Free password managers: what’s available and how they compare

As more and more services become available online, the number of login details you need to remember also increases. But whilst the growth of internet banking, shopping, film and TV streaming offers ever more convenience, it also puts your sensitive information at increased risk.

This is because it can be tempting to help yourself to remember all your different usernames and passwords by making them the same or very similar. If a hacker gets hold of your information from one site, this just makes it that much easier for them to access all your other accounts using the same details. Simply put, if you repeat the same username and password, the more companies that have this information, the more likely it is that a criminal will gain access to that information through hacking one of their servers.

Using simple words or number combinations is also not a good idea. Making every password you use both unique and difficult to crack is the best way to keep your information secure.

That’s where password managers come in. A password manager usually works as a plug-in to your internet browser. They can store all your login details for the sites you use, saving you from struggling to remember all your different passwords and preventing you from writing down or typing out your passwords which, once again, puts your sensitive information at risk. There are numerous password managers available, both commercial and free of charge, so read on for our run down of a few of the best.

Dashlane 4 is one of the best password managers out there. It’s available in seven different languages, and has the ability to automatically change your password when necessary for up to 500 websites. It will also capture receipts for any shopping you do online. A free version is available, with a premium upgrade costing $39.99 (just over £30) per year that allows you to sync Dashlane across different devices, automatically backup your data and more.

LastPass 4.0 is another excellent password manager, offering many of the same features as Dashlane, making the main difference between the two free versions being which user interface you prefer. The main difference between the premium versions is the price: LastPass 4.0 Premium is available for an annual fee of $24.00, working out at well under £2 per month.

Another option is Keeper Password Manager & Digital Vault 8. What makes this program different is that it combines both password management and secure file sharing and storage. Those wanting just password management can pay $29.99 (around £22) per year, with the option to upgrade at any time for the secure file service. Yearly prices range from $9.99 (just under £8) for 10GB of storage, to $749.99 (around £560) for 1TB.

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