Best Password Managers of 2015

Category: Security

Good password management is a critical part of online security, but it can be difficult to do. The more online accounts you have, the more difficult it is to create strong passwords, keep track of them without exposing them to thieves, and remember to change them regularly. Read on to learn how password managers can simplify the task…

Managing Your Passwords With Ease

If you’re not using a password management program, you’re probably committing at least one of the cardinal sins against security best practices. Your passwords may be weak or obvious, like the popular “12345678” or simply “password.” Or you may be reusing the same password on multiple accounts. Both make for a hacker's dream.

Another definite no-no is storing a list of passwords in unencrypted text on a hard drive, cloud service, or a Post-It Note; that just makes theft easier. If this sounds like you, then please consider using one of these password management programs.

LastPass is a long-standing leader in password managers, consistently achieving highest ratings from reviewers and users. The free version is a cloud-based, client-server product for desktop machines only; if you want synced support across mobile devices, you’ll need the premium version for $12 per year. Download and install the LastPass client, then use it to create a LastPass account and a master password, the only one you’ll need to remember from then on.
Best Password Managers 2015
Add website login URLs and credentials manually, or let LastPass import them from your browser’s password manager. Once LastPass is installed, it will automatically log you in to accounts, change passwords regularly, and even fill in forms for you. Two-factor authentication is optional.

LastPass was acquired by LogMeIn in October, 2015, and a lot of LastPass users are unhappy about that deal. LogMeIn has a reputation for spiking acquisitions, hiking prices unexpectedly, and eliminating free options. This has prompted many LastPass users to search for an alternative. LastPass competitor, DashLane, reported a huge surge in Google search traffic immediately following the LastPass/LogMeIn merger announcement.

DashLane offers a free version for one Windows, Android or iOS device only. Support for multiple devices costs $39.95 per year. The free version does not provide Web access to your passwords stored in the cloud, and there is a limit of five accounts that can be shared with others. Like LastPass, DashLane can also store and auto-fill your credit card details, shipping addresses, and other user-specified information. Two-factor authentication is an option.

More Passwords Manager Options

QWERTY? Posting a list of passwords on the wall next to your desk is a bad idea for obvious reasons. But using one of the most common (and easily guessed) passwords isn't much better. See my article Hey, Is This Your Password? to see if you're using one of the top 25 worst passwords.

RoboForm Desktop excels at filling in complex forms automatically. However, reviewers say it’s not as good at capturing login information and replaying it where needed as LastPass and other programs designed originally for these functions are. RoboForm Desktop stores your encrypted passwords locally, while RoboForm Everywhere keeps them in the cloud so they’re available no matter which mobile or desktop device you use.

Password managers have suffered feature-bloat due to heavy competition. For those who want a simple, free password manager without the form-filling and “digital wallet” stuff, PassWordBox is a good choice. PasswordBox was acquired by Intel in January, 2015, and the chip giant has made the premium version totally free now. PasswordBox is a browser plugin for Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer. With a compatible browser, it runs on Windows, iOS, or Android devices. When you log in to a site for the first time after installing PassWordBox, it captures your credentials and asks you if you want it to save them. When you revisit a stored site, your credentials are automatically filled in; if you have multiple accounts on a site, a dropdown list lets you pick one to use. PassWordBox offers two-factor authentication, but only via a heartbeat monitoring biometric device sold by Nymi.

If you're still scribbling passwords on a Post-it note, using weak passwords, or the same password for multiple sites, using one of these password managers will boost your security immensely. All of the program listed here include the option to generate strong, non-guessable passwords, store them securely, and automatically fill website login forms. LastPass and Dashlane both have the ability to automatically change your password every 30 days on hundreds of popular sites.

Are you using a password manager? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

 
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This article was posted by on 26 Oct 2015


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Most recent comments on "Best Password Managers of 2015"

(See all 86 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

techgirlG
27 Oct 2015

We've been using RoboForm Everywhere for several years across iPhone 5, MacBook, and PC platforms. I particularly like it on the phone, as it gets a workout when our college son calls for "emergency" money - I can do a bank transfer in a snap! Since I manage my mother's online financial life, I've made a separate folder for her passwords, too. Nice to have it all in one place.
It is occasionally cumbersome with 2 step authorization and does get confused sometimes about where to enter data, but all in all, I like it and find it very convenient. Worst case, I simply open the Editor and manually enter the saved data.

Just wondering - isn't it a bad thing to let your browser memorize your passwords? Doesn't that leave you open to pillaging if you get hacked or lose your device?


Posted by:

RandiO
28 Oct 2015

As a few others have recommended, I have been using KeePass FREEware for age with 400+ entries in it.
It is OperatingSystem-agnostic and and the KeePass database (*.kdbx)can be shared with any/all of them.
Since it is a community based password manager, there are a variety of plug-ins for it. I especially like the following plug-ins: 1)KeeResize, 2)KPEnhancedEntryView, and 3)QualityColumn.
Not only do I keep notes within KeePass, but it also accepts attachments.
I am not too keen on cloud-based password utilities, due to my paranoia about storing all your eggs in the cloud.
It is highly recommended that, no matter which password storage utility one chooses, it is of utmost importance to make a backup of the encrypted database of the stored passwords, elsewhere (even the cloud)!
And it also goes w/o saying that the MasterPassword to open the program must be very, very strong because of security concerns.


Posted by:

John
28 Oct 2015

I just bought Kaspersky Total Security and am using their password protection. How does it size up against the ones you mention?


Posted by:

Brian
28 Oct 2015

Another satisfied Roboform user....been using for years, and have got many family and friends using it. Mac'n'Cheese nailed it in his RF description. Give Roboform a try, and read the manual to really understand its behavior and how to use it. You won't regret it.


Posted by:

Mike in Colorado
29 Oct 2015

I've been using LastPass for years and love it. I switched to the paid version about four years ago. I didn't know that LastPass was acquired by LogMeIn and am dismayed to hear that. I have a LogMeIn Central account and have been hit by 50% price increases each year. My subscription for LasPass Premium is good until November 2018 so that will give me plenty of time to vet alternatives if LogMeIn decides to hike the price for LastPass. Thanks for the great article!


Posted by:

Mike in Colorado
29 Oct 2015

Bob, thanks again for your timely article, I decided to extend my LastPass Premium subscription another 10 years so I'm good until 2028. I do not trust LogMeIn and I'm sure they will try and jack the prices up significantly.


Posted by:

Don
30 Oct 2015

I have using Password Tracker Deluxe for many years. It is simple to use. Can be used with or without a master password. Generates 3 types of passwords as well as storing user-ids, passwords, and even answers to security questions. Website is http://www.clrpc.com/


Posted by:

Microgoddess
30 Oct 2015

If you're worried about the password manager server being hacked, be certain the program you choose has a Master Password using strong encryption.

Personally, I use Norton's Identity Safe. It's free, secure, and supports most browsers and devices.


Posted by:

Peter O
31 Oct 2015

I use LastPass & see it regularly score well in evaluations.
My own experience is that it is APITA.
Inconveniences are several but it's extremely frustrating to be unable to logon to a site when you know full well you have previously saved the PW.
I can't fathom the erratic behaviour.
And why is this never mentioned in reviews?


Posted by:

JAF
31 Oct 2015

If banks, hospitals, and government agencies are being hacked, password managers are conveniences where my security is the hands of a company with even less resources for security. How good is the security as these password manager companies? If my password managing company gets hacked, I don't want to find out about it the hard way with a company apologizing, going out of business, and leaving me with huge damage control problems.
Thx, JAF


Posted by:

Rodney Henderson
02 Nov 2015

What do you think of "Access Manager" by Citi-Sofftware, as a password securing & storage program? I have used the free version for years, you password protect the program & use a copy & paste feature to insert your details. You can also print out a complete list, import from a CSV or XML file & you can change, add & delete the title groups for your passwords.

Sincerely

Rodney Henderson


Posted by:

Paul H H
02 Nov 2015

One issue that has not been addressed: compatibility with the (relatively) new Edge browser from Microsoft (replacing Internet Explorer). I've been using LastPass (free version) but it does not seem to work with Edge. What about the other programs mentioned...do THEY work with Edge?


Posted by:

George
02 Nov 2015

Password Safe is the best I know of, can't figure out why you didn't mention it???


Posted by:

Brad
02 Nov 2015

The best Password Manager I've used for years is Password Manager XP by CP-Lab. It's fee to try, but you will need to purchase a license to use it beyond that. It's highly configurable & customizable. Best feature? It has multi-user support (great for a network environment & a small business that shares passwords amongst it's users). It is NOT cloud-based, and the databases it stores on your machine/network are highly encrypted and very small. I've tried the others, and I don't believe they compare. The web address is: http://www.cp-lab.com


Posted by:

Dave
02 Nov 2015

To Paul H H: I use RoboForm and found that it does not work with Edge either. Ended up setting my LT up with IE 11 & Chrome instead.


Posted by:

ct4er
02 Nov 2015

I am linux user and had used keepassx for sometime.
Also use LibreOffice spreadsheet to have my passwords listed in alphabetical order.


Posted by:

Pete
03 Nov 2015

Just installed bitdefender antivirus pro and it remember passwords I use on Firefox for me, now, though I'm not altogether trusting of anything I don't control completely. I have other browsers that don't use that and, instead, save my passwords in one particular format type, zip encrypt it with one password only I could know, saving it, and then renaming it to a different file extension type. Has worked very well for me for a couple decades now.


Posted by:

Thomas
08 Nov 2015

KEEPER I have been using keeper for many years across numerous computers & phones without a problem. There is a free version & the paid version which I use for $9.99 a year.
https://keepersecurity.com/


Posted by:

Sam
10 Mar 2017

I also use KeePass. It's free. Local, so my passwords are not in the cloud. Also a flash drive option for remote use. Excellent product.


Posted by:

DBA Steve
11 Mar 2017

Allowing my security info (e.g. userids, passwords, security Q&A) to be stored on some random server has always scared me. I've used RoboForm for years, but only on my desktop. The RoboForm data is encrypted via VeraCrypt.

Admittedly, I am paranoid. Because I spent so many years working as a security specialist on mainframes, I just can't bring myself to trust RoboForm or LastPass or any "cloud" service like that.

Can I have your thoughts and suggestions, please?

Thanks in advance.

Steve


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