Why I chose the Dashlane password manager
Written by Marco Vellinga on 16th September 2015
(and not LastPass, 1Password or RoboForm)
At one point you realize you gave up on picking different passwords for new accounts and keep reusing a few passwords. When I reached this point, I started to realize I needed a password manager. This is where my journey started to find a suitable password manager.
Before I started searching for password managers I made a list of requirements:
- Usable on Windows/Mac/iPhone/Android
- Usable on Chrome/Safari/Firefox
- Sync data between devices
- Data decryption on device
- Backup plan
- Web access
I will only list the requirements the specified manager does not meet.
Pricing: Licence per device ($ depending on platform, one time purchase for a version)
1Password is a popular password manager made by “Agile Bits”. They have a decent website but the landing page does not contain a lot of information. It took me a while to find out if it met the requirements. Two requirements were not met:
- Backup plan – It syncs data between devices but depending on the method of syncing you do not have any backups. So if your house burns down with all your devices in it, it could be possible you lose all your passwords.
- Web access – Non existent
They do provide a blog about their encryption method which is good. The downside of 1Password is the licensing model. You have to buy a separate licence for every platform. If you want to use it on a Mac, Windows and iPhone you’d be looking at three licences.
Pricing: Basic (free), Everywhere ($19.95/year)
The RoboForm website is absolutely hideous (Dutch website). Somehow I already felt less comfortable about this password manager based on their website.
RoboForm does meet all requirements but I’ve read an article written by a security expert that RoboForm sends some freaky data to their servers. I don’t know if this is still the case, but that got me worried. I dug a little more and found some more things I did not like. One of their support sections required a login which was sent over HTTP. I notified them about it and it now has been fixed.
Pricing: Basic (free), Premium ($12/year)
LastPass is probably the most popular password manager. A lot of people have heard about it or use it. Their website provides good information and looks solid.
LastPass also meets all my requirements. At the time I could not find any reason not to try this one out. After creating an account and installing the software on my Mac (which at the time was a really early Java-based version) the first thing that bothered me was the speed. It was really slow, both the desktop client as well as the website. Somehow the product did not feel right for me. Unfortunately LastPass has recently been a victim of a ‘hack’.
Pricing: Basic (free), Premium ($39.99/year)
I had never heard of Dashlane before I found their website. The website looks solid and contains a lot of information about the product but also a paper about their encryption method.
Dashlane meets all my requirements. They have a very nice interface for all their platforms which is also uniform. One feature that I could not find in other password managers was the emergency function. You can send someone an email with a link to all your passwords. When they click the link you will get notified someone is trying to access your passwords. If you do not respond in a timely manner (which is set by yourself) they will get access.
Till this day the only thing I do not like about Dashlane is the fact they do not have a Linux desktop client. You can view your passwords in the web version, but you can not edit or add passwords that way.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions about this topic or Dashlane, don’t hesitate to write it down in the comments below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.