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Top 5 Free Password Managers

TechRepublic
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Password managers have gone from a thing of fancy to a much needed tool in today’s world. With our digital lives gaining complexity, we are forced to subscribe to multiple services.

The problem arises when multiple passwords are linked with these services. It is a safe practice to use different passwords as opposed to a master password. Hence, one requires a safe and hassle-free way to store these passwords.

Password managers today are the perfect solution to clear this mess. There is a huge variety of password managers available these days, each boasting of some special features.

Here are some of the popularly used password managers that are efficient and easy to use:

Passbolt

Passbolt is a free open source password manager that can be deployed on your own server. Any standard LAMP server with SSL enabled is perfect for using Passbolt.

Each member of the team is required to create a Passbolt account. The host can deploy it on their server, after which the other team members need to register on it. It now takes just one click to share or revoke passwords with your other teammates.

To share a password, you need to simply mention the email address of the member and they will be notified via email of the new password added to their Passbolt account. Access of types read only / read-write / owner can also be specified. Similarly, password can be revoked from a member’s account.

The only cons to using Passbolt are that:

  • Passbolt requires Chrome or Firefox extension installed and is not available in mobile version.
  • Requires individual member to be added instead of allowing bulk distribution of password to a group.

On a brighter side, since Passbolt uses your own server, there is no third party involved. Moreover, Passbolt also comes with an API for developers who wish to create more custom solutions for their team.

Dashlane

Dashlane is a free password manager that comes with a desktop client and browser extension to autofill web forms.

It allows easy sharing of passwords among teammates just like Passbolt. You can share the selected password by typing in the email of the recipient. Members need to be registered on Dashlane and the passwords shared can have two access levels specified: Limited rights and Full rights.

Dashlane comes with an interesting sync feature. If a member changes a password, it is automatically synced across accounts of all other connected members. Moreover, there is provision for emergency contacts for passwords, so that someone can access them in case of an emergency. Passwords can also be revoked as per need.

The one big downside to using Dashlane is that the free version only allows a maximum of five passwords. For further use, one must upgrade to the paid version.

LastPass

LastPass is a stand alone password manager which has a separate paid version for team sharing. An efficient password manager, Sharing Centre of Lastpass you can share your passwords with the desired team members who are already registered on LastPass.

Once you are registered on LastPass with a valid email address, it installs a browser extension that allows the user to log into their dashboard. Similar to the last two password managers, you can share passwords by specifying the recipient’s email address, and they will get notified.

The user can also specify the access level of the shared password. By default the shared passwords can only reveal username unless you specify whether the recipient can see the password.

The only drawback is the absence of a sync functionality. Even though there is no limit on number of passwords that can be shared, once a password is changed, other members do not receive an update.

Meldium

Meldium is an online password manager that comes with a browser extension accessible via shortcut. It lists all the sites and apps for which you saved your credentials. The free version allows sharing passwords with 5 team members, but for extensive use as a team password manager, one must opt for the paid version.

Once a team is added, provide the name for your team and invite people to join you. After that you can start adding credential details and then share a specific credential with a specific user.

By default the shared passwords can only be used to login to a certain app or website as the user can only see the username but not the password. Additionally, one can revoke the access from the shared password or make a teammate the owner of the password.

Meldium also allows auto-fill of web forms. This however, requires an extension to be installed on the browser. Meldium is a great option for personal password managing but requires the premium version for a team.

CommonKey

CommonKey is yet another password manager that supports auto login. You and your teammates can login to your accounts without the hassle of remembering the passwords.

Getting started with CommonKey is as easy as just registering with it. From the dashboard, you can easily add an organisation and invite members to join. After recipient accepts your request, you can start sharing sensitive information with them.

However, unlike prior password managers, CommonKey does not allow users to specify access control for individual teammates. All shared passwords are fully visible to all teammates. Administrators can be assigned to edit or remove the added information at any time.

Another limitation is that the free version only supports a maximum of 3 members. For a full-fledged team password manager, one must upgrade to the paid version.


Online security is a must today. Each of these password managers provides a secure and efficient way to keep track of your myriad username password combinations. Which password manager do you use most frequently? Let us know your thoughts!