In the last two posts in this series, I have explained why I think everyone should use a password manager. In Part 1, Getting and Using a Password Manager – For Real, This Time, I made the case for why password managers are necessary – at least, until we find a way to get rid of passwords entirely. In Part 2, Requirements, I listed the minimum requirements I think your password manager should have. At last, I’m ready to talk about my recommendations. But first….let’s talk about the competition.

Because there’s a lot of competition. It seems like every couple of weeks I see a new password manager pop up somewhere on the internet, and I have started to worry that the market is just too saturated, and it’s hard to make a choice. In the course of a 30-minute search, I discovered the following password managers out there for your consideration:

1Password Keeper Password Boss
AllYourPasswords KeeWeb Password Crypt
Avast Passwords LastPass Password Safe
Bitwarden LessPass Passwork Pro
Blockvault LogMe Once RememBear
CommonKey nextPass Roboform
Dashlane NordPass Safeguard
Drive Password Norton Password Manager Secrets
Enpass oneSafe StickyPassword
Forgiva Padloc Swifty
Gpass Passbolt Tilig
Hypervault PassCamp TrueKey
KeePassXC Passlock Zoho Vault

If you really want to do your due diligence and research the best password managers, by all means feel free to take a look at all of the options above. If you do, make sure to apply the requirements identified in the last post (and displayed in the chart below), and make sure the password manager in question meets every single requirement. You could spend hours and hours doing this, if you want.

Or.

You can focus on just three password managers. These are the tools with which I have personal experience, and which consistently show up in “best password manager” review articles. You cannot go wrong with one of these choices. They are:

LastPass is the password manager I use, and is my top choice. LastPass was released in 2008, and was purchased by LogMeIn in 2015. Fortunately, the acquisition has not had any effect (so far) on LastPass development. As you will see in the next post in this series, I like LastPass primarily because it is so easy to use, and available everywhere I need a password.

1Password has actually been around longer than LastPass – since 2006. It was originally developed only for Mac users, which is one of the reasons I never tried it. In the past few years it has expanded to other platforms, and remains one of the strongest password managers available.

Dashlane is the relative newcomer in this group, as it was released in 2012. Dashlane is what I would call the “quiet competitor” in this field, because I never see a lot about it online; most of the discussion seems to be dominated by LastPass and 1Password. But it’s still a strong choice, and worthy of belonging in the Top 3.

So, how do these three actually stack up? The results are pretty boring; they each meet all of the requirements for a good password manager. So while the chart below may not offer you a lot of new information, it should hopefully demonstrate that you won’t go wrong by choosing any of these tools.

So, what’s next?  Hopefully, those of you who aren’t using a password manager will be taking a hard look at these three options over the next couple of weeks. In my next post, using LastPass, I’ll show you how easy it is to create and manage passwords for all of your most important accounts.

Did I miss anything here?  Do you use a different password manager that beats my top three choices? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments below.