Passwords are everywhere, and yet we all forget one from time to time. The best password managers make forgetting your password a thing of the past.
This simple but clever software remembers all your passwords, and because you've got technology on your side, your passwords can be super-secure, long and complex, satisfying whatever uppercase/lowercase/number/special character/length requirement that a website demands. If you don't fancy thinking up new strong passwords, most password managers incorporate a random password generator, along with plenty of other features such as two-factor authentication for even more security, and they can often securely store your credit card details as well.
The only thing you need to do is remember one master password to access the password manager - just make sure you think up a good, strong one! Every password manager on this list secures your sensitive data either on your desktop or mobile device, or in the cloud, using the very toughest consumer-grade encryption.
Most password managers are available for free, though free versions may often have limits on the amount of passwords they can store, and the number of devices you can synchronize. Thankfully, upgrading to a paid package usually costs just a few dollars a month and opens up unlimited password/device support, along with features like biometric login options like Face ID or fingerprint logon, and auto form-filling.
Whichever password manager on our list your choose, you can be assured of top-notch security, extensive device compatibility and user-friendly features, as well as great value.
The best password manager in 2021
LastPass offers excellent features in its free version, including a password generator, unlimited passwords across an unlimited number of devices, and secure storage. If you do need to upgrade to the Premium version, it'll cost you a reasonable $3/months and provides 1GB of online file storage, dark web monitoring, access to premium tech support, and physical two-factor-authentication keys. This is particularly important as it adds a separate layer of protection via a fingerprint scan on your smart device, or an app-generated code, so your data is even less likely to be breached by a phishing attempt.
Your password data is safely stored behind AES-256 bit encryption. The same encryption tech can also be used to secure your credit card details and delivery addresses, as well as personal notes, insurance policy details, and other sensitive info.
LastPass is especially convenient as it can be run exclusively online or from web browser extensions, although there are also a desktop applications for Windows and Mac, as well as mobile apps for iOS and Android.
Dashlane stands out from the crowd with its bulk password changer that can reset hundreds of passwords at once. It's a great time-saver when you want to step-up your online security in one fell swoop, though not all websites are compatible with the feature.
Go for the free version of Dashlane and you get logons for up to 50 accounts, multi-factor authentication and storage for details like delivery addresses and contact details. There's even an email scanner that'll tell you about any online accounts you may have forgotten to secure.
Upgrading to Dashlane Premium gives you unlimited password storage over unlimited devices, dark web monitoring and unlimited VPN access, along with credit card monitoring and the ability to restore your identity should it be stolen, all for $39.99 a year.
LogMeOnce is packed with features, with its standout feature being that you don't need to use a master password to access its login vault - instead, you can opt for a choice of access methods which include Photo Login, Face ID, fingerprint, pin code, or a good old master password if you prefer. A convenient password generator is also present, letting you create highly secure logons with ease, and you can securely share passwords with trusted family members or colleagues. Then there's LogMeOnce Unlimited Sync that can synchronize unlimited passwords across all your devices, while Single Sign On keeps you signed into a website so you shouldn't need to keep signing into a frequently accessed website.
Confusingly, LogMeOnce's free package is dubbed 'Premium', though it is fittingly titled given the amount of features it offers. For $2.50 a month, the Professional package gets you 1GB of encrypted storage, along with a greater number of saved credit cards, shared passwords and secure notes, along with several other benefits. The Ultimate package adds even more features for $3.25 a month, and for $4.99/month the Family plan will protect 6 family members.
Keeper Password Manager is only available as a paid service but you do get a 30-day free trial, and then a lot for a very reasonable annual outlay. There are plugins for every major web browser, as well as mobile apps and biometric authentication support for iOS and Android and desktop apps for Windows, Mac and Linux. Your passwords are also automatically synced across all your devices.
Keeper will notify you should any of your passwords be affected by a data breach, and also if it thinks any of your passwords are too weak.
If you'd like to keep your whole family's passwords secure, Keeper's Family plan will do just that, as well as letting you share files securely and there's the ability to send encrypted messages to each other. The latter can also be had with Personal Password Manager if you upgrade it to the max bundle, and this also gets you dark web monitoring and secure file storage.
Roboform not only gives you a secure vault for all your login and password details, it'll also help you identify weak passwords and create new, more secure logons with its password generator that produces super-strong passwords which won't be guessable. Two-factor authentication is also supported, for additional security.
Downsides? The free version of Roboform cant sync your passwords across your devices, but this is possible if you step up to the premium Everywhere package, and then you'll also get secure cloud backup and sharing services, along with the ability to access your Roboform data online. And with a 30% discount for Digital Camera World readers, the Everywhere package can be had for a bargain annual fee of $16.68.
1Password is capable of managing unlimited passwords, and if you sign up to its Families package, you can share logins, credit card details and secure notes with up to 5 family members.
In addition to password management, 1Password can also protect you from data breaches, keylogging and phishing scams, and for an extra layer of security, it'll only work in a verified web browser - this can be Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge or Brave. The browser extension is able to auto form-fill with ease, and there's two-factor authentication support for additional security. What's more, if you travel regularly, 1Password includes a Travel Mode whereby it'll temporarily delete your sensitive data from your mobile device to keep it safe from any snooping border control staff.
1Password's free version is no more, but you can try 1Password free for 30 days. After that, it's $35.88 for a year's subscription, or $59.88 for 1Password Families.