Chances are, you have dozens of online accounts that all require a password. If you're doing things right, they are complex, unique passwords that are hard to crack ... and to remember. Instead of writing them down on a piece of paper you can save them in one app and only have to remember one password — the one to unlock the rest.
Though Apple's iCloud Keychain is an excellent service for creating, storing, and syncing your passwords, it should never be the only password keeper you use. You should always have a backup, just in case something goes wrong.
Password managers are digital vaults where you can keep all of your important information, like logins, credit card numbers, PINs, and more. You can even create a secure note with secret stuff, like future baby names or the answers to life. If you haven't already invested in a password manager, take a look at our favorites and see if any of them suit your needs.
1Password is a staple of the Apple community. It lets you store an unlimited amount of passwords, credit card numbers, addresses, and more. It uses AES 256-encryption and includes support for unlocking with Touch ID and Face ID. You can use the customizable password generator feature to create complex passwords and not have to worry about remembering them because they will always be stored safely in the vault.
You can organize passwords with tags and mark them as favorites. When you upgrade to the pro model for $10, you can access special templates that allow you to save bank accounts, driver's licenses, passports, and more. You'll also get Apple Watch support so you can view your favorite passwords right on your wrist. For those who want to share some passwords with others, 1Password also offers subscription options for teams and families.
1Password also features a robust desktop app that will sync with your iPhone and iPad, and the Safari browser widget makes it possible for you to auto-fill passwords, and even go directly to a site.
If this is your first time delving into the password manager world, 1Password is a great app for getting you started, but also has enough features to be the only one you ever use.
LastPass specializes in automatically organizing your entries for you. It has three main categories: websites, form fills, and secure notes, which are used for such things as driver's license numbers and credit card information. Select a category, then pick a template, and you will be able to fill in all of the necessary information for a specific account.
You can find website passwords at a glance because LastPass's design is meant to help you see the logo easily. So, if you are looking for your Amazon sign-in, just look for the logo. Secure notes have an icon, too. So finding that passport number is as simple as looking for the icon. The password generator creates complex passwords that you can use to secure your accounts.
The form fill feature makes it possible for you to create templates that can be used when filling out information for such things as hotel reservations, creating new accounts, and more. LastPass also has a desktop app and Apple Watch support.
LastPass uses AES 256-bit encryption and supports Touch ID. For $2 per month, you can sync across an unlimited amount of devices and computers, share logins with others, and additional multi-step authentication options. For $4 per month, you can share all of the premium features with up to six users.
If you don't want to take the extra steps of tagging and organizing passwords yourself, and if pre-made fill-in forms sound like something you will use, give LastPass a try.
mSecure is designed to make entering a new password or other record information quick and easy. It features more than a dozen premade templates and hundreds of icons that you can choose from to make your login list look exactly the way you want it to.
Thanks to the robust and customizable tagging features, you can organize and filter items to track down what you are looking for more easily. You can mark favorites to keep them in a special folder, sort them by date, type, or group, and browse through entries in different folders.
With the one-time upgrade of $30, you can take advantage of pro features like customizing your templates, backing up and restoring if you lose your data, using Touch ID or Face ID, having Apple Watch support, and a lot more.
mSecure uses AES-256 encryption. You can also grab the mSecure Mac app to sync across multiple devices and computers (if you upgrade). It is a well-rounded general use password manager.
If you prefer having more control over how your passwords are organized with tags and filters and want to custom-build your vault, mSecure has what you need.
With Enpass, you can store all of your passwords, credit card numbers, passport info, and more. It features a selection of templates that make it easy to enter the pertinent information for a specific login. It is deeply integrated with an in-app browser, which makes it easy for you to fill in forms right from inside, without needing to copy and paste anything. But, it also has an extension for Safari, so you can use the default browser and quickly access passwords from the app sharing tool.
Enpass has a desktop app and uses your preferred cloud storage (iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, ownCloud, WebDAV, or Box) to sync across devices. Information is stored locally on your device or cloud storage.
SQLCIPHER's AES 256-bit encryption keeps Enpass safe, and Touch ID support keeps it convenient. The Apple Watch companion lets you see your favorite passwords on your wrist. The free version is limited to 20 passwords, but for $10, you can unlock the unlimited version.
Enpass is a great app for people that want the simplicity and security of logging into a website account right from within the vault.
Keeper is big on organizing your passwords by putting them into folders. Like having a filing cabinet under lock-and-key, all of your passwords are organized by type in a category folder. You can also quickly search for a specific item using dynamic search. Once you've built up your folders, you can filter them by date added, favorites, and ones you've shared with others.
You can share individual password account information, or entire folders, with other Keeper owners simply by sending them an email invitation. It uses AES 256-bit encryption with TRUSTe and SOC-2 certification.
You can use multi-step authentication to secure your information even more. Keeper supports Touch ID. It uses a multi-factor authentication system called "Keeper DNA," which allows you to set up a secondary verification process. So, if someone does manage to get into your vault, with Keeper DNA, access to passwords you designate will require additional verification from your Apple Watch before entry is allowed. Plus, you can quickly view your favorite passwords on your wrist with the companion app.
Keeper requires a subscription to keep your data synced across multiple devices, which is available for $30 per year. It is great for people that get great satisfaction out of meticulously organized passwords.
If the added security of double-authentication is necessary in your life, check out Keeper.
Password Manager Data Vault
Data Vault is a simple but effective password manager that you can use to keep track of all of your personal and business-related logins. You can select from dozens of templates to identify items like credit cards, passports, specific logins for organizations, and more. You can create new categories, types, and form templates for a seriously personalized management system.
The thing I found most useful about Data Vault is the folder organization, which is called a "tree." It looks like a simple file organizer, but your passwords are stored inside them instead of documents.
Data Vault uses 256-bit encryption for strong security. It also supports Touch ID and Face ID and there is an Apple Watch companion that makes it possible to add often-used passwords so you have quick access right on your wrist.
Though backing up to iCloud is on by default, you can choose a different cloud-based backup solution, or disable cloud backups completely. Backups can be synced to Data Vault for Mac and across all of your iOS devices.
Dashlane is an app that helps you with prevention and protection of the risks associated with storing and sharing your information digitally, and it does so in a sleek and streamlined interface.
With Dashlane, you will have your own encrypted vault where you can store all of your login information, passwords, secure notes, payments, personal info, IDs, and more. Dashlane will automatically fill in forms and payment info with the integrated web browser or through the Safari extension. And if you have any passwords that are considered weak, Dashlane can help generate a stronger and more secure password for you and automatically replace the older one with the Password Changer feature.
The new Dark Web Monitoring feature instantly notifies you of security alerts associated with your email accounts. Identity Dashboard allows you to monitor your password health, and Inbox Security Scan will scan your email inbox, find all the accounts you've created, analyze their security, and save them in Dashlane.
Dashlane is free to use for up to 50 passwords. If you need more than that, you can get Dashlane Premium, which costs $60 a year and gets you unlimited passwords on unlimited devices, as well as Dark Web Monitoring and secure VPN. There is also Dashlane Premium Plus (only in the U.S), which runs $120 a year and gets you real-time credit monitoring and up to $1 million in Identity Theft Insurance.
Do you use a password manager that we didn't include on this list? What is your favorite, and what makes it stand out from the others?
July 2019: Added Dashlane. These are the best password managers for iOS!
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