How to evaluate password managers

word cloud of frequent logins and passwords
Scott Erven/Mark Collao

All password managers have as many as four separate products for storing passwords: a desktop and mobile app, a browser extension, or a pure Web-based service that doesn’t require any other software beyond a regular browser. There are various use cases that demand having this array of mechanisms. Not all tools support all four mechanisms.

Most tools on the market have a separate Windows desktop app and most can handle Windows 7 and newer versions. TeamsID, Keeper and LogMeOnce have only browser-based versions. Dashlane limits to 32-bit OS or 32-bit browsers. Others add Mac and Linux desktop apps. In addition to traditional desktops, most of the products support iOS and Android devices. Keeper, LastPass, and StickyPassword also have versions that work on Kindles, BlackBerries and Windows Phone mobiles. Browser extensions for some of the major vendors (Firefox, Chrome, IE and Safari) are supported in most products. And half of them have direct Web-based SaaS portal pages that you can login in and obtain your password in a pinch without having to install any software.

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