Best Free Password Manager: Top 5 Free Providers
No one should use the Internet without a password manager. These not only help to supply your accounts with powerful passwords but they also autofill login information when it's needed. One reason why some are hesitant to start with a password manager is their cost, however, there are great free options.
In this article, we'll introduce you to the best free password managers, and let you know which limitations these have in comparison to their premium versions.
Free Password Managers: Top 5 Providers
Of the 12 password managers that we carefully examined in our EXPERTE.com evaluation, 10 offer free versions of their software. But free doesn't always mean the same thing, since each service imposes different limitations or restrictions on non-paying users.
So, without further ado, here are our Top 5 free password managers:
Bitwarden: The Best Free Password Manager
In our EXPERTE.com review series, Bitwarden managed a respectable fifth place. However, when focusing on free solutions, the provider moved up to first, owing to its high-quality and comprehensive nature, and generous provision of features.
For starters, you can save as many passwords as you'd like across an unlimited number of devices. All of the program's main features are present, and password sharing with another person is possible through the Organizations option.
Differences between its subscription rates mostly come down to advanced features. With the free version, you won't be able to add encrypted file attachments and have to make do without some security features such as Emergency Access.
Bitwarden scores with its free version, which offers a full-fledged password manager.
During our assessment, Bitwarden shined owing to its reliable autofill, intuitive usage, and high security, the last of which is guaranteed by external audits. As such, in our opinion, Bitwarden is the best choice when you're on the hunt for a full and free password manager.
Possible to save an unlimited number of passwords
Can be used across multiple devices
Includes all main features
Lacks some security features
Doesn't support encrypted file attachments
NordPass: Generous Free Version With Few Drawbacks
If NordPass does one thing better than Bitwarden, it's in terms of usage: NordPass' apps are just slightly easier to handle and more well-thought-through. Beyond that, you can save as many passwords with NordPass as you'd like, and use them across all of your devices.
One limitation does make NordPass' free version less user-friendly than that of Bitwarden though: When switching to another device, you'll be automatically logged out, meaning that you can only ever remain logged in on a single device. If you frequently alternate between using your computer and smartphone, this constant back and forth will probably get on your nerves.
NordPass also allows users of its free version to save as many datasets as they'd like.
Apart from this minor issue, there can be little disputing that NordPass offers one of the most generous free password managers, impressing with reliable autofill, seamless file imports, and an elegant user interface.
Can store unlimited passwords
No cross-device sync limitations
Intuitive and elegant user interface
Can only stay logged in on one device
No password sharing
No emergency access
Avira Password Manager
Avira Password Manager also doesn't impose any annoying dataset or cross-device synchronization limits: You can save as many passwords across as many devices as you'd like.
Among the premium features which you'll need to make do without as a free user are some security options, such as password and account checks. This actually plays to Avira's advantage though, as generally speaking, even its premium version isn't one of the most feature-heavy solutions on the market, missing things like password sharing.
Avira didn't excel in our EXPERTE.com assessment, but its free version is a solid choice.
If you can live without a security center and advanced features like password sharing or emergency access (which are rarely, if ever included in free versions), the free version of Avira Password Manager is a good choice.
Allows unlimited passwords to be saved
Automatic cross-device synchronization
No security center
Lacks password sharing
LastPass: Unlimited Passwords, but Only One Device
For a long time, LastPass offered one of the best free password managers out there. Since 2021, a new limitation has knocked our former front-runner off its perch though, making it far less appealing: Datasets can still be synchronized across your devices, however, free users can only select one type of device.
This means that free users will have to decide whether they want to use LastPass on their computer or their smartphone. You can change your decision later on, but conveniently using the password manager on both your PC and smartphone simultaneously isn't possible.
Users of LastPass' free version need to decide which device type they want it to work on.
If this limitation isn't an issue for you, should you not own a smartphone, or only want to save passwords on your computer, the free version of LastPass remains a good choice. It's still one of the most versatile and reliable programs of its kind out there, whose Web Vault is easy to use in connection with its feature-heavy browser extension.
Sweetening the pot is that lots of features that are usually behind paywalls, such as password sharing, are also available for users of the free version.
Facilitates unlimited passwords
Includes password sharing
*Synchronizations only possible across one type of device (PC or smartphone)
Lacks advanced features such as a security dashboard or Darknet monitoring
Dashlane: EXPERTE.com's Best-In-Show With Limited Free Version
In our comparison of password managers, Dashlane stormed to first place owing to its fusion of extensive features, high reliability, and first-class handling.
Dashlane's free version also cuts a fine figure, however, in comparison to the other services from this list, has its limitations. The most frustrating of these is that you can only save 50 passwords on a single device. Considering that the average Internet user these days has, on average, twice that many online accounts that they need passwords to access, this poses a major hurdle.
With Dashlane's free version, you can only save up to 50 datasets.
The dataset limitation isn't the only restriction you'll have to contend with in Dashlane's free version though: Advanced features like secure notes or encrypted file storage are likewise missing.
Overall, Dashlane's free version cannot be claimed to be "comprehensive". It is only a real option for those with few accounts, or who want to try out the software before purchasing a full subscription.
First Place in EXPERTE.com's review series
Allows password sharing
Limited to 50 datasets (passwords)
Can only be used on one device
Missing advanced features
Apart from our Top 5 there exist quite a few password managers which offer free versions of their software. Below, we'll introduce these alternatives:
Roboform doesn't impose any password limits upon users of its free version, however, you won't be able to automatically synchronize these across devices. This means that you'll need to manually save all of your datasets on each device you intend to use them on and update them whenever they're changed, which somewhat defeats the purpose of having a password manager.
Sticky Password, like RoboForm offers unlimited passwords, however, reserves synchronizing for paying customers.
McAfee True Key allows users of its free version to save 15 passwords. As such, it's far more a trial for the premium version than a piece of standalone software.
Kaspersky Password Manager is also not particularly generous, allowing users trying its free version to save a paltry 15 datasets. This makes it difficult to recommend for everyday usage.
These days, password managers are quickly becoming as essential as antivirus software, and their cost is no excuse to not use them. Among the password managers we tested were quite a few options that you can use for free without having to put up with too many limitations.
Bitwarden, NordPass, and Avira Password Manager offer particularly impressive free versions of their software since they don't impose any limitations upon datasets, devices, or synchronizations. Depending on the program, you'll need to make do without some extra features like password sharing or security options, none of which are strictly necessary.
Extensive reviews on these and other programs can be read in our comprehensive EXPERTE.com comparison of password managers.
Secure, unique passwords are a must for maintaining the integrity of your accounts. Password managers are capable of automatically creating passwords and allowing you to manage them in a secure vault, which only you have access to. Beyond that, they allow you to autofill login information online, meaning that you won't ever need to manually input passwords again.
This depends on your needs and the password manager you've selected. Some free password managers are excellent for everyday usage since they don't limit the number of datasets or cross-device synchronizations. Be ready to make do without certain features though. At the end of the day, providers do their best to earn money with premium subscriptions.
The free password managers from our EXPERTE.com assessment can generally be regarded as safe since they take plenty of precautions in order to protect sensitive data. These, of course, are serious, well-established services that offer free versions as extensions of their premium offers. Among entirely free solutions that we didn't review, are certainly a number of password managers that you shouldn't entrust your data to. Generally, premium and freemium services are trustworthy.
Bitwarden offers, what in our minds, is the best free package since it doesn't limit the number of datasets, devices, or synchronizations, while also allowing password sharing. NordPass and Avira Password Manager also cut very good figures.