If you’re not already using a password management tool, you should be. Not only does a password management tool solve the problem most people have of trying to remember all of their usernames and passwords for their many online accounts, but it also helps keep your passwords and account information secure.
In simplest terms, a password management tool is either an online tool or a tool you download to your desktop that stores your usernames and passwords for your online accounts. Once your usernames and passwords are stored, you don’t have to manually type them in each time you visit sites that require you to login. Simply storing usernames and passwords in your web browser’s cache is a significant security threat. Password management tools give you a secure alternative.
Following are 10 of the best free and affordable password management tools. Take some time to consider your password management needs and which features are most important to you, and then give the tools that seem to meet your needs a test drive. Most are free or offer free trials, so you can try multiple tools to find the one that works best for you before you commit to using a single tool for the long-term.
LastPass stores your usernames and passwords in the cloud. The biggest benefit of an online password management tool is that you can access it from any computer or mobile device and from any location. LastPass does offer a desktop download, too.
The free version of LastPass is just fine for most people, and lets you store, automatically retrieve, and categorize all of your website usernames and passwords. If you currently have any usernames and passwords stored in your browser’s cache, LastPass will automatically fill the corresponding website’s login form with that data. You’ll be asked if you want to save the data to your LastPass account. Just click “Yes” to save the information, and from that day forward, you won’t need to remember your username and password again (as long as you’re logged into your LastPass account). Instead, you’ll only need to remember your LastPass username and password.
Dashlane is a great desktop password management tool and so much more. Not only can you use the free Dashlane tool to store usernames and passwords and automatically log into your online accounts with the use of a single master password, but you can also automatically fill in online forms, quickly complete online shopping transactions using stored data, and more. Dashlane is available for Windows and iOS computers as well as iPhone and Android devices.
1Password is a password management tool that you need to download to your computer (or use with the iPad, iPhone, or Android app). 1Password creates secure passwords for you. Rather than trying to remember all of those passwords, you are given a single master password from 1Password. You use that master password for all of your online logins, and 1Password completes the login process by providing the specific password for that site on the backend. You still have different passwords for each of your logins, but you only see and use the master password.
Roboform is a paid password management tool that offers desktop, online, and mobile versions. What makes Roboform unique is that it’s more than just a password management tool. You can also use it as an automatic form filler. If there are forms online that you fill out frequently or you don’t want to have to input your address again and again, Roboform can do it for you. It’s a great time saver.
Clipperz can be used to help you remember passwords and all kinds of information. The free online tool enables you to save a Rolodex of important information like your home security alarm access code, your credit card numbers, ATM pins, and more. You can download your information from Clipperz at any time.
Passpack offers a few unique features such as the ability to share passwords with other people. However, most of the unique features are only available for paid accounts. The free account allows one user to save up to 100 passwords with no sharing. For teams and businesses with a budget that need to share login information across multiple websites while retaining security, Passpack is a great option.
KeePass is a free Open Source password management tool, which means web developers can access and tweak the code to suit their needs. As a password management tool, KeePass offers the basic features most people need such as a single master password or key file to access all of your online logins, the ability to download your information, and easy configuration of password groups to stay organized.
Password Genie is a paid desktop password management tool that can be used on up to five computers and as many Android mobile devices that you want. It captures and stores your login information on all sites that you visit and prefills login forms for saved sites whenever you visit them. Password Genie does a great job of managing your passwords, but the price of $21 for a year of use is high given the fact that you can get the same features from many of the free password tools on this list. However, many people are very happy with Password Genie, so if you’d like to try it, be sure to use the 30-day free trial before you pay anything.
MyLOK+ is a mobile password management tool and data storage device. If you’re not comfortable storing your passwords online or in the cloud and you don’t want to use a desktop tool, then MyLOK+ is a tool you should investigate. For $189.99, you get a 4 GB flash drive which uses a smart card chip to encrypt and store more than 250 passwords and your secure files. With MyLOK+, you can create secure passwords, automatically login to your saved sites, and access your sensitive data from anywhere and at any time. Just take your MyLOK+ flash drive with you, and you’re done. The flash drive is marketed as “hacker-proof,” so your saved data is always secure.
mSecure is a good option for people who want to manage personal data and securely save their online passwords. Therefore, look at it as an organizational tool first and a password management tool second. If you’re looking for a powerful password management tool, mSecure isn’t it. Instead, mSecure requires you to manually enter all of your passwords and usernames in order to save them. It doesn’t automatically fill in login forms, and it doesn’t ask you to update logins when you enter new information. However, for the less tech-savvy audience, the mSecure interface might seem less overwhelming than fully automated online password management tools.