I know that I’m not the only one that constantly forgets things — like where I left my keys, where I left my wallet, and important passwords. Passwords are seemingly the toughest thing for a person to remember. Many internet privacy advocates suggest that all of your passwords should be different, changed frequently, and something that no one could ever guess (so if you’re using “mom123” or your dog’s name as your passwords, you definitely want to change it). Everything has a login and password nowadays, doesn’t it? Hell, every online retailer, bank, email client and even online ordering for pizza requires a login and password. So with everything requiring a password, it’s understandable how someone could forget one or many of their passwords.
There is, of course, a solution to that problem: password management tools. These handy, dandy apps and websites will help keep track of all of your passwords and logins so that, well, you don’t have to. So without further ado, here are 6 of the best password management tools for Windows.
LastPass is undeniably the most used password vault available, and it just so happens to be the best password manager. Users are able to sync all of their passwords online and with other computers and devices, as well as locally on a device. LastPass remembers your passwords so that you don’t have to, and provides tools to audit your passwords. The audit will measure the strength of your passwords and is even able to automatically change a password for you if a service has been hacked (which it will then notify you if that happens to one of your accounts). LastPass uses two-factor authentication for access to your password vault with Google Authenticator, a USB device or YubiKey. LastPass supports an impressive number of devices, including Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone and has Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari extensions. It’s free to use, but the mobile apps require an upgrade to LastPass Premium for $12/yr, but it’s totally worth it.
Live life in the dashlane (I can’t believe I just wrote that). But, if you’re looking for one of the best password managers out there, Dashlane is a close second to LastPass. Dashlane’s software sports a good-looking interface, but also still has a lot of the features that LastPass has such as two-factor authentication. With Dashlane, users are also able to designate someone as an emergency contact, allowing them to access your accounts in the event that you’re unavailable to do so (for example, if you slip into a coma). You’re also able to change all of your passwords at once with just a few clicks. It also has a digital wallet and purchase tracking, even for retailers that you don’t hold accounts with (for example, if you ordered something without creating a sign in).
RoboForm is also an O.G. when it comes to password management, having been created way back in 1999. RoboForm is not just a great password keeper, but it also has a great form-autofill tool for web browsing that is very useful. RoboForm supports multiple identities so that users can autofill information based on different users and their information. RoboForm also works on a USB drive, so that you can take your passwords with you from computer to computer without having to install anything. But if you want to sync it across multiple devices, RoboForm Everywhere will cost you $20/year (although the first year is just $10). RoboForm has a long history of being reliable, which is why it has such a dedicated and loyal user base.
1Password places all of your passwords under one master password, and easily and conveniently organizes them alphabetically for ease of access. The information is safe and secure, and syncs with all of your devices (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS). It also holds all of your credit cards and secure wallet items. Users are able to login to websites with a single tap from the app, and the passwords are all secured with tamper-proof authenticated encryption using AES-256 and Encrypt-then-MAC. There is also an Auto-Lock feature that keeps your data protected even if your device is lost or stolen. It also has Dropbox support for automatic cross-platform sync, and also has a powerful search function to help you find your account information with ease.
KeePass also supports AES and uses a Twofish algorithm to encrypt its password databases. It also uses SHA-256 as password hash which uses 256-bit cryptographically secure one-way hash function, and SHA-256 has yet to have any successful attacks known against it. KeePasses interface isn’t exactly up to date, but it does keep your passwords incredibly safe, which is really what’s important. Users can also export their passwords to a handy, dandy TXT, XML, HTML or CSV file for easy use with other applications (or for a safe back-up somewhere in some bunker in Russia or something). KeePass can also be transferred from one computer to another easily. So if you’re looking for a windows password manager that is truly a password vault, KeePass is for you.
6. Intuitive Password
Intuitive Password is an entirely web-based password solution that encrypts and decrypts passwords locally. There’s a free edition that does the password saving job well enough, but the paid editions obviously add more features, albeit that they’re mostly frivolous. Setting up Intuitive Password is incredibly easy, as you create a master password that protects your stored private information, and also allows you to use an on-screen keyboard so that you can be re-assured that a keylogger isn’t being used in the process. Each login and password is entered manually, unlike with LastPass and Dashlane where your credentials are captured as you enter them. But if you don’t mind entering your own information, Intuitive Password is available across virtually all operating systems and is a good choice for simply keeping your accounts secure.