With a huge 63% of data breaches resulting from weak (or stolen) passwords, it’s becoming more and more important to make sure that your accounts are secure. A free password manager is a perfect solution for those who don’t want to waste money on security tools but want to stay secure and keep their accounts safe online. And no, your dog’s name followed by 123 won’t cut it in this day and age as the ‘perfect password.’
Is your email password your pet’s name? Perhaps your favorite football team gets you on Facebook? Or maybe you use your birthday as your pin code? It could even be that you have a very strong password that makes you feel safe, even though you use that same strong password everywhere. In any of these cases, your accounts are in danger. Cybercriminals can easily guess simple and weak passwords to get into your accounts, and if they breach one, and are able to steal your username and password, they then have the key to them all. A strong, unique password is necessary for every site nowadays and unless you’re Einstein, it simply isn’t humanly possible to memorize that much information.
The solution; a password manager – one place to store all of your passwords and to generate strong, new ones, so you don’t have to.
Now, most people avoid password managers like the plague, they’ll think, “why do I have to pay for yet another security tool” or “do I really need one?” The truth is, you can’t afford not to have one. Just imagine the potential financial hit from using weak passwords.
And regarding whether you can afford one, then here’s a secret – there are some free ones out there, costing you a total of the amount of time it takes you to download, i.e. nada.
Read on to find the best free password manager solutions.
Free Password Managers – the Good and the Bad
Password managers, in general, are great for those who are terrible at remembering things. Using the same old password for every site is just asking for trouble, a password manager makes it easier to remember passwords for the 100+ accounts that you may have. A free password manager offers the same high encryption levels as their premium and paid rivals, just in a slightly more simplified version. Not everyone necessarily needs all the fancy add-ons that come with premium accounts. ‘Fancy add-ons’ usually include a higher level of customer support, the ability to share your vault across multiple devices and a cloud backup to name a few.
If you just want a basic and secure password manager, there’s no reason a free version can’t provide for all of your needs. If however, you are looking something for a little more sophisticated, and want to store hundreds of passwords (some free versions only allow a limited amount), or if you want some of the add-ons, then it would be best to upgrade to a paid version.
Each password manager supports differing systems, some support PCs, tablets and mobile devices alike, so make sure that you check which devices it supports before downloading to make sure yours will be compatible.
Best Free Password Manager 2018
A free password manager will allow you almost all of the same features of a paid one. Sure the paid versions are a little more jazzed up, but the free ones will still offer the same encryption levels and guarantee a secure place to store your passwords. On a basic level, it allows you a space to store your passwords while helping you create new ones.
We scoured the internet, scouring for the best free password manager to get you ahead of the game and save yourself some dough. Here are the top three free password managers that we came across.
Dashlane is a highly popular password manager offering AES-256-bit encryption to safeguard all of your passwords. It sends real-time, instant security alerts to your device when sites suffer a breach, advising you to change your password for said site. Available on Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac, it’s free plan provides basic protection, unlimited password storage as well as a secure password generator.
The free version works on one device alone, allowing you to share up to five logins with other users, but be wary that users will not be able to sync information to different devices. With the free version, you’ll get the basics, including a password generator and unlimited password storage.
Upgrading to the premium version will set you back $39.99/year and allow for unlimited login shares with other users. Free mobile apps can be managed as separate databases so that you can access passwords on the go and not have to worry about cloud syncs. The paid version also comes with a handy 30-day free trial if you want to try it out first.
Roboform is a highly impressive and powerful free password management tool. The free plan offers unlimited logins, multi-platform access (Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows), and an autofill feature. All passwords are stored under secure AES 256-bit encryption. The password generator goes to lengths to ensure that all of your passwords are safe, as it checks for weak and duplicated passwords using its Security Center.
The free version is excellent, but upgrading to premium will cost you a small $19.95 a year and includes a 30-day money back guarantee, it has the added benefits of:
- a cloud backup
- syncing across all devices
- emergency access (to set trusted contacts)
- web access
- email/phone support
With LastPass, users will be able to store their login information, secure notes and passwords in a virtual vault, and just like all other password managers, there is one ‘master-key’ password to gain entry. Like Dashlane, LastPass uses the strongest encryption technology (AES-256-bit encryption) to guard their vaults as well as PBKDF2 SHA-256 software.
The totally free version includes the secure vault, a password generator, one to one sharing and a LastPass Authenticator. Updating to their premium plan will cost you $24/year and give you the added benefit of priority tech support, 1GB of encrypted file storage, emergency access as well as advanced multifactor options. Also, rather than one to one sharing option that comes with the free version, the premium option will allow for one-to-many sharing.
LastPass’s premium plan comes with a 30-day free trial so you can test it before purchasing.
How to Make a Strong Password
Password managers will save and generate secure passwords so that you don’t have to. If you do want to make yourself a good, strong password, especially if it is your master-key, then take our advice; avoid passwords of your pet’s name, of your favorite sports team, your parents or children’s names, stay well away from birthdays or even your own name followed by 123/321. These are the first things that a hacker will try and are easily guessable by a computer – so don’t make their job easy!
A strong, solid password should be made difficult to guess. If you must use your name, let’s say your name is Oliver for example; you could spell the name backwards, put a capital letter in somewhere and put some numbers on the end (or beginning), and to make it even stronger, add a punctuation mark on. To make a strong password you could do this with any random word.
Let’s take the example of Oliver: spell it backwards and you get ‘revilo’, your password could look like this, for example: Revilo752!
If you wanted, you could adapt this password to an easily-remembered variation depending on where you are signing in to, for example:
- Facebook: Revilo752FB!
- Gmail: Revilo752GMAIL!
- Bank of America: Revilo752BOA!
- Amazon: Revilo752AMAZ!
For extra protection, it is also advised to change your passwords regularly: you could simply change the punctuation mark on the end, or change where the capital letter is. This way you only need to remember the template for all of your passwords and then apply it. This is great for those who have time on their hands and want to be extra secure. With a password manager, however, the work will all be done for you, and you won’t have to sit there and manually change all of your passwords every month.
Try Before You Buy with a Free Password Manager
A free password manager will allow you to remain safe online, just be sure to make the master password to your vault a very tough one, this is the only password you will ever have to remember again. Even though a free password manager doesn’t come with all the same fancy features of a premium version, it will still provide top-notch encryption and allow you a simple plan, with a safe place to store your passwords without spending a cent.
Enlist in one of the best free password manager tools out there today and save yourself the hassle.