Remembering passwords can be a right pain. We all know that we shouldn't use the same one on every site, but it's so difficult to remember which password you used for each website that many of us do use just one or two passwords for everything.
There is a solution though, which comes in the form of a password manager. These clever apps store all your passwords in one single, secure database that's password protected. And because they all have an autofill feature, those usernames and passwords can be automatically entered into websites and apps, ensuring they don't have to be looked up and copied and pasted, so they're super convenient.
Here's our pick of the very best:
This easy to use app is a mini-miracle and is widely regarded as one of the best password managers in the business. It builds on the (relatively) simple idea of auto-generating complicated passwords for you by putting them into a fresh-looking database. All you need remember is one master password (keep it secret, keep it safe).
There are apps for iOS and Android, and browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Opera. The interface is easy to navigate with good search tools, a shared password facility and a handy emergency contact section that allows you to grant access to trusted friends or family under certain circumstances (if your laptop is stolen, for example). On a phone with a fingerprint scanner (or Face ID) you don't even have to enter the master password as biometrics replaces it.
The basic package is free and will be enough for most people, but for useful advanced features it costs just $3 (around £2.40) per month, billed annually. You can also take advantage of the Family tier that offers six premium accounts for $48 per year (around £45 in the UK once you add VAT).
Dashlane is another world-beater. It has all-consuming - but totally secure - reach across your sites and devices. It generates auto logins, strong passwords and constantly monitors your accounts to inform you of suspicious activity or when you should change your passwords.
It also has a digital wallet feature that can securely store your different payment methods, offering quick checkout and decent form filling when it comes to a spot of online shopping. The premium version is the one to plump for if you want it working across devices, and starts at $39.99 for the year (around £30), but sadly there's no family option. The price and need for individual accounts does put it at the high-end in terms of cost, but it's still not a lot to pay for total password security.
Dashlane is available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
NordVPN is one of the best VPN services currently available, as you can see from its high ranking in our Best VPN chart. Now, the company behind NordVPN has introduced a dedicated password manager called NordPass, which promises to be equally as impressive.
It's available as an extension for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Opera, meaning Mac users who prefer Safari are out of luck. If you use one of the many variants that run on the Chrome engine (such as Vivaldi or Brave) then the Chrome extension will work fine with those. There are also full apps for Android and iOS.
Transferring passwords into the NordPass is simple, as you can export a .CSV file from your existing password manager, then import it into NordPass. This means you’re up and running in seconds rather than hours of typing in passwords for your various accounts.
Once set up, NordPass can automatically fill-in login details when you visit sites or open apps. In our short time with the app (it’s brand new after all) this process seemed reliable and fast. NordPass can also auto-generate complex passwords and evaluate the strength of your current ones.
To accompany the password manager, the app allows you to securely store credit card details so you can quickly pay for things online, plus there’s a secure note section where you can keep important information that you don’t want to fall into the wrong hands. NordPass provides the ability to share any entries from these sections (passwords, credit card details and notes) securely with friends via the Shared Items feature, so if your partner has forgotten the Netflix login again, you can get them back to watching Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories in no time.
With the free version you get the basics, albeit limited to one device and a capped number of passwords, and a 7-day free trial for the Premium service. To sign up to the latter it works out at £2.30/$2.99p/m, but you pay for the whole year in one go which cost £28/$35.88. This includes a 50 percent discount as an introductory offer to the app.
It’s not as developed as some of the other apps on this list, for instance there’s no way to organise the passwords, but we’re definitely impressed with how NordPass has started out. Hopefully there’s more to come.
Sticky Password is an excellent password manager which boasts a high level encryption standard (AES-256, in case you were wondering), and has biometric compatibility on its mobile apps, so if you use your fingerprint to unlock your smartphone you can easily verify your identity.
Apps are available for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Blackberry OS10, Amazon Kindle Fire, and Nokia X.
The free version is very good, but the £19.99/$29.99 premium version gets you cloud backup, local Wi-Fi syncing across devices and quicker access to customer services. There's also the option to pay a one-off fee for lifetime Premium status, which costs £119.99/$149.99/€149.99 depending on your region.
Oh, and if you see a strange cartoon Manatee on the site, don't call for counselling just yet. The developers of Sticky Password are rather keen on the endangered animals and make a donation from each Premium account fee to wildlife conservation trusts that work to save the sea creatures. So, you're securing not only your passwords but Manatees too. Bargain.
One of the longest-running password managers, RoboForm has an excellent reputation for no nonsense password security. It was one of the first mainstream solutions to the password problem that effortlessly slid onto computers and saved people time every day. Which is exactly what it still does today.
Alongside the standard password features there's also the option to securely store your credit card details for easy online shopping, you have a section for secure notes (these could be license keys or something similar), plus automatic filling out of online forms with your address and other details.
It works across PC, Mac, phone, tablet and even via USB drives, with the pleasing bonus that it doesn’t push its paid version very hard. But, should you wish to sync across devices the cost, at the time of writing, is a very reasonable £18.49/$23.88 for a year.
There's also a family package also offers the same service but for up to five users, and will set you back £39.97/$47.75 per year.
Designed for individuals, but also as a business app, Keeper is an excellent, adaptable password manager.
The software generates strong passwords for you and stores them on your device, while managing auto-fill and logins across platforms and on all your other devices too.
It also has a clever file share function that lets consumers and businesses alike confidently cloud store files and access them as and when.
Consumers can also use the fingerprint scanner on their phones to log into individually assigned apps or websites, giving them peace of mind. There's also support for other two-factor authorisation solutions, including Face ID, Yubikey, SMS and more.
The service is available as a free trial, then if you want to continue using it you'll need to pay £20.99/$29.99 per year, or £44.99/$59.99 for the family package that offers five accounts.
Businesses can get a quick quote from Keeper to see how much a year's subscription would be.
Keeper supports Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Blackberry, and even Windows Phone! Plus there are plug-ins and extensions for all the major browsers.
Canadian-based 1Password is another popular service that's available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
Just like many others it allows you to store your passwords in a secure vault that can only be unlocked by your master code (hence the name 1Password).
AES-256 encryption keeps things locked up tight, and browser extensions make filling in forms or login details online quick and easy.
One special feature 1Password offers is the ability to remove all sensitive data from your device and store it on the company server. This is intended to be used should you be travelling through countries that might demand access to your PC, smartphone, or tablet.
The smart thing is that when you return home you just turn off the Travel Mode and your data will be automatically restored.
1Password offers a 30-day free trial, then afterwards you can either sign up to the premium tier for £28/$36 per year, or the family account that offers 5 users for £47/$60 per year.