Two of the most frequently used passwords are still 123456 and 123456789. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. Since our lives depend on digital services more than ever, we should all have separate and secure passwords for each service. It can be tricky to remember all these different passwords, which is why a password manager is an extremely useful tool. 

What is the best password manager?

It really depends on the individual as we all use different digital services for different reasons. I prefer 1Password, and this is for two reasons: 

  • I like to travel, both within the UK and to other countries. 1Password offers a travel mode where it hides vaults from your device unless you mark them as safe. This is a fantastic feature for when you’re traveling across borders since even if you’re asked to open up your phone, there’s no evidence that you’ve even turned travel mode on. It’s great to know that I can make certain data completely invisible when traveling between countries. 
  • As a Linux user, knowing that 1Password offers a full desktop version for Linux in addition to clients for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS make this password manager unbeatable. The Linux version also works smoothly with the browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome. It’s a huge plus that I can share and use my passwords across a variety of platforms.

What Functions do you have to look out for in a password manager?

There are a few features that every password manager should have. Here are a few things to look out for:

  • Auto-fill of passwords – A helpful browser extension is auto-fill as it can save time and also tends to be more secure overall. 
  • Password generator – A password manager must, of course, be able to generate strong passwords.
  • High encryption – To ensure that your data is completely safe, the password manager should have the strongest possible encryption, making your data practically impenetrable.
  • No-Knowledge Platforms – NO-knowledge is a must for top password managers. Only you have access to your data, not anyone else, including your provider. Beware though, if you lose your master password and have no option to restore it, then all your data will be lost. To avoid this happening, the best password managers offer recovery options.
  • Cross-platform syncing – Since the majority of users have more than just one device, it’s necessary to be able to synchronize your login data on various devices and across a selection of platforms such as Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
  • 2FA (two-factor authentication) – This extra layer of security can make all the difference. You’ll have an extra code to submit when logging in, making it less likely for your account to be compromised if someone happens to guess or gain access to your password. 
  • Checking the password strengths – All password managers should offer a function that lets you know if your password is weak or a duplicate. This is extremely useful, especially if you have many passwords stored in your vault.

Find out the pros and cons of password managers here!

The best password managers in 2022 quick guide

  • 1Password
  • Dashlane
  • LastPass
  • North Pass
  • KeePassXC

1Password – Travel Mode

1Password comes first for me, mainly due to its travel mode that I mentioned earlier. If you have two vaults, one containing sensitive data that needs to stay protected, and the other with less important data. You can mark the latter vault as ‘safe’, so when you activate travel mode, the vault will not be removed from your device. The vault containing sensitive data will be completely removed and untraceable to anyone creating your 1Password app.

1Password – activate travel mode

What I also like about 1Password is that it supports all major operating systems. Not only are there versions for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, but there’s also a desktop version for Linux which works really well. 

1Password for Linux

With the Linux app, new functions were recently introduced that will soon also be made available on other operating systems. These new functions add a lot of value to 1Password, making it a top competitor in the password manager market.

  • Option to archive and delete elements – so you can better organize your documents.
  • A dashboard for Watchtower – to report any security breaches and urge you to update or change specific passwords.
  • New functions for sharing objects – you can now see who has access to which components.
  • Smart search suggestions –  to help you quickly find exactly what you’re looking for. 

You can also use the password manager together with 2FA. Not only biometric methods such as fingerprints or face recognition work as well as USB tokens. This includes Fido and YubiKey, among others. Of course, you can also protect the website login with 2FA apps like Google Authenticator or Authy.

The family package from 1Password covers up to 5 members. In shared vaults, you and your family and friends can all access the same login information. Private vaults can also be set up where only you have access to them. 

1Password provides a trial version that doesn’t require you to specify any payment options (look closely – the option is small, but it’s still there), so you can test the service for 14 days free of charge.

Try 1Password for free

Dashlane – Including VPN

Dashlane’s password manager has a few interesting features. For example, you can have weak passwords automatically changed on over 300 websites. This is convenient because you don’t have to visit any of these websites yourself.

The software also monitors the so-called dark web, so if there is a data breach and your data appears on the dark web, Dashlane will notify you.

The more expensive packages also include a VPN with an unlimited amount of data. Dashlane’s virtual private network isn’t bad but is obviously not as good as specialty providers such as NordVPN, but it’s still a nice bonus. 

Dashlane supports Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. There is also 1GB of secure storage, which is plenty if you want to save any important documents. 

With the free package, you can save up to 50 passwords from one device. With the premium packages, you’ll have the option of unlimited passwords on unlimited devices. 

Dashlane is also available for businesses

Try Dashlane for free

LastPass – Great Free Version

The password manager offers the option to change passwords on more than 70 websites with just one click; If you have used many websites with weak passwords in the past, you can indeed save a lot of time with this automatic password change.

With LastPass you have several options to restore your account should you lose your master password, including a one-time password (OTP) or SMS.

Another useful feature is that you can use LastPass to check the strength of your passwords. With this, you will not only find weak passwords, but also those that you have used more than once over time. The service also offers to monitor the dark web, where it will let you know if any of your passwords have been posted there.

The service also works with Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator, among others. Other MFA options are Fingerprint, YubiKey, and Sesame. Multiple authentications are an additional layer of protection that you should always use when available.

LastPass also offers you a secure e-wallet (also known as a cyber wallet or digital wallet) that can save payment data and make online transactions, replacing credit cards and cash. 

LastPass’s free package is pretty good, by the way. Again, there are options to restore the account and you can also have the strength of your passwords checked. The automatic password change is also available to those using the free package.

LastPass Free – the generous free package

The catch, however, is that with the free version you have to choose between a device type – desktop or mobile. This means you can use the free LastPass on either Android & iOS or Windows & macOS. The free version of LastPass also includes a 30-day trial version of LastPass Premium.

Try LastPass for free

The app is available for Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS. In addition, various browsers are supported and you will find corresponding extensions. Browsers include Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Opera. There is even a universal Linux installer that only installs the browser extensions for Firefox, Chrome, and Opera.

In addition to a version for private individuals and families, LastPass also offers a special version for companies.

NordPass – a Great Combination with NordVPN

NordVPN is an extremely popular virtual private network that is renowned for its security, geo-unblocking, and privacy features. NordPass is a password manager from the same company. There are available apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, and browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Opera, and Edge.

NordPass supports all popular operating systems

NordPass provides a free package where you can save as many passwords as you want in addition to credit card data and important notes. Cross-platform synchronization is also possible but you can only be logged in on one device at a time.

Your log-ins and other data are encrypted using the XChaCha20 algorithm. The data is encrypted on the device and saved in the cloud. Your data cannot be accessed by anyone, not even employees of NordPass. Your data will also still be protected even if the servers are hacked or otherwise compromised. 

You can also use biometrics and 2FA to securely log into your vaults. NordPass currently supports Google Authenticator, Authy, and Duo.

Try NordPass for free

With the premium package, the system does not log you out if you change devices and as with NordVPN, you can use up to 6 devices at the same time. There is also a scanner for password strength and monitoring for data protection violations.

I don’t think NordPass is the best password manager out there but the price is reasonable and combined with NordVPN, NordPass can be a very useful asset. Most users will be completely satisfied with the functionality that NordPass offers.

KeePassXC – free but a little complex

The open-source password manager KeePassXC is secure but nowhere near as convenient as its premium competition. However, for tech-savvy users, KeePassXC is a fantastic free option.

With KeePassXC, there is no cloud synchronization option as password vaults are stored locally. If you want to use your passwords on several devices, you can synchronize the vault yourself in a cloud such as Nextcloud, Dropbox, or Google Drive. This works well, but you have to be careful if you have the password vault open with multiple clients at the same time as there is a risk of them being overwritten. This is not a problem with other password managers.

You can also share password groups with other users using a feature called KeeShare. Setting this up can be quite complicated as the app leaves it down to you to arrange this. 

Download KeePassXC

KeePassXC is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, but apps for Android and iOS are currently not available. You will also have access to the KeePassXC source code. 

KeePassXC is only available for Windows, macOS, and Linux

At this point, it should be noted that there are mobile apps that can read and edit the databases created by KeePassXC.

In a nutshell: A lot is possible with KeePassXC, but you have to put in some manual work. It has great software for a single laptop or desktop, but it’s not ideal for those with multiple devices.

FAQ – About password management

Why do you need a password manager?

Ideally, you should only use a password once for each website or service you use. This can quickly lead to having hundreds of passwords that are impossible to remember. A password manager manages all your passwords in a secure and encrypted vault that only you have access to.

What should a password manager be able to do?

That depends on your requirements. If you use 2FA a lot, then it is good if you can also store such data here such as secure notes or sensitive documents. 

Are password managers expensive?

You can get excellent services for just a few pounds per month. Having all your passwords protected and secure is worth the slight monthly fee.

 What functions does a good password manager need?

That depends on the password manager, but the most reputable providers all offer some form of recovery. However, it is always advisable to have the master password written on a piece of paper and stored in a real safe.

How do I find the best password manager?

In this article, we’ve listed our favorite password managers and noted their unique features. Every user is different, so it comes down to your personal needs and requirements. Some password managers even offer trials or free packages where you can test out their features and get an idea of whether or not this provider is best suited to you.