Take a look at our rankings of the best password manager options for 2021 and compare the leading services to make sure you pick one that will help.
A password manager is an app that helps you keep your passwords safe and nearby. Are you tired of entering the same information every time you visit a site? Maybe you’re sick of coming up with new passwords and trying to keep track of them. A password manager uses encryption to ensure that no one can ever guess or use your passwords. You can create passwords that use multiple numbers and letters along with special characters without worrying about what you need to do if you forget the combination.
The amount you pay for a password manager depends on whether you pick a business or individual plan. A business plan is one that allows multiple users to access and use the app. You usually pay a monthly fee based on the number of users on your plan. An individual plan is more affordable and lets you use the app at home. Most plans range from around $5 to more than $20 per month. There are also family plans that cost a little more but let everyone in your family use the manager for their passwords.
Once you buy and download your password manager, it should only take a few minutes to set it up. You can press a button and tell the app to find all of the passwords stored on your computer. Most of these apps will tell you if you have any weak passwords and recommend that you change them. You can also download a password manager to your phone or another mobile device to keep track of the passwords you use on the go. The apps can retrieve and store your passwords as well as your usernames.
Have you ever signed up for a website before and found that you couldn’t use one of your trusty passwords? Many sites today require special combinations that include at least one uppercase letter along with a number and one or more characters. You may need a password of up to 10 or more characters, which is hard to remember. Many of these apps have a built-in password generator. It looks at what you need in a strong password and generates one for you. As a bonus, it will remember that password so you don’t have to remember it. This feature is not available on all apps.
The biggest benefit to using a password manager is that you no longer need to remember dozens of passwords or keep them stored around your computer. Many people either write down their passwords on pieces of paper that they keep nearby or keep them stored in hidden files. You’ll have a hard time finding them if your hard drive fails. With a password manager, you only need to remember one password called your master password. Once you enter this in the app, it will retrieve your log-in data in seconds.
Another benefit is that the app stores more than just your passwords. It can recall the information that you use when shopping online. With auto-fill, you simply click on the box to bring up the name and password you use on the site. You can use the app to remember your credit or debit card info along with your home address to pay for an order. Most of these apps work on popular shopping websites, including Amazon and Walmart.
As you look at our list of the best password managers of 2021, you’ll find that some have free plans and wonder why you should bother paying when you can get one for free. Keep in mind that free plans often lack the features that paid plans have. A free app might limit how many passwords you can store and block you from saving your username and similar data. Free apps often only work on one device at a time. You can use one on your home computer but not on your phone. Free apps usually won’t let you sync your data across devices either.
If you aren’t sure if you should pay money for a password manager, look for one that has a free trial. You need a debit or credit card that you link to your account. The company behind the app will send you a reminder before the offer expires, which also lets you know that it will charge your card. You get up to 30 days to try the app before paying for it. There are also freemium password managers. They allow you to use some features for free but charge for others.
One question you might have in mind is what happens to your old passwords when you download a password manager. In most cases, the answer is nothing. The app simply finds the passwords that you use on your device and makes copies of them. As long as you log in with your master password, you can use all of the old ones you created. Some apps also have a password generator that tells you when you need to change some of your passwords. You can use this feature to make sure that no one takes over your accounts or finds your passwords.
Nordpass offers a password manager with a built-in biometric scanner. This serves as an alternative to the passwords that you usually use. Instead of entering a string of characters, you can use a part of your body to log in to your accounts. Many use their faces, but you can also use your fingerprint. Once you scan your print, the app will remember it. You can scan your print or face the next time you open the app to use it. This is a good choice for those who live in shared homes and worry that others will find their master passwords.
There is nothing worse than trying a new app on your computer and finding that it doesn’t work on your phone. Most of the best password managers of 2021 are compatible with all devices. You can sign in on your computer and use the password while doing some work for school and then sign in on your phone to do some shopping or check your email. We recommend looking at apps that will sync your info across two or more devices if this is important to you.
All password managers use a vault to keep your passwords safe and block others from viewing them. When choosing one of these apps, you’ll find that you can choose between cloud storage and storage on your device. With storage saved on your device, you can use any current passwords that you have on it and any that you create in the future. If you lose your device, you lose access to your passwords. Cloud storage moves your passwords to a server in the cloud. You can log in with your master password and easily get them back. The downside to cloud storage is that it leaves you susceptible to data breaches.
While there are many password managers on the market, most share a few things in common. You should make sure that the app you choose has some of those features such as strong security. Most apps use AES256-bit encryption. Though this offers a lot of protection and is standard, some apps have more security. You may want an app with two-factor authentication. This allows you to get a text message or an email with a code that you enter to verify that you own the account. No one else can use it or your passwords without that code.
We also recommend looking at how you can recover your information. You may need help because you lost a device or forgot your master password. Some apps offer no recovery help. If you cannot remember your master password, you lose everything stored in your vault. Other apps ask that you follow multiple steps to recover your account, including showing proof of your name and address or entering the card that you used to pay for the app.
Other features to look for include storage limits and auto-fill options. The app’s storage limit will tell you how much information it stores. Most premium managers offer unlimited storage. Free apps may only store a handful of passwords. Using auto-fill helps you easily enter your information. You just need to remember the first letter of your username. This tells the app how you want to log in and will enter the rest of your info. You may want to make sure that the app is compatible with your browser extensions, too. As long as you know what to look for, you can easily pick the right password manager.
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