- 1 Ranking of the Best Password Managers in 2022
- 2 How much do you need a password manager?
- 3 Is it safe to use a password manager?
- 4 How to Choose a Reliable Password Manager
- 5 The best password managers
- 6 Brief summary
Ranking of the Best Password Managers in 2022
The number of threats in the modern digital world is constantly growing in parallel with the improvement of means of protection against them. The emergence of two- and even three-factor authentication systems, of course, significantly reduces the likelihood of losing important confidential data, but almost all such systems are based on password protection.
The number of network resources where a password is required can be in the hundreds, and there is hardly a superman who is able to remember them all.
Of course, about 35% of users try to use the same combinations, although this does not help either. There are sites that require a long password or a combination of numbers, lowercase letters, and uppercase letters. And even assuming that your accounts are not important enough to care about protecting them from hackers, you still need to remember passwords.
Where should I store them? Paper media has long been outdated and considered inefficient; maintaining your own text file is difficult and also unsafe. Password managers, which are special applications that allow you to save and automatically insert saved passwords into the appropriate fields when logging into your account, come to the rescue.
How much do you need a password manager?
If your activity on the network is limited to visiting several social networks and news sites that do not require mandatory registration, as well as reading mail from a single postal address, then yes, the use of special means for storing identification data is not required. Otherwise, you will very quickly realize that relying on your own memory to remember them is completely hopeless.
Passwords are required not only to access social networks. Not a single online store provides a full range of services to unregistered users, and there are other resources related to finance, such as Internet banking, electronic payment systems, and so on. If you do not use a password storage program, ordinary forgetfulness can result in a very unpleasant procedure for recovering a forgotten sequence of letters and numbers, and the more serious the resource, the less likely success.
And now let’s figure out what it is: a password manager. This term refers to a specialized program that can save all identification data entered into forms on a local or network device and, in most cases, insert them when visiting sites that require passwords.
Is it safe to use a password manager?
Almost all such programs have good protection for databases that store passwords, regardless of where this file is located—on a computer disk, in phone memory, or on a server. Typically, such software uses multi-factor database protection. In addition to the master key, a secret phrase, an SMS message, or another way to protect confidential data from outside attacks, such as attempts to crack a password using brute force, can be used.
Of course, there is a risk. There are no absolutely secure systems; even when using the most advanced cryptographic protection methods, the probability of their hacking is not equal to zero.
But, we repeat, storing passwords on a computer or smartphone without the protection provided by password managers increases this probability to significant values, and even the use of antivirus programs is ineffective here.
As statistics show, cases of hackers hacking a password store from well-known and popular managers are rare. Basically, they are related to the sociological factor, that is, they occur through the fault of the user, who did not fully adhere to the recommendations of the software manufacturer for this class.
But we still do not recommend using managers from little-known brands, since the risk of losing important confidential data is much higher.
How to Choose a Reliable Password Manager
The optimal application for storing passwords must meet several important criteria. Let’s list them.
Security and transparency
Since you trust the manager with your sensitive data, security should come first. Do not trust a program whose developers are not inclined to describe what encryption algorithms they use and how their program works. Established brands in the field of cybersecurity work transparently, using 256-bit cryptographic algorithms that cannot be cracked by brute force; they are also used by government organizations and representatives of the banking system.
Two-factor authentication is a prerequisite for choosing a good password manager because it will not allow access to the database even if the master key is compromised.
Ease of use
The ideal algorithm for working with a site that requires an account login should be as follows: During the initial registration, the manager asks if you need to remember this password; when you log in again, the authentication data (such as email, login, and password) are filled in automatically. The more intelligent the algorithm, the more accurately it works, relieving the user of routine duties.
The best manager is the one that works with all devices (computers, smartphones, tablets, etc.) and on all possible platforms. Such a universal has not yet been created, but there are programs that can work on all popular operating systems, allowing you to safely make transactions and enter accounts regardless of your location.
The best password managers
Most of the password managers presented here are cross-platform, but if they are not, we will warn you about it.
If you wish, you can integrate the application into the browser you are using (plugins for most popular Internet browsers are supported), which will increase the accuracy of the autocomplete function.
Among the additional features of the application is a generator of secure, hacker-resistant passwords. LastPass uses the proven AES-256 encryption algorithm. The identification data itself is stored in the cloud, which can be synchronized with different devices. Authentication is two-factor, using Google Authenticator.
Password Manager Keeper
Not to be overlooked is the password manager for Android Keeper, which employs a combination of AES-256 and PBKDF2 cryptographic algorithms to provide the most secure digital storage encryption. The database can store passwords, bank card numbers, confidential documents, and even media files such as photos and videos.
The application has a built-in password generator, and Keeper Fill technology allows you to automatically fill out web forms. If necessary, you can try the function of instant destruction of the database.
Authentication in the manager itself is two-factor, by master key and fingerprint or SMS (optional). You can use a timer to force entry.
The application is cross-platform, but there is no version for Linux-like systems.
This is a popular iOS app, though there are options for PC users as well. Among the features of the program is the presence of so-called “family” access, when up to six people can use one storage, who will be chosen by the owner of the master account. The manager uses AES-256 encryption and two-factor authentication. It can store passwords, contact details, identifiers, and keep logs with which you can view your surfing history.
There is a web version of the program, as well as browser extensions.
Users will certainly appreciate the Password Changer feature, which allows you to change your identification data on sites as easily as possible (the most popular sites have about 1000 addresses in the database).
KeePass Password Manager
One of the best password managers for Windows, though there are versions for Linux and MacOS X as well. The mobile version for iOS and Android stores passwords in the cloud; the desktop version stores them directly on the computer.
The main encryption algorithm is AES-256, but multi-level key conversion can provide additional security.
The first generation of the manager (with the 1.x index) can only work with Windows; the second (2.x) is cross-platform and open source, thanks to which KeePass databases can be used by third-party developers.
One of the oldest and most famous free managers on the Internet—the first generation of the program for Windows—was developed back in 1999. The main feature of the program, which is currently cross-platform, is auto-completion of forms. The function of remembering and storing passwords is secondary, but it works well. The utility uses several encryption algorithms, with AES-256 as the main one; among the additional ones are PBKDF2, RC6, and Blowfish. Integration with all popular browsers is provided, including Safari and Sea Monkey. It is noteworthy that the data is encrypted by the client module; that is, the Internet is not required to communicate with the server. Moreover, it is possible to launch RoboForm from a USB flash drive, and there is also a synchronization function with cloud storage.
Password Manager for Wallet
The only utility that does not have a free version is our small selection of password managers. The program is cross-platform, but a fully functional version for Android is not yet available. The application is included in the rating because it is focused on the use of online banking by customers. Encryption of confidential data using the AES-256 algorithm is used. Cloud storage of databases is not provided.
Unfortunately, if you need to synchronize between different devices, the procedure will need to be performed manually.
We did not set ourselves the task of listing all existing managers; believe me, there are at least 100 such utilities. Most of them, like the managers presented in our rating, are free, but you will have to pay for a fully functional version. Those who often shop online, use Internet banking, and store confidential information in cloud storage require reliable protection of numerous logins, passwords, and other identification data. And the best modern password managers are able to provide such protection.