In a world where identity theft is a constant threat, password managers are a must-have tool to protect some of your most valuable personal information.
These services store computer passwords and other valuable information, keeping it away from the clutches of fraudsters. Using a password manager allows you to access everything with a single password. In essence, instead of having to remember dozens of passwords, you just have to keep track of one.
While you can pay for a password manager, many free options are available. But they are not all created equal.
Recently, PCWorld sorted through many of the free password managers that are available today and ranked them according to the features they offer.
Following is a list of the free password managers that earned the best marks from PCWorld.
Best free password manager for most people: Bitwarden
PCWorld praised this password manager for allowing users to access the service from an unlimited number of devices. Bitwarden also offers the option to “self-host” your password manager. This means the data is stored on your server — instead of on another company’s server — and may leave you less vulnerable to hackers, if you know what you’re doing.
It also has new features that let users generate random usernames and email aliases.
Best free password manager for DIYers: KeePass
KeePass is another good option for those who want to self-host their password manager. The program and its encrypted database files remain locally on your computer, which gives you control over who can access it. Thus, there is no need to put your faith in the password manager’s servers — or its employees.
The program itself is open-source, and you can find “community-created ports” of KeePass for MacOS, Linux, Android and iOS, PCWorld says.
PCWorld notes that if you prefer not to install this password manager on your computer, you can use it through a portable .exe application kept on a USB stick.
Best free password manager for simplicity: Google, Apple or Firefox
PCWorld notes that thanks to improved security and better features, the password managers that come with mobile operating systems and browsers now are a viable option.
You won’t get all the bells and whistles with these managers, but they are convenient, as you won’t need to switch to a separate app to make the password manager work. As PCWorld says, “the best service is the one that you’ll use.”
For more on keeping your passwords safe, check out “The Best Way to Remember and Protect Your Passwords.”
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