Best free password managers for 2021

Find peace of mind and secure your online life with these free password managers.

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Unless you subscribe to advanced security measures like Multi-Factor Authentication, the only thing standing between your confidential data and a determined attacker is your password. With only a string of characters protecting you, ensuring you have a long, complex password is vital.

The more services we use, the more passwords we need to memorise. Using the same password everywhere is too dangerous while remembering a unique, complex password for every service is challenging. Password managers solve this problem. With these applications, you can have a unique password for every account, but you only need to remember one. Here is our list of the best free password managers.

Best free password management apps for 2021

  1. Bitwarden
  2. Enpass
  3. LastPass
  4. Sticky Password
  5. Nordpass

How we picked these password managers

Security, ease of use and zero cost were the primary criteria used to select this password manager list. We also considered additional features such as auto-fill capabilities, browser support and device sync.
Read more detail on our methodology below.

Bitwarden

Bitwarden logo

Pros

  • Open source
  • Unlimited passwords
  • Unlimited devices

Cons

  • No live chat or phone support
  • Auto-fill capabilities are inconsistent
  • Difficult to configure for regular users

Why we chose it

Bitwarden's free plan offers unlimited password storage and allows you to sync your passwords to multiple devices. It's also open source, meaning greater transparency as anyone can review its code.

Its only disadvantages are that it is not user-friendly and its auto-fill capabilities are inconsistent. As it is open source, support is also limited. Tech-savvy users may like its command-line interface, but general users may find it challenging.


Enpass

Enpass logo

Pros

  • Offline support
  • Free for desktop users with unlimited password storage

Cons

  • Limited feature set for mobile
  • Lacks advanced security options

Why we chose it

Enpass gives you the option to store your passwords locally or leverage third-party cloud storage. This feature may appeal to those users who prefer to keep their data on their devices.

It is free for desktop users. However, if you want to extend its capabilities to your mobile device, the options are limited. It also lacks some of the advanced security features that other free password managers on this list offer.


LastPass

LastPass logo

Pros

  • Unlimited passwords
  • Unlimited devices
  • Advanced security with Multi-Factor Authentication

Cons

  • It does not support some data types
Download at LastPass

Why we chose it

Of all the password managers on the list, LastPass offers the best features under its free plan. These include password sharing, unlimited password storing and Multi-Factor Authentication. It also provides other advanced security features such as password auditing and it has a built-in authenticator.

The premium plan offers additional features, such as emergency access for your trusted contacts. It also has an enhanced sharing capability that allows you to share one password with many connections. However, these premium options are more "nice to have" than a necessity for regular users.


Sticky Password

Sticky Password logo

Pros

  • Unlimited passwords
  • Unlimited devices
  • Biometric login

Cons

  • Device sync is only available on the paid plan

Why we chose it

Sticky Password offers unlimited passwords and support for unlimited devices. It also provides biometric login capabilities and its browser support is noteworthy.

Its primary disadvantage is that it does not provide sync capabilities via its free plan. However, users can download their vault to a USB storage device and transfer it to another Windows PC.


Nordpass

Nordpass logo

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Unlimited passwords
  • Unlimited devices
  • Biometric login

Cons

  • Login limited to one device at a time

Why we chose it

Nordpass is easy to use and offers unlimited password and device support. It also gives users the ability to log in with biometrics and encrypts your data with the XChaCha20 algorithm, the same algorithm Google uses to keep their data secure.

The free version of Nordpass has one limitation – you can only log in to the service on a single device at a time. If you want to log in to all your devices simultaneously, you will need to upgrade to the premium plan.


Methodology

  • We've compared reviews from everyday users, security-related forums and technology publications in determining this list of free password managers.
  • Our editorial team has a combined 60+ years of experience writing about tech and reviewing the latest cybersecurity solutions.
  • The products on this list are chosen by our editorial team and are not selected based on commercial relationships.

What is a password manager?

Password managers simplify your digital life by allowing you to store and manage your passwords in one central, secure location. They improve your online security as you can have a unique, complex password for every online service, but you only ever have to remember one.


Are there any drawbacks to using a free password manager versus paid software?

Free password managers offer the same level of security as their paid counterparts. They provide the same encryption algorithms and protect your confidential information using the same security measures.

The only difference between free and paid password managers are the features they offer. Some free versions limit the number of passwords you can store. Others restrict their services to a single device or limit their synchronisation capabilities.


How to compare free password managers

When selecting a free password manager, you need to choose one that meets your needs. As most of them offer the same base set of features, you can compare them by looking at these properties.

  • Password vault location. Free password managers store your encrypted passwords on your device or in the cloud. If you are uncomfortable with having your passwords reside on a third-party platform, you can opt for one that saves your data locally. However, this option does have its disadvantages. It limits your ability to sync your passwords to other devices and backing up your password vault is your responsibility.
  • Multi-platform and browser support. If you plan on using your free password manager on multiple devices, make sure it offers multi-platform and browser support.
  • Auto-fill capabilities. A password manager should simplify your digital life. Many free password managers offer auto-fill capabilities. However, some are better than others. Before committing, test this functionality.
  • Ease of use. Your password manager needs to be intuitive and user-friendly. As you will be interacting with this application daily, find one you are comfortable using across your devices.
  • Additional features. In some instances, you may want your free password manager to support features such as Multi-Factor Authentication and password strength checking. Even if you do not use these capabilities right away, it is a good idea to keep your options open.

How safe are free password managers?

Free password managers are remarkably safe. Whether it stores your password on your device or in the cloud, every password manager encrypts your information. Cloud-based vendors should also maintain Zero-Knowledge protocols. This assurance means that no-one without the master password can access your confidential information.


Bottom line

A username and password are a standard requirement for every online service we access with our devices. However, maintaining a unique password for each site or reusing the same one everywhere is not an option. A free password manager can help you solve this dilemma. You get the simplicity of only needing to remember one password with the security that multiple unique passwords offer.


Frequently asked questions

Is it safe to store all my passwords in the cloud?

Storing your passwords in the cloud is safe. As your password manager encrypts your data, no-one (not even the administrators) can access it without your master password.

Can I trust my online security to a free password manager?

Yes. Free password managers have the same encryption and security features as their premium counterparts. The only difference between a free and paid service is the additional features you get with the premium versions.

My browsers store all my passwords, is that not good enough?

While storing your passwords in your browser is convenient, it does not offer the same security as a free password manager. There is no master password protecting your information. Encryption on a browser is also not as robust as the algorithms used by a password manager.

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