Platforms: Home windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
Free model: Limits on file sharing and 2FA
Browser plugins: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, Courageous, Microsoft Edge, Vivaldi, Tor
Type filling: Sure
Cellular PIN unlock: Sure
Biometric login: Face ID, Contact ID on iOS and macOS, fingerprint and face unlock on Android, Home windows Good day
Killer characteristic: Limitless syncing throughout all gadgets on free model
Bitwarden is a extremely safe, open-source password supervisor that does the fundamentals very well and at little value.
It provides extra on its free tier than most opponents do, and its premium plan — with options reminiscent of superior two-factor authentication (2FA) and safe storage — will set you again simply $10 per yr.
Customers merely seeking to save a limiteless variety of passwords that sync throughout all their gadgets and mechanically fill in on-line types will get that with Bitwarden’s free tier.
Bitwarden is just not probably the most intuitive service to navigate, and it has some clunky performance in comparison with different password managers. Nonetheless, it is an important worth for anybody on a price range who’s keen to determine it out. Bitwarden is our high free alternative among the many finest password managers.
Learn on for the remainder of our Bitwarden evaluate.
Bitwarden: Prices and what’s coated
Bitwarden provides three pricing tiers for client accounts: Free, Premium ($10 per yr) and Household ($40 per yr).
The free tier comes with a lot of the fundamental options you’d need in a password supervisor, making it possibility for those who’re simply searching for secure storage. The Premium plan is a discount when in comparison with comparable tiers provided by different password managers, which frequently run about $35 per yr.
Customers on Bitwarden’s Free plan get limitless password and secure-note storage throughout as many gadgets as they need. There’s additionally a password generator and an revolutionary characteristic known as Bitwarden Ship for sharing delicate text-based data.
Bitwarden will auto-fill usernames and passwords via its browser extensions on the desktop and with the Bitwarden cellular apps on iOS and Android. Type filling for identities and cost information is included with this tier, however on the desktop variations solely.
In case you improve to a Premium account, $10 per yr will get you all the above options, plus file sharing by way of Bitwarden Ship, the Bitwarden Authenticator app for verifying your id on accounts that use 2FA or time-based one-time passwords (TOTPs) and an emergency entry characteristic that allows you to grant vault entry to a different consumer in case of, properly, an emergency.
This premium tier additionally comes with 1 GB of safe storage, precedence help, superior 2FA choices reminiscent of YubiKey and “well being studies” — principally, safety audits (manually generated) that present you in case your passwords are weak, recycled or have been uncovered in an information breach.
If you understand how to arrange a server, then Bitwarden additionally provides self-hosting (versus cloud internet hosting) choices with all plans for anybody who needs full management over their information utilizing their very own server.
The Bitwarden server could be something from a leased cloud occasion to a Raspberry Pi sitting on a shelf in your lounge. Bitwarden has server specs and directions right here, and there is a good third-party walkthrough right here.
Lastly, Bitwarden’s $40-per-year Household plan is principally Premium for as much as six customers with limitless sharing between accounts.
As we have famous, Bitwarden Free is a stable possibility for fundamental password administration — possibly the perfect one on the market. LastPass, one in all our different high freemium picks, now limits syncing on its free plan to solely computer systems or to solely cellular gadgets, a major hole that Bitwarden fills.
LastPass does embrace a few of Bitwarden’s Premium options, reminiscent of the power to make use of an in-house authenticator app, in its free tier, however at $36 per yr, its premium possibility prices almost 4 instances what you may pay for the same Bitwarden plan.
The premium and household plans provided by different password managers can even set you again much more than $10 (or $40 for households) yearly, which can be enticing provided that you really want bonus options like a built-in VPN.
The Bitwarden desktop software helps Home windows 7, 8.1 and 10; macOS 10.14 and later; and most main distributions of Linux. The Home windows and Mac variations could be downloaded instantly from the Bitwarden web site or by way of the Home windows and Mac app shops.
There’s additionally a “moveable” Home windows model you possibly can set up on a USB flash drive. If you wish to get actually elite, there is a command-line model that works on Home windows, Mac and Linux alike.
There are Bitwarden desktop browser extensions for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, Courageous, Microsoft Edge, Vivaldi and the Firefox-based Tor browser. Cellular apps can be found for each iOS (10.zero or later) and Android (5.zero and up). You too can entry your vault by way of any internet browser at vault.bitwarden.com.
For this evaluate, I examined Bitwarden on a 2020 MacBook Air working macOS 10.15 Catalina and an iPhone XR. I used Google Chrome for browser testing.
To get began, you may have to create an account on Bitwarden’s web site utilizing your electronic mail handle and title. You will additionally select your grasp password and an non-obligatory password trace. There isn’t any password restoration for those who overlook your grasp password, so the trace could also be useful. Both means, make your grasp key one thing each safe and memorable.
Bitwarden would not do a lot hand-holding via the setup course of, though its Assist pages are literally fairly useful. After you have your account arrange, you may be logged into your internet vault to start out importing and organizing your passwords.
To import information from LastPass, 1Password, Firefox, Chrome or one other one in all many supported file codecs, choose Instruments > Import Knowledge and fill out the dropdown fields. If Bitwarden would not formally help the service you presently use, you possibly can create and add a CSV file. Notice that information uploads are potential solely within the internet app, not by way of desktop or cellular.
Subsequent, obtain the related desktop and cellular apps in addition to browser extensions. It took nearly no time for me to put in these and get logged in. Extension options like autofill and password era functioned instantly, with no extra setup wanted.
Nonetheless, the Bitwarden browser extension didn’t mechanically sync, so for those who obtain the extension earlier than you import passwords into your vault, you may have to go to Settings > Sync > Sync Vault Now to have the ability to view your logins.
Bitwarden on desktop
Bitwarden can be simple to make use of with solely the browser extension and internet app, because the desktop app would not add any performance and is barely barely sleeker. In reality, some options, reminiscent of emergency entry and vault well being studies, can be found solely in your internet vault (underneath Instruments > Studies).
The browser extension appears to be like quite a bit like a cellular app, with tabs to your principal vault, Bitwarden Ship, a password generator and your settings.
There are a number of methods to make use of the automated formfilling characteristic. If the web site you are on has a saved login, the Bitwarden extension icon in your browser toolbar could have a quantity on it. Faucet the icon to open the extension and choose the password you need to auto-fill.
To auto-fill bank cards or identities (addresses, for instance) when trying out or filling out types, toggle the Bitwarden extension icon and hit Tab in your keyboard. All out there playing cards and identities must be seen to pick out.
I discovered it simpler to open the extension instantly than to right-click (CTRL + click on on Mac) and navigate via a number of menus to pick out the right login, though that is additionally an possibility for those who desire.
Maybe the simplest possibility is a keyboard shortcut that auto-fills your most just lately used login with out really opening the extension or dropdown menus. Bitwarden has a number of commonplace keyboard shortcuts:
- Home windows: Ctrl + Shift + L
- macOS: Cmd + Shift + L
- Linux: Ctrl + Shift + L
- Safari: Cmd + or Cmd + Eight or Cmd + Shift + P
My Chrome shortcut was set to one thing completely different by default, so if that is the case, you possibly can view and configure completely different shortcuts in your browser if wanted.
Bitwarden’s password generator is a bit of bit clunky in comparison with these of different password managers — you must manually go into the Bitwarden extension to create and replica/paste a password.
If you create a brand new login on an internet site, Bitwarden ought to ask if you wish to reserve it to your vault. This labored every time I examined it, although you may need to watch out that Bitwarden saves up to date passwords correctly.
Sharing texts and information with Bitwarden Ship is fast and straightforward utilizing the browser extension. You too can view and edit the merchandise or copy login data instantly from the extension.
In case you decide to obtain the desktop app as properly, you may discover a left-justified menu bar the place you possibly can choose your particular login varieties to view all of the usernames and passwords in that class.
You too can set up or view by folder — use the plus signal to create a brand new folder — or view your favorites or trash. Search the chosen class utilizing the search bar on the high and add a brand new report utilizing the plus icon on the backside.
In case you toggle Ship on the backside as an alternative, you possibly can create file or textual content hyperlinks to content material in your laptop, which you’ll be able to the copy or share to ship. You may choose a date on which entry to your ship will expire, or on which your ship shall be completely deleted, in addition to a most entry rely.
File sharing is offered solely with a Premium account, although you possibly can ship textual content hyperlinks on the Free tier. Ship recipients don’t want to make use of Bitwarden to open the despatched hyperlinks or information.
In contrast to the browser extension (and the cellular app, as described beneath), the Bitwarden desktop app doesn’t have a separate tab for the password generator. As an alternative, you may discover it underneath View in the primary software toolbar.
Bitwarden cellular apps
Just like the desktop app and browser extension, the Bitwarden cellular app is fundamental. The interface and performance are nearly precisely the identical, so the expertise shall be comparable irrespective of which system you are on.
If you first log into your cellular app, you may seemingly see a pop-up notifying you that you must allow notifications to your vault to sync correctly.
The default display is your vault house, organized by merchandise varieties and folders. There is a plus signal within the higher proper nook to create objects and a search icon to look your complete vault. In case you faucet on Login or one other merchandise sort or folder, you may see the total record of things in that class.
Faucet on the three horizontal dots to view, edit or copy the account data. You too can launch the web site or app instantly from Bitwarden.
Password auto-fill is straightforward to allow in your cellphone Settings — however except you need to sort in your grasp password every time it’s essential to hook up with Bitwarden, go to Settings > Unlock with Face ID or Unlock with PIN Code within the app. As soon as enabled, this characteristic works easily. Nonetheless, you can’t auto-fill playing cards or identities on cellular.
The Bitwarden app has a built-in password generator, which lets you set the parameters for the password and replica it to stick instantly into the app or web site.
You too can use Bitwarden Ship within the app simply as on the desktop: Create hyperlinks to textual content or content material in your system, which you’ll be able to copy or share utilizing any share choices in your cellphone. Toggle the Ship icon on the underside toolbar and choose the plus signal within the higher proper nook.
Like most password managers, Bitwarden makes use of AES-256 encryption to guard the information saved in your password vault. Your data is barely unencrypted, and solely domestically in your system, as soon as you’ve got logged into your vault along with your grasp key.
Bitwarden can be SOC 2 Sort 2 and SOC three compliant, which means the group has met requirements set by the Affiliation of Worldwide Licensed Skilled Accountants (AICPA) for dealing with client information. Bitwarden undergoes a safety audit each two years, but it surely’s additionally open-source, so the code is offered for anybody to evaluate for flaws.
All Bitwarden customers get a number of 2FA choices for accessing their vaults. Free-tier members can arrange a two-factor authentication login course of utilizing electronic mail verification or an authenticator app like Authy or Google Authenticator.
The Premium tier additionally helps Duo Safety, YubiKey and FIDO U2F-compliant USB safety keys. As talked about earlier, Premium subscribers may use Bitwarden’s personal authenticator app as an alternative of a third-party one.
As soon as you’ve got logged in along with your grasp password and any enabled two-step technique, you possibly can unlock your vault utilizing a PIN or a biometric technique. Bitwarden helps fingerprint and face unlock on Android, each Contact ID and Face ID on iOS, biometrics on Home windows 10 by way of Home windows Good day and Contact ID on macOS.
Bitwarden password supervisor evaluate: Backside line
Bitwarden is a stable password supervisor, particularly at such a low value level. Its free model is arguably the perfect price range possibility out there now that LastPass has restricted information syncing on its free plan. Plus, at simply $10 per yr, Bitwarden’s premium tier is properly price paying for to get extras like safety audits and superior 2FA.
Bitwarden does have a studying curve for many who are new to password managers, and a few of its options are clunkier than its opponents. But when all you need is a free — and extremely safe — strategy to retailer and sync logins, Bitwarden is the plain alternative.
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