With so much of our lives taking place online these days, it’s easy to forget a few passwords. I always find myself resetting my passwords because I can’t keep track of all of them. So I checked out a few of the best free online password managers.
In this article, I’ll take a close look at a few of the best free password managers available in 2021.
7 of the Best Free Password Managers
If you’re thinking about downloading a free password manager, it’s important to do your research first. When it comes to storing personal information and sensitive data, you want to make sure that you’re using a trusted resource. Even then, there’s always a fear of hackers. Still, creating complex passwords and changing them frequently is a safer alternative to repeating passwords just so you can remember them.
“The way most of us, as humans, create passwords … we’re creating so much danger for ourselves,” says money expert Clark Howard. “Using a password manager, even though there’s a possibility they’ll be hacked, is vastly superior to the terrible passwords we use over and over again.”
Thankfully, you don’t necessarily have to pay for a password manager in order to store your information safely. I looked into a few of the most popular free password managers to see which ones are worth checking out.
First, I looked into the safety of each company to see how each keeps your data secure. Then I checked out their ratings and reviews on TrustPilot, The App Store and Google Play. Finally, I downloaded each program to see what’s available for free and how easy it is to use.
If you’re thinking about paying for a full password manager, these resources also offer some of the most affordable plans.
Here are my seven top picks:
|Resource||Best For...||App Ratings||TrustPilot Raing||Paid Version|
|Dashlane||Storing passwords in a mobile app||Google Play: 4.6|
App Store: 4.8
|4.9||Starting at $3.99/month|
|LastPass||Automatic syncing across multiple devices||Google Play: 3.1|
App Store: 4.5
|1.5||Starting at $3/month|
|Sticky Password||Offline password storage||Google Play: 4.6|
App Store: 4.6
|3.8||$30/year or $199.99/lifetime|
|LogMeOnce||Ad-supported free password management||Google Play: 4.0|
App Store: 4.1
|4.7||Starting at $2.50/month|
|Bitwarden||Open-source password storage||Google Play: 4.6|
App Store: 4.7
|4.5||Starting at $10/year|
|Avira||An easy-to-use platform||Google Play: 4.4|
App Store: 4.5
|4.6||$2.99/month or $31.99/year|
|NordPass||Password storage on one device||Google Play: 4.1|
App Store: 4.0
|4.7||Starting at $1.49/month|
Below, you’ll find more detailed information on each free password manager including how to sign up and how to begin storing your passwords.
Best for: Storing passwords in a mobile app
Dashlane is an app and browser extension that allows you to store up to 50 passwords for free.
When you visit Dashlane’s website, you can click “Get Dashlane” to begin. The link will direct you to the appropriate browser extension installation page. You can also visit the App Store or Google Play to download Dashlane to your phone.
In addition to being able to store up to 50 passwords, the free version of Dashlane also includes a password health tool, a password generator and autofill functions for filling out forms and making payments. Also, you can securely share passwords with up to five accounts. Paid individual versions of DashLane begin at $3.99/month. You can see a full breakdown of plan pricing and features here.
When it comes to security, Dashlane’s website states that the company has never had a security breach in the 10+ years it’s been in business. Dashlane says it uses zero-knowledge, U.S.-patented security architecture. To learn more about Dashlane’s security, you can read the Security White Paper online.
After checking out Dashlane myself, here are the biggest pros and cons I found with the free password manager:
|Highest rated apps among competitors||You can store only 50 passwords for free|
|Highest rating on TrustPilot||When you first sign up for Dashlane, you’ll automatically start a free trial of the Premium plan and be asked to pay or downgrade after 30 days.|
Best for: Automatic syncing across multiple devices
LastPass is an app and browser extension that offers both free and paid plans for single users, families and businesses.
The free version of LastPass allows users to store an unlimited number of passwords and automatically sync them across all their devices. It also includes one-to-one sharing, save and fill password features, a password generator, secure notes, basic support and multifactor authentication. Premium access to LastPass begins at $3 monthly. You can check out a full list of features and pricing online.
While LastPass has had problems with security in the past, the company’s website says it has added additional layers of protection since then.
“The password manager thing has always been hard for me to talk about because there’s always the chance that they’ll get hacked into,” warns Clark Howard. “Years ago, LastPass was hacked.”
According to the website, LastPass experienced a single security incident over the past 10 years, which took place in 2015. While the company says no encrypted vault data was compromised, LastPass strengthened the password manager in response and says it hasn’t experienced any breaches since. You can learn more about the company’s security history online.
LastPass has the lowest TrustPilot score among competitors at 1.5/5. I read through the 1-star reviews to see where the low rating came from, and it seems that many users are unhappy about the changes made to LastPass earlier this year. If you’re new to the password manager, these changes won’t affect you. The free password manager still offers great features.
After checking out LastPass myself, here are the major benefits and drawbacks of the free password manager that I found:
|You can store an unlimited number of passwords for free.||Not all features are available for free; paid versions start at $3 monthly.|
|Manage passwords in your browser or on your phone||LastPass had a security breach in 2015.|
|LastPass uses local-only, strong encryption algorithms and multi-factor authentication for password security.||It’s the lowest-rated Google Play app on the list.|
Best for: Offline password storage
Sticky Password is an app and browser extension that creates and remembers strong passwords, stores logins, stores credentials and stores payment information.
The free version includes unlimited encrypted password and data storage, automatic form filling, a strong password generator, a secure digital wallet, secure notes and two-factor authentication. It also includes USB portable version for Windows for offline use.
The features that aren’t included with the free version are syncing across multiple devices, secure cloud backup for passwords and data, secure password sharing and “priority” support. If you do decide to try out the free version of Sticky Password, you’ll also get 30 days of the premium version for free without having to enter any payment information.
When it comes to security, Sticky Password describes itself as being “a bulletproof vest” for your private data. The company says its program works with advanced encryption to provide the strongest protection, two-factor authentication and a master password that isn’t saved anywhere. You can learn more about Sticky Password’s security features online.
After checking out Sticky Password myself, here are a few of the biggest pros and cons that I found with the free password manager:
|You can store an unlimited number of passwords and other personal information.||Syncing across multiple devices isn’t available for free.|
|You can download Sticky Password to your computer or USB drive to access the program offline.||When you first sign up for Sticky Password, you’ll automatically start a free trial of the Premium plan and be asked to pay or downgrade after 30 days.|
Best for: Ad-supported free password management
LogMeOnce is a free password manager that lets you access your saved data across multiple devices. The free version of LogMeOnce lets you store unlimited passwords and auto-fills and sync the information on as many devices as you want. Whether you’re looking for a browser extension, password storage on the cloud or an app for your phone, this resource is worth checking out.
In addition to storing unlimited passwords, LogMeOnce can also save information on as many as three credit cards. It also offers five secure passwords you can share and a place to secure up to three secure notes. And it includes a password generator, password calculator, 1MB of encrypted storage and email technical support. Unfortunately, the free version will include ads.
The paid version of LogMeOnce begins at $2.50 monthly. It includes 1GB of encrypted storage, emergency access, unlimited credit cards, 50 password shares, 50 secure notes, a productivity dock and more. You can see a complete breakdown of features and pricing on the company’s website. Still, the free version of the software should be all you need from a password manager.
When I created an account on LogMeOnce myself, here are the biggest pros and cons I found with it:
|Store an unlimited amount of passwords and autofills||Free version includes ads|
|Sync passwords across multiple devices for free||Not all features are available for free; the paid version starts at $2.50/month|
|Additional free resources including identity theft protection and cloud storage encryption||Limited amount of storage|
Best for: Open-source password storage
According to the company’s website, Bitwarden guards against password theft by creating and managing strong, unique passwords across all your devices. Bitwarden says its app was developed with end-to-end encryption. The company also says it prides itself on open source transparency and global access.
In addition to the basic free account, Bitwarden offers a premium account personal plan for less than $1/month ($10 annually). Still, the free version may be all you need. The top free features include one-to-one text sharing, unlimited vault items, password syncing across all devices, secure password generation and a self-host option. For a detailed breakdown of pricing and features, visit BItwarden’s website.
Bitwarden participates in official security assessments from reputable third parties. You can check out the company’s 2020 Security Audit here.
After downloading Bitwarden myself, here are a few of the major benefits and drawbacks I found with the free password manager:
|Ability to ync passwords across multiple devices||Not all features are free|
|You can download a desktop version or app version of the program or visit Bitwarden online||No password strength gauge|
|Unlimited item storage (logins, notes, cards, identities)||Secure password sharing isn’t available for free with personal accounts|
Best for: An easy-to-use platform
Avira is another free password manager that’s available as an app and a browser extension. I found the interface to be easy to use.
According to Avira’s website, the free version of the software includes all basic features. This includes generating passwords, automatically filling in your password on webpages, adding credit cards, securing notes and syncing across multiple devices. The paid pro version costs $2.99/month or $31.99/year. It includes a security status feature to alert you if your accounts have been hacked, if the websites you register with are unsafe or if your passwords are weak.
When it comes to safety, Avira says it encrypts all of your sensitive data and passwords, and it’s protected with your master password. Your data is regularly backed up to prevent any loss, and you can enable two-step verification for your account.
To get started, you can visit Avira’s website and create an account or download the app on your mobile device. After I checked out Avira myself, here are the biggest pros and cons I found with the free password manager:
|You can sync your passwords across multiple devices for free.||You can’t share data.|
|You can enable two-factor verification for additional safety.||Form-filling isn’t available.|
|The interface is really intuitive, which makes it easy to use.||Not all features are available for free; the pro version costs $2.99/month or $31.99/year.|
Best for: Password storage on one device
If you’re just looking to store passwords on one device, the free version of NordPass is a great option. You can save unlimited passwords, keep notes and store credit card information. Your information also automatically syncs across devices when you sign in elsewhere; you just won’t stay logged in when switching devices with the free version.
In addition to staying logged in, the only other features included in the paid version are secure item sharing, Trusted Contacts, password health ratings and data breach scanning. The full version starts at $1.49/month. NordPass Family is available from $3.99/month and NordPass Business begins at $3.59 per user.
According to the NordPass website, its apps are built around zero-knowledge architecture and are subjected to independent security audits to ensure optimal safety.
When I downloaded NordPass myself, here are the biggest pros and cons that I found:
|You can store unlimited passwords, notes and credit cards.||You can’t stay logged in to multiple devices with the free version|
|You can log in from any device with the NordPass app.||Other features available only with the paid version including secure item sharing, password health and more|
If you’re still skeptical of using a free password manager, that’s understandable. However, the safety of keeping your passwords current, complex and secure is better than the alternative.
“I’m a fan of password managers, but they’re not completely without possible problems,” says Clark. “It is a great idea, and in practice it’s been much better than what we do for ourselves. But it’s not flawless.”
If you’re looking for a safe free password manager, consider checking out one of the resources listed here. When it comes to mobile apps, Dashlane and Bitwarden have the highest ratings. If you’re looking to sync your passwords across multiple devices, check out LastPass or LogMeOnce. If you’re using a password manager to securely share data with your family or company, it may be worth it to pay for the full version of one of these four programs.
For a simple, intuitive platform to use yourself, try Avira first. To store your personal passwords offline, download Sticky Password to your PC. And if you’ll mostly be on just one device, NordPass may be the best resource for you.
Do you use a free password manager online? Tell us which one in the comments below!