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The 7 Best Password Managers Today (Free and Paid): An Expert‘s Guide

In our increasingly digital world, online security has never been more critical. With data breaches and cyber attacks on the rise, it‘s essential to practice good password hygiene. Yet with the average person having 70-80 passwords (Source), it‘s virtually impossible to create strong, unique passwords for every account and remember them all. This is where password managers come in.

A password manager is an encrypted digital vault that stores secure password login information you use to access apps and accounts on your mobile device, websites, and other services. (Source) In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll share my expert insights on the 7 best password managers available today, both free and paid, with a special focus on Roboform.

Why You Need a Password Manager: Convincing Statistics

If you think your passwords are secure, think again. Consider these alarming statistics:

  • 59% of people use the same password everywhere (Source)
  • 83% of people use weak passwords that are tremendously easy to crack (Source)
  • Data breaches exposed 36 billion records in the first half of 2020 alone (Source)
  • 56% of IT professionals still store passwords insecurely in spreadsheets or text files (Source)

Using a password manager is the single best way to strengthen your online security. It enables you to easily generate and store complex passwords, automatically fill login forms, and protect your sensitive data with strong encryption. Here‘s how the top password managers compare:

Password Manager Platform Support Free Version Paid Starting Price Encryption 2FA Options Unique Features
1Password Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, iOS, Android No free version $2.99/month individual, $4.99/month family AES-256, SRP TOTP, U2F, Duo Travel mode, privacy cards
Bitwarden Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, iOS, Android, CLI Unlimited passwords and devices $10/year premium, $40/year families AES-256, PBKDF2 TOTP, U2F, Duo, email Open source, self-hosting option
Dashlane Windows, Mac, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera, iOS, Android 50 passwords, 1 device $4.99/month individual, $7.49/month family AES-256 TOTP, U2F Built-in VPN, dark web monitoring
Keeper Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera, iOS, Android No free version $34.99/year individual, $74.99/year family AES-256, PBKDF2 TOTP, SMS, RSA token, Duo, U2F Secure file storage, dark web monitoring
LastPass Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Edge, IE, iOS, Android Unlimited passwords, 1 device $3/month individual, $4/month family AES-256, PBKDF2 TOTP, SMS, Sesame Password sharing, security challenge
NordPass Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, iOS, Android No free version $4.99/month individual, $7.99/month family XChaCha20 TOTP, U2F Data breach scanner, secure notes
Roboform Windows, Mac, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, IE, iOS, Android Unlimited passwords, 1 device $23.88/year individual, $47.75/year family AES-256, PBKDF2 TOTP, email, SMS Form filling, password sharing

Data compiled from official company websites and support pages as of September 2021

As you can see, all of these top password managers use unbreakable AES-256 encryption, which would take billions of years to crack even with a supercomputer (Source). They also support multi-factor authentication (2FA) for an extra layer of security.

The standout free option is Bitwarden, which offers unlimited password storage and devices even on its free plan. Most other free plans limit you to one device and a small number of passwords. Dashlane has the most expensive premium plan at $59.88/year for individuals, but it‘s the only one to include a VPN. 1Password is a close second for paid plans with its unique Travel Mode that temporarily deletes sensitive data when crossing borders.

A Closer Look at Roboform Free vs Paid

For those seeking a balance of features and value, Roboform is an excellent choice. Roboform has been a leader in password management since 1999, with over 100 million downloads worldwide (Source). Here‘s how its free and paid plans stack up:

Roboform Free

  • Unlimited password storage
  • Automatic form filling
  • Password generator
  • Secure sharing
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Access across all devices (new in 2021)

Roboform Everywhere ($23.88/year individual, $47.75/year family)

  • Everything in free plan
  • Cloud backup and sync
  • Web access to passwords
  • Priority 24/7 support
  • Shared folders (family plan)

Roboform‘s free plan is one of the most generous in the industry, with unlimited password storage and cross-device sync. Its standout feature is AI-powered form filling that can handle even non-standard web forms. Roboform can store more than just passwords too – it can save bookmarks, contacts, identities, and secure notes.

Upgrading to Roboform Everywhere for just $23.88/year is a smart investment for the added convenience of cloud backup and web access. Families can take advantage of secure password sharing for just $47.75/year. And if you ever run into trouble, Roboform offers 24/7 email and web support with priority service for paid users.

On the security front, Roboform uses military-grade AES-256 bit encryption with PBKDF2 SHA256 for key derivation, which is virtually unhackable. It also supports a wide range of 2FA options including TOTP apps, email, and SMS. (Source)

Tips for Choosing and Using a Password Manager

With so many great password managers available, how do you choose the right one for your needs? Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Cross-platform support: Pick a password manager that works on all the devices and browsers you use regularly. Check that it can sync passwords across platforms too.

  2. Ease of use: The best password manager is the one you‘ll actually use. Look for a user-friendly interface, easy password importing, and smooth auto-filling.

  3. Security: Ensure your password manager uses strong encryption (at least AES-256) and offers two-factor authentication. Check its security track record too.

  4. Features: Consider which advanced features you need, like secure sharing, dark web monitoring, VPN, or emergency access. Some offer unique perks like Dashlane‘s automatic password changer.

  5. Pricing: Compare free and paid plans to find the sweet spot of features and value for your needs. Keep in mind some free plans are very limited, while premium plans can add up.

Once you‘ve chosen your ideal password manager, follow these tips to get the most out of it:

  • Use a long, random master password and never reuse it. Consider writing it down and storing in a safe place.
  • Enable 2FA for your password manager account and any others that support it.
  • Audit your passwords periodically and replace weak or duplicate ones with generated passwords.
  • Organize your vault with folders or tags for easy searching.
  • Fill out your identity and credit card details to speed up online forms.
  • Only install verified browser extensions and mobile apps, never from third-party sites.
  • For unsupported sites, copy/paste passwords instead of typing to foil keyloggers.
  • Securely share passwords when needed using your password manager‘s sharing feature, not email.

The Future of Password Management

Looking ahead, the way we think about passwords and authentication is evolving. Biometric logins using fingerprints or face ID are already mainstream on mobile devices. Many apps now support "passwordless" logins via email magic links or hardware security keys.

Apple, Google, and Microsoft have teamed up to expand support for passwordless FIDO sign-in standards created by the FIDO Alliance. The dream of a password-free future may come to pass one day. But for now, using a trusted password manager is your best bet for online security and peace of mind.

As Jessy Irwin, a security expert and former 1Password employee, explains: "Password managers take a lot of the hard work out of generating, storing, and filling in passwords. While they aren‘t a cure-all for the common challenges we all face with passwords, they do make good password hygiene easy for almost anyone." (Source)

No online security measure is 100% foolproof, but using a password manager is an essential layer of defense in today‘s digital landscape. By following the guidance in this article and choosing a reputable password manager like Roboform, you can greatly reduce your risk of falling victim to data breaches and identity theft. Stay safe out there!