Best password managers for business in 2020: 1Password, Keeper, LastPass, and more

Everyone needs a password manager. Period, full stop. It’s the only possible way to maintain unique, hard-to-guess credentials for every secure site you, your family members, and your team access daily.

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The 15 programs listed in this guide share many core features. 

On a Windows PC, a Mac, or a mobile device, you install a stand-alone program or browser extension that does the work of saving sets of credentials in a database whose contents are protected with high-grade, 256-bit encryption. To unlock the password database, you enter a decryption key (your master password) that only you know.

Different password managers have different user experiences and different feature sets, but most of the core features are similar: 

  • A password generator that puts together a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. 
  • Secure sharing of passwords with trusted contacts. 
  • Form filling, including the option to automatically enter credit card details. 
  • Secure notes.
  • Password managers that sync the saved password database to the cloud use end-to-end encryption. The data is encrypted before it leaves your device, and it stays encrypted as it’s transferred to the remote server. When you sign in to the app on your local device, the program sends a one-way hash of the password that identifies you but can’t be used to unlock the file itself.

What we looked for 

In putting together this list, we looked at third-party reviews and opinions from security experts, with a goal of finding the broadest possible selection of products from established developers. 

We found a half-dozen commercial password managers that offer free versions, typically with some limitations and an option to upgrade to a paid subscription for additional features. Many developers offer both personal and business versions of their products.

We found four more commercial products that offer free trials but then require a paid plan, two of them specifically designed for use by teams.

Our list also includes five open source options, including some that are highly polished and rival commercial projects.

Some, but by no means all, offer family options.

Our capsule descriptions are not intended to be comprehensive but rather are designed to help you create your own shortlist. After you narrow down possible contenders, we encourage you to look at the feature table for each one to confirm that it meets your needs, and to take advantage of free trial options before settling on your final choice.

Because security is such an important feature of a password manager, we’ve tried to address the key question many of our readers ask: Where is your data stored? Most commercial products offer a cloud sync option; open-source products and some commercial services also include the option to save and sync files locally, so you don’t have to trust your online keys to someone else’s infrastructure.

And rather than summarize the encryption and data handling precautions each developer takes, we’ve included a link to their online security page so you can read that information and decide for yourself whether you trust their design and encryption decisions.

Disclosure: ZDNet may earn an affiliate commission from some of the products featured on this page. ZDNet and the author were not compensated for this independent review.

LastPass

Free version supports unlimited devices per user



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  • Security details are here.

LastPass, which has been a member of the LogMeIn family since 2015, is one of the best-known brands in a very crowded field, largely because its free edition offers a robust set of features and supports an unlimited number of devices per user. The company’s personal and business product lines work on all major desktop and mobile platforms and browsers. The service is cloud-based only, with files stored on the company’s servers and synced to local devices.

Upgrade to the Premium version ($36 a year) for a few extra features, such as advanced multi-factor authentication options, 1GB of encrypted file storage, and the capability to designate a trusted contact for emergency access. The family plan, which covers up to six users, costs $48 a year and includes a management dashboard. Business plans start at $48 per user per year. 


View Now at LastPass

RoboForm Free / RoboForm Everywhere

Free version supports unlimited logins



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  • Security information is here.

RoboForm celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2020, making it practically a senior citizen compared to some of its competitors. The free version supports unlimited logins and has clients for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS, as well as all major browsers. This version stores its credentials database locally, which means you’re responsible for backing up that data and syncing it manually between devices.

RoboForm Everywhere is a $24-a-year subscription service that adds cloud backup, sync, and 2-factor authentication features. It also includes a secure shared folder and the ability to designate a trusted contact to receive emergency access to your saved passwords in the event of death or serious illness (this option can also function as a form of password recovery). The Family option ($48 a year) covers up to five users, and business plans cost $35 per user per year. Discounts are available for multi-year purchases. 


View Now at RoboForm

Dashlane

Fewer than 50 passwords? This free version will do



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  • Security details are here.

Dashlane doesn’t have the longevity of its chief rivals, but it’s been around long enough to earn a reputation for ease of use. Apps are available for Windows PCs, Macs, Android, and iOS. If your password database includes fewer than 50 entries and you only need to use the software on a single device, you can get by with the free version, which also supports two-factor authentication. Dashlane does not offer a family plan, but it does support sharing of passwords between accounts.

The $60-per-year Premium version removes limits on the number of saved passwords and synced devices and includes a VPN option. The $120-per-year Premium Plus bundle adds identity theft insurance and credit monitoring. Business plans include the same features as Premium, at $48 per user per year, with provisioning and deployment options as well as the capability to segregate business and personal credentials. (All prices require annual billing.) 


View Now at Dashlane

Sticky Password

Allows an unlimited number of saved credentials



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  • Security details are here.

Sticky Password was founded in 2001 by former executives of AVG Technologies, which was a pioneer in the freemium category for security software. True to their roots, this password manager offers a full-featured free version that works on all major device categories and browsers, allows an unlimited number of saved credentials, and supports two-factor authentication and biometric sign-in.

The $30-per-year premium version includes the ability to sync between devices, using either the company’s servers or a local-only option using your own Wi-Fi network. It also supports cloud backups and secure password sharing and includes priority support. If you’re really committed to the service, you can purchase a lifetime subscription for $200. 


View Now at Sticky Password

LogMeOnce

Upgrading to a paid plan at $30 or $39 per year removes ads



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  • Security information is here.

The LogMeOnce feature list is almost overwhelming, but if you’re looking for extreme customizability, it should probably be on your shortlist. A free, ad-supported version offers storage and syncing of unlimited passwords on unlimited devices, with severe limits on secure password sharing, secure notes, and saved credit cards.

Upgrading to a paid plan at $30 or $39 per year removes the ads and the storage limits and unlocks extras like a customizable dashboard and a security feature that snaps a mugshot of anyone who tries to hack into your account on a stolen device. Business, enterprise, and managed service provider options are available as well.


View Now at LogMeOnce

NordPass

Basic product that works on a single device



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  • Security information is here.

If the name sounds familiar, that’s probably because you’ve heard of NordVPN, the flagship virtual private network product from this slightly mysterious company. The website doesn’t list its founders, executives, or key technical personnel, and despite the name’s Nordic roots, the only mailing address we could find is in Panama City. Even the firm’s LinkedIn page is sparse.

Still, for those that might be attracted by the company’s extreme privacy focus, NordPass offers a basic free product that works on a single device and a paid tier that that starts at $30 per year and supports up to six devices with cloud sync. 


View Now at NordPass

1Password

Business accounts cost $96 per user per year




  • Security details are here.

Although this product earned its reputation on Apple’s Mac and iOS devices, it has embraced Windows, Android, Linux, and Chrome OS as well; the 1Password X browser extension fills in credentials, suggests passwords, and provides 2-factor authentication in Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. After an initial 30-day free trial, a 1Password personal subscription costs $36 per year; a five-user family subscription costs $60 annually.

1Password works best when its data files are synced from 1Password’s servers, but you also have the option to save passwords locally and sync the data file with your own network or a Dropbox or iCloud account. (The company boasts that it does no user tracking of any kind.)  1Password Business accounts add advanced access control, with activity logs and centrally managed security policies, cost $96 per user per year and include 5GB of document storage (compared to 1GB for personal accounts) plus a free linked family account for each user. 


View Now at 1Password

Keeper

$60-per-year bundle adds KeeperChat encrypted messaging



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  • Security details are here.

Founded in 2011, Keeper has probably the widest assortment of products of any developer in this guide, with separate offerings for personal and family use, business, enterprise customers, and managed service providers. Personal plans start at $30 a year for Keeper Unlimited, which (naturally) allows storage of an unlimited number of passwords and syncs them on an unlimited number of devices.

A $60-per-year bundle adds the KeeperChat encrypted messaging program, secure file storage, and a breach monitoring service that scans saved passwords to find any known to be compromised. The family version of each plan doubles the cost and supports up to five users. Keeper stores synced data files on the Amazon Web Services cloud. Student plans are half-off the listed prices. 


View Now at Keeper

PassCamp

Business plans start at €7 per month for 10 users



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  • Security details are here.

The Lithuanian development team behind PassCamp has an unusual origin story. They couldn’t find an off-the-shelf password manager that suited the needs of their team, so they built their own. PassCamp has most of the checklist features of its competitors, including secure sharing for team; it also offers a blockchain-based history log that tracks every change or share of every item in the repository, as well as the ability to distribute passwords and assign permissions for it. The biggest missing piece is a mobile app, listed as “coming soon.”

The free Personal Basic version is limited to 25 passwords; a Personal Premium version includes unlimited passwords and tags and costs €12 per year. Business plans start at €7 per month for 10 users. Data is stored in a Google Cloud Platforms data center in Belgium.


View Now at PassCamp

Hypervault

Pricing starts at $2.50 per user per month



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  • Security details are here.

This relatively new product, first launched in late 2018, was originally designed for internal use by its developers. Version 2, launched in April 2019, delivers on some of the company’s promises for a password manager that focuses on the needs of teams. The v2 release includes a revamped UI as well as group permissions and a rights-based structure for team members.

Pricing starts at $2.50 per user per month, with discounts kicking in at the 10-user and 50-user thresholds and additional discounts for annual purchases. The company has a well-documented changelog and roadmap, and a self-hosted version is listed as “coming soon.” 


View Now at Hypervault

KeePass Password Safe



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If you’re cloud-phobic or if you insist on open source software, this is your option. KeePass runs on every desktop and mobile platform, including most Linux distros, and it’s free (as in beer). Files are stored locally, and you’ll want to master its arcane keyboard shortcuts to fill in passwords automatically. Browser integration is available via third-party plugins; for multi-device use, the program’s built-in sync engine automatically updates the password database in whatever cloud-based storage location you specify.


View Now at KeePass Password Safe

KeePassXC



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KeePassXC is a community fork of KeePassX, the cross-platform port of KeePass for Windows.


View Now at KeePassXC

Bitwarden



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The source code for Bitwarden is hosted on GitHub, with separate repositories for desktop, server, web, browser, mobile, and command-line projects. It has all the checklist features of commercial personal password managers, including secure cloud syncing. If you’re uncomfortable with storing your passwords in the Bitwarden cloud, you can host the infrastructure on your own server, using Docker.


View Now at Bitwarden

Passbolt



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The Luxembourg-based developers of this project built Passbolt for teams and DevOps, using modern open source security standards and familiar tooling, like Docker. The self-hosted Community version runs on your own server and is specifically targeted at agile teams moving away from solutions like KeePass and LastPass.

A paid Business version with support for multi-factor authentication and next business day technical support starts at €10 per month for five users, with discounts for paying annually. Passbolt Cloud, hosted on the company’s servers, costs €3 per user per month, with a three-user minimum. Enterprise versions hosted in isolated containers are available as well.


View Now at Passbolt

Password Safe



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This open-source project’s claim to fame starts with its designer, the well-known security technologist Bruce Schneier. On the desktop, it’s a Windows-only product, although clones are available for MacOS, Android, and iOS devices. Databases are saved locally and sync features are not built-in. While Password Safe has a huge base of loyal fans, it’s probably not going to appeal to anyone who wants the polish and sync capabilities of a more modern app.


View Now at Password Safe

Article source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/best-password-managers/#ftag=RSSbaffb68