The Best Free Password Managers - Our Recommendations
You want every online account you have to be safe and secure? Without a password manager, that's almost impossible these days. If you want to avoid becoming a victim of a brute force attack and other threats to your online identity, you need a unique secure password for every account you have. Unless you've got a photographic memory, you're going to need some help with that. And that help doesn't have to be expensive.
A password manager automatically creates a highly secure password for every online service you use and fills in that password for you whenever you visit a site. You only have to log in once with your master password, the last password you'll ever need to remember. Password managers are a secure and convenient solution to a problem every internet user is familiar with.
We've tested 14 password managers, among which are some freemium apps. Oftentimes, the free version aren't more than just a trial version that strictly limits the amount of datasets you can create or devices you can use the app on. But there are some password managers that offer a solid free version that, depite their limitations, are great for everyday use. Here are our top three:
LastPass Password Manager
LastPass is the best of the free password managers we've tested, because the term "freemium" just doesn't do the app justice. We all know it: When using free software, you're constantly coerced into using the app's paid version. Or you're hitting one limitation after the other. That's not the case with LastPass: The app limits neither the mount of logins you can save nor your sync capabilities.
LastPass does just about everything you'd expect from a premium password manager - completely free of charge. It lets you store an unlimited amount of passwords on your PC, smartphone and tablet, logins are automatically recognized and stored passwords are automatically filled in. You can also access your security hub that guides you with optimizing your security and swapping out weak or reused passwords.
LastPass doesn't just provide a great free app. The password manager also convinced us with its reliable autofill performance and an easy-to-use interface. Login boxes and payment forms were almost always detected and didn't cause much frustration. We did have to copy passwords manually from the browser extensions, but only a handful of times.
The interface isn't as elegant as that of our test winner Dashlane and some features - emergency access, secure password sharing with multiple users or preferential customer support - are reserved for paying customers. Still, LastPass's free app is a full-fledged piece of software that manages your passwords reliably and isn't inferior to other premium alternatives in any way, shape or form.
unlimited amount of logins and synchronization between devices
easy-to-use interface and reliable autofill
security hub accessible with the free version
Avira Password Manager
Avira's freemium password manager is generous with its features as well. Users of the free version don't need to grapple with bothersome data set or sync limits. Only the security hub is reserved for premium customers, but that's not even that important.
Web dashboard and browser extension both focus on the essentials, making Avira's password manager very easy and comfortable to use. During our test, the autofill function performed without any hiccups.
The browser extension of Avira's password manager
Users of the pro version benefit from a whole lot more security. You can check if one of your accounts has been hacked or test your passwords for security flaws. That's nice to have and handy if you want to migrate existing passwords into Avira's password manager. But because you can easily create new passwords, the app still improves your password management even without those extra features.
Avira's free password manager shines with an intuitive user interfaces, reliable autofill performance and high security standards.
unlimited logins and synchronization capabilities
easy to use
NordPass is a newcomer among password managers that joined the race for best password manager in 2020 with quite the advantage. That's because the app is from the makers of the popular NordVPN which achieved an excellent second place in our test.
NordPass isn't quite as good as the apps by Avira and LastPass, but still shines with a very smooth interface and a precise data set important feature other providers can definitely learn from.
NordPass's free app is relatively generous: There are no password limits and users can synchronize their data across multiple devices. There are some limitations regarding access: User can only be active on one device at a time. In other words: If you log into your account on your smartphone, you'll be logged out on your PC.
That's not ideal, but because very few password managers offer cross-platform synchronization with their free apps, we can live with that compromise.
If you can live without a security dashboard and you're okay with automatically being logged out when using multiple devices, you'll be happy with the free version of NordPass's password manager.
cross-platform synchronization (only one devices can be used at a time)
sleek user interface
Despite their individual limitations, our top three password managers do their job pretty well. They all manage your passwords securely and efficiently. Most of the other providers we tested are less generous and limit the amount of passwords users can create or the app's sync capabilities. One exception is Bitwarden, but the app's autofill performance wasn't on par with the rest when we tested it.
If you want to use Dashlane for free, you'll be limited to only 50 passwords. Enpass lets you have 25 passwords, and True Key by McAfee and the Kaspersky Password Manager only give you 15 passwords. StickyPass and RoboForm let you have as many passwords as you like, but don't offer cross-platform synchronization.
You can find an overview of other freemium apps below:
Secure passwords don't need to be expensive. On the contrary: Some freemium password managers are just as great as other paid services when it comes to essentials functions and provide you with a centralized and secure platform that you can manage all your online identities with.
Whatever provider you choose: (Almost) every password manager is better that no password manager at all. Weak passwords or countless post-it notes stuck to your computer monitor are either a security flaw or a management nightmare if not both.
You can find the password managers we tested as well as a concise pricing table in our password manager test.