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Bitwarden Password Manager review

Bitwarden competes heavily on price, with a free tier and incredibly low-priced premium versions.

Bitwarden Logo
Bitwarden Password Manager
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Features
Vault, Sync, Autofill and Password Generator
Security
AES-256 data encryption
Nathan Lawrence
Feb 17, 2023
Icon Time To Read4 min read
Quick verdict: Is Bitwarden worth it?
It doesn’t get any cheaper than Bitwarden. There’s a viable free tier, plus a dirt-cheap premium and competitively priced family plan to consider with 30-day money-back guarantees. Whichever version you’re using, Bitwarden is fully featured and secure. It’s just a shame that it’s not as user-friendly as competitors and lacking a few features.
pro
Pros
pro Competitively priced
pro Free tier and free trial
pro Open-source design
con
Cons
con Read-only offline mode
con No phishing protection
con No digital wallet

Every tech field has its juggernauts. For virtual private networks (VPNs), it’s NordVPN vs ExpressVPN. For smartphones, it’s Apple vs Samsung. And for determining the best password managers, the battle rages between LastPass and 1Password. While those household names duke it out, there are lesser-known password managers like Bitwarden that manage to score wins over those bigger names in at least one key area.

Bitwarden Password Manager review

How much do Bitwarden plans cost in Australia?

The password manager price is right.

If you want a cheap password manager, start with Bitwarden. Not only does Bitwarden have a free password manager, it also boasts incredibly cheap pricing for its two premium tiers. Bitwarden Premium costs US$10 per year and Bitwarden Families plan costs US$40 per year. That cheapness could only be improved if Bitwarden offered Australian pricing.

There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee if you do pony-up funds, plus there’s a seven-day trial for Bitwarden Families. And that’s only if you pay, because the free version is viable.

Compare password managers

How does Bitwarden compare?
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 plansAU$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

How easy is Bitwarden to use?

Autofill could be better, but it’s easy enough to learn.

LastPass is the gold standard by which all other password managers are measured when it comes to ease of use. 1Password is more complex than it needs to be, and Bitwarden is a wee bit too passive for my tastes.

It was easy enough to import my LastPass credentials to Bitwarden via CSV file, which is a great first step and meant I didn’t have to face the arduous prospect of recreating thousands of stored logins. But whenever I visited a site with saved credentials, I had to keep an eye on the small Bitwarden Chrome extension icon to see if there was a number indicating it had a corresponding login.

Meanwhile, LastPass, 1Password and Dashlane all autofill (with incredible accuracy) based on stored credentials, then offer an in-browser icon in the off chance they got the login details wrong. Admittedly, it’s a small extra step for Bitwarden, but its more clicks than you need for three other password managers. Alternatively, on computers, you can right-click in the browser, hover over the Bitwarden menu and select an autofill option to manage logins.

...infinitely more convenient than typing in your master password every time you need credentials

What’s trickier to explain is how Bitwarden handles new logins. LastPass and Dashlane offer a pop-up prompting you to store new details, while 1Password has a smaller pop-up below the username and password asking to store credentials. Bitwarden has neither. In my account-creation test, I used the admittedly straightforward password generator—conveniently, generating and copying complex password strings with a couple of clicks—and thankfully remembered to add a Bitwarden vault entry before copying something else. Otherwise, the password would’ve been gone for good.

I do wish the Bitwarden Windows software had access to a password generator, but the Bitwarden Google Chrome extension has an easy-to-access password generator that gives LastPass a run for its money. It can be used to generate usernames, passwords and passphrases, with simple control over length and composition, as well as number of minimums for numbers and special characters.

The Bitwarden Android app is very easy to use, and I appreciate that the keyboard defaults to incognito mode whenever you’re using the app. Unlike 1Password, you can also use a PIN to unlock Bitwarden on mobile, which is infinitely more convenient than typing in your master password every time you need credentials.

Info Box
What is Bitwarden??
Bitwarden is an open-source password manager service that’s been around since 2016. In 2023, Bitwarden expanded by acquiring Swedish startup Passwordless.dev.

How secure is Bitwarden?

As secure as any other freemium password manager.
Bitwarden Password Manager review

The only things Bitwarden is lacking on the security front are active phishing protection and a viable offline mode that isn’t read-only. Outside of that, Bitwarden is a fully featured password manager with standard features like military-grade encryption, document storage and a digital wallet.

Admittedly, this is standard across the board, with 1Password having a slight edge over its premium competitors with a savvy Travel Mode. Using Bitwarden gifts peace of mind with security inclusions like end-to-end encryption, breach notifications and biometric authentication.

There is a password-strength testing tool, but that’s via a browser rather than integrated into the Bitwarden Chrome extension, software or apps, which is a missed opportunity. Admittedly, regardless of the password manager you use, it’s a good idea to use the Bitwarden Password Strength Testing Tool to check the viability of a master password. Get your master password (or any other password) to an ETA of “centuries” to crack, and you’re good to go.

Bitwarden devices and number of users

Available for desktop, browsers and mobile devices.

Bitwarden free is available to anyone, premium is designed for single users and Bitwarden Families can be used by up to six people. In terms of platforms, Bitwarden is available on Windows, MacOS and Linux computers as well as iOS and Android mobile devices. There are also Bitwarden extensions for the following web browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  • Safari
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Vivaldi
  • Opera
  • Brave
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Tor Browser
  • DuDuckGo (beta) for Mac

Is Bitwarden worth it?

The cheapest password manager around.
Bitwarden Password Manager review

If you want a fully featured password manager without the price, Bitwarden is well worth considering. There’s a viable free version and incredibly cheap pricing for the premium options. It’s just a shame that Bitwarden isn’t as intuitive as its key competitors in terms of the user interface.

How we review password managers

We use a detailed schema to compare password managers across price, features, security and compatibility. Because password managers tend to advertise prices in a monthly breakdown but charge annually, we like a service that offers Australian pricing.

A high-scoring password manager is one that offers plenty of features. The basics are a given—namely, secure credentials storing, a password generator and autofill—but premium password managers should also offer other features like secure document storage, password sharing and a digital wallet. We also like password managers that offer a free version so users can try before they buy or some other form of trial.

Because a password manager’s job is to securely store sensitive data, we appraise security carefully, which starts with military-grade encryption. A good password manager offers end-to-end encryption, biometric authentication options and breach notifications when a user’s credentials may have been compromised. Bonus points for services that can be used as authenticators, offer breach protection, and ones that haven’t had a recent data breach.

Frequently asked questions about Bitwarden

Here are the most frequently asked questions about Bitwarden password manager.
Yes, Bitwarden has military-grade security and encryption. The only thing you need to account for to ensure top-tier security is a strong master password.
Bitwarden and LastPass are closely competing password managers. LastPass has a better user-interface and superior autofill options, but Bitwarden is cheaper.
There are three Bitwarden tiers, including a completely free version of Bitwarden. The free version of Bitwarden supports unlimited passwords and devices, while the premium versions offer more features.
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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