It's 2018, and at this point we've all had our info stolen enough times to know that reusing passwords is a terrible idea. But having a ton of strong passwords creates a new problem: keeping track of them all.
The solution is a password manager, which securely stores all your passwords online so you only need to remember a single, master password. While that may sound less safe at first blush, a password manager will keep track of all your account info, generate strong passwords for you, and help you change them when need be.
I've been using a password manager for years, and it has a number of knock-on benefits. For one, if I ever needed to give my wife access to all my accounts in an emergency I only have to give her the master password. It also keeps track of all the account names I've had to use, too, which I find just as tricky to remember as passwords.
The best password managers
Though we have a full-on roundup of the best password managers on the horizon, the general consensus is that there are three top contenders: LastPass, 1Password, and Dashlane. There are nearly a dozen other popular ones, but we'll address those in the full roundup.
I've used LastPass for years, and it's still my go-to recommendation for anyone who wants a powerful password manager. The free version handles all the basics of password management and can do so across all your devices—something other managers often charge for.
The premium version costs $2/month (or $4/month for families of up to 6 accounts), and it adds a few extras like secure password and Wi-Fi login sharing, 1GB of encrypted storage, and an option to have a pre-set contingency plan that gives a loved one access to your accounts if something were to happen.
Dashlane is very highly recommended across the web. Not only does the app look great, it's very easy to store and change your passwords on the fly. The big downside? The free version only works on one device, which is a big mark in LastPass's favor.
If you're comparing the premium versions, though, Dashlane's superior user experience might be worth paying for. It costs $3.33/month (or $4/month for the "Business" version), and that nets you access across all your devices, easy password sharing, and support for hardware keys like the Yubikey.
1Password is another very popular service that has one major drawback: it doesn't offer a free version. That said, the app looks great, it's super easy to use, and after years of being Apple-only it finally is available on Windows and Android.
It'll cost you at least $2/month for 1Password, but if you're already considering the premium versions of Dashlane or LastPass, then it is worth trying out. It's extremely well-regarded, and it has essentially the same feature set as the competition while looking better and being arguably easier to use.