Best Windows 10 Password Manager Windows Central 2021
Password security is becoming increasingly important on the web. While most people know that you shouldn't use the same passwords across websites, it's still a common practice. A good password manager makes it easier to have secure and different passwords across all the websites and services that you log into. There are several reliable options to choose from on Windows 10. Here is a breakdown of the best password managers for your Windows 10 PC.
Best Overall: Dashlane
Dashlane is a popular and versatile password manager. When you use Dashlane, you need to set up a master password. That password is not transmitted across the web by Dashlane. The company emphasizes that it cannot see the data you store on Dashlane and that it does not sell user data.
Dashlane supports two-factor authentication and also makes it easy to change multiple passwords with a few clicks, the latter of which is especially useful if you're moving from reusing passwords to a more secure approach.
In addition to storing your passwords, Dashlane allows you to store notes securely and has a digital wallet. The service also has a feature that allows you to share encrypted passwords with emergency contacts, which can be useful in case someone forgets their complex passwords.
Dashlane has free and paid versions. The free version can store up to 50 passwords and autofill forms on the web, but it only works with one device. The paid version is $3.33 per month and gets you unlimited password and device support, dark web monitoring and alerts, and a VPN.
- Master password isn't transmitted over the internet
- Supports two-factor authentication
- Can change large numbers of passwords quickly
- Features built-in VPN protection
- Free version doesn't sync across devices
- VPN might be redundant for some people
Best Encryption: 1Password
1Password allows you to easily manage all your passwords behind the protection of a master password. The master password isn't stored alongside the rest of your data or sent over the network. That master password is combined with a secret key that's created locally on your device to authenticate your setup. 1Password also emphasizes that it does not use, share, or sell your data.
The service has a Watchtower feature that alerts you when password breaches and other security issues occur. It also has some handy features, such as removing passwords from your clipboard and protecting you from keylogging. 1Password uses AES-256-bit encryption to keep your data safe.
In addition to being a password manager, 1Password has a digital wallet that lets you store banking information. It also has a travel mode that removes sensitive data from your device when you cross borders and restores access after you click that you've arrived. The premium version of 1Password also supports YubiKey.
The service has a $3 per month plan or a $5 per month family plan for a family of five. 1Password has a Windows app and companion extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Brave. There's also 1Password X which can autofill forms and passwords on sites around the web.
- Premium version works with YubiKey
- Has a digital wallet
- Master password and secret key improve protection
- Strong encryption for data
- No free option
Best Free: Enpass
Enpass is a unique password manager in that it doesn't store your data on a server from the provider. Your passwords and other data are stored locally on your device. You can sync passwords and data across devices, but the information is stored on the cloud provider of your choice. Enpass supports OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and several other popular services. Many people like Enpass because of this flexibility regarding data storage.
The desktop app for Enpass is free. Unlike the mobile version of Enpass, which requires you to pay to store more than 25 accounts, you can store unlimited accounts for free on Enpass for desktop.
Enpass also has a password generator, can autofill forms, and supports multiple vaults for keeping personal, family, and work data separate. You can also use Enpass to perform a password audit to check the strength of your passwords. It can also check if a password is old, has been pwned, or is expired.
- Can store passwords locally or on cloud service of your choosing
- Desktop version is free
- Has multiple vaults to keep data separate
- Lacks option for secure password sharing
Best for Families: LastPass
LastPass is another password manager that uses AES-256-bit encryption. Data that you store with LastPass is encrypted and decrypted at a device level, so even when things go to servers, LastPass couldn't access it. The master password and keys aren't sent to LastPass servers, either.
LastPass speeds up the process of using passwords and shopping online. It can autofill passwords and shopping forms to speed things up. It also can generate strong passwords to help you replace your old or insecure passwords. Within LastPass, you can share passwords and notes securely, which can be a better way to share sensitive data.
A recent change to services means LastPass Free will soon stop covering both PCs and phones at the same time. This means that Free users will have to choose between phone or PC, though of course there are still paid version with better accessibility.
The premium version allows you to give emergency access to people and gets you 1GB of encrypted file storage. There's also an affordable family version that gets you six licenses.
- Strong AES-256 encryption
- Master password and keys not sent with rest of data
- Family plan includes six licenses
- 1GB encrypted file storage
- Free plan no longer works across devices
We're spoiled for choice these days when it comes to password managers. There are plenty of excellent options, including free options, paid options, managers for a single device, and managers that sync across devices.
Dashlane features VPN protection and makes it easy to edit and manage a large number of passwords. Your master password isn't transmitted over the internet, which helps keep things secure.
Enpass is a unique option because it allows you to store your data either locally or the cloud storage provider of your choosing. If you're primarily using a password manager on a PC and no other devices, Enpass is a superb choice. The desktop version is free, giving you a versatile option without the added cost you'll see with other options.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Sean Endicott is a tech lover with a terrible memory. He couldn't remember a list of passwords if his life depended on it, so he values the straightforward password managers that do it for you.
Daniel Rubino is the executive editor of Windows Central. He has been covering Microsoft since 2009 back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Surface, HoloLens, Xbox, and future computing visions. Follow him on Twitter: @daniel_rubino.
Cale Hunt is a staff writer at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on PC, laptop, accessory coverage, and the emerging world of VR. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.
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