pricier than the previously mentioned options… Still, it’s a password manager you really need to look at, before making up your mind.
A roundup of our mini password manager reviews
So, you’ve made it to the end of our best password managers in 2019 guide. What’s obvious is that pretty much all the password managers that stay on top of the list share some common features. In some instances, they do make a difference between the free and the premium version. In other instances, they pack in everything they can with the free version.
Moreover, password managers are becoming more and more popular. The big players in the security field are offering them as standalone products or as a part of their top-tier security packages. But many of them are still free or available for a more than affordable fee.
Now that you’ve seen the top-rated software, you can stop trying. Stop bothering to come up with clever, unhackable passwords. Let the best password manager do it for you.
Don’t waste any more time trying to manually type in the login credentials whenever you move on to a different device. Use a top password manager to do just that.
Pick your favorite secure password manager from our selection above. And you should be able to manage all of your login credentials and sync your data. Regardless of the device, regardless of the OS. Things can really be both easy and safe for you from now on!