Best Password Managers of 2021

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

  • Best overall
    LastPass Logo
    LastPass
    • One-to-one sharing
    • Secure notes
    • Basic customer support
  • Best for iOS and macOS
    1Password
    • Travel mode
    • 365-day item history
    • 24/7 email customer support
  • Best for usability
    Dashlane
    • Password sharing
    • Personalized security alerts
    • 50-password limit

Our pick: Which password manager is best?

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

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.VPN,
Dark web monitoring
View on Dashlane
Best for businessKeeper$35–$75/yr.Biometrics, record sharinView on Keeper
Best for budgetRoboForm$18–$36/yr.Bookmark management, password auditView on RoboForm
Best free optionBitwardenFree–$40/yr.Text sharing, self-host optionView 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 password managers across the board is that they’re not much different from each other. They all store your login credentials, generate new passwords, and provide an autofill function, so you’re not typing in wildly long strings of letters, numbers, and characters.

Overall, password managers should generate long unique passwords that are nearly impossible to crack. This is why they’re 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 solution that is in active development and offers end-to-end encryption, if possible.

Finally, password manager developers should list “zero knowledge” somewhere on the product page. That means these companies don’t have access to your data. If they provide a device synchronization service (most do), that data should reside on their cloud servers as an encrypted blob that these companies can’t access.

For a more in-depth look at the important 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 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

  • 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 passwords that were deleted or changed 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 trial of the Premium subscription, which expands 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 information, whether it’s a file or password, is 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 account. 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 solution, Bitwarden is the password manager to get. It’s open-source software, meaning you’ll see a lot 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 the need for 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: Do you have the fastest, most secure internet connection? You may want to view all of your options by entering your zip code below.

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. This is why a password generator is essential: it can create a strong, random password that is related to 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 apply new passwords across all devices quickly.

Item sharing

This 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. This 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 will provide general online storage for backing up sensitive documents and sending 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 for some time, and that likely won’t change even though the developer, LogMeIn, discontinued multidevice synchronization in the free version. It’s still a solid pick even as a free client and even better through its paid tiers, thanks to cloud storage, multidevice support, dark web monitoring, and emergency access.

That said, 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.

Password manager FAQ

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 they’re signed in to a password manager, users 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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