Best Password Manager: 1Password vs LastPass vs Dashlane vs Bitwarden

Looking for the best password manager to keep your login credentials safe? Here, we narrow things down to the top tools in the market: 1Password vs LastPass vs Dashlane vs Bitwarden.

If you’re reading this post, you probably don’t need me to tell you that it’s a scary world out there when it comes to digital security. In fact, if you use the same password on multiple sites, it’s probably been leaked already, putting you at digital risk (you can check here).

A password manager helps stop that from happening by letting you generate strong passwords and securely store them for reuse later. But security isn’t the only thing that matters – you also need something that’s easy to use if you want to make it a part of your daily routine (c’mon – we’re all human).

To help, we’ve put together this list of the four best password managers in the market, all of which will help you securely and conveniently store passwords across all the devices that you use.

Let’s dive in because hackers certainly won’t wait around to steal your login credentials!

What’s the best password manager? Four options compared

Before digging into the password managers in more detail, here’s a quick summary of how these four tools stack up:

LastPassDashlaneBitwarden1Password
Browser extensions?
Mobile apps?
Two-factor authentication?
Family plans?
Open source?
Free plan?*
Starting price for pro?$36 per year$40 per year$10 per year$36 per year

* Technically it exists, but it’s overly restrictive and not viable for most users.

1Password vs LastPass vs Dashlane vs Bitwarden

Now, let’s help you ferret out the best password manager for your needs, starting with:

1. 1Password (1password.com)

1Password
  • Lets you purchase apps for a one-time fee, rather than a recurring subscription
  • Really well-designed apps for most platforms
  • Affordable family plans for sharing passwords
  • Security alerts for websites that you use

1Password is unique in that there are two ways that you can use it.

 

First, you can purchase a standalone license for your Mac or Windows apps, which lets you use the software locally for a one-time fee.

Or, you can also purchase a recurring 1Password subscription, which will help you sync data across multiple devices and adds some other features.

⚙️ 1Password features

No matter which payment approach you choose, 1Password helps you store unlimited passwords, including options to:

  • Auto-fill passwords
  • Generate secure passwords

You can also store other information – like credit cards, file attachments, etc.

If you want to sync information across multiple devices, you can pay for the 1Password subscription. Or, with a little technical know-how, you can do it yourself using something like Dropbox.

One helpful membership feature is the Watchtower, which monitors password breaches to help you stay secure.

Another unique feature is Travel Mode. This lets you mark certain vaults as safe for travel (and others as not). The idea is that you’re able to protect yourself from unwarranted searches while traveling by not making it possible for people to access certain passwords even if they force you to give up your master password.

Finally, 1Password has family plans that let you share certain passwords among family members.

🚑 1Password platform support

Beyond the web vault that’s available as part of the subscription, 1Password also supports these platforms:

Operating Systems:
  • Windows (including the one-time fee standalone app)
  • macOS (including the one-time fee standalone app)
  • Linux
  • Chrome OS
Browsers:
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Microsoft Edge
Mobile Devices:
  • iOS
  • Android

🔑 1Password two-factor authentication options

1Password lets you use two-factor authentication for new devices. You can use:

  • An authenticator app, like Google Authenticator
  • A YubiKey 5 Series, YubiKey 4 Series, YubiKey NEO, or YubiKey FIPS Series

1Password does not give you backup recovery codes, which means you’ll need to have access to a device that’s already authenticated if you lose your two-factor authentication methods.

💰 1Password pricing

Again, there are two different ways that you can get access to 1Password.

First, you can purchase a standalone license for Windows or macOS. This license costs $64.99 one-time.

However, remember that this does not include syncing between different devices. You can do that with something like Dropbox, but you’ll need to set it up yourself.

Alternatively, you can purchase the subscription membership which starts at $2.99 per month for individuals or $4.99 per month for families of up to 5 members. This subscription handles syncing across devices for you, as well as some of the other features that we mentioned.

Members get access to the desktop apps for free as part of their membership – so you won’t ever need to purchase a separate license.

2. LastPass (www.lastpass.com)

LastPass could be the best password manager for you
  • Sync passwords across all your devices
  • A generous free plan that will be fine for most users
  • Not open source
  • Has apps for pretty much everything
  • Easy (and secure) password sharing

Along with 1Password, LastPass is another big name when it comes to best password managers.

However, one big difference is that LastPass offers a free plan, while 1Password offer only paid plans, so if you are looking to spend some money on a password manager anyway, 1Password is what we recommend.

 

One of the reasons for its popularity is that LastPass has a free plan that should work for most users, which makes it a good first stop shop for most people.

⚙️ LastPass features

Beyond safely storing your passwords in the Vault, LastPass can also perform the basic functions of:

  • Generating secure passwords according to your specifications
  • Automatically filling in passwords to sites that you have saved passwords for

All your passwords are also automatically synced across all the devices that you use LastPass on, which makes it easy to log in from anywhere.

LastPass can also help you securely store other information – like insurance cards, credit cards, or identity documents.

Finally, LastPass includes a password sharing feature, which lets you securely share passwords with other people. This is a great option if you need to send clients account passwords.

Or, you can also purchase family plans that let you share certain passwords among family members.

🚑 LastPass platform support

In addition to a cloud-based web app, LastPass also has dedicated apps for these platforms:

Operating Systems:
  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Linux
Browsers:
  • Chrome
  • Firefox *
  • Safari
  • Opera
  • Edge
  • Internet Explorer

* A lot of people have problems with the LastPass Firefox extension. If you love Firefox, LastPass might not be the best password manager for you.

Mobile Devices:
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

🔑 LastPass two-factor authentication options

LastPass supports multiple two-factor authentication methods, with a solid array of methods to choose from.

You can use:

  • Authentication apps like Google Authenticator and Duo
  • Some hardware tools like YubiKey

Note – LastPass does not support FIDO, which means that you can’t use the cheap, basic YubiKey.

If you lose your two-factor authentication method, you can temporarily disable it by clicking on a link that you receive via email.

💰 LastPass pricing

Again, most users will probably be fine with LastPass’ free plan.

If you want access to premium features – like more two-factor authentication options and encrypted file storage – premium plans start at $3 per month. Or, you can get a family plan for up to 6 users for $4 per month.

3. Dashlane (www.dashlane.com)

Dashlane
  • Sync passwords across all your devices
  • Limited free plan, so it’s basically a premium service
  • Has great-looking apps for a variety of platforms
  • Offers other features, like a VPN and dark web monitoring
  • Not open source

Along with LastPass, Dashlane is another big name when it comes to best password managers.

 

However, one big difference is that Dashlane’s free plan only lets you store up to 50 passwords on a single device, while LastPass lets you store unlimited passwords on multiple devices on its free plan.

Because of those limitations, it’s probably best to think of Dashlane as exclusively a paid service, as you’ll almost certainly need to remove those limits to use Dashlane in any serious way.

⚙️ Dashlane features

With the Premium plan, Dashlane lets you securely store unlimited passwords across all your devices. You can also use it to:

  • Auto-fill passwords
  • Generate secure passwords

And like LastPass, you can store other information, like personal data or files.

Dashlane also offers a convenient feature that can automatically change your password for certain supported sites (view the full list here).

Two areas where Dashlane goes further, and which might justify its higher price, are:

  • Dark web monitoring – get alerts when your information shows up on the dark web.
  • VPN – use a VPN to browse more securely (you can also check out some of the best VPN services here).

Finally, you can securely share passwords with other people, though there’s no dedicated family plan like you get with most of the other password managers.

On the other hand, Dashlane doesn’t offer any family plans – an area they fall short on compared to 1Password vs LastPass.

🚑 Dashlane platform support

In addition to the cloud-based web app, Dashlane also has dedicated apps for these platforms:

Operating Systems:
  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Linux
Browsers:
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Opera
  • Internet Explorer
  • Edge
Mobile Devices:
  • iOS
  • Android

🔑 Dashlane two-factor authentication options

By default, Dashlane sends a verification code to your email whenever you try to log into a new device. If you want to upgrade your two-factor authentication, though, you can replace that with the following methods:

  • Authentication apps (Google Authenticator, etc.)
  • FIDO U2F (including the cheapest YubiKey)

You can choose whether to use two-factor authentication every time you sign in, or just for new devices.

Dashlane also provides backup recovery codes that you can use to access your account in case you lose your two-factor authentication methods. Just make sure to store them in a secure offline location.

💰 Dashlane pricing

Again, Dashlane technically has a free plan, but it’s not really a viable option for most users because it only lets you store up to 50 passwords and you can’t use it on multiple devices.

To remove those limits, and get access to other features like dark web monitoring and a VPN, the premium plan costs $3.33 per month (billed annually).

There is no family plan option, though Dashlane does have business-focused plans.

4. Bitwarden (bitwarden.com)

Bitwarden
  • Open source and recently passed a third-party security audit
  • Automatically sync passwords across all your devices
  • Good-looking apps for most platforms
  • Can be self-hosted on your own server if desired

Bitwarden is a relatively new open source password manager that’s become popular with privacy-conscious users.

 

While Bitwarden is new, it did recently pass (and publicly post) a third-party security audit from Cure53, which you can read about here.

If you’re privacy conscious but don’t want to sacrifice when it comes to usability and multi-platform support, Bitwarden is a great option.

⚙️ Bitwarden features

As you’d expect from any tool on this best password manager list, Bitwarden lets you securely store unlimited passwords across all your devices. And like the others, it can also help you:

  • Auto-fill passwords, though the “auto-fill on page load” feature is still experimental. Otherwise, you can right-click to fill the password
  • Generate secure passwords

And like LastPass and Dashlane, you can also store other sensitive information, as well as file attachments.

There’s no option to securely share passwords with random users, but you can set up personal or business organizations to share passwords between authenticated users.

Finally, if you’re technically savvy, one of the most unique things about Bitwarden is that you can opt to self-host it rather than using the hosted Bitwarden web vault. This is a great option if you’re concerned about privacy and want to keep everything “in house”.

🚑 Bitwarden platform support

Beyond the web vault (either the hosted vault or your own self-hosted one), Bitwarden also includes a number of other apps:

Operating Systems:
  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Linux
Browser Extensions
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Opera
  • Brave
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Tor Browser
Mobile Devices:
  • iOS
  • Android

🔑 Bitwarden two-factor authentication options

Bitwarden offers a variety of two-factor authentication methods, though not all of them are available for free. You can use multiple methods according to your needs:

  • Authenticator app like Google Authenticator, Authy, etc.
  • Email
  • Duo Security *
  • YubiKey *
  • FIDO U2F (including the $20 YubiKey offering) *

* Requires the paid version.

You’ll also get a recovery key, which you can store safely in an offline location and use to access your account in case you lose access to all of your two-factor methods.

💰 Bitwarden pricing

Bitwarden has a generous free plan that should work for most casual users.

If you want access to the premium two-step authentication options and some other features, the paid plan starts at just $10 per year.

Beyond that, there are also paid organization accounts. A family organization account for up to 5 family members costs $1 per month, while business organization plans start at $5 per month for up to 5 users and $2 per month for each additional user.

Which is the best password manager for your needs?

You certainly don’t need multiple password managers, so how can you decide which is the best password manager for your own unique situation?

Here a few scenarios to help guide your choice between 1Password vs LastPass vs Dashlane vs Bitwarden:

  • If you want the best free password manager, you should choose LastPass or Bitwarden.
  • If you want something that’s more than just a password manager, you should choose Dashlane.
  • If you want something that’s a one-time purchase, you should choose 1Password 👈 also our overall best password manager in this comparison.

Do you have any other questions about choosing the best password manager? Let us know in the comments!

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