Using a password manager will create and manage strong, unique passwords for all your online accounts, keeping you safe from malicious hackers trying to sneak a peek. But they also prevent one of the most frustrating situations many have been in: forgetting a password.
Instead of trying to come up with a jumble of letters, numbers, and symbols too complicated to remember or using the same password for all your online accounts (that’s a dangerous thing to do), a password manager will set you up with one master password to access the rest of them.
Even better, password managers are starting to incorporate passkeys, which means you don’t have to remember any password at all. 1Password is already setting up passkeys for users, and more services are sure to follow.
This buyer’s guide will help you choose the best password manager for you. If you’re looking to add an extra layer of security, we recommend checking out the best antivirus.
Best password manager NZ
Best password manager overall
Price: From $5/month (Individual subscription)
1Password is widely regarded as one of the best password managers available and for good reason. It prioritises security above all else, implementing industry-leading encryption algorithms and employing multi-factor authentication (MFA) to safeguard your sensitive data.
1Password’s secure password generator ensures you create strong, unique passwords for all your online accounts and, like all top-rated password managers, stores and manages your passwords. It simplifies online logins by automatically filling in your passwords and login information across websites, apps, and even desktop applications.
Its shared vaults feature allows you to collaborate on projects, share logins for shared accounts, or provide family members with access to different accounts.
Along with Travel Mode, which disables certain features like sharing and social logins when travelling abroad, and its dark web monitoring, 1Password won’t disappoint.
Best budget password manager
Price: From $1.29/month (two-year subscription)
NordPass ticks all the right boxes as a password manager, especially for the price. It’s a user-friendly and secure password manager that prioritises privacy and protection. It boasts a comprehensive range of features, including secure password storage, two-factor authentication, a secure password generator, and autofill for websites and apps.
Prefer to have a cost-free way to store passwords? The free plan may offer limited features, but it’s the ideal choice for those new to password managers or who want to test the waters before committing to a paid plan.
If you recognise the logo, you’ll know NordPass comes from the creators of NordVPN, one of the best VPNs around. This makes it a perfect companion for those with NordVPN installed, especially with its low price.
Best free password manager
Price: From $0.8/month billed annually (Premium subscription)
Bitwarden is another highly regarded password manager known for its robust security and being open-source. Its code is publicly available for anyone to review, reassuring those who value transparency and accountability in their data protection.
Bitwarden offers similar features to NordPass, including secure password storage, two-factor authentication, a secure password generator, and autofill for websites and apps. However, its free version is what you should keep an eye on, as it offers unlimited devices, passkey management, and all essential password manager features.
If you’re after a bargain, its premium plan is less than a dollar a month with an annual subscription. Better yet, it provides an authenticator, secure file attachments, an emergency access feature, and more.
Best premium password manager
Price: From $3.33/month billed annually (Premium subscription)
While Dashlane is one of the pricier password managers, it ensures you get your money’s worth. It includes a VPN, a built-in firewall, and a travel mode to safeguard your data when venturing beyond your home territory. That means there’s no need for extra security services.
The added advantage of throwing in a VPN for protection when scouring the web is a huge bonus, along with dark web monitoring for up to five email addresses, 1GB of encrypted file storage, a password generator, and autofill. There’s also a Secure Notes feature that saves private documents and information, and securely sends it to those you trust.
For those seeking a more comprehensive security suite, Dashlane stands out with its wealth of additional features.
5. Norton Password Manager
Best add-on password manager
Price: From $50/year (AntiVirus Plus subscription)
For those already using Norton’s security suite, you’ll already know how easy Norton’s Password Manager is to set up. For many of its plans, the Norton Password Manager is an integrated option that complements the existing protection. It provides all the essential features of a password manager, along with additional security benefits from Norton 360’s antivirus software.
That means you’re getting threat protection, PC cloud backup, smart firewall, and more on top of the password manager, which can generate, store, and manage your passwords, credit card information, and other credentials online. Plus, it has that handy auto-fill feature.
If you’re looking for a suite of security tools with your password manager, Norton Password Manager is right up your alley.
Choosing the right password manager
The ideal password manager will have top-notch security, ease of use, and plenty of extra features. Security takes priority over all else, as that’s the purpose of the service, but you’ll also want to have plenty of bang for your buck.
Free vs. paid plans
Many password managers offer free plans with limited features, as well as paid plans with more features and storage space. If you’re an individual that only needs a manager for one device, a free plan is the best way to go.
However, if you have a few more devices and want to share security with family or friends, then paid plans are what you need. As with NordPass and Bitwarden, these subscriptions aren’t usually expensive, especially if you opt for annual subscriptions.
Look for a password manager using military-grade encryption, such as AES-256, to securely store your passwords and other sensitive data. You’ll also want to choose a password manager that offers MFA, which adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second factor, such as a fingerprint or code, to verify your identity when logging in.
Another trait to look out for is the password manager’s security audits and track record. If it undergoes regular independent security audits, then it’s sure to be safe to use. What’s more, note that the service uses zero-knowledge architecture, where the company itself cannot access your passwords or data.
The best password managers often share many essential features, but some are either better done or have a few extra perks added. Here are a few to look out for:
- Password generation: Choose a password manager that can generate strong and unique passwords for all your accounts.
- Autofill: Look for a password manager that can automatically fill in your login information on websites and apps.
- Cross-platform compatibility: Ensure the password manager works on all your devices, including your computer, phone, and tablet.
- Sharing and collaboration: Consider if you need to share passwords with others or collaborate on projects, and choose a password manager that offers secure sharing features.
Ease of use
It may not be a top priority, but an intuitive app and user-friendly interface can make all the difference. After all, you’re trying to get out of the headache of remembering passwords and not have to deal with another headache.
Look for a password manager with a well-designed mobile app that is convenient to use on the go, along with a user-friendly interface that’s easy to navigate around. Plus, you’ll need a service that has excellent customer support.