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Review: The best password managers for PCs, Macs, and mobile devices

Tim Ferrill | June 18, 2015
10 local and cloud-based contenders make passwords stronger and online life easier for Windows, OS X, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone users.

8

7

8

8

8

7.8

Dashlane 3.2.5

9

8

7

8

7

7.9

KeePass 2.2.8

10

7

8

7

10

8.3

LastPass 3.1.2

10

8

8

8

9

8.6

PasswordBox 1.3

8

8

7

8

8

7.8

SplashID Safe 8.0

7

7

8

7

7

7.3

             

LastPass

LastPass may be the most popular password manager in this review, due to a rich set of features, support for a wide range of mobile platforms, and straightforward licensing, not to mention aggressive marketing. Unlike KeePass, LastPass is decidedly cloud-centric, using its own cloud service to store user information and synchronize data.

A recent LastPass security notice underscores one drawback of a cloud-based password manager: It makes a tempting target for hackers. Although no user accounts were accessed and no vault data was taken, attackers did make away with account email addresses and other data that could be used in targeted attacks. Bottom line: LastPass users should change their master passwords. Brian Krebs' post on the LastPass breach provides a concise explanation of the risks.

LastPass offers a free and premium pricing tier for consumers, with the premium service costing $1 per month. Users of the free edition get many of the basics you'd expect from a cloud-based service, including plug-in support for multiple browsers, anywhere access, and even support for multifactor authentication using Google Authenticator on an Android or iOS device or Microsoft Authenticator on Windows Phone. Mobile device support requires a premium account but includes support for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone. Even some mobile browsers such as Dolphin and Firefox Mobile work with LastPass Premium to automate username and password entry. Finally, premium users get access to the LastPass support team, rather than being relegated to the user forums.

 

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