Passwords are bit of a nightmare. Weak passwords are useless and we need to make our passwords as complex as possible so that brute force attack won’t break through them by having a computer simply go through all the possible combinations. Furthermore, we need to change them regularly. As we all now have more online accounts than we’ve ever had before the result of having to regularly change complex passwords is one big mess. Let’s face it, we either have lots of accounts with the same password, which is a security nightmare as one data breach will unlock all your accounts or we’re constantly hitting the “I forgot my password button” and resetting.
The other option for avoiding the randomness is writing down all of our passwords so that we don’t forget them, and can keep track of all the changes we make. This, however, is very impractical and also very insecure. You don’t want to carry around a book full of passwords with you everywhere you go and you don’t want people seeing a password you’ve written down.
This is where password managers come in handy. They provide a secure place where you can store all your passwords behind a single master password that you can safely carry with you everywhere you go on your Android mobile phone or iPhone. Furthermore, password managers can instantly generate passwords for you so that you won’t have to spend hours and hours thinking of something that is 8-16 characters long and has lower case and upper-case letters, at least one number etc.
Let’s look at five of the best password managers and password generators available today.
The best random password generators
LastPass is an excellent password manager that also has a fantastic free version too. For free, LastPass will securely store all of your passwords and let you access them across three of your devices. This means you’ll be able to securely log into your accounts from your PC, mobile, and tablet without having to pay for the premium version.
LastPass also offers a great password generator that will automatically come up with secure passwords whenever you sign up to a new account and then prompt you and fill it in every time you try to log in. If, however, you don’t want to install LastPass, you can use the web version the of LastPass password generator every time you need to create a password. It offers a number of customization options including Uppercase and Lowercase Letters, Numbers, and Special Characters. You’ll also be able to set password length and choose whether to have a password that is Easy to say or Easy to read. Once you have your password you can simply hit the copy button and then paste it where you decide to keep it.
Avast is, of course, famous for its antivirus software and we recently recommended Avast Free Antivirus as the best free antivirus program available today as it offers many features that you’d normally have to pay for. One such feature is the Avast password manager.
Although the free version of Avast’s password manager isn’t as good as the free version of LastPass it does still have a great password manager. Just like with LastPass, Avast also offers a web version of its password generator. It offers all the usual customization options for your password generation and couldn’t be easier to use.
Behind NordPass we found the same cybersecurity experts of the complete and successful NordVPN. The big main feature? The XChaCha20 encryption algorithm. It supports two different lengths of keys, with the 256-bit one being the strongest. As a result, it’s one of the safest encryption algorithms. And the best part? You, as an user, don’t need to worry about this settings: NordPass does it for you.
In addition to the XChaCha20 encryption, we have all the advantages that we already expect on a pass manager: two-step authentication, personalized configuration, protection of our bank data, apps for all types of platforms … Oh, and with a completely free option. There’s also a Premium version, which allows to be used up to six simultaneous devices.
Dashlane, like LastPass, is a specialized password manager. It offers extensive features that enable you to coordinate your secure passwords across multiple devices. It is widely regarded as one of the best password managers in the business. Unlike with LastPass, however, you can’t use Dashlane on more than one device for free. You’ll have to pay for multi-device.
The good thing about Dashlane though, is that its excellent password generator is available for free online. You can easily set the different parameters your good password needs and then Dashlane will make it very clear whether the parameters you’ve entered create a strong password or a weak one. If the generated password is strong the green will shine bright green. If it isn’t, your screen will shine fiery red.
With a name like 1Password we’re pretty sure that you already know this is another specialized password managing program. With 1Password you’ll get all the automated password features you get with Dashlane and LastPass, rigorous encryption protecting your stored passwords, and a strong password generator that makes it very easy to create new online accounts securely.
The 1Password password generator is also available online and offers a rather useful feature that sets it apart from the other password generators in this list. As well as giving you control over password length, and numbers and symbols, 1Password also offers users a free PIN generator too. With Windows 10 and other similar programs offering offline PIN login alternatives these days a random PIN generator is very useful as it’ll stop you from falling back on to a random date.
Norton is another famous Antivirus security suite that has recently developed a password manager and password generation feature. This is because having safe and secure passwords is a very important part of your online security toolkit.
The online version of Norton Lifelock is similar to that offered by Dashlane. You select all of the criteria you need your password to have and the tool with then show you whether the resulting password is bad, weak, or strong by showing a red, orange, or green background. As well as this, Norton gives you all the regular password customization options including Numbers, Mixed Case letters, Punctuation marks, and symbols.
We can’t stress enough just how important it is that you have unique and strong passwords on all of your online accounts. We know, however, that it can be hard coming up with new passwords when you have to change them all the time. Each of the password generators we’ve mentioned will create strong and unique passwords for all of your online accounts. The 1Password PIN generator is also very useful.
All in all, though, we think you’d be much more secure if you installed one of the full password manager programs we’ve featured today. In that respect, we recommend LastPass, which will give you your passwords across multiple devices for free.