So you’re checking out whether or not you should use a Password Manager; that is good to see, that means you’re taking the security of your private information seriously.
You’d be surprised just how many people just use everyday words for their passwords (like their pets names, or birthdays) that they use to visit their online banking and credit card sites to mention a few.
Hackers are just all too happy to crack those, because with their arsenal of cracking tools they will have it in a matter of seconds, sounds a bit freighting to me.
So if you would like to know more about what the importance of passwords are click here, otherwise you can continue reading to find out about four great Password Managers to help you with creating some great strong passwords.
Overview of what to expect from a Password Manager:
The best password managers will generate unique strong passwords for you when you go to your accounts to change your passwords so you don’t have to come up with ones yourself, which will save a lot of time and brain power.
On your first visit to your sites it will offer to save your info and then upon your return they will offer to automatically log you in, and if you happen to have different accounts for a site, no problem, it can keep track of each one you have.
To accomplish this they will integrate themselves to your browsers as a plug-in, and some of them will offer to install a toolbar menu, of your saved websites, so you can go straight to the one you want and login automatically.
Keep reading, It gets Better:
Most password software will be able to fill in forms for websites that you visit asking for First and last name, addresses, email address, and so on. This can be quit the time saver for all those sites you visit requiring the same information. You can also choose for the managers to save your credit cards (which are kept encrypted on your computer) and from there they will fill that info in with just a click of a mouse.
All of the managers we will be looking at here will also have Apps to load up on all of your devices and most will offer to sync your passwords between them for you, saving you the hassle of typing in that password that is containing upper and lower case letters and symbols with numbers to boot on those tiny key pads.
They will be saving all of this info in encrypted vaults either offline or on your hard drive, your choice. And with a paid version they will sync it on their cloud servers, so if you ever happen to lose your files, they will be just a download away.
So what do you say we get started and check out some of the most popular and used password managers that are available for Free, and of course they have their premium which I will cover so you can see what rout you want to go, whether it’s the premium or free version, either one is great to use, you won’t need the premium version to be safe.
I have not listed these in any kind of order according to their of performance, or anything else for that matter, in my mind their all great programs, so enjoy yourselves.
DashLane: Free or $39.99/ yr for Premium:
I’m starting with this one only because it happens to be the one I’m using and I like it quite well. Dashlane comes across as having everything and more that you would want out of a Password Manager. Starting with its simple layout that makes it easy to navigate around and has a Page showing how secure you are with your passwords and which ones need to be replaced to get the highest rating.
Now when you first download Dashlane and open it up, it will ask you if you would like to import all of your passwords that are stored in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome (your passwords are not secure here!).
You will want to say yes to this so you can have it take you through all your sites, saving you the hassle of trying to remember all of the sites you have setup with a password (I was surprised at how many I had). 🙂
From there you will want to change the ones that are weak or duplicates for better ones. Here you can let it generate strong new passwords and save them to your vault that only you have access to with your Master Password, not even Dashlane can get into your vault.
It can also import from other managers like LastPass and other competitors if you were using them before you opt to go with Dashlane.
You will be able to secure your sensitive data like WiFi passwords, bank notes, important documents, and more in a separate vault from your passwords. If you care to share your passwords for certain sites with co workers or family, you can do that also.
You will receive notices if any of your accounts have been compromised so you can get your password changed right away. Check your security dashboard where it will let you know how secure you are with your passwords, how strong they are and if they are duplicated, and need replacing.
And with the premium version you can share your passwords on all of your devices, and have them stored on their secure site, so if the need ever rises that you need to restore your data due to lose, they’ll have it for you.
I have listed bullet points on the next three Managers which is a repeat of what is in DashLane, I didn’t want to do it for it and bore you with repeated information. 🙂
And if you would like you can check out some popular questions and answers that are ask the most often about the security of their sites. Just click here.
LastPass is almost a duplicate of the above Dashlane, it has an easy to navigate layout to find your passwords, security dashboard, sharing center and more. Here are the highlights
- Store your passwords: All of your passwords, notes, and other digital records stored safely in a vault where you can organize them any way you want for easy retrieval.
- Autofill your passwords: As you browse save your passwords so the next go around LastPass will Autofill them for you.
- One or more accounts: Have more than one email login account; you can save unlimited logins for your websites.
- Generate random strong Passwords: Has a built in password generator to create your passwords on the fly.
- New account, new password: No worries LastPass will take care of it and store it in your vault.
- Security Challenge: LastPass will find duplicate, old, and vulnerable passwords lurking in your vault for you.
- Auto-Change Passwords: Let LastPass change your passwords to a new and strong password with one click.
- Profile for online shopping: You can create a profile for your credit cards and address’s for sites that you shop on and fill in your info with just a few clicks.
- Share Passwords: Send any of your encrypted passwords to others that may need to access one or more of your accounts, and then remove them later if you want.
- Sync with Devices: You can sync all of your devices together by installing the apps and login with the same account.
- Fingerprint Support: Set up your device so that you can just swipe into LastPass with your fingerprint to access your passwords. Neat huh?
As you can see LastPass has everything that Dashlane does and has the premium version that will give you unlimited syncing on unlimited device along with sharing bill payments, TV streaming, project logins, and more using their Shared Family Folder with 5 other people. And uses the same AES-256 encryption as do most password managers
Well not bad at all for just $12.00 a year.
LogMeOnce: $39.00 for Ultimate Edition, and $12.00 for Professional Edition, or Free for the Premium Edition.
This one has all the same features as with DashLane and LastPass with the exception of having the Ultimate Edition for small businesses. LogmeOnce has just one Dashboard to access everything you need, unlike DashLane and LastPass where they have two or three, if that is any big concern for you.
And here is a big one (well not really big in size) if you want you can use a hardware key, which is an encrypted USB key to authenticate you to your system so you can log into your accounts. So for example if a hacker steals your Master Password but doesn’t have the key he won’t get far at all in retrieving any of your information.
They call this the Integrated Security, pretty neat huh, so if you’re sharing a collage dorm (for example) where friends are coming and going, and could have access to your desktop or laptop, this would come in real handy. OK now for their features, that is basically a duplicate of the two above, so I’ll try to hit on some that might be different.
- Access your Data Anywhere Anytime: You can access your accounts at school, home, work, or on the move using Chrome, IE (out dated), Firefox, or Safari.
- Avoid Login Hassles: Here they keep it simple in real-time by avoiding login hassles by verifying your security credentials, matching passwords, and entering certain keyboard characters where needed. In other words they do the same auto –login as the two above do.
- Online Console: Here we have a browser toolbar button where you can get access to 20 of the sites you visit the most, avoiding using your favorites menu. OK
- Two-Factor Authentication: Is a little different from the ones above, to where you can use Google Authenticator or Twillio Authy and Duo Moblie. And you can use voice call where it costs a number of credits that you purchase at a rate of 1,000 for $10.00. (wow what a hassle) But hey if that’s what you would want, they have it.
- Advance Reporting: Here you can get a variety of reports from your dashboard like a chart of your top 10 websites that you visited with the browser you used, so if you see something that you did not visit, well then you know you have a problem to address.
So as you can see there isn’t much difference with this one compared to the ones above. I did find the signup to be a bit of a hassle compared to the other two, but that could just be me. So after reading some of the reviews on this one, what I got out of them is that you will be fine with just the free version, there’s just not enough of extra feature to justify the Cost. Above all try the free version before spending that extra cash.
Here are some of the different features that StickyPassword has that the others don’t, first thing with the purchase of their premium they will donate money to saving Manatees (Large fully aquatic marine mammals) cool huh.
Another thing they offer is one time license for a small (?) fee of $99.99, let’s see here now, it would take you 5 years before you would benefit from the onetime fee. Humm, well if you got the extra cash, I guess it’s OK.
Next thing is that they support more browsers than the other like, Chromium, Mozilla Thunderbird, Comodo Dragon, and Pale Moon, so if you’re using any of these, then you’re in luck, this one’s for you.
Now for some bullet points that will no doubt be just like the ones above, but hey you can use it as refresher in what password manager’s offer.
- Wi-Fi synchronization: Along with syncing with their cloud servers.
- Fingerprint scanning:
- Auto Fill- INS of your information on forms:
- Stores credit card numbers for online shopping:
- The world’s leading encryption AES-256:
- Your Master Password is only known to you: No one, not even them have access to your password, so don’t lose it. All the above ones are the same, none of them have your Master Password, and so no worry’s that maybe the employees (or anyone else) could have access to your passwords.
- Sate of the art Biometric authentication:
- USB Portable Version:
- Works on all of your Device’s:
- Backup of your encrypted password vault: Only if you want them to store one for you.
Is Premium Worth it?
And here is what they offer in their Premium version; you will get Wi-Fi synchronization online or offline across all of your devices, Fingerprint scanning with bio-metric support just as long as your device supports fingerprint scanners, with support for Mac that allows you to use Apple’s iCloud Keychain password management system, giving you more synchronization capability, and you will have access to their latest version of StickyPassword.
So all in all you get the same features as the others and a few different ones for $20.00 a year which is comparable with the others, and has a similar layout as DashLane and LastPass, easy to use.
OK, there you have four of the Top Password Managers to check out, they all have received 4.5 stars out of 5 from PcMag, which is a great rating. As you have seen they all offer basically the same features with a little different twist to their own uniqueness.
So what it comes down to is basically it will depend on what you prefer in the layout, which one fits you the best. They are all excellent in their performance and security using the top notch Encryption AES-256, which even the government is using.
Don’t forget they all offer Two-Factor Authentication for even more security. And with any one of them, nobody has access to your Master Password.
So, Should you use a Password Manager?
I hope by now you are saying yes, So what do you say, is it time for you to move your password management to a software package that will keep your most valued information safe from hackers? Let’s work together in fighting those pigs, no reason to make their life any easier. Would you like to see some more helpful Free Software that will help you in your everyday computing, go ahead and click here.
Know someone else that could use a pep-talk in managing their passwords; if so why not share this with them, so they can join us in the fight of cyber-crime.
And by all means, if you have any questions, please leave them below along with any comments you would like to share with the rest of us.
Don’t forget, to have a Wonderful and Safe Day computing at Home or Office.