Managing passwords for websites and applications is becoming more of a challenge. There is an increased need for greater security and a growing number of passwords to remember. Using a free password manager provides a convenient solution.
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What Is a Password Manager?
A password manager is an application that securely stores login information for the various online services and software that you use. These managers are available for all types of devices including PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
You can think of a password manager as a secure encrypted vault for all your usernames and passwords. These applications also generate complex passwords, increasing the security of your logins.
Many password managers can also store credit card details, bank account info, and answers to your security questions. You get an all-in-one solution for securing your logins and payment information.
The password manager itself requires a master password. However, instead of remembering dozens of passwords, you only need to remember one. Just make sure that this one master password is a long and complex one because its the one that can unlock your vault.
Types of Password Managers
There are various types of password managers. Some of these applications are cloud-based or installed locally. There are also browser add-ons and mobile applications.
Cloud-based, local, and browser add-on password managers are suitable for securing passwords on PCs and laptops. Some of these options may also be compatible with mobile devices. However, there are also many password manager mobile apps designed specifically for use on smartphones and tablets.
When comparing cloud-based, local, and browser add-ons, the cloud-based options tend to provide the greatest security and flexibility. Your home computer may not possess the same level of security and web browsers may be vulnerable to viruses. Cloud-based managers often use the best encryption and security methods to protect your data.
There are also physical password managers. These compact USB hardware devices can store your passwords without installing anything on your computer. When you unplug the device, there is no way for hackers to gain access to your passwords. However, these physical password managers are not free.
Security Benefits of Password Managers
The primary reason to use a password manager is for enhanced security. Most people create weak passwords for the various services or accounts that they manage online and also they use the same password on all of their accounts. Many of these accounts may include vital information, such as credit card or bank info.
With a password manager, you can instantly generate completely random passwords. You can stop using the name of your favorite pet or your wedding anniversary to create your password. As you do not need to remember the passwords, you can use stronger passwords.
Password managers also use the latest encryption methods. While many web browsers allow you to save your login information, the security of your login credentials depends on the security of the browser.
If your computer gets infected with a virus, your information may not be safe. Using a password manager is more secure compared to saving your information in a web browser or locally in a folder on your laptop.
You also avoid the need to manually enter your password when logging into websites and software. Some viruses track your keystrokes, allowing hackers to determine your login credentials.
With a password manager, you may avoid this risk by allowing the password manager to automatically and securely enter your password.
10 Best Free Password Managers
There are many password managers available. As these are free options, it is important to choose a manager that uses the best encryption and possesses the features that you need. To save you the trouble of comparing options, the following are the top ten free password managers.
KeePass is one of the most popular free password managers. It is an open source application available for Windows, Linux, and Mac computers and laptops. You simply download the setup file and install it on your computer.
KeePass also provides access to various plugins and extensions that increase the functionality of the password manager. You can find plugins that allow you to create backups of your password database or store your database on supported cloud servers. You can even integrate the application with your preferred web browser.
All data is stored in a central database that is encrypted using AES and Twofish encryption. You only need to remember your master password.
LastPass offers password management for multiple users when you select a Family or Business plan. They also have a standard one-user plan that is available with a free trial.
It works on all devices and is cloud based. When you store your password for a website on the cloud app, you can instantly login to the same site on your smartphone.
Besides passwords, LastPass can store your payment information and security questions. It also provides complex password generation and multi-factor authentication.
The application is installed locally on your devices or is available as browser add-on as well. AES 256-bit encryption and PBKD2 SHA-256 are used to encrypt and decrypt your locally-stored database and cloud database as well.
LogMeOnce is a free password manager available on any device. You get complete protection on your smartphone or computer through the unique LogMeOnce dashboard.
The application is installed locally on your device. Instead of using a browser extension, the application is a web browser. You simply open the browser to access the password manager. You can easily edit or delete any login information.
LogMeOnce also provides additional online security solutions. Through the custom web browser, you can enjoy private Internet browsing. They also offer a feature called Mugshot that automatically detects break-ins to your devices.
DashLane is another free option that is installed locally on your devices. It is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS devices. It also includes syncing across platforms, allowing you to secure and access your passwords from any device.
With the free version of DashLane, you can secure up to 50 passwords. It also provides unlimited autofill for personal information. These features are entirely free. However, the company also offers two paid versions.
The paid versions provide management for unlimited passwords, a secure VPN, and dark web monitoring for your personal information.
RoboForm is available for all devices and installed locally. However, to sync your passwords between devices, you need to upgrade to the paid version.
With the free version, you can store unlimited passwords and forms. It also includes a password generator and password audit to review the strength of your passwords.
RoboForm works with all major browsers, including the Microsoft Edge browser that replaced Internet Explorer as the standard browser on Windows computers. AES 256-bit encryption and PBKDF2 SHA-256 are used to secure your passwords.
Sticky Password lets you store your passwords and login credentials from almost any device, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices.
You can also synchronize and backup your passwords from multiple devices. You have the option of storing your database in the cloud or locally. The database is encrypted with AES 256-bit encryption.
After installing the application on your device, you can instantly begin storing and accessing passwords. It works with Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and 13 other popular browsers.
EnPass is available as a desktop or mobile application for most devices. There is even a portable version that can be installed on a USB device.
Besides passwords, EnPass can store credit cards, bank account details, passports, and secure notes. You may install it on multiple devices and sync your passwords.
The application is installed locally. However, you do have the option of backing up your database to a compatible cloud account. Other highlights include a biometric fingerprint master password and a built-in password generator.
True Key by McAfee simplifies password management. The application automatically saves and enters your passwords, providing a seamless user experience.
The application is available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. All versions of the application include a password manager, digital wallet, and password generator.
You can also choose from multiple authentication options. You can sign in to websites and online accounts using facial recognition, by scanning a fingerprint, or through a second device, depending on the type of device you are using.
9) Abine Blur
Abine Blur is another option that works on multiple devices. It also includes a built-in password generator and other useful features.
Using Abine Blur, you can mask your email address. Instead of giving a website your real email address, you can mask the address for increased anonymity. Masking is also available for credit cards.
The application is entirely free. However, the premium version provides extra features. With the premium Abine Blur, you can automatically sync passwords on multiple devices, securely backup your database to your computer, and mask your phone number.
Padlock works on all devices and provides cross-platform synchronization. The application and your password database are stored locally. However, the company offers a free application called Padlock Cloud that allows you to back up your data in the cloud.
The application is entirely open source and easy to use. It does not provide a lot of extra features. The creators focused on creating a streamlined password manager that anyone can use to improve his or her security.
That covers the top 10 free password managers. While there are many other applications, these ten options use the latest encryption technologies and provide a variety of features. If you want to improve your online security, consider downloading and installing one of these applications today.