Go to Reviews.org US Edition
Bitwarden Password Manager review
Bitwarden competes heavily on price, with a free tier and incredibly low-priced premium versions.
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.
How much do Bitwarden plans cost in Australia?
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
Annual families price
|10 (Dashlane Family & Friends)||Easy to use||US$59.88 (US$5.99 monthly)||View plans|
|6 (Bitwarden Families)||Incredibly cheap||US$39.96||View plans|
|5 users (1Password Families)||Travel Mode||US$59.88||View plans|
|6 (NordPass Family)||Two-year plans||AU$71.88||View plans|
Google Password Manager
|1 (Google account)||Chrome integration||N/A||Read more|
|Best password generator|
|6 (LastPass Families)||Dark web monitoring||AU$72||View plans|
How easy is Bitwarden to use?
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.
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.
How secure is Bitwarden?
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
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
- Mozilla Firefox
- Microsoft Edge
- Tor Browser
- DuDuckGo (beta) for Mac
Is Bitwarden worth it?
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.