Bitwarden review

Open source and affordable password management for all

Between the number of shopping sites, streaming services, and social media accounts the average person has accumulated more passwords than they know what to do with.

If you’re practicing good password protocols, that means each one is unique and consists of random characters making it impossible to remember one password, let alone dozens. That’s where password managers such as Bitwarden come to the rescue.

Developer: 8bit Solutions LLC

Price: Free/subscription plans

What’s so great about Bitwarden?

Since its release, Bitwarden has had a lot of positive buzz around it and for good reason. For starters Bitwarden is open source, why is this important? Open source software allows for anyone to view the code that makes up the program, that means if there is a flaw it is much more likely to be found and fixed. Fewer flaws means more secure software.

Another reassuring feature is Bitwarden doesn’t store your passwords, it stores encrypted copies only you can unlock. In fact, your passwords are encrypted on your device before they are even uploaded to the cloud servers.

Having your passwords encrypted, hosted in the cloud, with easy access on just about any device you own is a lifesaver. If you happen to be like me, you bounce back and forth between several devices and syncing your passwords securely is something I can’t live without. Whether it’s Chrome, Firefox, Windows, Linux, Android, or iOS Bitwarden has you covered.

What’s even better, is you can choose to host the password database yourself. That’s right, you don’t have to even use Bitwarden’s cloud storage to have all the benefits of syncing your passwords between devices. Truly a fantastic option for those of us more safety conscious users out there.

Speaking of being safety conscious, Bitwarden features two-factor authentication (2FA) which when enabled requires a secondary code before logging in. If you don’t already know about 2FA, then check our article explaining 2FA because this is one of the best ways to secure your online accounts.

If you’re switching from another password manager, then no worries because Bitwarden includes a way to import all your passwords. It features support for popular password managers such as LastPass, 1Password, Dashlane, and many more.

A staple of any password manager is the ability to create secure passwords. Bitwarden is not lacking in this area either. It gives you a myriad of options to choose from to customize your password including a choice to use a passphrase instead.

Have you ever wanted to share your Hulu, Netflix, or security alarm password with your significant other or your family? Then good news, because Bitwarden allows you to share your passwords with others, although you’ll be limited to two users for free accounts.

What does it cost?

So far you must be thinking, Bitwarden sounds great, it features encrypted cloud storage and syncing, unlimited entries, apps for the most popular platforms, it’s open source, has a password generator, and 2FA. Now, for one of the most important questions, how much is it going to cost me? Amazingly, for all of those benefits I just listed, it is 100 percent free.

That’s not to say Bitwarden doesn’t include paid plans, they most certainly do, but the free plan offers all the functionality most users would ever need. If you find you’re looking for some extra features such as 1GB of encrypted file storage, 2FA with a hardware key, sharing with more than two users, and more then that’s all available for a very reasonable price.

Final Thoughts

After switching over to Bitwarden, the only real downside I’ve experienced is some extra steps to fill in my passwords on Android. With it set up as the default autofill service, you get a convenient pop up in apps to sign in with.

However, if you want it to work in Chrome or you’re using a version of Android Nougat or below it requires the accessibility service to be enabled and a few more steps. In order for it to fill in the username and password, I had to select the password field, swipe down, tap on the notification, scan my fingerprint, and then tap on the username and password.

This makes the experience a little less than seamless depending on your setup. However, that’s a minor inconvenience for an app which provides so many options for free and helps protect your most sensitive information. Between all the pros and very few cons, Bitwarden offers one of the most compelling password managers on the market. If you haven’t given it a try, I suggest you do so.

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