Top 3 Password Managers for Android [+Alternatives]
Whether you're a full-fledged netizen or just a recreational Internet user, the amount of accounts, and therefore passwords, you have is probably growing. Like many, you probably found this to be a laborious process, and, for no fault of your own, started using the same combinations of username and password for each service that you've registered with. Unfortunately, few things could help data thieves and hackers more.
After cracking one account, they can try the same combination for each subsequent account belonging to you, popping them open one by one. Password managers are here to help, and in this article, we've taken a look at the best options for Android devices.
Smartphones are great, except when it comes to typing. Almost nothing can be more frustrating than laboriously tapping out a long password, only to receive an error message that the password is incorrect: Back to the drawing board!
Saving passwords automatically within the browser provides some relief but fails on the security front. Enter mobile password managers, which make surfing on your phone both easier and more secure.
Managing Passwords on the Go: Different Approaches, Different Solutions
The developers of most password managers have recognized the demand for mobile password security and as a result offer apps for mobile operating systems alongside their desktop clients. As the dominant mobile OS, Android users are usually the best-taken care of, with nearly every password manager providing an Android-capable app. On the other hand, some developers prefer to work with iOS, meaning that their Android offerings are less robust than those for iPhones or iPads.
With that said, most apps provide nearly identical functionality and user experience, with the end goal being to create a satisfied and loyal customer base. Still, the approaches taken by developers to making functioning mobile versions of their desktop apps differ greatly from one another. Sometimes, the mobile app is a nearly identical copy of the desktop app, lacking only a few bits and pieces here and there. For other developers, the Android app should provide a completely different user experience than the desktop app, prioritizing mobile usability over uniformity as a result.
During our evaluations, we encountered both approaches. Keep reading to find out which three mobile password managers we think are the best for Android users!
Top 3 Password Managers for Android Devices
When we reviewed desktop apps for password managers, we focused on how many features each came with. For mobile apps, on the other hand, features are far less important than how easy or intuitive the app is to use.
As a key example, poor autofill functionality isn't the end of the world on a PC or laptop, since you can just copy and paste login data with a mouse and/or keyboard. On an Android device, however, autofill is the name of the game, and its absence, or weak performance, almost completely defeats the purpose of having a mobile password manager in the first place.
With that, we believe that the following three apps excelled at mastering the challenges we placed before them on an Android device, and recommend them wholeheartedly!
LastPass's mobile app is intuitive and easy to use. The app's menu is structured almost exactly like that of the desktop version's browser extension. After installation, you'll be walked through which permissions you need to grant the app in order to have the best possible user experience. We liked this approach since it means you won't have to worry about fishing around in your settings and manually changing them later on.
Most of all though, we liked that LastPass's Android app works. The service's autofill almost always recognizes when you happen across a web form, however, to make this a certainty, we recommend using the app's integrated browser, rather than Chrome. This is an issue common to all password manager mobile apps though, so no reason to dwell upon it.
LastPass's Android app also comes with a lot of nifty features. In the "Security" section, you can find the handy password generator and the Security Challenge, the latter of which analyzes all passwords in your vault, scoring each between 0 and 100 in terms of their vulnerability (with 0 being the most vulnerable and 100 the least). Not every password manager imported its desktop app's useful analytical tools into the mobile app, so we commend LastPass's developers for doing so.
Overall, we were definitely taken with LastPass's Android app. Out of all the password managers we tested, we believe that it offers the best mobile experience.
Kaspersky Password Manager
During our evaluation, Kaspersky wasn't quite on par with the best desktop password managers, owing to its frequent crashes/freezes and lack of two-factor authentication. However, its mobile app has secured second place on our list of the best mobile password manager apps for Android, and not without reason.
Kaspersky Password Manager for Android is fast, intuitive, and very easy to use. Everything in the mobile app is as in the desktop app, meaning that it doesn't take long to get a feel for the former if you're familiar with the latter. Most importantly for a mobile app, autofill does precisely what it's supposed to. As usual, autofill works better in the app's dedicated browser than it does in Chrome (the app doesn't support any other browsers).
In addition to passwords, you can also use the app to access other saved data sets, such as credit cards, addresses, and secure notes or documents. This feature can be useful if you need to access sensitive information on the go, but don't want to lug a laptop around.
Overall, Kaspersky Password Manager's mobile app does most things right, making it a decent choice for any Android user.
Unlike most of its competitors, RoboForm decided to go a different route with its Android app, and not patterning it after its desktop counterpart. Doing so is a brave step, and RoboForm's gamble seems to have paid off.
Should you be acquainted with the service's desktop version, the interface of which is divided into three columns, the mobile app's vertically-arranged menu might take some getting used to.
In the "Tools" section, you'll find a password generator as well as the Security Center with which you can keep tabs on the strength (or weakness) of your passwords. Here, you'll also find your personal Security Score, emergency contacts, and the Sharing Center which provides a concise overview of all data sets you've shared with others, or have had shared with you.
During our analysis, autofill worked well, for the most part. We did encounter some issues with websites like Amazon, having to manually copy and paste data to log in.
Although it takes some getting used to, RoboForm's mobile app for Android is still one of our favorites.
Most of the mobile applications we assessed performed well as password managers. Since we focused on how intuitive and easy to use each Android app was, this list of our top three definitely reflects some subjective preferences. There are many other password manager apps for Android that offer equally good mobile experiences. Two honorable mentions that just barely missed our top 3 are Keeper and Dashlane.
For a closer look at password managers, check out our comprehensive review and comparison.