Password Management

Bitwarden Password Manager Review

bitwarden devices

Bitwarden was the first password manager I used, because the free version of it is really great and I liked their privacy policy. Like most of its competitors you can store passwords, cards and secure notes inside Bitwarden. Bitwarden is also Eve’s password manager of choice!

Bitwarden also creates super strong passwords and has two factor authentication even with the free version. If you want other features like data breach reports and password health reports then you will have to pay a small fee. Bitwarden is the only password manager I tested that is open-source, which is great. It has everything you’d really need to get started in the world of password managers. You can create different folders within it and organise everything as you please. It automatically detects when you log in with a new account and asks you if you want to save it. It also asks you if you want to update the stored password if you’ve entered a different one, a very thoughtful touch.

Bitwarden has an impressive host of setting features available in even the free version. One of the things I most appreciated was the combination of ‘auto-lock’ and ‘unlock with pin’, unique to Bitwarden. Whenever you open your browser for the first time you have to enter your master password. Setting it to auto lock after a given amount of time is a great security feature that means it won’t remain open constantly. If you also set a pin however, then so long as you didn’t close your web browser, you can unlock the vault with a simple number combination. This is a great time saver. Another thing I really like about Bitwarden is that in the free version you have the ability for it to clear your clipboard after a given amount of time (very useful if you’re copying and pasting sensitive info such as passwords and card numbers). The auto-fill feature works great on both computers and mobile phones.

Get Bitwarden

Out of all of the password managers I tried, Bitwarden has by far the best free version available. You can use the free version on an unlimited amount of devices, store an unlimited amount of passwords and you can also use two factor authentication for free.

There are a few minor things about Bitwarden that annoy me however. One is bad button placement. For example I keep clicking log out instead of unlock all the time because of the weird button placement they’ve gone for. The thing that made me most annoyed about Bitwarden however was that if I clicked outside of it for any amount of time while using the web browser extension, my Bitwarden window would close and also all of the information I’d enter into it. I found myself doing that a lot. For example I’d want to save my log in details for a website, I’d write in the web address and then want to go and copy / paste my username or password. Because Bitwarden closes the window and doesn’t save anything, it means I have to write the initial information all over again. Another annoying thing about Bitwarden is when I want to generate a password for a website. When I click on ‘generate password’ that should be enough for the software to know that I want to save that password over the old one, however it isn’t. So unless I click ‘save’ which is again a button in an unwise position, Bitwarden won’t save my new password. This has meant I’ve had to use ‘forgotten password’ features a fair few times while using Bitwarden.

Pros

  • Open source
  • Best free version
  • It’s the one most privacy activists would choose
  • Two factor authentication even in free version
  • Unlimited devices in free version
  • Auto-fill forms
  • Unique feature: Unlock vault with a pin after it auto locks
  • Can save logins, addresses, secure notes and identities
  • Works across all devices
  • Delete clipboard feature for copied items
  • Extremely affordable premium option
  • They have never suffered a data breach

Cons

  • Button placement is annoying (log in, save and edit buttons)
  • The web browser app closes and doesn’t save information unless you click save
  • Data and email breach notifications only available in premium
  • Some two factor authentication methods require premium

Get Bitwarden

Score: 8 / 10

Reviewer: Adam Rouge

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