Your digital ecosystem is guarded by a string of passwords for the websites you visit. Remembering each of them isn’t really possible. And, with hackers frequently trying to sneak into accounts by simply entering a list of likely passwords, selecting the same password for every digital account is foolhardy. One breach and you’re toast.
When your passwords are everywhere, they are nowhere. So, stack them safely over an encrypted platform with free password managers.
BloomTimes Lists Top 5 Password Managers of 2019.
Read our analysis to find out the best tool for your needs.
What are Password Managers and Why Do You Need to Use One?
Choosing strong, unique passwords is a necessary precaution to stay safe on the internet. However, for the number of websites we visit each day, 25 on an average, it’s highly unpractical to remember all passwords, especially the ones that go like g45*vtksFd*. Most people, therefore, choose easy-to-remember passwords, which basically are the weak ones, and reuse them for different websites; thereby letting hackers crack open their multiple accounts in a single knock.
So, the pressing concern is—how to use unique passwords for every website and remember it too?
The answer lies in using a Password Manager. These are software platforms where users can store their passwords over an encrypted database, and protect the whole stack with a master password, which is the only password you need to remember. That being so, you are no longer fussing over remembering multiple passwords or writing them down at random places to get yourself sorted.
Below are a few benefits of using a password manager.
No Reuse of Passwords
When creating a new account, password managers suggest a secure and random password for you, thereby relieving you from the hassle of thinking a new one. Additionally, it can be configured to the filled in details, like your address and email address, on the web forms.
Automatic Login into Websites
With a password manager, you are no longer required to enter the password manually. If the password exists in database, your manager will log into the website automatically for you. This means, instead of typing the password for the respective website, you are required to enter the master password only.
Strong Defense Against Cybersecurity Threats
Cybersecurity is a burgeoning threat, and the ceaseless attacks of hackers make it highly urgent to secure your data. Hence, in all probability, you must use strong, unique passwords for your accounts. However, the biggest obstacle remains to remember them all, which isn’t possible for a human brain to achieve. This is where password managers make a difference. Using one, you can create as many unique passwords as you want, and manage them over a single-window, encrypted database with ease. This means you can conveniently evade the stress of lost or forgotten passwords, and eventually, keep yourself safe from cyber attacks.
Getting Started with Best Password Managers
Password Managers are intuitive in making, so they are easier to use and don’t leave you juggling across. Following are a few things you need to set right while using a password manager.
- Choose a Master Password: The first thing you need to create is your master password—the key to accessing the entire password database. Choose a strong combination, since it will protect your entire stack of important passwords, and remember it accurately. Better yet, write it down in a diary or store it somewhere safe. Mind you that forgetting your master password would mean you will not be able to access the whole password repository. That’s nightmarish to state the least.
- Replace Weak Passwords with Strong Ones: Next step is to find out weak, duplicate passwords and using your password manager to replace them with unique ones. A scan will help you locate all the weak passwords real quick that you might consider changing.
- Store Other Information if You May Want: A password manager can double up a safety vault for your bank account information, credit card details, and other information that needs a cloak of privacy. With strong encryption blanketing them, your information is never at risk.
- Identify Phishing Websites Having Your Data: Since Password Managers fill out information based on the websites’ URLs, they help you root out phishing websites with a different URL and keep you perfectly secure against data frauds.
The Best Free Password Managers 2019
#On the Top Spot: LastPass
Top Features: Compatible across Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Android and iOS devices; free version offers every essential feature for password storage and protection; two-factor authentication; phishing detection available; automatic form completion; password inheritance; better sharing available; password strength report and auto change.
LastPass is a consistent top pick on pretty much every list on the web and for right reasons.
Its free version comes packed with all essential features and works with any browser on any device. Shelling out a $24 per year for its premium version will introduce advanced security features, better sharing, and other helpful services.
Just after selecting the master password for LastPass, it lets you import all your login credentials across all browsers you’re using or ever used, which include Firefox, Edge, Chrome, Opera, and Safari. Just in case you are installing it on the other device, it will offer you a one-time password (OTP), which you can use to reset it on the new device.
Having a few login details saved on your smartwatch? Don’t worry. LastPass will sync those credentials too. At present, LastPass can save over 13 types of data for you, besides passwords, which include credit card numbers, contact information, software licenses and more.
It will automatically deny autocompleting forms on phishing websites and gives you the option to export your data at any time.
With a password generator embedded inside, LastPass also helps you create unique passwords on the fly for your digital accounts that might need a security beef-up, and automatically fills in new login details when you visit the website next.
The generator has a default limit of 12-digit characters, which include uppercase, lowercase letters, a single digit, but no symbols.
Another handy feature with LastPass is Auto Change, which allows you to change the passwords and update the details on the database with just a single click.
Two-factor authentication, multiple identities, free credit monitoring, and an auto-fill feature that helps shoppers fill in credit card details on demand are some of the advanced password management features that give LastPass a clear edge over its rivals.
On the premium version, you will be able to sync your database over to a cloud and will be able to share your folder of passwords with friends and family. The process is relatively easy. Simply select the password vaults you’re looking to share, tap on the sharing icon, and enter the recipient’s name. The sharing will occur in a trice.
There’s also an Emergency Access, which is an extremely thoughtful addition to LastPass. This feature lets you define one or two contacts, which will be able to access your passwords in the event of your untimely demise. These people must have LastPass, and must have accepted your connection request.
Bottom line: All in all, LastPass is a highly intuitive password manager with fluid navigation and simple controls. Some of its features are rather dated, but given the kind of features it brings, a little disadvantage is well compensated for.
2. LogMeOnce Password Manager
Top Features: Compatible across Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android devices; multiple login options available; mugshot feature to capture anyone trying to break into your smartphone; streamlined interface
LogMeOnce is the closest competition to LastPass. It’s a fantastic password manager with all the essential top-line security features to store and protect your passwords, and no limits on the number of passwords you can manage.
What’s important to know is that LogMeOnce’s pricing frameworks are a tad confusing. It has a ‘free’ premium version with extra add-ons, a Professional version worth $12 a year, and an Ultimate version costing $39 for a year. There’s also a business version to keep your corporate passwords safe.
You can choose to create a master password or a password-less account with LogMeOnce. While selecting a master password requires you to set a unique code for protecting your entire password stack, password-less protection means using other encryption methods, such as a selfie, fingerprint, and PIN code.
So, if you hate passwords, you can select your fingerprint or a lock pattern to get away with them.
Speaking of its interface, LogMeOnce has a neat-looking, intuitive navigational space that’s worth checking out. On top of it, this password manager offers a robust list of features, which includes Mugshot, Password SHOCK, Two-Factor Authentication, Secure Wallet, Scheduled Login and Anti-theft.
While these features can be found right after reaching its home page, there are a dozen others inside the Smart Menu, arranged across Productivity, Reports, Security, and General sub-menus.
Some of these features aren’t available in the free version, so if you’re on a free version, you can choose to skip configuring these.
LogMeOnce has a password calculator, which identifies the weak passwords and generates stronger ones as replacements. By default, it creates a 15-digit password with different characters. Also, it suggests the maximum time required to hack through a respective password.
The free version of LogMeOnce allows five password shares, however with the premium version, there’s no limit. If you choose to open-share it, the recipient can only open and read the passwords, but can’t use it.
Bottom line: LogMeOnce is a feature-rich password manager, so much so, that you’ll be overwhelmed with the wealth of options available. However, there’s a steep learning curve to it. Getting your head around LogMeOnce will require some serious time investment, so don’t start unless you’re sure about the configurations you need.
3. Myki Password Manager & Authenticator
Top Features: Individual browser extensions for all platforms; data stored locally, not cloud; two-factor authentication; 30-digit password suggestions; password strength report and secure sharing; completely free
Myki has all the bells and whistles of a fully featured Password Manager and Authenticator and is compatible across all your Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Android, and iOS devices. While the app versions keep your passwords fully encrypted on smartphones, the browser extensions let you manage passwords on any platform compatible with the browser you’re using.
Myki offers a spectrum of features for a cost of nothing. It’s an absolutely free password manager and there is no commercial edition available.
Myki has a streamlined, easy-to-navigate interface, and works a little differently—using local-only storage for your password needs, instead of cloud storage. You can either choose to set a master password or fingerprint login to secure your database.
Further, the Password Capture and Replay is a handy plus with Myki. The feature lets you save the credentials for the site you’ve logged in, which means whenever you return to a recorded site, Myki will automatically present a list of logins for you to choose from. However, the selection itself will not fill in the requisite credentials. Rather, a notification will be sent to your smartphone, and only approval will fill those credentials. That’s smart!
You can also store ancillary information, like credit and debit card numbers, using Myki. The browser extension has three tabs: Accounts, Payment Cards, and Secure Notes to secure information other than the passwords. It’s interesting how Myki stores your card details. As you enter the card number, it automatically detects the card type and replicates name, cardholder name, and expiry date on a virtual card image. It also uses a different color for every card type. Other than card details, Myki can store ID types, such as password and driving license details, bank accounts, and insurance card.
Now coming to Myki’s USP—The Password Generator. Myki, just like its peers, gives you the unique combinations of passwords, which are tougher to break in. However, the suggested passwords are nothing close to 8 or 10 digits. Myki generates unbeatable 30-character passwords to keep you at the safer shores of the internet. These include upper and lowercase letters, and numbers (you can turn it off if a site doesn’t accept them). Also, you can set the length of the passwords anywhere from four to 99.
Myki allows password sharing, however through phone numbers, which exist on your contact list. Password Inheritance feature is still in the planning phase.
Bottom line: Myki is an excellent password manager that looks good, works intuitively, and keeps your security as its top-most priority. The 30-digit password recommendations are a tall testament to its commitment. However, with many features still on the drawing board, it’s yet to become an accomplished service.
4. KeePass Password Safe
Top Features: Compatible across all browser versions; extensively configurable; two-factor authentication available; 100+ plug-ins; auto-type; stores ancillary information too; easy import and sharing; keylogger-foiling feature available
KeePass is the best open-source password manager, and brings an abundance of features to provide you with the absolute peace of managing multiple passwords. And, the fact that it’s free at all levels makes it the best bet. KeePass syncs across all your Windows, Mac, and Linux devices, however, there are no native versions for Android and iOS devices. Mobile options are available through third-party developers as of now.
KeePass isn’t one of the aesthetic looking password managers, but its expandable set of features and a wealth of downloadable plugins make it a worth try. Once you down the KeePass installer and launch the program, you will be asked to create a database. Note that you are free to create multiple databases if you want to.
Most of the password managers require you to create a master password to encrypt your database. However, setting itself apart, KeePass offers three different authentication methods: Master Password, Key File and Windows User Account. As you begin entering the master password, KeePass suggests if you have made a right choice by looking for known bad passwords, repeated sequences, and more.
So, if KeePass approves a password, it’s seriously the strongest. Bet on it. The second option is using a key file on a USB drive. This means, even if a hacker learns your master password, he will not be able to break into your database unless he gets successful in picking your pocket to steal the USB drive. If the enable the third option—authentication based on Windows user account—you can only access the database when you’re logged in as the same user when creating the account.
KeePass’s Password Generator is the best of the breed with a default password length of 20 characters. Each time you create an entry, KeePass automatically generates a fit-to-purpose password to save your credentials from prying eyes. Configuration settings in KeePass go a little further. While other password managers concoct passwords using uppercase, lowercase, digits and punctuation marks, KeePass breaks down the last entry into the space characters and high-ANSI characters. So, you can be only assured of safe run on the web with all those passwords.
One downside with KeePass is that it doesn’t automatically collect credentials as you go about logging into the sites. You have to do all of that manually. However, with its Auto-Type feature, it can fill in the credentials you’ve already recorded as you return to a site. This feature simulates typing at the keyboard to fill in the saved passwords, so it’s definitely a great password manager to use for application passwords.
KeePass uses local storage to save your databases, not cloud, which is a great boost for users’ security. Using it, you can easily sync multiple databases without duplication.
Bottom line: KeePass wins the crown as the best and most configurable password manager across the beam. Configurations are a dream and the bouquet of plug-ins doesn’t go without impressing. While KeePass is definitely great to have, it lacks advanced features, which up for grabs with any other password manager. And since it’s a bit labor-intensive, it becomes a spoiler for many too.
5. Enpass Password Manager
Top Features: Two-factor authentication; automatic password capture; powerful password generator and auditor; secure sharing; cloud-based syncing
Enpass Password Manager is free, supports Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android devices, and fits the bill as a decent password manager for your needs. While you can use Enpass freely on the desktop browsers, you are required to cough up $99.9 for lifetime access when using it for Android, iOS or UWP. Note that Enpass has a ‘free’ premium version too, much on the same lines as LogMeOnce, and is available for free across all devices.
Enpass browser extensions come with the ability to automatically capture credentials as you log into secure sites, but don’t offer a playback. The app version doesn’t even provide for the automatic capture, which is a nuisance. There is a browser toolbar where you can access the list of saved credentials and choose the option you need. And, the fact that features, like web form filling and account inheritance, haven’t yet arrived on Enpass, makes it slip on the spot five on our list.
Scoring a standout, Enpass doesn’t let you encrypt your data on cloud, and sync it as needed. Instead, it saves locally and allows options for syncing, which are home Wi-Fi, shared network folder, and WebDAV/ownCloud. You begin using Enpass by creating a strong master password and if you want to sync passwords across devices, there’s a configuration available. Enable it, and you’re good to go.
Enpass lets you import passwords stored in your browser, however not automatically. You will have to choose it manually inside the settings. But, it definitely allows automatic import from other password managers, like Dashlane and LastPass.
The Password Generator works finely with a default limit of 18 characters, which include everything—from digits, symbols, uppercase, and lowercase letters. However, one problem is that the concoction doesn’t change, as you change the length of the password. If you want to increase the length without changing the entire combination, you’re only adding the lowercase letters. If you decrease the length, the characters start vanishing, from lowercase to uppercase and then symbols. So, that’s a major disadvantage.
Another important Enpass feature, which is worth mentioning, is Password Audit. This feature determines the weak and duplicate passwords and provides a report on why you should consider changing it. Change the passwords continuously until Enpass shows a green flag to it.
Enpass saves much more than just passwords, including email accounts, secure notes, credit and debit card details, bank accounts, flight information and more. And whatever you put in gets automatically synced to all your devices. Sharing of databases is highly secured with Enpass, and is done via mails.
Bottom line: Enpass is great as a basic password manager and offers two-factor authentication too. However, there’s a big room for improvements as of yet.
Here’s a wrap-up to the review of top five free password managers 2019. We will keep on adding to this list, so don’t go farther. Follow this space for more updates.