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Why 1Password continues to beat its biggest rivals

The best password managers help bridge the gap between devices and people. Instead of walled gardens and sharing hassles, top-rated solutions from 1Password and Dashlane can bring order and simplicity to login management.

I recently reviewed two of the most popular password managers and can share some insights about their unique features to help you choose the one that best suits your needs.

Tiers and pricing

A side-by-side comparison of 1Password and Dashlane pricing.
A side-by-side comparison of 1Password and Dashlane pricing. Digital Trends

Dashlane has a free version that lets you use its password manager without a subscription, but it has a notable restriction: You can only save 25 logins. That’s not really practical since you probably have well over a hundred passwords for various personal, financial, and social accounts.

Still, it’s nice to have the free option. 1Password requires a subscription but does offer free 14-day trials on all its plans. Dashlane’s free trial is a generous 30 days, but is only available for the lowest-cost plan.

A Dashlane subscription starts at $60 annually for a one-person Premium plan. 1Password’s Individual plan is a much more affordable $36 each year. There are differences in the features to consider of course.

For groups of people, you’ll want to check out 1Password’s Families plan, which provides five accounts for $60 per year or Dashlane’s Friends and Family subscription that supports up to 10 members for $90 annually.

If you want to split costs with a large group, Dashlane is more affordable, but for one to five people, 1Password has the best price.

Features

I tested 1Password on my Windows PC and iPhone.
I tested 1Password on my Windows PC and iPhone. Alan Truly / Digital Trends

There are some common features among third-party password managers like automatically filling in logins for all your accounts and providing apps and browser extensions, so you can access your credentials from your computer, phone, and tablet.

1Password can also generate two-factor authentication (2FA) codes for websites and apps that request verification. It also protects you from phishing, where a malicious website looks like one of your favorites but attempts to trick you into filling in your credentials. Hackers can’t fool 1Password.

You can create encrypted notes and add your IDs and credit card numbers for easy access from any of your devices. While 1GB of encrypted storage isn’t enough for your photo library, it can hold a huge amount of text and numbers.

The Hotspot Shield VPN included with Dashlane is quite fast.
The Hotspot Shield VPN included with Dashlane is quite fast. Digital Trends

Dashlane includes all these features and adds more, potentially offsetting its higher prices. If you need a VPN, Dashlane includes Hotspot Shield, which costs $96 per year, more than the price of Dashlane Friends and Family plan. In my Dashlane review, the bundled VPN proved to be respectably fast, reaching nearly 500Mbps speed on my 1Gbps internet connection.

Dashlane also includes dark web monitoring with regular searches for y0ur personal data on the shady side of the internet where hackers share data that can be used for targeted attacks and identity theft.

Dashlane doesn’t match every 1Password feature. When I reviewed 1Password, I appreciated the convenient Windows and macOS apps that let me sign into apps with my 1Password vault. Dashlane only works in the browser on computers. System integration also allows you to unlock your vault with Touch ID on a Mac and Windows Hello on PCs.

Support

A side-by-side comparison of 1Password's and Dashlane's customer service ratings.
A side-by-side comparison of 1Password’s and Dashlane’s customer service ratings. Digital Trends

1Password and Dashlane enjoy very good ratings on Trustpilot. 1Password scores a bit higher with an impressive 4.7-star average and over 12,000 reviews, while Dashlane nips at its heels with 4.4 stars across nearly 6,000 reviews.

As with most password managers, support is via email for 1Password. Dashlane offers live chat, but availability is limited and the hours change during high demand. In my experience, I was able to interact with a chatbot that was easily confused and ended up with email support.

Privacy and security

1Password and Dashlane have similar privacy policies. Neither sells or shares your personal data to third-party advertisers. However, both will comply with legal requests from authorities for user data.

Security is a must for your account logins, and 1Password has never been breached. Dashlane also maintains a perfect record. However, records only stand until they’re broken, so you need more assurances that your personal and financial data are safe. That’s where end-to-end encryption comes in.

Your vault is secured with industry standard AES-256 encryption before it’s uploaded. Even if your password manager’s server has been breached, hackers couldn’t access it without your master password.

1Password keeps your data even safer since it combines your master password with a Secret Key that’s stored on your computer and phone. That means hackers would need to know your master password and have access to one of your devices to unlock your vault.

Which password manager is best?

If you don’t already have a fast VPN and need one, Dashlane’s bundled service makes it an attractive choice. It also includes dark web monitoring, a valuable service if you think you’re at risk.

Of course, the best antivirus software often comes with a VPN and dark web monitoring. There’s no need to pay for the same features twice.

1Password hits the sweet spot, offering all the password manager features I need, among the best security available, at an affordable price.

Of course, there are other choices. Bitwarden offers the best free option, and our list of the best password managers will give you an overview of a few more.

Alan Truly
Alan is a Computing Writer living in Nova Scotia, Canada. A tech-enthusiast since his youth, Alan stays current on what is…
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