With the explosion of internet and internet-based services, the number of sign-ups that are required have crossed the realm of believable. There are always accounts that we have totally forgotten signing up for, and those that we quite occasionally keep forgetting the passwords for. In such a situation, a password manager definitely comes in handy. This piece of software manages passwords; it saves all the passwords you have input into your device over time and logs you in without a need to input it the next time. All that is required from the user is control over a master password that he needs to use to authenticate the service.
There might be concern over the safety of choosing a password manager; after all, passwords protect very important and confidential accounts like hospital records and bank accounts. Fortunately, the information collected by password managers is safeguarded by the AES-256 industry-standard encryption, which protects the data securely.
What Does Password Manager Work?
So, how does it work? Well, most of the password managers upload the user-input data to the cloud. This will ensure that no matter which device you are working from, as long you have access to the password manager, the information therein is accessible. It is a functional move as storing data on the cloud ensures it is easier to retrieve such information. Further, there are some password managers that allow for the screen lock to be enabled via the fingerprint sensor that is built-in to the device.
Now that the necessity and usefulness of a password manager has been established, let us see the various services on offer that give a user the best return on investment, as it were. All the apps discussed underneath are available on both Android and iOS, so no matter which operating system you may use, or wish to migrate to, these services have got it covered.
3 Best Password Managers
Dashlane is a premium password manager available across all the major operating systems and capable of syncing data between all of them. Dashlane provides the user with the ability to manage their passwords, create strong passwords which are then saved to their Dashlane account and also functions as a digital wallet to store credit cards and other information that needs to be secure. The data is secured by the AES-256 encryption. It is one of the best password managers and here is an expert review about it. Dashlane also comes with browser plug-ins that, once installed, save passwords and login credentials directly from the browser, making a user’s life easier. Further, Dashlane also alerts a user when the security of any site they visit has been breached and prompts them to change their credentials.
Dashlane comes with a 30-day free trial period where a user can try out the premium features. After this month, there is a fee of $3.33 per month, charged annually.
This service is offered by AgileBits and has garnered quite the reputation. A reason for this is because this app has been around for quite a long time, during which period its functionality also evolved. While initially it was only meant for managing passwords, it is now capable of doing a lot more, such as storing a user’s credit card information or notes that have been encrypted, etc. A desirable feature this app provides is the security alert function that alerts the user in case any of the websites used by them have been compromised. The data stored is encrypted by the AES-256 encryption so the passwords remain safe.
Another feature the service offers is the creation of a password. For any login requirements, the app generates strong passwords for the user to directly input which are then automatically stored. This helps a user save time and provides efficiency in creating the passwords. It also provides plug-ins for almost all the browsers so that saving and filling passwords is not a hassle for the user. The app is available for Android, iOS, Mac and Windows ecosystems with the ability to sync data between all the operating systems.
1Password comes as a free download for a trial period of 30 days to try the premium features. After this, it costs $2.99 per month to use the service, billed annually.
LastPass offers its user an experience similar to the above two services. It comes with support for the major operating systems including Linux and has extensive plug-in support as well. The plug-ins are available for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari and Internet Explorer.
However, unlike its competitors, LastPass offers a bit more for its free users, such as access on all devices, the password generator, note storage, ability to autofill passwords, etc. Further, the fees payable to LastPass are not high as its competitors either. Paying $1 annually allows a user to gain useful features such as a shared family folder, support for the desktop fingerprint ID, 1GB encrypted cloud storage, etc.
LastPass also offers business and enterprise solutions for large companies.
Before reaping the benefits of password managers, it is important that the user choose a strong master password to protect their account. Master password protects the password database and it is the only password a user would require remembering, which is why the uniqueness of it matters.
Further, depending on your password manager’s suggestions, the user might also want to change the passwords of their accounts to more secure ones. With all the steps forward in technology, passwords have become more integrated into everyday life. People find passwords very difficult and annoying, but they are a necessary evil. Even with face-unlocks and fingerprint sensors, devices still use passwords as the backup.
This underlines the importance that passwords play in the age of technology. The only respite to the flurry of passwords that are to be recollected by a user daily is the use of a password manager as they provide perhaps the most secure way of saving your accounts from the risk of security breaches. It is always advisable to use one than to be caught unawares for not using one.