Best Password Manager 2020: 1Password vs LastPass vs Dashlane
Utility • Updated on Feb.8, 2020
People often ask us why they need password manager software. And, we tell them about Bernard and Clint.
They use very different passwords on the Internet.
Bernard uses something like bernard123
The best part about this password is that it’s very easy to remember. Bernard will never forget the password, unless he forgets his name! On the worse side, almost any hacker in the world can access his web accounts in no time. As it happens, there are thousands of people like Bernard.
Clint, however, uses something like Pz8=Za!UXs)
The best part here is that not a single person can crack it — unless he has stored it in plain text. The password contains alphabets, numeric characters and special characters. It’s not at all guessable and offers the maximum security. The problem, as you can see: Clint can’t remember it.
If you are someone who wants maximum security, you should be like Clint. While such passwords aren’t guessable, you cannot ignore the security part. Well, that is not all, as it turns out. In addition to using a password that is hard to keep in your mind, you have to use different passwords for every service. For Google, Facebook and Asana, you will need something unique.
And, that’s why, folks, we need a password manager.
About password managers
Password Managers are specially-designed software that can store and manage your passwords. In most of cases, you just have to remember a single master password, and the tool will auto-fill all other passwords you have stored. Awesome, huh?
Well, as it happens, there are a lot of options in the market.
And, you need to choose the right one for your purpose. In this article, we will be helping you pick the best password manager out there.
Top three password managers – 1Password vs LastPass vs Dashlane
1Password, LastPass and Dashlane are the top three password managers in the market right now. Here, we will be comparing these password managers based on the aspects of Design, Password Protection, Features, Compatibility and Pricing.
1Password is one of the highly recommended password managers that suitable for individuals, families and teams. It has been a popular choice for those who want a premium password management experience. While it seems that the tool has a minimal set of features, there are some cool aspects too.
Design & UI
When compared to other password managers in this list, 1Password has a minimal User Interface. Some may find it rudimentary, but the UI ultimately serves its purpose. The same minimalism is present when we consider the set-up process and overall UX.
Just like the previous case, we tested the macOS app and Chrome extension.
Set Up: One thing we loved about 1Password is that it syncs everything super-fast. Because the macOS app and extension can work hand to hand, the password management experience is seamless. Once again, you need browser extensions for saving passwords and auto-filling them. At the same time, 1Password app for macOS will be a place where you can access all the saved data. The app set-up process is also easier. When you get started, you will have to create an account and set up the master password. This will be the one password you will have to remember for the rest of your life. The app stores Secure Notes, Credit Cards and Identities as well.
Chrome Extension: The Chrome extension for 1Password is equally cool. First of all, it does not take up many resources from an already-power-hungry Chrome. Secondly and most importantly, the password-saving process is less intrusive. However, we’d prefer the way how a single pop-up appears in LastPass to what 1Password has done.
What sets 1Password apart is the number of extras it offers. In addition to managing passwords, 1Password can act as an authentication app like Google Authenticator and, for added security, it creates a secret key to the encryption key it uses, meaning no one can decrypt your passwords without that key.
It also offers one of the top-level security protocols for everything you saved. In order to ensure this, they’re following a three-stage security protocol. In the first stage, there’s the master password; in the second, there is a 128-bit identity key; and in the third, 1Password uses a remote password as well.
1Password is using AES-256 encryption and PBKDF2 key for maximum security. One problem is that it doesn’t offer two-factor authentication. 1Password claims that the Secret Key system is better as the master password is involved in the encryption process as well.
Just like other password managers, there are a few central features in 1Password package. We won’t be focusing on the rudimentary features though.
Autofill and Auto-login: The process is pretty straightforward and the app-extension chemistry is perfect. Never did we come across any glitch. We should also mention that 1Password generates some of the coolest passwords we’ve seen. Going as per the standards, there are options to get more username, password and identity suggestions as you browse through a website.
Watchtower: Watchtower is probably the best feature in 1Password. It keeps track of your current passwords and their security. It, for instance, shows you if there are some compromised or weak passwords. It even goes to the extent of showing 2FA websites that you’ve not enabled. If you are a security-conscious person, Watchtower is a must-have feature. It gets better and better as you go on with 1Password.
Digital Storage: 1Password also lets you store sensitive information such as credit cards and other payment data. However, the options are not as advanced as we saw in LastPass. And, we wish it were better. For instance, 1Password doesn’t offer any type of extra security for internet banking credentials. It also lacks the Vault feature. Despite all these, it’s cool that 1Password is offering some place to store the sensitive data. Something is better than nothing, that kind of stuff.
There are a number of ways you can have 1Password features in your device. Each has its own downsides.
- Dedicated Apps: 1Password dedicated apps are available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS and Command Line. All these apps offer an easy way to access your saved passwords and manage them.
- Browser Extensions: Browser extensions are available for Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Opera.
- 1Password X: 1Password X is available for Chrome, Firefox and Opera. You don’t need a Windows/macOS app to use this version but you need a 1Password account.
Unfortunately, 1Password does not offer a free version. However, you can get a free trial to see how it performs in a real-life scenario.
- 1Password Standard: This plan brings all the standard features such as the access to apps and 1GB of cloud storage for sensitive data. It costs $2.99.
- 1Password Families: This plan has been designed for families, up to 5 members. You can invite more if you are ready to pay $1 for each. You can also share your passwords and notes with family members. It seems that 1Password is offering more control and customization in this aspect. This plan costs $4.99 a month.
There are also a few Teams plans, which start at $3.99 a month.
There is no doubt that 1Password is a great password manager. However, it lacks something in the Features segment. We think 1Password could have included some more features for the amount it charges. If you are looking for a rather minimal password manager, however, 1Password is a great choice indeed.
Released 11 years back, LastPass is one of the most popular password managers out there. In the previous years, the developers have been adding so many features to the service. Let’s see how this one performs in real life.
Design & UI
LastPass has one of the most intuitive and powerful User Interface designs we have ever seen. We are talking in terms of the general UI we see in password management tools as well. From the very first moment when you create a free LastPass account to seamlessly access all passwords you have stored, the setup process is very minimal.
We tested in detail the LastPass apps for macOS and Android and Chrome extension.
Set Up: One-time login is perhaps the best feature in LastPass if you ask us. Once you enter the master password to log into the service, everything is super-easy to access. Just to make this clear, the macOS app of LastPass is just for accessing the sensitive information you have stored. You would need corresponding web browser extensions if you need features like auto-filling and password saving. LastPass even offers a universal installer utility. This would help you install extensions on all web browsers on your Mac and PC. Talking about on how to keep your password secure, you can head on over to newly released LastPass Guide eBook (by Benjamin Bryan) to learn how to setup the LastPass Password Manager and use it well.
Chrome Extension: The case is almost the same in that of the Chrome extension. Unlike some other password managers, you’d not find the extension intrusive. It stays inside your browser and provides timely prompts. For instance, it is showing timely prompts to save passwords when you log in. You can also go to the Vault section to access a variety of data.
LastPass does not compromise anything when it comes to security.
Every password stored by LastPass is stored with AES-256 bit encryption with PBKDF2 SHA-256 and salted hashes. This is one of the most secure algorithms to encrypt data. It should also be noted that LastPass saves all data locally. Encryption and decryption happen on your device and even LastPass does not have access to your saved passwords.
In addition to these, LastPass also offers two-factor authentication to ensure maximum safety. You can also use the LastPass Authenticator app that is available for smartphones. Just so you know, these are some of the expected features in a password manager app. So, there’s nothing much new here.
Now, let’s have a look at some of the top features offered by LastPass. We will be talking about features that are useful in real-world password management, though.
Autofill & Auto-login: Autofill of usernames, passwords and other form items is one of the robust features in LastPass. Unlike most of the password managers we come across, LastPass does the job exceptionally well. While LastPass can fill username and passwords almost instantly, form-filling is quite customizable. For instance, you can maintain multiple profiles for work and personal needs. It’s also really easy to manage these Form Fills.
Password Vault: It’s the best way to store sensitive information. Be it credit card data or some important banking information, everything is encrypted inside the Password Vault. You can also share all this sensitive information with concerned people without compromising the overall security. It’s a great feature when we consider the increasing number of security threats and identity theft attempts out there.
Digital Wallet: Digital Wallet is another super feature that converts your credit/debit cards into something virtually secure. Once you have added your credit/debit card/payment information to LastPass, you don’t have to search for the wallet every time you want to make a payment. In addition to general security, LastPass is also offering a two-factor authentication method when you want to access the digital wallet.
Password Generator: LastPass also lets you generate high-security passwords in a click’s time. When compared to the normal passwords that we develop, the ones from LastPass are tough, but you can make them easy to remember too. Unlike many other managers, LastPass lets you create phrase-based passwords as well. On top of this, LastPass also allows you to create usernames. This is useful when you want some unique but not-really-guessable username for a service.
LastPass Authenticator: LastPass Authenticator is probably the most unique feature in here. This feature brings a never-like-before two-factor authentication experience to password management. Top sites like Facebook and Google are supported and your log-in attempt would be approved only after a secondary verification. You just need the right LastPass apps to keep this feature alive. Of course, it improves the overall experience without compromising security.
Compatibility is indeed the best part about any password manager and LastPass gets that right too.
LastPass is available for the following platforms, in different ways.
- Windows: There’s a LastPass Universal Installer, which installs the extension across all browsers. You can also download LastPass for Applications if you want auto-fill inside Windows apps.
- Mac: The developer recently dropped its macOS stand-alone app, citing changes in Apple’s developer tools.
- Linux: In Linux too, you can find the Universal Installer, in addition to Sesame and Vault apps. You might need some command-line stuff for installation.
- Mobile: LastPass apps are available for Android, iOS and Windows RT. On Android, you can download the LastPass Authenticator app as well.
Altogether, the Compatibility sector of LastPass is strong enough. You can keep your information in sync between all the supported devices. In addition to this, the log-in process is simple everywhere. However, we wish if LastPass had an official Windows app.
Let’s have a look at the pricing structure of LastPass. LastPass currently offers three plans for Personal use:
- Free: This plan offers basic features like password syncing. Just so you know, LastPass is one of those very few password managers that offer multi-device password syncing in the free version.
- Premium: If you want password-sharing with other people, along with priority tech support and 1GB of encrypted storage space, go for Premium. It costs $3 per month.
- Families: If up to six people in your family want optimal password protection, go for this plan. This offers a few extra features like unlimited shared folders. It costs $6 per month.
In addition to these, LastPass offers a set of plans for Teams as well.
All things considered, LastPass is indeed one of the best password managers out there. It offers a wide range of device compatibility and syncing features. It’s also great that LastPass now allows multi-device sync in the free plan, and it’s the only one to do so. And, if you want premium features, the pricing seems reasonable as well.
Dashlane is yet another popular password manager in the market. Common users and Pros alike suggest Dashlane so much so that it was in the list. It was initially released in 2012 and has since been the gold standard for easy password management. Disclaimer: I have been a user of Dashlane free version for some time.
Design & UI
When compared to LastPass and 1Password, Dashlane follows a different type of design. There is an innovative way of designing that highlights the amount of security you are getting. If you look at the dashboard, for instance, it would show you the security status instead of the list of articles. It sees itself as a method to enhance security.
And, yes, we had tested the macOS app and Chrome extension.
Set Up: Dashlane is probably the toughest password manager to set up and get started with. It’s probably a specific issue, but I have had instances when the pairing process wouldn’t go off. In order to make Dashlane work on web browsers like Google Chrome, you have to pair the extension with the app. This process is a bit tiring, on some days at least. This is, of course, to make sure that you’re pairing with the right account. Nevertheless, we kept wishing if the process were any easier. Of course, once the process is complete, Dashlane is just cool to go. That is, everything you have stored in the app is accessible via the extension as well. For starters, however, the set-up process may not be ideal.
Chrome Extension: Once again, Dashlane does a neat job here. It sits on the toolbar and delivers on-time prompts. For instance, you will be able to save passwords and generate new ones from the system. And, if you have Dashlane premium, everything is synced between devices as well.
According to the official website, Dashlane uses the strongest encryption technology available. It’s a patented security architecture that has proven to be pretty effective. AES-256 Encryption is combined with a number of other technology solutions to make sure that your passwords are breakable.
And, as it has been with other password managers, your master password will be decrypting and unlocking the passwords. There are a few downsides, though. Unlike LastPass, Dashlane does not offer a two-factor authentication system. And, unlike 1Password, you can’t have a multi-storey key structure either.
While Dashlane may not be the best for intuitive user interface and additional security features, it performs quite well when it comes to useful features. Let’s have a look.
Identity Dashboard: There are a few sub-features in Identity Dashboard, such as Dark Web Monitoring. However, as a whole, this section is meant to ensure that your identity is safe. At least, you would know if your personal information is leaked online. In addition to major threats, Dashlane Identity Dashboard would also show you the prominent security threats. This is a great way to make sure that your credentials are secure on the web. This section also breaks down your use of passwords.
Password Health: This is another cool feature that we found in Dashlane. In this section, you can see a classification of your passwords in terms of security. For instance, you can know if your passwords have been compromised. Of course, this is a great way to ensure optimal password security. Dashlane would also label your passwords as weak and reused, both of which aren’t good for security.
Form Autofill: It is one of the sturdiest features you can find in Dashlane. This feature is available in the free version also, offering the best experience. From your basic identity details to sensitive credit card information, Dashlane can take care of everything when auto-fill is enabled.
Of course, Form Autofill works in sync with Digital Wallet and Identity Manager that Dashlane is offering.
Password Changer: Here is another unique feature we found in Dashlane. Given that you are visiting a supported website, Dashlane will help you easily change the password without all the hassle. This becomes even great because you can change multiple passwords at once. In other words, you can bring a security score of 50 to 90 in a second or so.
VPN: Just like icing on the cake, the premium version of Dashlane brings a Virtual Private Network tech into the scene. You can use this feature to browse the web without any trouble. It’s pretty great that you can choose the location from more than 23 locations. Still, if you are looking for the best speed and security, you may need a dedicated VPN.
As was the case with the other two password managers, Dashlane apps are also available for a variety of platforms.
- Dedicated Apps: available for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux and Chromebook. Of course, as we said, you need browser extensions for auto-fill purpose.
- Browser Extensions: available for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari and Opera among others. It needs to be noted that these extensions don’t work unless you have installed the desktop apps.
There aren’t many authentication utilities or apps, though.
The pricing structure of Dashlane is simple enough.
- Free Version of Dashlane allows you to store up to 50 passwords. You can get security alerts and proper password analysis. The biggest restriction? You can use Dashlane on a single device only.
- Dashlane Premium is available for $3.33 per month. It brings multi-device sync, Dark Web Monitoring and additional features like VPN and Security.
On a personal note, it’s really hard to survive with the free version of Dashlane. It’s quite unfortunate that Dashlane does not allow multi-device sync.
Dashlane is also offering business-oriented plans.
To be frank, Dashlane brings a lot of features that we expect from an ideal password manager. However, we cannot entertain the issues in the set-up process and the increased price. That is the case especially when we have a better choice like 1Password at lower rates.
LastPass, 1Password and Dashlane — which one should I choose
Now that we have seen the detailed reviews of 1Password, LastPass and Dashlane, let’s make some pointers.
The Top Choice — 1Password
Considering all the aspects, we think 1Password deserves the top position. As we have said in the review, it packs a lot of features that you would love. In addition to this, you also get a simple UI, which is easy to set up as well.
If you want to go premium, it’s a cool choice.
Also Great — LastPass
If you are ready to keep paying for the service, LastPass is a great password manager solution for sure. It’s a really affordable password manager that is bringing so many features. We also found the User Interface to be highly impressive. It’s also great that the free plan of LastPass is offering multi-device password syncing features as well.
LastPass has a relatively easier set-up process as well.
If You Want Features — Dashlane
Dashlane is a perfect choice if you want some cool password management features. For instance, password changer and in-built VPN are two great features that we found. In addition to this, you have a cool UI as well. The only problem here is the toughness of set-up and the lack of a functional free version.
Once again, for premium users, Dashlane is a cool choice indeed.
We hope this article plus a little research, you will feel confident in making the decision.
Other options we considered
Of course, 1Password, LastPass and Dashlane are not the only password managers in the market. As a part of doing it, we had tested more than 20 password managers, and here are five more tools you can consider. Each of these has its own advantages and disadvantages and you may want to keep an eye on everything.
Enpass works based on the idea that you were not born to remember passwords. Available for a lot of devices as well as platforms, you can use Enpass for remembering and accessing passwords with ease. It’s like the premium password managers in that you can have all the basic features, starting from auto-fill to password generation. In addition to this, Enpass also is cross-platform.
To be frank, Enpass does not offer you a unique feature as old people used to say. Instead, you can have a standard password management experience, with password generation and suggestions. Compared to other software for the same purpose, however, Enpass allows some kind of customizability. It’s also great that the tool offers some level of minimal UI, throughout the interface.
On the bright side, setting up Enpass is an easy process. You can get started with password management by creating a master password on the Enpass application. The best part is that Enpass can even give you some sample data if you don’t know how to get started with this piece of tech. Altogether, getting started and using Enpass on a regular basis is an easy task indeed.
Pricing & Availability: Enpass is a freemium tool, in that it offers a completely free desktop app. However, you might have to pay a subscription fee if you want the service available on devices like Android and iOS. That having said, there is a free plan that allows you to store up to 20 passwords. You can have a single vault too. Premium plans for Android and iOS start at $11.99.
Keeper works as a password manager and a digital vault. Compared to all the big tools we discussed, Keeper has a bit different approach. It’s primarily targeted towards businesses that want optimal security. Because of this, there is one definite advantage: you can have the best level of security on any day. However, if you just want to keep your security top notch, there is a Personal plan as well.
Keeper checks all the boxes when it comes to basic and advanced security. For instance, there is the ability to securely store and auto-fill passwords. In addition to this, the two factor authentication is like icing on the cake. It also offers full support for authentication methods like fingerprints and Security keys. As we said earlier, you would really love its benefits as a business-oriented password manager.
It also packs a few features that we loved. For instance, Keeper lets you import passwords from a variety of sources, including but not limited to other services like Dashlane and 1Password. We also loved the fact that it can import the passwords from Chrome/Safari password manager as well. On top of all these, there is also an option to share your passwords with friends and family as well.
Pricing & Availability: Keeper offers a single plan for the password manager, priced at $2.50 per month. Keeper Desktop app is available for Windows, Mac and Linux while the browser extension is available almost everywhere. However, you have an option to bundle the same with other services. It also has a free trial, during which you can try all the features. We also loved the web-based UI that Keeper is offering right now. If you are ready to pay, it’s a good choice.
KeePass Password Safe
KeePass Password Safe is a completely free-to-use password manager that is available for almost every platform. One thing to be noted here is that you cannot expect so many advanced features from this package. Sure, the KeePass app can offer you a seamless password management experience, but that’s it. On the bright side, there is a big community behind KeePass and that’s why you can have KeePass apps for almost every device.
In the case of macOS, the KeePass app under the name MacPass. While this tool is free to use, you cannot expect so many features in the package. First of all, the UI of MacPass is pretty rudimentary. There aren’t any wizards or pop-ups that you can use for password management. This tool, however, checks all the boxes when it comes to the standard procedure of password management.
For instance, you can create multiple groups inside MacPass and store all your passwords in them. Compared to other tools we tested above, MacPass is more portable and offers a kind of control over data. For instance, you will be able to manage your passwords — import, export and bulk manage — through the simple UI. You should also consider that KeePass is open source.
Pricing & Availability: KeePass is completely free to use and open-source. It means you have full control over the tool and there is complete transparency as well. As we said earlier, KeePass apps are available for a wide variety of devices, including Mac, PC, Android, iOS etc. In addition to the official versions, there is a bunch of unofficial apps that you’d be able to download and use.
Roboform Password Manager
Roboform Password Manager is yet another awesome way to store your passwords with ease. When compared to a number of tools we tested, there were reasons to prefer the User Interface of Roboform. For instance, the process of setting up is super-easy and you don’t have to worry about anything else. Roboform Password Manager is available for a number of platforms and they all work seamlessly.
For instance, the process of adding passwords and other credentials to the password manager is an easy task. Same is the case when you are trying to improve your existing passwords in terms of security and uniqueness. While Roboform Password Manager does not offer many insights like done by Dashlane or LastPass, it can be a quick way to ensure the best level of safety.
On the security side, Roboform Password Manager does not compromise either. It makes use of AES 256-bit security and thereby prevents almost every possible issue on the scene. However, Roboform may not be your best choice when you need a free-to-use password management solution for all purposes. That is because, the last time we checked, its free version isn’t up to the mark.
Pricing & Availability: There are three Roboform Password Manager plans you can choose from — Free, Everywhere and Family, priced at $0, $1.99 and $3.98 per month respectively. The apps are available for iOS, Android, Windows, macOS etc. In addition to this, you can add the Roboform password auto-filler extension to almost every web browser out there.
If you are running an organization, it’s likely that you need an online password manager for your teams. Zoho Vault is the right hit on that note. Unlike the other tools we talked about before, Zoho Vault has been designed to fulfil team-based needs of password security and storage. It is also worth noting that you can expect the best level of security via Zoho.
It goes without saying that Zoho Vault would be a great choice for those who are already using the team products via Zoho. You won’t need much introduction to how it works or the things you have to keep an eye on. Because it is built for teams, Zoho Vault offers a number of options for sharing your information securely. Also, for those who are on the top, Zoho offers better tracking features too.
That is, you would know how your employees have been managing their passwords, along with timestamps. In other words, using Zoho Vault would surely enhance the overall digital security in your organization. On top of this, Zoho Vault also lets you integrate the service with a number of third-party solutions like Google, Windows AD, Office 365 and ZenDesk.
Pricing & Availability: Zoho Vault offers a personal option for free of cost, along with a number of Professional plans, which start at around $1 per month per user. There are also pre-fixed plans that you can check out when you have an organization with more people. In the lower versions, however, Zoho Vault is offering a limited amount of integration, and you may want to spend more on that matter.
What about Chrome & Safari password managers?
If you have that question, we have the right answer.
In-built password managers in Chrome and Safari are great indeed. They fulfil the basic needs as well. For instance, it can collect passwords on the go and auto-fill them when necessary. However, they have some serious limitations as well.
- These passwords are connected to your particular accounts, and losing these accounts can land you in serious troubles.
- The encryption technology used by browsers for password protection isn’t up to the mark. Anyone who knows your PC/Mac password can access the passwords you have stored via Chrome.
- Compared to dedicated password managers, the Chrome or Safari password managers don’t offer a kind of customization.
- If you need multi-platform support, you should have Chrome/Safari installed on these services. This isn’t the most practical solution, especially in the case of Safari.
- Last but not least, these password managers don’t offer insights or sharing options.
We believe these are good-enough reasons to choose a desktop password manager instead.
The final words
Apparently, these are your potential options when you are looking for a password manager. We have tried to draw a lot of lines here and we hope they help you choose the right tool. If you are still asking about the one password tool that everyone should go for, we would recommend 1Password. On the other hand, if you are looking for a specific set of features like team support, you may be better off with alternatives. In either case, make sure that you have the right plan with you.