Best Password Managers of 2021

Stop using the same password for every service under the sun.

Our pick: Which password manager is best?

LastPass is our go-to solution for the best password manager. It checks all the right boxes: desktop and mobile support, password sharing, file storage, family management, dark web monitoring, a password generator, and more. It feels more complete overall, thanks to a good balance of free and premium features.

Pro tip:

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The 7 best password managers

Best password managers

Best forServicePriceBest featuresGet it
Best overallLastPassFree–$48/yr.
  • Unlimited passwords
  • Password sharing
  • View on LastPass
    Best for iOS and macOS1Password$36–$60/yr.
  • 1GB cloud storage
  • Travel Mode
  • View on 1Password
    Best for usabilityDashlaneFree–$9/mo.
  • Built-in VPN
  • Dark web monitoring
  • View on Dashlane
    Best for businessKeeper$35–$75/yr.
  • Biometrics
  • Record sharing
  • View on Keeper
    Best for budgetRoboForm$18–$36/yr.
  • Bookmark management
  • Password audit
  • View on RoboForm
    Best free optionBitwardenFree–$40/yr.
  • Text sharing
  • Self-host option
  • View on Bitwarden
    Best no-cloud password syncSticky PasswordFree–$30/yr.;
    $200/life
  • Biometrics
  • USB portable version
  • View on Sticky Password

    What should you look for in a password manager?

    The problem with shopping for the best password manager is that they’re not much different from each other. They all store your login credentials, require a master password, generate new passwords, and provide an autofill function, so you’re not typing in wildly long strings of letters, numbers, and characters.

    Overall, the best password manager should generate long unique passwords that are nearly impossible to crack. It’s essential for day-to-day use across all accounts because passwords are often reused, too short, and easily guessed.

    You also want a password manager that supports multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Be sure to pick a password manager that is in active development and offers end-to-end encryption, if possible.

    Finally, a password manager should list “zero knowledge” somewhere on its product page. That means its developer doesn’t have access to your data. If a password manager advertises device synchronization (most do), that data should reside on the developer’s cloud servers as an inaccessible encrypted blob.

    For a more in-depth look at the essential features to consider in a password manager, jump ahead to our expanded section below.

    Best overall: LastPass

    Best overall
    LastPass Logo

    Pricing

    • Free
    • Premium: $36/yr.
    • Families: $48/yr.

    Features

    • Password generator
    • Password autofill
    • Secure vault
    • Password sharing
    • Encrypted notes
    • Two-factor authentication

    Availability

    • Desktop: Windows, macOS, Linux
    • Browser extensions: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, Safari
    • Mobile: Android, iOS, iPadOS

    LastPass is an excellent password manager for storing everything you need, from login credentials to addresses to credit cards.

    The free version offers up the basics, such as unlimited passwords, password sharing to a friend or family member, two-factor authentication, a password generator, and password autofill. 

    The drawback, however, is that the free service locks users into one device type—a computer or a mobile device, but not both. Users can switch between the two device categories, but only three times.

    The Premium and Family plans, naturally, remove the device type limitations. The Premium plan targets a single user and adds 1GB of cloud storage, dark web monitoring, fingerprint and YubiKey support, a security dashboard, and the ability to share passwords with more than one friend or family member. 

    The Family plan targets six users and builds upon the Premium plan with unlimited shared folders and family management.

    Pros

    • Unlimited password storing
    • Password sharing

    Cons

    • No monthly payment option
    • Only one device type supported on the free version

    Best for iOS and macOS: 1Password

    Best for iOS and macOS

    Pricing

    • Single user: $36/yr.
    • Families: $60/yr.

    Features

    • Unlimited devices
    • Unlimited passwords
    • Password generator
    • Custom vaults
    • 365-day password retrieval
    • Password sharing

    Availability

    • Desktop: Windows, macOS, Linux
    • Browser extensions: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave
    • Mobile: Android, iOS, iPadOS
    • Command-line options

    1Password launched in June 2006 and is similar to LastPass in terms of features.

    Like its competitor, 1Password allows you to store login credentials and other sensitive data like credit cards. However, because there is no free edition, you have premium features right from the start. These include 1GB of storage, support for an unlimited number of devices, technical support, and a Travel Mode that temporarily removes data from your devices when you travel to other countries.

    The Family plan builds on the Personal plan by adding support for up to five individuals. Users can set permissions and create vaults for each individual without the need for separate subscriptions. Item history backup allows users to recover deleted or changed passwords up to one year before the current date.

    You can add additional people to the Family plan for $1 per person, per month.

    Pros

    • Supports Face ID
    • Allows you to create and share custom vaults

    Cons

    • No free version
    • No Safari extension

    Best for usability: Dashlane

    Best for usability

    Pricing

    • Free
    • Premium: $60/yr.
    • Family: $90/yr.

    Features

    • Password sharing
    • Two-factor authentication
    • Dark web monitoring
    • Built-in VPN
    • Autofill
    • Unlimited passwords and devices on Premium plans 

    Availability

    • Desktop: Windows, macOS, Linux
    • Browser extensions: Chrome, Chromium browsers, Firefox, Safari
    • Mobile: Android, iOS, iPadOS

    Dashlane has been around since 2012. It’s not much different than the other password managers on our list, offering password storage, form and payment autofill, two-factor authentication, password generation, a digital wallet, and so on. 

    The free version limits users to one device and 50 passwords. However, all new accounts start users with a 30-day Premium subscription trial, expanding the services to unlimited passwords and devices. The Premium model also adds dark web monitoring and unlocks the built-in VPN feature to protect your data from eavesdroppers as it travels down the internet highways.

    The Family plan allows users to add up to five other individuals. You can create a private account for each member and manage them all—along with the billing—through the dashboard. This plan costs $90 per year, although you can make monthly payments of $9 per month (unlike the other password managers on our list). The same goes with the Premium plan: $60 annually or $6.50 monthly.

    Pros

    • Monthly plans
    • Built-in VPN (Premium)

    Cons

    • Storage for only 50 passwords on the free plan
    • High price for families

    Best for business: Keeper

    Best for business
    Keeper Security logo

    Pricing

    • Keeper Business: $45/yr. per user
    • Keeper Enterprise: Contact sales

    Features

    • Private vaults
    • Team management
    • Shared team folders
    • SSO integration
    • Two-factor authentication

    Availability

    • Desktop: Windows, macOS, Linux
    • Browser extensions: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera
    • Mobile: Android, iOS, iPadOS

    While Keeper Security does provide password manager plans for individuals and families, Keeper Business and Keeper Enterprise are great solutions for offices and corporations. They not only increase productivity by eliminating manual password entries but also help prevent password-related security breaches.

    With Keeper Business, each user has a private encrypted password vault. All confidential informationwhether it’s a file or a passwordis stored as a record, each with a built-in password generator to create unique, stronger passwords as needed. Other features include shared team folders, team management, and activity reports.

    Meanwhile, Keeper Security doesn’t provide pricing online for its Keeper Enterprise solution. This plan includes everything offered in Keeper Business along with automated team management, email auto-provisioning, SSO authentication (G Suite, Azure, Okta), developer APIs, and more.

    Pros

    • SSO integration
    • Two-factor authentication

    Cons

    • Add-ons can be costly
    • Dark web monitoring is extra

    Best for a budget: RoboForm

    Best for a budget
    RoboForm logo

    Pricing

    • Free
    • Everywhere Individual: $18/yr.
    • Everywhere Family: $36/yr.

    Features

    • Unlimited passwords
    • Password generator
    • Password audit tool
    • Emergency access
    • One-click logins
    • Cloud backup (Premium)

    Accessibility

    • Desktop: Windows, macOS
    • Browser extensions: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari
    • Mobile: Android, iOS, iPadOS

    Siber Systems’ RoboForm has been around since 2000, although the premium RoboForm Everywhere plan didn’t emerge until 2010.

    The big selling point with this password manager is its fast account logins that use a single click or tap. It’s also inexpensive, making it one of the cheapest password managers on our list.

    The free version is robust, supporting unlimited logins, a password audit, bookmark management, login shares, and more. RoboForm Everywhere builds upon the free version with cloud backup and synchronization across an unlimited number of devices. A shared folder is tossed into the premium plan while the emergency access component allows users to grant access to their accounts. The free model only enables users to receive emergency access.

    The Family plan simply expands RoboForm Everywhere to five users.

    Pros

    • Offers a free version
    • Has one-click logins

    Cons

    • No dark web monitoring
    • No Linux desktop app

    Best free option: Bitwarden

    Best free option

    Pricing

    • Free
    • Premium: $10/yr.
    • Family: $40/yr.

    Features

    • Unlimited passwords
    • Password generator
    • Self-host capability
    • Two-step login
    • Device synchronization
    • Emergency access (Premium)

    Accessibility

    • Desktop: Windows, macOS, Linux
    • Browser extensions: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, Edge, Vivaldi, Brave, Tor Browser
    • Mobile: Android, iOS, iPadOS
    • Command-line options

    If you’re looking for a great, free password manager, Bitwarden is the password manager to get. It’s open-source software, meaning you’ll see many more features in the free version than others on our list while keeping the Premium and Family plans highly affordable.

    Unlike other password managers on our list, this solution syncs across all devices without needing a Premium subscription. Moreover, it has a self-host component, meaning you can ditch Bitwarden’s cloud service and create your own local server to store and synchronize your encrypted blob across devices.

    The Premium plan adds 1GB of cloud storage and file sharing, emergency access, vault health reports, the Bitwarden Authenticator, encrypted file attachments, and support for additional two-step solutions like YubiKey. The paid Family plan increases the user limit to six.

    Pros

    • Text sharing
    • Self-host component

    Cons

    • No monthly plans

    Best no-cloud password sync: Sticky Password

    Best no-cloud password sync

    Pricing

    • Free
    • Premium: $30/yr.
    • Premium: $160 for life

    Features

    • Unlimited passwords
    • Password generator
    • Biometrics support
    • USB portable version for Windows
    • Secure notes
    • Wi-Fi sync (Premium only)

    Accessibility

    • Desktop: Windows, macOS
    • Browser extensions: Chrome, Chromium browsers, Firefox, Brave, Opera, more
    • Mobile: Android, iOS, iPadOS

    LastPass is an excellent solution for storing everything you need, from login credentials to addresses to credit cards.

    The free version offers up the basics, such as unlimited passwords, password sharing to a friend or family member, two-factor authentication, a password generator, and password autofill. 

    The drawback, however, is that the free service locks users into one device type—a computer or a mobile device, but not both. Users can switch between the two device categories, but only three times.

    The Premium and Family plans, naturally, remove the device type limitations. The Premium plan targets a single user and adds 1GB of cloud storage, dark web monitoring, fingerprint and YubiKey support, a security dashboard, and the ability to share passwords to more than one friend or family member. 

    The Family plan targets six users and builds upon the Premium plan with unlimited shared folders and family management.

    Pros

    • Wi-Fi sync option
    • Biometric support

    Cons

    • No Family plan
    • No Wi-Fi sync in free model

    Pro Tip:

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    Password manager features

    Password managers, in general, have identical core features. Below we go more in-depth with some of these basics to better understand why they’re important.

    Password generator

    While having a password vault is great, chances are many of those passwords are repeated across services, are too easily guessed, or were unearthed in a data breach. A password generator is essential because it can create a strong, random password based on absolutely nothing. It’s just a long string of letters, numbers, and symbols that don’t link back to your favorite pet or TV show. 

    Of course, the iPhone, iPad, and Android will generate a password for you. However, using a universal password generator found in a password manager allows you to quickly apply new passwords across all devices.

    Item sharing

    Item sharing is an essential tool if you plan to share account credentials. A good example here is a streaming service like Netflix or Disney+ where someone inside or outside the household wants access to the service. Item sharing doesn’t just apply to passwords either: you could share notes, credit cards, and so on—any data you don’t want to convey outside secure means.

    Dark web monitoring

    The dark web is a part of the internet that is accessible only by specific web browsers. Search engines do not index these sites, so you won’t find them using traditional browsers like Chrome and Safari. It’s a place where users conduct activities behind the public-facing side (the open web). 

    That doesn’t mean these activities are instantly nefarious, but stolen user credentials are typically broadcasted, sold, and purchased on the dark web. The monitoring process scans these websites for anything related to end-users, like email addresses, passwords, credit card numbers, and so on.

    Cloud storage

    There are two aspects to this feature to consider. First, data is synchronized across devices using cloud storage. Developers don’t have access to this data—it’s just an encrypted blob that’s uploaded and downloaded as needed. 

    As shown above, Sticky Password has a Wi-Fi option, while Bitwarden has a tool to create a local service. Regardless, uploading and downloading data is required for multidevice synchronization, whether it’s local or in the cloud.

    Second, premium services typically provide general online storage to back up sensitive documents and send them as encrypted attachments. Examples would be tax forms, scanned personal ID cards (like your driver’s license), a Social Security card, a passport, and so on.

    That doesn’t mean these activities are instantly nefarious, but stolen user credentials are typically broadcasted, sold, and purchased on the dark web. The monitoring process scans these websites for anything related to end-users, like email addresses, passwords, credit card numbers, and so on.

    Emergency access

    Being able to grant someone access to your password manager account is a good thing. For example, you created and maintained accounts for Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, and so on. But your significant other can’t log in to these services, you’re tethered to a hospital bed, and you can’t provide the login credentials. Granting access to your password manager allows the individual to sign in and obtain the login credentials for these services.

    For instance, with LastPass, you can give one individual access to your password manager. 1Password, meanwhile, has a tool to create a PDF with the master password stashed inside.

    That doesn’t mean these activities are instantly nefarious, but stolen user credentials are typically broadcasted, sold, and purchased on the dark web. The monitoring process scans these websites for anything related to end-users, like email addresses, passwords, credit card numbers, and so on.

    Zero knowledge

    When choosing a password manager, documentation should list this feature. “Zero knowledge” means that your data is inaccessible by the password manager developer, even if said data resides on their cloud servers. Because the encryption key resides on the end user’s device, there is no unpacking the data on the server-side. Cloud-based data is used only to synchronize multiple devices and is nothing more than a pile of digital junk for hackers.

    As for master passwords, they’re stored locally on your device. When entered, passwords convert into a key that unlocks a data key that decrypts and encrypts the password vault. All of this happens on the device side, so developers have “zero knowledge” of unlocking and retrieving your data on both ends.

    That doesn’t mean these activities are instantly nefarious, but stolen user credentials are typically broadcasted, sold, and purchased on the dark web. The monitoring process scans these websites for anything related to end-users, like email addresses, passwords, credit card numbers, and so on.

    Our verdict

    LastPass has been our favorite password manager for some time, and that likely won’t ever change even though developer LogMeIn discontinued multidevice synchronization in the free version.

    Overall, LastPass is a solid pick as a free password manager, but it’s even better through its paid tiers, thanks to cloud storage, multidevice support, dark web monitoring, and emergency access.

    Still, you really can’t go wrong with any of our recommended password managers. Just weigh your exact needs against what you’re willing to pay. If you want a free client, stick with Bitwarden. If you don’t mind an annual fee, LastPass is your best option, although 1Password comes in at a close second.

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    FAQ about password managers

    Why should you use a password manager?

    You should use a password manager to keep your online accounts more secure. It’s a safer option than using the same password across sites or writing your passwords down.

    How does a password manager work?

    Once users sign in to a password manager, they manually add login credentials for services like Google, Netflix, Amazon, and so on. All login information goes into a digital “vault” stored as an encrypted ”blob” in the cloud unless the service specifically uses on-device storage.

    When you log in to the password manager using another device, it generates a new encryption key and stores it locally. The service then downloads the encrypted blob, granting you access to your stored credentials.

    To provide better security, password managers include a password generator that allows you to create unique passwords across the board.

    Are password managers safe to use?

    Yes, password managers are safe to use because they encrypt login credentials on a device level. Even if hackers manage to break into a password manager server, they cannot access your information without obtaining the encryption key stored on your device(s).

    Free or premium?

    There’s always a tradeoff between using a free password manager and paying for a premium account. For instance, LastPass allows only one device type when using the free plan: computer or mobile. The Premium plan eliminates this restriction. Ultimately, you need to decide what you need from a password manager and if its free features best address those needs.

    Author -

    Kevin Parrish has more than a decade of experience working as a writer, editor, and product tester. He began writing about computer hardware and soon branched out to other devices and services such as networking equipment, phones and tablets, game consoles, and other internet-connected devices. His work has appeared in Tom’s Hardware, Tom's Guide, Maximum PC, Digital Trends, Android Authority, How-To Geek, Lifewire, and others. At HighSpeedInternet.com, he focuses on internet security.

    Editor - Cara Haynes

    Cara Haynes has been editing and writing in the digital space for seven years, and she's edited all things internet for HighSpeedInternet.com for five years. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University. When she's not editing, she makes tech accessible through her freelance writing for brands like Pluralsight. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span.

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