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Cybersecurity

Here are the 8 best password managers of May 2024

Keep all of your passwords safe, secure and in one place with these top-rated password managers.

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Cybersecurity experts recommend that every password you create be long, complex and unique. So between online bank and investment accounts, credit card accounts, email accounts and other types of accounts, you may wind up with dozens of passwords to manage. Instead of keeping them on sticky notes or in easily accessible notebooks, a safer option would be to use a password manager.

Password managers can store all your account information, like your username, email, or password, and protect them from unauthorized access. They can help you generate strong passwords and sync them across all your devices and often offer additional features like dark web monitoring, secure password sharing and email masking.

To determine which password managers are best, CNBC Select reviewed dozens of password managers and narrowed down our top picks based on eight categories. The password managers we selected use 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption or stronger, are compatible with various types of devices and browsers, use a zero-knowledge system and have not had a major data breach within the last two years. (See our methodology for more information on how we chose the best password managers.)

Best password managers

Best for paid features

1Password

  • Cost

    Individual plan: $2.99 per month

  • Family plan: $4.99 per month

  • Business plan: $7.99 per month

  • All prices are per month with annual billing selected

  • Standout features

    Offers Watchtower feature which actively monitors for weak passwords and potential security breaches, easy-to-use interface across all devices, easy to set up and use and provides extensive support articles and resources for users.

  • Offers free version

    No

  • Availability

    Available for web, desktop, and mobile devices.

  • Security features

    Information is secured using a zero-knowledge approach, government-standard AES-256 encryption, multi-factor authentication, support for biometrics and has passed third-party security audits.

Terms apply.

Pros

  • Autofill information
  • Offers a travel mode
  • MFA support
  • Generates strong passwords
  • Allows for offline access
  • Syncs passwords across devices
  • Unlimited number of passwords
  • Offers Watchtower feature

Cons

  • Doesn't offer a free version


Who’s this for? 1Password is one of the most popular password managers on the market, and for good reason. It offers a user-friendly experience, useful features, a comprehensive tutorial for newer users and is widely accessible.

Standout benefits: In addition to common features like auto-fill and password generation, 1Password offers its unique Watchtower program through its paid version. This tracks account breaches, weak passwords and other potential security issues across the internet to help keep your information safe.

[ Jump to more details ]

Best for encryption strength

NordPass

  • Cost

    Individual plan: $2.99 per month, $1.99 with annual billing for the first year

  • Family plan: $5.99 per month, $3.69 with annual billing for the first year

  • Business plans: $1.79 - $3.59 per month

  • Standout features

    Offers a slightly higher level of security with XChaCha20 encryption, supports secure password sharing, access to their Data Breach Scanner tool and provides extensive importing capability from other password managers.

  • Offers free version

    Yes

  • Availability

    Available for web, desktop, and mobile devices.

  • Security features

    Information is secured using a zero-knowledge approach, extra strength XChaCha20 encryption, multi-factor authentication, support for biometrics and has passed third-party security audits.

Terms apply

Pros

  • XChaCha20 encryption
  • MFA support
  • Generates strong passwords
  • Real-time security breach reports
  • Can store credit card information
  • Syncs passwords across devices
  • Unlimited number of passwords

Cons

  • Doesn't offer many customizable options
  • Very limited free tier


Who’s this for? NordPass is a great option for users looking for that extra step up in terms of the level of encryption.

Standout benefits: NordPass utilizes an XChaCha20 encryption, often considered just a step above the typical 256-bit AES. This provides another level of security on top of Nord's password-focused features.

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Best for VPN users

Dashlane

  • Cost

    Individual plan: $4.99 per month, includes VPN

  • Family plan: $7.49 per month

  • Business plan: $8.00 per month

  • All prices are per month with annual billing selected

  • Standout features

    The premium plan provides access to their VPN, password health checker, dark web monitoring and allows you to securely store sensitive documents.

  • Offers free version

    Yes

  • Availability

    Available for web and mobile devices.

  • Security features

    Information is secured using a zero-knowledge approach, government-standard AES-256 encryption, multi-factor authentication, support for biometrics and has passed third-party security audits.

Terms apply

Pros

  • Includes VPN in subscription
  • MFA support
  • Dark web monitoring
  • Generates strong passwords
  • Autofill forms and credentials
  • Offers secure file storage
  • Real-time phishing alerts

Cons

  • Free version is limited to one device and 25 stored logins
  • More expensive than some other competitors
  • Lacks desktop app


Who’s this for? Dashlane is an ideal password manager to pair with a virtual private network (VPN) service.

Standout benefits: Dashlane is the only service on this list that pairs a VPN with its password manager subscription. This is useful for users considering upgrading the security of their internet connection.

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Best for free users

Bitwarden

  • Cost

    Individual plan: $.83 per month

  • Family plan: $3.33 per month

  • Business plans: $4.00 per month for teams, $6.00 for enterprises

  • All prices are per month with annual billing selected

  • Standout features

    Offers many important features in the free version, open source code, undergoes regular comprehensive third-party security audits and allows sharing passwords via a free account.

  • Offers free version

    Yes

  • Availability

    Available for Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android.

  • Security features

    Information is secured using a zero-knowledge approach, government-standard AES-256 encryption, open-source code and regular third-party security audits.

Terms apply

Pros

  • Open source code
  • Regular security audits
  • Extensive free version
  • Unlimited number of passwords
  • Supports biometrics and two-factor authentication
  • Accessible in over 50 languages
  • Lower price for a premium plan

Cons

  • Advanced security reports are limited to the paid version
  • Some aspects can be less intuitive to users


Who’s this for? Bitwarden is ideal for users looking for a comprehensive free password manager.

Standout benefits: Bitwarden is an open-source password manager, meaning its code is available to anyone online. This can help security because it allows anyone to inspect the code and potentially identify security issues quicker. Its premium version provides more reporting features, as well as access to Bitwarden Authenticator, a program to help with sites and apps that use two-step logins.

[ Jump to more details ]

Best for beginners

Keeper

  • Cost

    Individual plan: $2.92 per month

  • Family plan: $6.25 per month

  • Business plan: $2.00 - $3.75 per month

  • All prices are per month with annual billing selected

  • Standout features

    Allows importing from other password managers, adjusts auto-fill preferences for individual websites and allows for one-time password sharing

  • Offers free version

    Yes

  • Availability

    Available for web, desktop, and mobile devices.

  • Security features

    Information is secured using a zero-knowledge approach, government-standard AES-256 encryption, supports multi-factor authentication and biometrics, and performs quarterly third-party security penetration testing

Terms apply

Pros

  • Securely share passwords and files
  • Unlimited password storage
  • Autofill user names and passwords
  • Supports passkeys
  • Fingerprint and Face ID login
  • Password strength report

Cons

  • Free version is limited to one device
  • Dark web monitoring and file storage only available on paid plans

Who’s this for? Keeper offers users quick-start guides and more in-depth educational content, making it an appealing option for those new to using password managers.

Standout benefits: Keeper offers password importing from 22 other managers, unlimited secure password sharing and support for biometrics with its paid plan. It also has its BreachWatch tool as an add-on to help you monitor the dark web for any leaked information.

[ Jump to more details ]

Best for offline storage

Enpass

  • Cost

    Individual plan: $1.99 per month

  • Family plan: $2.99 per month for the first 12 months, then $3.99

  • Business plans: $2.99 to $9.99 per month

  • All prices are per month with annual billing selected

  • Standout features

    Users can choose where their data is stored and synced, create and sync passkeys, offers multiple profiles for increased organization and automatically scans users passwords to notify them of current weaknesses.

  • Offers free version

    Yes

  • Availability

    Available for web, desktop, and mobile devices.

  • Security features

    Information is secured using a zero-knowledge approach, government-standard AES-256 encryption, supports biometrics, and periodically performs independent security audits.

Terms apply

Pros

  • Built-in password generator
  • Unlimited number of devices and passwords
  • Biometric authentication
  • Smartwatch support
  • Can customize categories and templates
  • Doesn't require an internet connection
  • Can identify external sites that support multi-factor authentication

Cons

  • Free version is limited to one mobile device with 25 item limit
  • Breach monitoring only available on paid plans
  • Doesn't offer traditional multi-factor authentication

Who’s this for? Enpass is a great password manager for those who want more control over where their information is stored.

Standout benefits: Enpass doesn't store your data on its servers, but allows you to store it (encrypted) on your local devices or through a supported cloud provider such as Google Drive or iCloud.

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Best for user experience

RoboForm

  • Cost

    Individual plan: $2.49 per month

  • Family plan: $3.98 per month

  • Business plans: $22.95 - $39.95

  • All prices are per month with annual billing selected

  • Standout features

    Offers unlimited password storage, export and import capabilities, monitors for compromised passwords, and supports an offline mode.

  • Offers free version

    Yes

  • Availability

    Available for web, desktop, and mobile devices.

  • Security features

    Information is secured using a zero-knowledge approach, government-standard AES-256 encryption, supports multi-factor authentication and biometrics, and has undergone a comprehensive third-party security audit.

Terms apply

Pros

  • Supports multi-factor authentication and biometrics
  • Intuitive and simple user experience
  • Accessible across all devices
  • Verify password strength
  • Allows for auto-filling information

Cons

  • Free version is relatively restrictive
  • Limited sharing ability and controls

Who’s this for? RoboForm is a strong password manager for users who prefer a more streamlined approach to their data management and user experience.

Standout benefits: RoboForm started as a form-filling software, so it makes sense that one of its notable features is its ease-of-use and form-filing capabilities.

[ Jump to more details ]

Best for small businesses

Zoho Vault

  • Cost

    Standard plan: $.90 per month

  • Professional plan: $4.50 per month (minimum 5 users)

  • Business plans: $7.20 (minimum of 5 users)

  • All prices are per month with annual billing selected

  • Standout features

    Strong business offerings along with abundant password-sharing options and the ability to view user actions in real-time.

  • Offers free version

    Yes

  • Availability

    Available for web and mobile devices.

  • Security features

    Information is secured using a zero-knowledge approach, government-standard AES-256 encryption, supports multi-factor authentication and biometrics, and performs periodic security penetration testing by third-party experts.

Terms apply

Pros

  • Lower costing plans
  • Integrates with popular help desk software
  • Ability to monitor current actions using real-time audits
  • Strong customization options for sharing passwords
  • Roll-based access for businesses
  • Restrict access based on IP address
  • Integrates with popular productivity apps

Cons

  • No desktop app
  • Struggles with filling form data
  • Leaves some data unencrypted

Who’s this for? Zoho Vault stands out for those on the market for password managers for businesses and larger organizations.

Standout benefits: Zoho Vault offers many security benefits geared towards businesses such as restricting access based on IP addresses, integration with help desk services and the ability to create application-specific passwords.

[ Jump to more details ]

More on our top password managers

1Password

1Password combines an easy user experience with the robust offerings of a top-end password manager. Note that 1Password is the only service on this list that doesn't provide an unlimited free version, just a 14-day free trial.

Price

  • Individual plan: $2.99 per month
  • Family plan: $4.99 per month
  • Business plan: $7.99 per month

All prices are per month with annual billing selected

Security

1Password uses a standard 256-bit AES encryption, end-to-end encryption, two-factor authentication and a 128-bit Secret Key which combines with your password to only allow logins from approved devices.

Additional features

Generate and securely share passwords, autofill passwords and payment information, secure information with Watchtower and growing support for Passkeys

[ Return to summary ]

NordPass

NordPass offers users the next level of security with its XChaCha20 encryption alongside additional features like secure sharing, monitoring password strength and Data Breach Scanner. Its free version is more restrictive focusing on the password storage aspect, but removing many other benefits and limiting you to one device.

Price

  • Individual plan: $2.99 per month, $1.99 with annual billing for the first year
  • Family plan: $5.99 per month, $3.69 with annual billing for the first year
  • Business plans: $1.79 - $3.59 per month

Security

NordPass offers customers XChaCha20 encryption security, support for multi-factor authentication and biometric protection.

Additional features

The program offers autosave and autofill features for passwords, syncing across multiple devices, a desktop app for both Windows and Mac and email masking for some paid versions.

[ Return to summary ] 

Dashlane

Dashlane provides all the functions you'd expect from a top password manager in addition to packaging a VPN along with it. These premium features come at a slightly higher price than some competitors and there's no stand-alone desktop app.

Price

  • Individual plan: $4.99 per month, includes VPN
  • Family plan: $7.49 per month
  • Business plan: $8.00 per month

All prices are per month with annual billing selected

Security

Dashlane supports two-factor authentication, AES-256 encryption, personalized security alerts and biometric support, and offers Dark Web Monitoring with its paid plans.

Additional features

Dashlane's free and premium versions share many features like autofill, secure sharing, Dark Web Monitoring and more, but the free plan is limited to one device and a maximum of 25 passwords.

[ Return to summary ] 

Bitwarden

Bitwarden provides one of the best free password managers on the market. Its free plan offers storage for an unlimited number of passwords, syncs them across an unlimited number of devices, provides sharing capabilities and data breach reports and more.

Price

  • Individual plan: $0.83 per month
  • Family plan: $3.33 per month
  • Business plans: $4.00 per month for teams, $6.00 for enterprises

All prices are per month with annual billing selected

Security

Bitwarden is open-source, allowing vulnerabilities to be found by the community and quickly removed. It also supports two-factor authentication, regularly completes third-party security audits, end-to-end encryption and is General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant.

Additional features

Bitwarden's free version offers a substantial amount of features like an unlimited number of passwords on an unlimited number of devices, secure password sharing and Passkey support. You'll need to sign up for its premium plan for more in-depth security reports or access to its authentication app.

[ Return to summary ] 

Keeper

Keeper offers a strong password manager system with password generation, unlimited storage and secure sharing.

Price

  • Individual plan: $2.92 per month
  • Family plan: $6.25 per month
  • Business plan: $2.00 - $3.75 per month

All prices are per month with annual billing selected

Security

Keeper supports biometrics, two-factor authentication and one-time password sharing. It also offers a bug bounty program financially rewarding those who expose weaknesses within its security.

Additional features

Keeper's paid version offers a lot of common password manager features like storing an unlimited number of passwords across all your devices and autofill passwords and payment information. While Keeper also offers browser extensions and a standalone desktop app, its free version is limited to only one mobile device, 10 passwords allowed and many features like unlimited password generation, sharing capabilities and more have been removed.

[ Return to summary ] 

Enpass

Enpass is a reasonably-priced yet strong password manager that allows users to store their encrypted password information wherever is easiest for them, either in the cloud or offline.

Price

  • Individual plan: $1.99 per month
  • Family plan: $2.99 per month for the first 12 months, then $3.99
  • Business plans: $2.99 to $9.99 per month

All prices are per month with annual billing selected

Security

Enpass never hosts your information on their servers, uses 256-bit encryption, and supports biometric login.

Additional features

Enpass offers features like autofill, password generation, and users can create multiple profiles to separate work from personal items. Since your data is stored locally, Enpass doesn't use traditional multi-factor authentication, and syncing your passwords across devices could be slightly more complicated.

[ Return to summary ] 

RoboForm

RoboForm is a great password management system for those who emphasize intuitive software and a streamlined user experience.

Price

  • Individual plan: $2.49 per month
  • Family plan: $3.98 per month
  • Business plans: $22.95 - $39.95

All prices are per month with annual billing selected

Security

RoboForm has undergone routine third-party security audits, uses 256-bit encryption, supports two-factor authentication for premium versions and its free version monitors for compromised passwords and supports multi-factor authentication.

Additional features

RoboForms premium options provide users with a local-only mode and the ability to send and receive items and folders on unlimited devices. Its free version is more bare-bones with only one device allowed and limits your sharing options.

[ Return to summary ] 

Zoho Vault

While Zoho Vault offers password manager options for individuals, the real strength lies in its offerings for businesses.

Price

  • Standard plan: $.90 per month
  • Professional plan: $4.50 per month (minimum 5 users)
  • Business plans: $7.20 (minimum of 5 users)

All prices are per month with annual billing selected

Security

The program offers support for multi-factor authentication, the ability to restrict access based on IP addresses, create application-specific passwords and fine control over sharing and security measures for teams or businesses.

Additional features

Zoho Vault offers a strong and developed password-sharing system, allows administrators to approve and revoke user access and offers the ability to track every action users make in real-time. These features are perfect for businesses of various sizes, but individuals probably won't use many of them.

[ Return to summary ] 

FAQs

Many password managers operate on a "zero-knowledge" system, which means they never see your stored information. Even if a bad actor breached a password manager's servers, they wouldn't be able to decrypt any information.

Many security experts, as well as the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), recommend using a password manager.

The Microsoft Authenticator app can generate, store and autofill password information.

The CISA recommends "creating and storing strong passwords with the help of a password manager" as one of the best ways to keep your information secure.

According to the Bitwarden website, its open-source code, third-party security audits, zero-knowledge system and encryption strength all support the security of your information.

Bottom line

With almost everything hosted online, having secure passwords is one of the first lines of defense for your personal information. Using a password manager allows you to securely generate, store and share your passwords from one central location. With free or paid options, additional features like dark web monitoring or email masking and availability on the most popular operating systems and browsers, a password manager is a great way to keep your data safe and secure.

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Why trust CNBC Select?

At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money. Every password manager review is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of password management products. While CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics. See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best password managers.

Our methodology

To determine which password managers are the best, CNBC Select analyzed and compared dozens of password-managing tools. We focused on password managers geared toward individuals and small businesses, not strictly enterprise-level, and reviewed them on this set of criteria:

  • Security: A password manager should prioritize the safety of their user's data. Using a 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption or better, multi-factor authentication (MFA), support for biometric security like fingerprint readers or face-scanning.
  • Cost: Password managers generally offer monthly, yearly or multi-year subscriptions. We considered not only the cost but whether the service offers a free trial period, limited free version or money-back guarantee that allows you to test the product. The cost of the services mentioned is up-to-date at the time of publication.
  • Compatibility: Users should be able to access their password manager on any device or operating system. It's favorable if password managers have applications for both PC and Mac, offer browser extensions and have downloadable apps for both iOS and Android users.
  • User experience: Password managers should be easy and streamlined for users to pick up and understand quickly.
  • Password sharing: Users should be able to easily and securely share their passwords with other trusted individuals.
  • Storage: Password managers should ensure their users aren't limited by the number of passwords they can store, with an emphasis on allowing unlimited storage.
  • Additional features: Some password managers offer extra value in the form of dark web monitoring or a virtual private network (VPN).

We narrowed down our ranking by only considering those that use a 256-bit AES encryption (the recommendation for encryption for all federal departments and agencies) or better, are accessible via the web or a desktop or mobile app, have browser extensions for Chrome, Safari, Edge and Firefox, use a zero-knowledge system and have not had a major data breach of user information within the last two years.

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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