Our lives are increasingly taking place on the Internet and that means one thing above all: remembering tons of passwords. But there is another way – the answer is called password manager. GIGA presents the best free and paid tools and explains what you should pay attention to.
There are now numerous providers of such software, some of which are equipped with very different functions and also differ in price. We make the best password managers out loud Stiftung Warentest including recommendations from the editorial team. We also explain to you how the individual applications differ and when it is worth using them.
Password Manager 2020 in the test: The test winners at a glance
|The test winner:||Keeper||35 euros / year||To Keeper Security|
|The highest security:||1Password||36 euros / year||To 1Password|
|The free alternative:||KeePass||free||To KeePass|
|The best handling:||Dashlane||40 euros / year||To Dashlane|
|Ideal for purists:||LastPass||34 euros / year||To LastPass|
|Accustomed quality:||NordPass||36 euros / year||To NordPass|
The test winner among password managers with an end grade of 2.4 (good) is Keeper, says Stiftung Warentest. Passwords are saved across devices and you can even log on to websites using your fingerprint or face. The password manager costs around 35 euros a year and thus moves in the midfield.
Keeper Security also offers other services that can optionally be booked for a corresponding surcharge. For example, there is the Messenger KeeperChat, file storage and the Darknet monitoring tool “BreachWatch“. For safety-conscious parents there is also a family subscription (up to five people) for 59.99 euros a month. There is also a free version of “Keeper“, DHowever, use is limited to a single device. The fill function also only works on mobile devices.
- Cheap price
- Free version
- Family subscription
- Cumbersome installation and commissioning
In second place with the final grade 2.5 (good) the password manager ends up at Stiftung Warentest 1Password by AgileBits. As a special feature, the password manager also supports ChromeOS in addition to macOS, iOS, Windows, Android and Linux. No other provider offers such a high level of cross-platform compatibility.
With approximately 36 euros per year Although this password manager is somewhat more expensive than keeper, many useful functions such as alarms for websites at risk or secure document storage are already included in the price. There is also the option for a family subscription. A family of five pays just under 60 euros per year, and additional people can be added if necessary for a corresponding surcharge.
- Available for almost all platforms
- Flexible family subscription
- No German instructions for use
KeePass is a free password manager that is also open source. Stiftung Warentest awards the grade 2.5 (good), making the password manager as good as the paid competition. Nevertheless, there is an important difference to the password managers presented so far: Setting up and using KeePass requires more technical knowledge. In addition, there is only one Windows app from the official side. In order to use Keepass on other platforms, you need third-party apps.
For this, users benefit from the transparency on the part of the developers, since they make their program code publicly available and it can therefore be viewed by third parties at any time. In this way, both internal and external developers can contribute to improving the software.
- Completely free
- Open source
- Complicated setup
- Cumbersome handling
- Officially available for Windows only
With a test result from 2.7 (satisfactory) lands Dashlane in fourth place at Stiftung Warentest. The intuitive handling of this password manager is particularly praised. With about 40 euros a year Although this solution is the most expensive, it has many useful extras. These include dark web monitoring and a VPN for WLAN protection. There is also the option for a family subscription.
Dashlane is also available in a free version, but with a limited range of functions. Only a limited number of passwords can be saved here and the app can only be used with one device at a time.
- Easy to use
- VPN included
- Free version
- Family subscription
- High price
LastPass but not least: Mit one Final grade of 2.8 (satisfactory) lands LastPass at Stiftung Warentest in 5th place. LastPass is more intended as a browser extension. There is an app for Android and iOS, but none for your computer. Similar to Dashlane, you can choose between a free, stripped-down or paid version for almost 34 euros a year.
Many functions of the competing products can be found in LastPass, but even the paid version has to do without some features, such as darknet monitoring or a VPN. Families with up to six members can benefit from the family subscription for around 43 euros per year.
- Free version
- Inexpensive family subscription
- Reduced range of functions
- Not a desktop app
So far, only NordVPN is known to most for the eponymous VPN client. In the meantime, the company has expanded its services and offers an in-house password manager – NordPass. You can use this free of charge if required, but then with a reduced range of functions.
If you choose the paid version, then either 36 euros per year or 60 euros for two years. This makes the service theoretically the cheapest of all. We don’t like the fact that there is no VPN included. A separate subscription to NordVPN must then be taken out for this. Anyone who manages without can still get a solid password manager who draws attention to them, above all, with its fair prices.
- Fair price
- Available for almost every platform
- Free version
- No family subscription
- Unfortunately no VPN included
Choosing a password manager can make everyday digital life a lot easier. You only have to remember one master password and the program does the rest for you. However, the providers differ in certain points from each other very strongly.
What functions does the password manager offer exactly? Which of these do I need and why? How secure are the solutions and how intuitive is their use? In order to give you the best possible overview, we have based our own experience on the results of Stiftung Warentest.
There are many password managers who remember your passwords and have practical functions. Depending on how serious you are about protecting against possible cyber attacks, you can hardly avoid paying services. Before you choose a password manager, there are a few things to consider. Therefore, the most important information follows.
How does a password manager work?
The basic principle is the same for almost all password managers: It stores all your passwords including the associated website for login. To protect the password manager together with your passwords, you assign a so-called at the beginning Master password. When opening the password manager, you then only enter your master password and can access all other passwords.
Most solutions also include a password generator that automatically creates secure passwords. Safe in this context means that it at least eight characters long is and ideally both Uppercase / lowercase letters as well as numbers such as special character contains. The longer and more complex the password, the better. This applies in particular to your master password.
Since you are automatically logged into websites or apps, you do not have to remember any of these passwords. Only the master password should always be ready. But remember the password well! If you forget it, you can no longer access all other saved passwords. Ideally, inform yourself beforehand whether the provider of the password manager can help you with a forgotten master password and, for example, set a new master password.
How safe are such tools?
Both your master password and all other passwords will be encrypted by several methods for maximum security. Known encryption methods are the “Advanced Encryption Standard“(AES) and the “Password-Based Key Derivation Function 2” (PBKDF2). Your passwords are never saved in plain text, but rather as a randomly generated sequence of letters, characters and numbers and are therefore theoretically uncrackable. In the following video we will tell you how you think of secure passwords yourself:
To further increase security, these encrypted passwords are only stored locally and on the provider’s secure servers so that they can be synchronized between your devices. The only exception is the master password, which is never saved or transmitted in any form for security reasons.
So always ask yourself the question: How secure is my password? In addition, many password managers can also be combined with biometric authentication methods, i.e. a fingerprint or face recognition.
Suppose you buy an expensive bike and want to protect it from theft. Ideally, you should use a high-quality lock. The lock alone is not enough, because it is just as important that you lock your bike properly. The situation is similar with passwords, which are supposed to protect our digital life from fraud or other abuse.
Why use a password manager?
- remember only one password (master password)
- Automatic login to websites or apps
- Auto complete forms and payment details
- Integrated password generator
- Cross-device password storage
- VPN for safe internet surfing
- Darknet monitoring and security breach alarms
- Secure file storage
Such tools also have their pitfalls, which should be taken into account before making a purchase decision. First of all, you make yourself dependent on the software, in so far as you switch completely. The changeover also involves considerable effort during the initial setup. A possible loss of the master password can have serious consequences. Finally, some of the programs are chargeable or can only be used to a limited extent, provided that they are used free of charge.
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