The best password managers

The best password managers don’t necessarily have to cost anything at all.

Best password manager
Dashlane review
Dashlane
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starts at
US$2.75
/mth
Key features
Vault, sync, autofill, generator
Max users
10 (Dashlane Family & Friends)
Best cheap password manager
Bitwarden Logo
Bitwarden
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Starts at
US$10
/yr
Key features
Vault, sync, autofill, generator
Max users
6 (Bitwarden Families)
Best for security
1Password logo
1Password
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Starts at
US$35.88
/yr
Key features
Vault, sync, autofill, generator
Max users
5 users (1Password Families)
Best free password manager
Google Password Manager
3 out of 5 stars
3
From
free
Key features
Vault, sync, autofill, generator
Max users
1
Best multi-year password manager
Nordpass
NordPass
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starts at US$44.85/yr
US$25.35
/yr
Key features
Vault, sync, autofill, generator
Max users
6 (NordPass Family)
Nathan Lawrence
Jun 22, 2023
Icon Time To Read6 min read

Competition between password managers is tight because they tend to offer similar features and the same standard military-grade encryption. Thankfully, there are some great free password managers to choose from, and while pricing is typically annual (and charged in USD), subscriptions are a lot more reasonably priced compared to virtual private network (VPN) services.

Because the big-name password managers are so closely matched, the differences come in pricing, max number of users with a family subscription, and how easy they are to use. Prep your master password, which is really all you need for a password manager, and read on for our categorised list of the best password managers.

Best Password Managers

Best password managers compared

Best for
Password manager
Free version
Money-back guarantee
Max users
Best feature
Annual families price
View plans
Best overall
Dashlane reviewDashlane
proYes
pro30 days
10 (Dashlane Family & Friends)Easy to useUS$59.88 (US$5.99 monthly)
Best cheap
Bitwarden LogoBitwarden
proYes
pro30 days
6 (Bitwarden Families)Incredibly cheapUS$39.96
Best security
1Password logo1Password
conNo
conNo
5 users (1Password Families)Travel ModeUS$59.88
Best multi-year
NordpassNordPass
proYes
pro30 days
6 (NordPass Family)Two-year plansUS$71.88
Best free
Google Password Manager
proTotally free
conN/A
1 (Google account)Chrome integrationN/A
Best password generator
LastPass Password managerLastPass
proYes
conNo
6 (LastPass Families)Dark web monitoringAU$72

Dashlane

Best password manager overall

Dashlane
Our Rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
From
US$2.75
/mo
pro Up to 10 users
pro Robust free version
con No AUD pricing
con No desktop software
Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

The biggest praise I can give to Dashlane is that it’s officially replaced my multi-year LastPass subscription. Dashlane is incredibly easy to use, from onboarding and migration through to everyday use. This password manager doesn’t skimp on security features, though you can up the convenience by opting for faster biometric login or mark a device safe for 14 days. New or migrating users can take advantage of a free version, monthly pricing (a rarity with password managers) and a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you end up loving it as much as I did, the value-packed Dashlane Family & Friends subscription supports up to 10 users, including a Hotspot Shield VPN subscription.

For ease-of-use, consider NordPass as a viable alternative or Bitwarden for a cheaper password manager.

Bitwarden

Best cheap password manager

Bitwarden
Our Rating
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
From
US$10
/yr
pro Low annual pricing
pro Test first with free tier/trial
con Lacking a proper offline mode
con No digital wallet
Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

When you realise that basically every password manager of note has military-grade encryption, picking the best of the bunch can feasibly come down to cost. And if you’re done with free password managers—Google Password Manager, free trials/tiers or otherwise—your first stop for bargain pricing should be Bitwarden. While it still follows the unfortunate trend of annual USD pricing, Bitwarden is cheap. Dirt cheap. As in, pay US$10 per year for a single user. Even converted to roughly $15 Australian dollars, that’s not a lot to pay for a year of Bitwarden Premium and the subsequent peace of mind. If you want it for more than just yourself, Bitwarden Families supports up to six users for US$40 a year (and there’s a seven-day free trial).

You won’t find a cheaper single-licence password manager out there, but NordPass is competitively priced and Google Password Manager is free.

1Password

Best password manager for security

1Password-Logo
1Password
Our Rating
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
From
US$35.88
/yr
pro Most features of its peers
pro Travel Mode is great
con Expensive compared to peers
con No free version
Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

In ever-raging password manager war, LastPass and 1Password are the big names. But LastPass had a far-too-recent data breach to be a serious contender these days, and 1Password hasn’t ever had a data breach. That said, 1Password tips the security/convenience scales so far in favour of security that it’s not really the best place to start your password manager journey. But if you get past the learning curve of its user-unfriendliness, there’s no denying how secure 1Password is. It’s so secure that, when I didn’t save my 1Password Emergency Kit when I first tested 1Password, I was unable to access that initial account. While inconvenient, that’s a big plus for security. 1Password is so secure that it requires more of its users to restore accounts or access password vaults on new devices. It also has a unique Travel Mode feature for those worried about prying customs officers or cops. If you want ultimate peace of mind in a password manager, use 1Password.

For more convenient security, consider Dashlane, NordPass or Bitwarden instead.

Best free password manager: Google Password Manager

Many of the password managers on this page have free trials and/or free subscription tiers, including Dashlane, Bitwarden and NordPass. But Google Password Manager is completely free without any option to pay for more features. Admittedly, you need to be a Chrome user to even access Google Password Manager, but given Chrome is the most popular browser in the world (by a healthy margin), the chances are good you’re one of those people. Google Password Manager works as part of the Chrome browser just by logging in with a Google account. It handles autofill for credentials and personal information in a very straightforward way, and there’s even a password-strength checker if you dig into the settings.

Alternatively, start your password manager journey with the free versions of Dashlane, Bitwarden or NordPass.

Google Password Manager
Our Rating
3 out of 5 stars
3
Completely
Free
pro Free with Google account
pro Very user-friendly
con Tied to Chrome
con No automated password changing
Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

NordPass

Best multi-year password manager

Nordpass
NordPass
Our Rating
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
US$44.85
/yr
pro Very easy to use
pro Future-focused encryption
con Pricing may go up
con Missing certain competitor features
Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

If you want the best VPN, it’s hard to look past NordVPN. Not content with that accolade, Nord Security is also responsible for one of the best password managers around, too. While NordVPN has a reputation for being expensive, NordPass is very competitive with its pricing. Fees are also mercifully charged in Australian dollars, even if there aren’t any monthly pricing options for NordPass. But unlike any of its competitors on this page, NordPass offers two-year pricing. Better still, if you want to try before you buy, NordPass Free includes a 30-day no-credit-card trial, so you can take it for a spin before buying in for two years. When I tested NordPass, I found NordPass to be user-friendly and, outside of some odd quirks, reliable.

None of the other password managers I’ve reviewed offer multi-year pricing, but Bitwarden is the cheapest of the lot for annual pricing (individual and family plans).

LastPass

Best password manager password generator

LastPass
Our Rating
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
From
US$35.88
/yr
pro Affordable AU pricing
pro Extremely user-friendly
con Massive recent data breaches
con Sometimes offers incorrect credentials
Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

I used LastPass for years and, legitimately, the only reason it’s not in a more meaningful category is because of the late-2022 data breach, which involved user data. It’s a shame because LastPass is an incredibly user-friendly password manager that works across major devices. Pricing is competitive and there’s even a viable free version to try before you buy. While that data breach will likely loom large for at least a while, LastPass still does one thing better than most other password managers: password generation. There’s a simple one-click/tap option for secure passwords when creating a new website login, plus customisation is a cinch. Shift a slider to control password length, then modify by ticking or unticking boxes for upper case, lower case, numbers and symbols. There are also radial options to help better remember passwords, with toggles for ‘easy to say’ or ‘easy to remember’.

For a similarly impressive password generator, check out Bitwarden or NordPass.

Info Box
Customer data breaches

The unfortunate reality of living in an increasingly connected world is the ever-looming threat of data breaches. Even big-name companies are seemingly unsafe from them, which is exactly what happened to LastPass. I was a happy customer for years before the LastPass 2022 breach announcement. I’ve since moved to Dashlane. While LastPass did publicly acknowledge the breach and has taken steps to plug related vulnerabilities, it’s hard to recommend the password manager when there are very competitive alternatives that haven’t suffered a breach.

What to look for in a password manager

Any password manager you consider using should offer military-grade encryption. Thankfully, that’s the standard among popular providers. From there, consider using a free password manager to see what it’s about: either start with Google Password Manager or a free version of one of the popular options.

Pricing is typically in US dollars and charged annually; note that not every password manager offers a money-back guarantee, either. If you’re a first-time user, consider a password manager that guides you through using its features, like Dashlane or something straightforward like Google Password Manager.

For existing users, shifting between password managers is as straightforward as exporting a CSV file. Just remember to delete that insecure CSV file once you’ve migrated. A good password manager should offer end-to-end encryption, automatic synchronisation across devices, and convenient autofill alongside biometric logins so you don’t have to keep plugging in your master password. Consider a family subscription if you want to cover more than a single user.

Iolo System Mechanic Ultimate Defense is a convenient way to roll a lot of separate tasks into a single spot. Instead of using CCleaner, Spybot, Windows Defender and Google Password Manager, you can just use Ultimate Defense. The bigger catch is Ultimate Defense has the appearance of an outright purchase but is ultimately a subscription service if you want ongoing protection.

How we choose the best password managers

Our password manager considerations start with an in-depth schema that we use to compare competing services and weigh up the most meaningful values. Price is of course important, but we give bonus points to services that offer a free subscription tier or free trial. A password manager can be comparatively more expensive, but it has to have the value to back the price.

Features tend to be quite uniform across major brands, which is why we keep an eye out for unique features that help elevate a password manager. A password manager is only as good as its security, which is why we frown on recent data breaches and praise services that offer more than just the industry standard of military-grade encryption.

Platform compatibility is mostly uniform, but we do favour a password manager that offers desktop software as well as support for wearables. All of our password managers featured on this page have been put through their paces in terms of user-friendliness, which involves testing credentials creation and putting the autofill functionality through its paces.

Password manager frequently asked questions

What is the best password manager to use?
Dashlane is our pick of the best password manager to use because it ticks all the right boxes, from security and features through to pricing (including a free version) and ease of use. For alternatives, consider Bitwarden (cheapest), 1Password (security), Google Password Manager (free) or LastPass (password generation).
What password managers are best to avoid?
At the time of writing, LastPass and Norton LifeLock had both suffered recent breaches that exposed user data to hackers, so they’re best avoided for now.
What is the best Australian password manager?
All popular password manager services are available in Australia, but the best one to use is Dashlane. Start with the free version or pay to secure credentials for up to 10 users with a reasonably priced Dashlane Family & Friends subscription, which includes a Hotspot Shield VPN add-on.
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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