Compromise can be a dangerous thing. It can be exceptionally unsafe when dealing with online passwords. Using complex passwords will keep your accounts safest, but it’s hard to remember all of them. Instead, we’re tempted to compromise by using one simple password for all our logins. That’s bad on two counts: first, your password will be easy to guess, and second, once someone has it, they have the key to all our accounts.
Secure password practices don’t have to be as hard as we make them out to be. A password manager app creates strong passwords for every account, remembers them all, logs you in automatically, and makes them available on every device. We tried all the best password apps and concluded the best of the bunch is Dashlane.
Dashlane has all the features of its closest competitors and presents them in a consistent web, desktop, or mobile interface. It fills in your passwords, generates new ones, lets you share them securely, and warns of any weaknesses. It stores sensitive notes and documents, and also fills in web forms automatically. In my experience, Dashlane provides a smoother and more polished experience than similar apps. Read our full Dashlane review here.
With all that good news, why would you need an alternative?
Why Choose an Alternative?
Dashlane is the premium password manager, but it’s not your only choice. Here are a few reasons an alternative may suit you better.
1. There Are Free Alternatives
A personal Dashlane license costs $40/month. Some users might be interested in similar services that don’t cost anything. LastPass, for example, has a terrific free plan, not to mention open-source alternatives like KeePass and Bitwarden.
2. It’s Not Your Only Premium Option
While Dashlane Premium is a fantastic app, two comparable alternatives offer a similar feature set at a similar price: LastPass Premium and 1Password. While these three apps have the same purpose, each is a distinctive experience.
3. There Are Less Expensive Alternatives
Several other password managers provide basic password management features at a more affordable price. True Key, RoboForm, and Sticky Password have fewer features for a lower price. If they’ve got the features you need, they may be attractive alternatives.
4. Some Password Managers Don’t Require You to Use the Cloud
Cloud-based password managers employ passwords, two-factor authentication, and other strategies to keep passwords safe from prying eyes, and they do a good job. But they require you to entrust your data and security needs to a third party. Not all organizations will feel comfortable doing this. Fortunately, several apps allow you to store your password library locally.
Companies that manage their clients’ personal information should think through the ramifications of using cloud services when creating their privacy policies. Here are some resources you may find helpful when considering whether and how to use cloud computing for your business or organization:
- Cloud security policy: The questions you need to ask (WeLiveSecurity)
- Cloud Security Best Practices (BeyondTrust)
- Cloud Computing Security Considerations (Australian Cyber Security Centre)
9 Alternatives to the Dashlane Password Manager
What are the best alternatives to Dashlane? Here are nine password managers you may consider instead.
1. The Best Free Alternative: LastPass
Dashlane and LastPass cover the same range of features and support most major platforms. They both log in automatically and generate strong passwords when you sign up for a new service. They let you securely share passwords, warn of unsafe or compromised passwords, and can change them automatically when necessary. Both can fill in web forms and securely store sensitive information and private documents.
The difference? LastPass offers these features in its free plan. It’s the only commercial password manager with a free plan most of us would find useful, and we found it the ultimate free solution in our roundup. Want to learn more? Read our LastPass review. By contrast, Dashlane’s free plan only supports 50 passwords. That’s good enough to evaluate the app, but not for ongoing use.
2. A Premium Alternative: 1Password
1Password is also similar to Dashlane, though I believe many people will find Dashlane better overall. It’s more configurable, fills in web forms, and can automatically change passwords for you.
But 1Password has a few benefits of its own: its secret key may be more secure, and it’s a little more affordable, especially for families. A personal license costs $35.88/year, and their family plan covers up to five people and costs $59.88/year. Read our 1Password review here.
LastPass also has a Premium plan that adds enhanced security, sharing, and storage. At $36/year ($48/year for families), it’s only slightly cheaper than Dashlane. If you need premium password manager features, take a long, hard look at all three apps.
3. Cloudless Alternatives
KeePass is a free and open-source password manager that focuses on security. It caught the eye of security agencies in Switzerland, Germany, and France, who wholeheartedly recommend the app, and the Swiss federal administration uses it on their computers. It was audited by the European Commission’s Free and Open Source Software Auditing Project who found no security issues.
The app allows you to store your password database on your local computer, but it’s dated and difficult to use. Bitwarden is an easy-to-use open-source alternative. It lets you host your passwords and sync them over the internet using the Docker infrastructure.
A third app that lets you (optionally) store your passwords locally is Sticky Password, a commercial app that costs $29.99/year. It syncs your passwords over your local network rather than over the internet. The company uniquely offers a lifetime subscription for $199.99. Read our review.
4. Other Alternatives
- Keeper Password Manager ($29.99/year) is a basic, affordable password manager. You can add functionality by subscribing to optional paid services: secure file storage, dark web protection, and secure chat. The downside: all of them together cost significantly more than Dashlane Premium. Read our review.
- Roboform ($23.88/year) has been around for two decades and feels like it. The desktop apps have a dated look and feel, and the web interface is read-only. Long-term users seem happy with it, but it wouldn’t be my first recommendation if you’re choosing your first password manager. Read our review.
- McAfee True Key ($19.99/year) has a focus on simplicity and ease of use. It has fewer features than LastPass’s free plan—it won’t share or audit your passwords, won’t change them with a single click, won’t fill in web forms, won’t store documents. But it’s inexpensive and does the basics well. Read our review.
- Abine Blur ($39/year) is all about privacy. It manages your passwords, blocks ad trackers, and masks your personal information—your email address, phone number, and credit card numbers. Some features are only available to those living in the United States. Read our review.
So What Should You Do?
Dashlane is the premiere password manager and deserves serious attention if you need an app with all the trimmings. 1Password and LastPass Premium are comparable, with similar features and slightly lower subscription prices, and also belong on your shortlist.
LastPass is compelling for a second reason: many of its features are included in the free plan. It will meet the needs of many individuals and small businesses, and you can upgrade to their Premium plan as your needs grow. Alternatively, Dashlane Premium imports your LastPass database with a few clicks of the mouse.
If you’d rather not entrust your passwords to a third-party, several apps allow you to store them on your hard drive or server. KeePass is highly regarded by security experts but can be difficult to use. Bitwarden and Sticky Password are two easier-to-use alternatives.
If you need to do some more research before you make your decision, be sure to check out our comprehensive roundups for Mac, iOS, and Android. Make a shortlist, then take advantage of the free plans or trials to evaluate which is best for your business.