What are the best password managers for 2020? The almost universal need for better online security means that hundreds of password apps exist, both free and premium. There is no “one size fits all” solution, though, which is why I’d like to share my personal experience using multiple password manager and how you can benefit from what I learned.
To begin, I’m going to remind you why password managers are necessary, since it’s easy to blow it off. Hopefully, it won’t take much convincing.
Next, we’re going to cover a list of the most popular (and most secure) password manager options on the market today.
If you’d rather just get a simple recommendation, I’ll tell you now that based on my experience, I recommend Dashlane. There’s a free version to try it out, but it’s definitely worth the small annual fee.
Continue to scroll or use the following table of contents to jump to the section that interests you:
- Why Use a Password Manager?
- Best Password Managers 2020 (Comparison Chart)
- Should I Use Internet Browser Password Manager?
Now, let’s dive into why you’ll need to use a password manager and the various apps you could use.
Note: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means that at no extra charge to you, I may be compensated if you choose to use one of these services. I use and review each piece of software and only recommend those that I personally purchased.
Why Use a Password Manager?
We all know that we need secure passwords to protect ourselves online, but it’s starting to feel ridiculous.
“Make sure your password contains at least one uppercase letter…
…one lowercase letter…
…one special symbol…
…and the entire script of the play Hamlet by Shakespeare.“
And also make sure you keep a different password for each account you have. And then change these passwords every week. Also, don’t write these passwords down lest someone reads them.
Yeah, seems totally doable.
Most of us cannot remember five different passwords, let alone remembering ALL of them and then changing them every week.
How do people manage to keep up with their password game?!!
This is where a quality password manager app comes in handy.
A password manager is simply an app that remembers passwords for you so you don’t have to memorize those overly complicated strings of mixed character texts.
Are Password Managers Secure?
What’s the wisdom in putting all your security eggs in one password manager basket, right?
With password managers, you only have to remember ONE master password – the password to the vault of the password manager.
But that also means that all your most sensitive online login passwords are stored in one place.
I could go into detail about how all of these password manager apps secure your vault with military-grade encryption and only store your file locally on your computer.
…I’ll just tell you to consider using the double blind password strategy when using a password manager app. It’s genius and it works.
Best Password Manager Apps Rated
There are several choices for best password managers for 2020. Some are free. Some are paid. Yet others have “freemium” offerings that give you a free and paid version based on your needs.
|*Recommended*||Other Password Manager Options|
|Secure Document Storage|
|Secure Document Storage||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Dark Web Monitoring|
Hopefully the comparison chart above is helpful to understand the best options in the market for 2020.
Below, I’d like to go into greater detail for each password manager app.
Dashlane | Recommended Password Manager 2020
Dashlane is the password manager that I’ve been using on my desktop and mobile devices for the past two years.
It has both a free and premium version, which makes it a no-brainer for you to at least try.
The free version lets you remember 50 passwords and autofills your personal information when you fill an online form.
The premium version remembers unlimited passwords and offers a secure VPN and dark web monitoring. Plus, it can work on any number of devices.
Here are a few of the things I love about Dashlane:
- Simple Interface: Once you set up Dashlane, it’s very easy to use. Whether on my desktop or phone, pulling up a password is as simple as typing your master password or using biometric data (fingerprint or Face ID).
- Great Password Generator: If you’re out of ideas to create strong passwords, Dashlane will come up with secure passwords for each of your accounts. You can specify parameters for the password, meaning you can dictate how long the password should be and what characters can be used.
- Encrypted Notes: Dashlane offers encrypted secure notes and documents where you can safely keep your sensitive information, not just your passwords.
- Emergency Contacts: Dashlane lets you have emergency contacts so if you are ever locked out of your account (or if you were to pass away), you can use your contacts to gain access to your account.
- Multi-Platform Support: The app can be installed on a number of platforms including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux. It also lets you sync across various devices so you can securely access into any of your device anytime and anywhere you want.
Dashlane offers its own Virtual Private Network, or VPN, which is convenient for those who want to not only encrypt their passwords, but also their internet traffic.
Apart from this, Dashlane keeps scanning the web for leaked data. If your personal data is found where it shouldn’t belong, you will instantly be alerted.
Best Overall Manager
Use the free version immediately:
You can also read through my in-depth review of Dashlane.
1Password | Password Generator for Families
1Password is another popular option and often ranked as one of the best password manager apps available. Honestly, I go back and forth between 1Password and Dashlane because I like them both so much.
1Password doesn’t come with a free version but it does offer a free trial for 30 days. For consumers, there are two basic plans: Personal and Families.
- 1Password Personal Plan: The Personal plan stores unlimited passwords and offers 1GB document storage. It also gives you two-factor authentication and 24/7 email support.
- 1Password Family Plan: The Families plan offers all of the above plus the ability to invite 5 family members for sharing ($1 per additional family member over 5). This gives you the ability to share notes and passwords securely among family members. It’s also a nice fail-safe if you need to recover the accounts of members who get locked out.
1Password offers a unique feature that I love and haven’t found elsewhere called “Travel Mode”.
Activating this travel mode removes any sensitive data from your device while you travel abroad. This is one of the key features that differentiates 1Password vs Dashlane.
You can recover it when you return to your home country. Very useful for those who travel often and fear their device falling into the wrong hands!
1Password is an easy choice as one of the best password managers for 2020.
Best for Families
Get a 30-day free trial here:
Read my full review of 1Password here.
LastPass | Popular Password Manager
Another one of the best password manager apps is LastPass. It’s at this point I have to admit that there’s not much different between all these options.
Like 1Password and Dashlane, LastPass offers multiple plans for personal use: Free, Premium, and Families.
- LastPass Free Plan: The Free version will let you have a secure vault, security notes, multi-factor authentication, fill password, and other basic features. You can also use all the premium features for one month for free. If you like them, you can pay and keep the features. Otherwise, the premium features will be stripped off and you can continue using the basic plan.
- LastPass Premium Plan: The Premium version allows you to add emergency contacts so you can log into your account if you ever get locked out. LastPass offers 1GB of encrypted file storage. You also get priority tech support with the premium version.
- LastPass Family Plan: The Families version lets you share the app among 6 users. This means you can use LastPass for all the devices on your home. The Families version also lets you have a separate family dashboard and unlimited shared folders.
LastPass makes online shopping easier with the shopping profiles feature. It lets you store encrypted notes such as Wi-Fi passwords and insurance cards. These notes can be securely shared with others.
LastPass is very convenient, which is why it is considered one of the best password manager apps. Also, it offers priority tech support for paid versions so if you ever face a problem, it will quickly be resolved.
Cheapest Manager Option
You can also try the free version
Keeper App by KeeperSecurity
Keeper is another option for best password managers that doesn’t offer a free version like you’ll find with Dashlane or LastPass. As with all the previous options, they serve both individuals and businesses.
The individual plans come in two paid plans: Personal and Family.
- Keeper Personal Plan: The Personal version supports one device on one license. You can get just Keeper password manager, Keeper chat, or both. Of course, the prices will be different in each case.
- Keeper Family Plan: The Family version allows you to have 5 private vaults and 10GB file storage. It also offers fingerprint and face identification, along with the option to share your records securely.
You can use Keeper to sync your data across multiple devices (according to your plan). It lets you add emergency contacts that can help you gain access to your account if you are ever locked out.
Keeper comes with all the key elements you’d want from a password manager – the ability to remember passwords, auto fill, secure file storage, two-factor authentication, and the facility to share information securely with others.
I like to think of Keeper like the low-cost airline of the bunch here. At first glance, it’s the cheapest option available. But each of their add-ons (messenger, monitoring, file storage) cost extra.
What About Native Browser Password Managers?
When you enter a password on an online form, you might have noticed your browser ask “Do you want to save this password?”
That’s the native browser password manager trying to make things easier for you.
Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge – all top browsers – have native password managers built into them.
Why not use those?
The benefit with these browser-based password managers is that they don’t need separate installation, don’t have any vault passwords to remember, and can be a nifty choice as they are better than nothing.
Here’s the catch: Since they don’t have a vault password, anyone who has access to your device and knows the username and password to your computer can open your browser settings and copy the passwords to various accounts.
That’s not to mention the fact that you’re putting all your eggs in one basket, as is the case when you’re using the native Chrome browser password manager.
They are not very secure and don’t have any add-ons that the other password managers provide. They remember your passwords (they don’t always generate them) and can auto-fill them on new forms.
Using a native browser password manager is better than nothing, but installing a stand-alone password manager for 2020 is worth the effort.
Final Thoughts | Best Password Managers for 2020
There’s a lot that can be said about the best password managers for 2020, and there’s certainly a lot of software that has been left off this list.
As mentioned earlier, my recommendation is that you give Dashlane a try (it’s free) and if that doesn’t fit your style, go with LastPass, 1Password or Keeper. Out of these four, I’m certain you’ll find a password manager that works for you.
The alternative is that you can come up with one of the 100 worst passwords and have your online accounts hacked. It’s up to you 🙂
Do you think that there’s a particularly great password manager that’s missing here? Leave a comment below to let me know!