We have already established in previous guides that password managers are excellent for that extra bit of security on the Internet. To reiterate: Password managers protect the system from various attacks, including phishing and keyloggers.
But these programs do more than that. They speed up web surfing, and ensure that the Internet users can set unique secure passwords for every web service that they use. That’s possible because the password manager remembers the logins, not the user.
In this best password manager guide, we are reviewing some of the best password managers that users can install and use.
The only requirement for all programs was that a free version needed to be available. We have sorted out all commercial password managers and outdated programs. The best password manager chart is available below, click on it to view it in full size.
Here is a list of all password managers that we have reviewed for this overview. All links point to the homepages from where the programs can be downloaded, installed or used.
Quick Selection Guide, the best free password manager
The following two password managers get our recommendation. Last Pass for users who do not need a software client, and KeePass for users who want one. Both have distinct advantages; Last Pass offers online access to the password database, bookmarklets, on screen keyboard and password sharing, while KeePass a portable Open Source software client, and a mighty plugin system.
In the end, it comes down to the individual requirements of the user. Some of the other password managers may be better suited for specific situations, but in general, those two password managers are all that is needed to manage account logins and so much more online.
We have reviewed the Last Pass password manager before ere at Login Helper. The program is a browser add-on for Firefox, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome that integrates well into the browser. Passwords can be generated and saved on the page they are needed. The password manager recognizes password changes, and will automatically opt to save login information on all pages. In addition to that if has options to access all passwords from any web browser without the add-on installed, bookmarklets, form filling, password sharing with friends, mobile access and lots of other features.
Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer won’t find a better free password manager for their accounts.
KeePass Password Safe
KeePass offers many of the features that Last Pass offers. The main difference between the two password managers is that KeePass is a desktop software, that can be extended with plugins and add-ons to be usable on the web as well. What makes KeePass special is its plugin system. Plugins are available for importing and exporting logins and other data to other programs or documents, browser integration, backup and additional authentication options.
The integration with web browsers is available in form of add-ons for Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer. It is missing online access to the passwords and some minor features that Last Pass is offering. Consult the overview charts for more information about those.
KeyWallet is a basic password manager, when compared to other solutions. The free software program concentrates on managing passwords, and lacks a lot of features like importing and exporting password lists, automatic logins on websites or browser plugins.
On the plus side, it is easy to use, comes with a lightweight interface that is fully skinnable.
Password Safe is an online service, that does not need to be installed. Users register an account at the website, and can use it to manage their online logins and other information such as notes. A software client and bookmarklet are offered for users of the service. Those extend the functionality.
The service currently lacks password importing options. It is for instance not possible to import browser passwords into the service.