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The World's Best Password Managers (Updated 2020)

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The World's Best Password Managers - LastPass, DashLane, Keeper Security

Picture the scene: it’s one of those days where it just feels like nothing is going right.

From traffic jams on your morning commute to spilled coffee all over that lovely new shirt – it’s a familiar tale to all of us. To top it all off, you need to download a file from a cloud-based file-sharing service for a big presentation. It shouldn’t be a problem, right? You just need to tap in your password and you’re away… except, oh dear, “invalid password” in big red letters flashes across the screen. Two attempts remaining. One attempt remaining.

And, just like that, your bad day just got a whole lot worse.

If just reading this is making you feel a little hot under the collar, don’t worry. We may not be able to do anything about traffic jams, but we can definitely help you feel better about password management. In fact, juggling multiple passwords really doesn’t need to be stressful at all. With a password manager, you can combine all of your passwords into just one to rule them all – (or even just your fingerprint) – and bring some much-needed simplicity back to your working day.

In this guide, we’ll explore what passwords managers are, why you should use one, and which specific password manager might suit you best in 2020. Let’s get started.

What is a password manager?

Did you know that 81% of online security breaches happen because of weak or easily guessed passwords?

With statistics like these, it’s easy to see why password security is such a big deal – especially for businesses. It’s this rationale which has led to the development of password managers, but what exactly do these apps do? Well, the core function of a password manager is to replace the multiple passwords you use in your digital life with a single “master” password or biometric authentication. You simply provide your existing passwords to the app, which then encrypts them and stores them in a digital vault ready to be used the next time you want to log in. When that time comes, you can either use a single “master” password, or use your smartphone’s biometric authentication features (like fingerprint scan or Face ID), to log in seamlessly. The best part? You get all the security of an incredibly complex alphanumeric password without the need to memorise one ever again.

If you’ve ever found yourself wasting time trying multiple variations of a password before logging in successfully – or you just have lots of different passwords to remember – a password manager might be just your cup of tea.

The benefits of a password manager

There’s no doubt that one of the core benefits of using a password manager is convenience. After all, if you have 20+ passwords to remember, trimming those down to just one password (or a simple touch of the fingertip) will save some serious mental effort. But password managers have other benefits, too – especially in the realm of cyber-security. In a world in which cyber attacks are becoming more prevalent, there’s never been a better time to level up your personal security with a password manager.

Let’s take a look at a few of the central benefits of password managers, and discover exactly how they can make your digital life more secure:

  • Eliminates the phenomenon known as “password fatigue”, because users no longer need to remember many different passwords for the various sites and services they use.
  • Can generate incredibly complex new passwords for each site or service you use to replace those old (and potentially re-used) passwords. With statistics suggesting that over 50% of us re-use our passwords, this can be a digital security gamechanger.
  • Allows you to use even more complex passwords, (because you won’t need to remember them), increasing security across logins and reducing the risk of being hacked.
  • Thanks to biometric authentication such as fingerprint and Face ID, effectively eliminates the need to type in passwords at all. This can be an excellent security measure in public places like coffee shops and airports.

This last point is crucial to the success of modern password managers. With recent advances in smartphone technology, specifically in biometric authentication, password managers have become even more secure. Back in the earliest days of password manager software, the only practical authentication method was to use a single typed master password. In 2020? You can use your fingerprint, your face, a PIN, a password – whatever makes you feel most secure.

The 3 best password managers for 2020

Now that you’re familiar with password managers, you might be considering giving one a try — and that’s a smart choice. But a quick Google on the topic and you’ll quickly see how many different password managers are on the market in 2020. If wading through every single option seems like too much work, don’t worry — we’ve taken care of all of that for you.

Below we’ll summarise the three most popular password managers for 2020 and give you the lowdown on each one, including the specific features each one of them offers. You can never be too careful when it comes to cyber-security, so it’s definitely worth investing some time into learning about each password manager.

Ready to see for yourself? Then let’s jump in.

LastPass

Of the multitudes of password managers available in 2020, LastPass is perhaps the most well-known – and for good reason. It was one of the first password managers ever made publicly available, originally launching way back in August 2008, and was acquired by LogMeIn in 2015. While the cloud-based password manager remains the core feature of LastPass, it also offers a host of peripheral features such as Autofill and Digital Wallets. Unlike some other password managers, LastPass can be used on multiple devices even with the free version of the app. Upgrading to premium enables additional features such as one-to-many sharing, enhanced multi-factor authentication options (such as Yubikey), and priority customer service.

Here’s what you need to know about LastPass:

  • Supports browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera
  • Android and iOS mobile apps
  • Windows and Mac desktop apps
  • PIN and biometric authentication
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Server-side encryption of passwords for additional security
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Freemium business model (free for a single user, starting at £2.30/month for premium)

DashLane

Launching less than a decade ago, in 2012, the DashLane password manager has come a long way in a short time. It offers similar core functionality to LastPass as well as flexibility in platform choice. Along with the browser extensions and desktop apps, DashLane is also available on mobile platforms. How does it differentiate itself? Well, DashLane’s primary focus is on security. One of its unique features is that it allows you to store all of your passwords locally rather than in the cloud – entirely eliminating the risk of online interception. In addition, DashLane also offers the ability to automatically change your passwords at regular intervals without any input from you.

Here are the headlines for the DashLane password manager:

  • Supports browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, and Safari
  • Android and iOS mobile apps
  • Windows and Mac desktop apps
  • PIN and biometric authentication
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Option to bypass the cloud and only save passwords locally
  • Automatic “hands-free” regular password changing service
  • Allows you to change multiple site passwords in bulk
  • 256-bit AES encryption for cloud-based storage
  • Freemium business model (free for a single device with up to 50 passwords, starting at £2.56/month for premium)

Keeper Security

If you’re looking for a password manager which strikes a balance between security and affordability, Keeper Security may be the answer. Originally launched in 2009, the product has always been developed by the same company, Keeper Security, Inc. The platform works by adding the user’s passwords to a digital vault, then encrypting them with a unique key which can only be unlocked using a two-factor or biometric authentication method. Despite its large cross-platform support – including a native app for Linux distributions – Keeper Security remains the more affordable of the “big three” password managers.

Here are your quick takeaways for Keeper Security:

  • Supports browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, and Safari
  • Android, iOS, and Kindle mobile apps
  • Windows, Mac, and Linux desktop apps
  • Biometric authentication
  • Two-factor authentication
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Unique “Keeper DNA” multi-factor authentication feature
  • Freemium business model (free for a single device, £1.74/month for premium)

As you might have noticed, all three of the best password managers for 2020 are fairly similar in terms of core feature-set. Whether you choose LastPass, DashLane, Keeper Security, or even one of the other platforms, will depend on various personal factors: budget, security requirements, how many devices you own, which platforms you use, and so on. A good password manager can be a powerful tool to keep your digital world safe and secure, especially as a small business, so we’d always recommend weighing up all the options before making your decision.

We hope that our guide to 2020’s best password managers has clarified the topic in a straightforward manner. Don’t forget: if you’d like more expert advice on cyber-security and IT management – all delivered in plain English – call the expert Get Support team today on 01865 59 4000.

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