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Home » Software Reviews » Open Source Password Manager: Why You Need It and How to Get Started

Open Source Password Manager: Why You Need It and How to Get Started

By ARIA

Individuals and businesses today are dealing with countless passwords, however, to remember all of them is cumbersome and almost impossible. People may use very weak  or repeated passwords for various accounts, which obviously your critical data and sensitive info at the risk of fraud, identity theft or credential stuffing attacks. So how to use strong, unique passwords without the hassle of memoring and managing each? An open source password manager can get you the best of both worlds. 

Stay Safe With Open Source Password Manager

An open source password manager enables source code transparency that allows everyone to review, audit, and contribute its codebase freely. It stores all your passwords in an encrypted form to provide every online accounts. And because many of the password managers nowadays can sync across devices, you are supposed to using only master password  to gain access to your stored passwords across  all the different computers, mobile phones and tablets you use. Depending upon your preference, you can opt to a password manager with cloud-based platforms or with desktop application for managing your password.

Open source password manager out there are enormous, here we will have an apple-to-apple comparison to the three stand-outs, elaborate their benefits and drawbacks to help you make a solid decision. Your choice will depend on the features you value most. 

Bitwarden

Bitwarden is a 100% open source password management software that offers an easy and secire way to store and sync sensitive data. The source code for Bitwarden is hosted on GitHub so everyone is free to  contribute to its codebase. Besides, it also boasts powerful sharing features ideal for personal and business organations alike. The built-in secure password generator facilitates 2-step authentication for high-end security with extreme convenience.bitwarden-free-password-manager

Pros

  • Supports all popular platforms and browsers: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Its browser extension supports Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Vivaldi, Brave, and Tor Browser.
  • Automatically synchronises across various devices and platforms.
  • Clean interface with no ads.
  • Generates passwords and fills forms.
  • Extremely strong encryption algorithm. End-to-end AES-256 bit encryption, salted hashing, and PBKDF2 SHA-256.
  • Free with no limit on number of devices used or passwords stored.
  • Provides event logs for you to review the activities done by groups and their members.

Cons

  • Edge extension not working correctly.
  • Limited support for iOS.

Keepass

KeePass enables you to store passwords in a single highly encrypted  database and locks them with one master key or a key file, accessible only with a master password that is encrypted using highly-secure encryption algorithms known as AES and Twofish. It is lightweight and versatile software that applied for storing and sharing passwords.

open-source-password-manager-keepass

Pros

  • Efficient and flexible organization. (entry groups, tags, time fields, file attachments,etc.)
  • Portable with no installation required, available for many Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, smart devices/phones. 
  • Various data transfer methods including clipboard, drag and drop, auto-type, plugins can provide integration with other applications. 
  • Complies with GDPR.
  • Data stored encrypted on your device.
  • Can run from a thumb drive.
  • End-to-End (E2E) encrypted using AES-256, ChaCha20, SHA-256, AES-KDF, Argon2.

Cons

  • Not well suited to beginners.
  • Dated user interface.
  • Many features require the use of third-party plugins, and must use plugins to sync between devices.
  • No master password recovery options.
  • Limited support.

Passbolt

Passbolt is a self-hosted and highly scalable password management tool that focus more on team and DevOps rather than individuals, though it can be used for personal reasons as well. It is extensible enough to meet your team demands with adminnistration tabs to manage your different users, control the user directory and choose their permission set. The best thing is that it can be used by unlimited users free of charge and in a highly secure manner. passbolt-password-management-tool

Pros

  • Audited 100% open source code, free community edition.
  • Uses secure asymmetric end-to-end encryption and OpenPGP.
  • Runs locally, and doesn’t rely on Cloud storage. (unless you want to)
  • Autofill with browser add-ons.
  • Highly collaborative features.
  • Interoperable. (Open API & CLI)
  • Generally very well suited to entry-level users.
  • Compatible with KeePass.

Cons

  • Browser-based cryptography.
  • Fully hosted plans use Google and AWS servers.
  • Encryption is browser-based.
  • No desktop app.

A Valid Candidate: Paid Password Manager

Using one of the free and open source password management tool is a great start. But If you are not contented with the features provided by these free software, go through the details of the following popular & paid password management software can also be a nice touch.

LastPass

LastPass is one of the most well-known password managers that recognized by more than 40,000 organizations globally. The free version festures two-factor authentication, free credit monitoring, multiple identities, an auto-fill functionality and a password generator. Its premium suite includes all free plan features and  multi-factor authentication capabilities, stellar tech support, and the ability to sync information between your desktop and mobile devices. You can opt to try the free account to feel how it works or go premium that has a fee of $3 a month ($36 per year for new customers).paid-password-manager-lastpass

Pros

  • One-to-many sharing.
  • Emergency access.
  • Advanced login options.
  • Priority tech support.
  • Works with Windows applications.
  • 1GB ultra-safe encrypted file storage.

Cons

  • No monthly payment option.
  • Only one user. (unless you upgrade to the “family” package)

1Password

1Password offers apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, as well as extension for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox or any platform that supports those browsers. 1Password allows you to sync everything locally, or between computers via Dropbox, iCloud, or another convenient method. For a standard edition, it would cost you $3.99 per month. But if you pay for a year at a time, the monthly cost effectively goes down to $2.99 per month ($35.88 per year). 1password-password-management-software

Pros

  • Simple and straightforward onboarding and setup for new users to sign up.
  • Effortlessly import passwords to the vault.
  • Two-Factor anthentication for tighter security.
  • Categories provided to store all private data (username, password storage, etc.) that accessible through your devices.
  • The “watchtower” service help inform you of ongoing website breaches. 
  • Digital wallet securely saves your logins, credit card info and network passwords.
  • Secure account sharing with upto 5 users. 

Cons

  • Autofill isn't as effective.
  • UI is a little dated.
  • Cannot share details with non-users.
  • No free plan. 
  • Cannot update all passwords with one click. 

Bottomline

Password manager, be it an open source software or paid version, will take the hassle out of creating and remembering strong passwords. It is wise to incorporate one into your business plan or for personal use before it's too late. 

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