If you’re not using a password manager, you should be. And the one you should be using is Dashlane.
I realize that’s a pretty bold statement, as older, more established password apps like KeePass, LastPass, and RoboForm have earned legions of fans. If you’re already using one of those products, I’m not necessarily advocating a switch.
But if you’re not using a password manager, you should be. And the one you should be using is Dashlane.
The program is available for Windows and Mac, with mobile options for Android and iOS. (More on those in a bit.) It works with all the major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari.
Dashlane’s primary job is to manage your passwords, automatically inserting them (along with your username) when you sign into the various sites you visit: Amazon, Evernote, PayPal, your bank, and so on.
Better still, on its first run, the program absorbs all the existing user IDs and passwords stored in your browser, thus saving you the hassles of having to manually re-enter them. And even better than that, Dashlane scores you based on the security of your passwords, identifying those that are easily hacked and therefore in need of changing.
For those sites and any new ones you visit, Dashlane can generate ultra-secure passwords of varying length. You don’t have to worry about writing them down or remembering them because the software stores them (under master-password protection, of course) and autofills them into your browser as needed.
In other words, it’s really more of a password butler. “Your Ebay password, sir.”
Beyond that, Dashlane can automatically complete Web forms (with your name, address, and the like), a huge time-saver. It can store credit-card numbers for when you make online purchases. (Again, this data is kept encrypted and secure.) It will even keep receipts for those purchases.
All this (and more), Dashlane does for free. It’s almost ridiculous how good the free version is.
So what don’t you get?
Dashlane Premium (price: $29.99 per year) adds exactly four more features: Cloud backup of your password database, syncing across all your devices (PCs, phones, tablets, etc.), Web access to your passwords, and priority tech support.
As a general rule I hate anything that requires a subscription, but I like Dashlane so much, I decided to spring for a Premium account. The syncing alone makes it worth the investment, and the backup certainly doesn’t hurt.
Ultimately, however, this program is all about security and convenience, and it offers both in spades. As free password managers go, I really don’t think there’s a better option.
If you disagree, tell me why in the comments!