Using a strong password is crucial to the security of your online accounts. According to Dashlane, US users held an average of 130 different accounts in 2015. It is impractical to memorize strong passwords for these many accounts. Fortunately, password managers solve this problem.
Password Manager addresses the issue of needing a strong password by taking the memorization from the equation. You no longer have to worry about remembering all your passwords, as the manager stores this information, and it can also be filled in automatically when needed. You just need to protect a database.
The iOS App Store contains several good password handlers to choose from. We installed and tested all the best deals and have come to the conclusion that the following four managers are best available. Using any of these password handlers on your iPhone or iPad will dramatically improve the integrity and security of your online accounts.
Table of contents
A password manager is an app with a database containing your login information for all the different accounts you use. The database is usually encrypted with a master password to prevent unauthorized access. While this master password can be combined with other secret unique information to increase security, you usually do not need to memorize anything more than the master password itself.
The main password is how part of the typical password problem is solved ̵
When a master password is created, enter the login information for all your accounts in the database. At this point, you want to replace the password for each account with a stronger one. Using the "Change Password" function for each of your accounts, the password manager creates a new password. The manager allows you to choose between different parameters, for example, if you want to include uppercase or lowercase letters, special characters and the total length of the passcode, to create a strong password that you never have to memorize.
- Premium Price (Single User): The price to unlock all features of a single user.
- Premium Price: Price Pricing for Multiple Accounts. All except LastPass provides five user accounts for the specified price, with LastPass including six users.
- Free version available: Whether you can use this service for free for the foreseeable future.
- Total units at free level: How many units can you connect to a free password management account.
- Total units at paid levels: How many units you can connect to a paid account. All services here support unlimited paid account accounts.
- Locally Single Mode: This feature provides security for convenience. Instead of using the cloud to synchronize the database, your database is only on your device. This gives more control over who has access to it and who can see the content, and this reduces the risks of hacked.
- Offline mode: What allows the manager to do when not connected to the internet? Can you see your passwords, add new or edit existing records?
- Cloud Sync: Your database is stored in the cloud and makes it available across multiple devices. Using the cloud, any changes made to a device will automatically update any other accessed device.
- Unlock with PIN: Does the manager allow you to access your passwords via a PIN? This is a good option if Face ID or Touch ID does not record your biometrics. Otherwise, you must enter your master password, which is much larger than a PIN.
- Audit password: The manager reviews all login details and will recommend changes to the password. For example, the manager will recommend changing a password if it hasn't changed for a while (usually three months) or using the same multi-account password.
- Change bulk password: The manager allows you to change the password for multiple accounts simultaneously. This feature requires that websites enable support for it to work. Dashlane is the only app that offers this feature.
- URLs per password: When you have an account with a company and the login details work on all their websites, which may have completely different URLs, it will be useful to add multiple URLs to a password entry. Otherwise, you will need to create a completely different password entry for the different URLs.
- Secondary login name: For all your accounts, remember if you used your email address as the user name for each account or custom name instead? With this feature you do not need to, because you can enter both in the password registration and use one or the other.
- Security Alerts: Password Manager warns you of any threats to your accounts, such as when large data breaches happen and you have an account that can be compromised.
- Multipla Vaults: Within the app you can access several vaults (databases) to keep things organized. For example, a "Personal" and "Work" vault are two good options to use, so you do not need to see work passwords with your personal. This does not refer to using two or more accounts.
- Share password: You can extend access to passwords (either individually or as a group) to other users. Some managers require that users who receive access already have an account with the service.
- Emergency Access: When it comes to your improper death or inability, the close and family can access the database. In this way, your online accounts can be managed or deleted depending on the situation.
- Technical Support: The heads of our list provide support through either an online ticketing system, email or web chat. Email is superior, because you don't have to keep a page open to wait for an answer.
- Enable / Disable Clipboard Timer: A clipboard timer controls how long a copied password remains in the clipboard, ready to paste elsewhere. In all apps, this feature can be enabled or disabled to keep the copies in the clipboard forever.
- Control Clipboard Timer: The ability to change the time when your copied data remains in the clipboard. LastPass and Keeper are the only managers that allow you to increase or decrease the time.
- Self-destruction: This function deletes all stored data if the wrong password is entered too many times. Keeper is the only app on this list with this feature.
- Reset deleted passwords: Some apps permanently delete data when you perform a "delete" on a record, while others keep data in a trash bin for further deletion.
- Upload Files: All four apps allow you to upload some file types to secure notes or passwords.
- Upload file types: The types of files that you can upload to secure notes or password entries, including photos, videos and files (documents).
- Opens links in: Which browsers the manager can open links into. While there may be other browsers, such as DuckDuckGo or a manager's own browser, we focus on the top three: Safari, Chrome and Firefox.
- AutoFill in Apps (iOS 12): The ability to use AutoFill for Auto-fill user names and passwords in your iPhone apps and browsers. With iOS 12, managers can now use built-in auto-fill, once reserved for iCloud Keychain only.
- AutoFill in Apps (via Extension): Each manager on our list uses partial sheets to achieve this functionality,
- Compatible AutoFill browsers: The web browser supported by the password manager, which can be filled in automatically via an issue of a stock sheet.
- Apple Watch Support: Whether the manager supports Apple Watch. Use can include access to your vault from your wrist or as a tool to authenticate (multi-factor authentication).
- Touch ID: The fingerprint scanner can be used as an alternative method for logging in to the vault.  Facial ID: Apple's face scanner can be used as an option to log on to the vault.
- Encryption: The method used to ensure the security of the database. As of today, the highest standard is available AES-256 encryption. Encryption protects the database by making it virtually unreadable to unauthorized users.
- Multi-factor authentication: Use multiple ways to verify (identify) users. The most common form uses a third-party authenticator, which is an additional app you install that receives a one-time password (OTP) that you specify in addition to your password to prove your identity. Some examples are Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator and Authy.
- Universal 2: Factor: Also known as U2F, this is another way of providing multi-factor authentication. U2F is a set of hardware keys (usually USB) that must be in your physical possession if you want to log into your database. Because the hardware buttons cannot be stolen remotely, many believe that this provides the highest level of protection.
- Secure Cloud Storage: Encrypted cloud storage included with your subscription to uploaded files.
- Bug Bounty Program: The security of the system is highly dependent on its ability to function as it is intended for all time. But even the most well-written code will have errors and unforeseen errors. To combat this, companies offer a financial incentive for those outside the company to report these errors. Usually, higher rewards attract more white haunters (hackers for the good guys) and higher skilled.
- White Paper Available: A technical report on how security and authentication is handled by the software. It provides the necessary transparency and allows others to make proposals to improve security for everyone.
How we picked these apps
Password managers have been expanded beyond just home account information. Many, including each on our list, have an abundance of features that greatly enhance the experience for their users. While Apple has its own iCloud Keychain Manager to help you find and change bad passwords, it's not much more than that, so it didn't even come close to any of the options in this article.
Our first password for each password manager was the implementation of the latest security tools. Currently, it means AES-256 (Advanced Encryption Standard with a 256-bit key), PBKDF2 SHA-256 (password-based Key Derivation Function 2 and Secure Hash Algorithm 2 with 256-bit digest) and salted hashes. In addition, your account must be secured with a password, as it provides the best protection. PINs are too short and limited in possible combinations, making it easier for unauthorized users to access, but most of these apps have it if you want.
Our next requirement was that each app has some way to automatically fill in user names and passwords for apps and browsers. Without this functionality, managers become a bit awkward, as they add a step (or step) to log in to your account. Fortunately, all apps on this list support the iOS 12's built-in AutoFill feature and browser extensions.
Another important requirement was to include an emergency access function. This allows you to create a list of trusted friends and family members who can access your vault if you can't do it (for example, when you die). This will save friends and family from having to contact each account provider separately and present large amounts of documentation to prove their eligibility.
Finally, the app must be well designed and easy to use. All options should be described correctly and the layout should not interfere with the navigation. Basic information, such as adding login information, should not require any help from a techy friend. Password managers should be available to all users, not just power users.
App 1: LastPass
If you have heard of password managers before this article, it was probably thanks to LastPass, who has aggressively advertised their services in recent years. LastPass has lived up to its popularity by creating an app that controls most of the boxes in terms of features you expect password manager to have. What makes it number one, however, is the number of features that offer free versions. Who says the best things in life are not free?
LastPass was designed for casual users. Its developers worked to ensure that the user experience was both simple and comfortable. From the menu options, each option is well described so as not to confuse.
LastPass allows you to add a wide range of references to your database – not just online account information but also credit cards and driver's licenses. This will allow you to fill in almost any information that can be ordered online. Because LastPass is the only manager on our list to include cloud sync for free, you can access this information on all your devices, as LastPass has an extension or app for all major browsers and operating systems. Unfortunately, cloud sync is mandatory, so there is no local single location with LastPass.
A feature called Secure Notes lets you create small documents containing pieces of information that do not fit into any of the above categories. Thanks to LastPass's use of both AES-256 and PBKDF2 SHA-256, you can be sure that this information – as well as any pictures you attach – is safe and private from all unauthorized users. In addition, a paid account provides 1 GB of secure cloud storage to upload file types, while the free account only gives you 50 MB.
Like any other password manager on our list, you can use IOS to automatically fill in passwords, in addition to built-in support with the iOS 12 AutoFill feature. In terms of browser extensions, LastPass supports Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera and DuckDuckGo. And to open links you can choose Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Firefox Focus, Opera Mini and DuckDuckGo.
LastPass lets you control how long the information is copied from the vault left in the clipboard. This is important because data in the clipboard is a common target for hackers. When it comes to offline use, you can only see objects, so you can't add or edit because LastPass is cloud-based and not local.
LastPass security challenge feature will review your passwords and score for their overall strength. LastPass analysis includes scanning websites that are linked to the reference data to ensure their integrity and the strength of your master password. Suggestions are available to improve your score, giving you a measurable goal to achieve. Your enhanced passwords will be safe with both multi-factor authentication and U2F. Just be careful – you cannot reset deleted passwords here.
You probably know that LastPass sends security alerts when you discover compromise data in your vault or vault. While its online ticketing system is not the best customer service option we have seen, LastPass makes it easy to configure emergency access contacts via the settings in the app, the only app on this list, to do so.
As Good as it is, LastPass has changed over the years. It used to cost less than the Keeper at $ 23.99 per person but is now technically the second most expensive service on the $ 35.99 per year list. Families pay SEK 48 each year for six licenses, which is less than Keeper's annual fee.
However, if you do not want to pay a dime, you can still use most features for free, including cloud sync with unlimited accounts, PIN unlock and more. Actually, the only features you lack are simple sharing to anyone (free accounts can only share passwords with LastPass users), premium multifactor authentication methods, and priority support.
Previously, 1Password was known for its local-based security. Recently, the company has taken its services from stored to devices to be stored in the cloud. While it is convenient to work between multiple devices, some users are upset with this step back in security. Nevertheless, 1Password has a lot to offer even the strictest security needs.
The cloud-based vault automatically synchronizes your data across multiple devices, but you need to give a certain amount of trust to 1Password, which stores your vault on its servers. 1Password cannot access the information, so there is not much to worry about, but it is still cloud-based which is always something to think about.
For $ 3.99 a month – $ 35.88 per year – you get a lot for your money. And you might be better, because 1Password has no free version past a trial. There is also a family plan for $ 59.88 per year, with five licenses. Your vault or vault is automatically synchronized across all platforms where 1Password is available, and you also have access to 1GB of secure storage for digital copies of important documents. You can also upload photos to both secure notes and passwords.
1Password provides security alerts with a feature called the Watchtower, which alerts you to security breaches on sites you use and recommends an action to correct the situation. But unlike the other managers on our list, there is no way to review your password.
1Password also authenticates users in a very different way compared to the other managers on our list. Normally, the managers use the master password to create a hash to verify you with their servers. A hash is a one-way function that changes data (in this case the master password) to a fixed size. The modification is usually irreversible (ie one-way) so hackers cannot derive the master password from hash.
1Password goes one step further using what is known as a two-key key figure. As the name suggests, a second component, known as Secret Key, is used to create a hash. The secret key is also unique and only known to you, which improves the security of the hash.
The secret key is a string of characters that are first generated by your device when you originally create an account. This key is stored locally and is unavailable by 1Password. While you never have to memorize the key (since the system automatically retrieves it), it's unique that makes it secure and helps with authentication. This extra security can be the fact that there are no U2F or bulk password shifts.
Sharing passwords is easy, because 1Password makes your information plain text to send to any app or service. However, emergency access is not so convenient. 1Password creates a " Emergency Kit," essentially a PDF with your account information. While you can easily send this PDF to anyone who wants access to your account, it does not replace the integrated emergency access that we see in other apps.
You can scroll with the iOS 12's built-in autofill or choose to use the spreadsheet extension for apps and browsers. Compatible browsers include Safari, Chrome and Firefox. When it comes to opening links in 1Password, you can choose between Safari, Chrome or Firefox.
When it comes time to add passwords to accounts, 1Password is the only app in this list that allows you to add more than one URL for each password entry. This is very convenient when the situation arises, and it also strikes the vault by not having double entries.
1Password's technical support is good, and offers mailed correspondence. While you cannot control the clip length, you can easily recover deleted passwords and use PIN unlock when facial ID / touch ID fails. Convenience seems to be the name of the game with 1Password. While convenience does not always correspond to the highest level of security, sometimes it is worth sacrificing a little for ease of use.
App 3: Dashlane
Dashlane for iOS tries to simplify password manager. By using a new approach, code name Project Mirror, Dashlane wants to eliminate incompetence when creating passwords for accounts. While this app contains many of the features that we expect with a password manager, it is the password change that places it in its own league.
Password Change is a feature that lets you (almost) instantly update multiple passwords without ever leaving the app. Password change includes password revision functionality that analyzes the strength of your passwords and recommends which passwords need to be changed to maintain security. Once you have selected the accounts, just click "Change" at the top right of your screen, and Dashlane will automatically change your passwords for you .
Password Change is an aspect of Project Mirror, Dashlanes ambitious plan to kill the password. Another important component is Critical Account Protection, which provides an in-depth analysis of all accounts linked to your email address, including the type of accounts you have and when they were created. For more information, check out Dashlane's YouTube video below.
Dashlane monitors your accounts for them to be safe and uncompromising. If it ever breaks a website, the Security Breach Alerts feature will let you know and make suggestions to protect your data. Multifactor authentication and U2F protect your data and password smartly, but only know that deleted passwords cannot be restored.
Dashlane is the best option on this list for local fans. Although the paid version supports cloud synchronization with unlimited devices, you can choose to disable synchronization via Dashlane desktop settings. It can mean a lack of password revision, self-destruction, multiple vaulting, checking the length of the timer for the clipboard and the possibility of only sharing passwords for Dashlane members.
On the bright side, you can enable emergency access contacts as long as you do so from the desktop settings. PIN unlocking is also an option when biometrics fail. You also get technical support via e-mail and web chat. In addition to built-in iOS 12 AutoFill, Dashlane uses the same share class functionality for automatic filling. However, browser extensions only include Safari and Chrome. In the app you can choose to only open links in Safari.
One thing Dashlane has is that no other app on this list makes it possible to enter a secondary login user name. The other password managers only give you a place for a username per password, but if you are not sure if the username is your email address or a regular one, it may cause some problems. Not with Dashlane.
The two broken omissions compared to the other heads on our list are the lack of multiple vault support and family prizes. Multiple vaults are only available for Dashlane corporate accounts and without a family price, you must pay the individual user's price each for normal use.
Without a family option, you miss the typical savings associated with accompanying accounts, and Dashlan's individual user prices are also the highest on this list. At $ 59.99, a piece – $ 119.99 for Premium Plus families is better off paying the LastPass Family Level Additional Fee, giving six accounts.