Family members share more than just a household; they also share many online accounts, from streaming services to bank accounts. Plus, data breaches are also facts of modern life. Online safety requires real-world precautions for you and your family, with secure passwords on our accounts. The best password manager for families can provide that shared digital security.
- Family password managers provide permissions and contact list–based sharing features.
- 1Password is the strongest password manager because of its great features and low cost.
- Bitwarden is an excellent open-source tool with a long history of security at a low price.
- The other password managers on this list include Dashlane, Keeper and LastPass, but they all have certain drawbacks for families.
To find the best, we’ve gathered our intel with extensive research and fact checking. First, the best family password manager has to meet the same quality standards found in our article on the best overall password manager. Second, the service provider has to make it safe, secure and easy to share passwords among friends and family.
For those of you short on time, we think 1Password is the best password manager for families. It’s an easy-to-use tool for securing a family’s accounts and data, and it has an admirable security record.
Hopefully, this article proves that to you while giving a brief summary on the features and strengths of our top five password managers. If you’re getting started with this tool, read our guide to learn how password managers work.
10/10/2022 Facts checked
Rewrote the review on the best password managers for families. Dashlane was added and placed in third. Keeper and LastPass moved to fourth and fifth.
We’ve selected 1Password as the best password management tool for families. It’s a fully featured, highly secure and third-party validated password manager. It has apps and plugins that are easy to use without cluttering up your workflow.
Yes, LastPass is a strong password manager with plenty of enhanced features. It has had a few security breaches — in 2016 and 2022 — but so far none of those breaches have resulted in the exposure of user data. LastPass hashes your master password and encrypts your stored data.
Top Password Managers for Families
What Makes the Best Password Manager for Families?
It can be challenging to choose the best password manager for family members, as many of them seem nearly identical. This section will discuss some of the key factors that make one password manager better than the next, but first here is a quick recap of the best password managers for families.
- 1Password — Full-featured and extremely easy-to-use password manager
- Bitwarden — An improved interface, still open-source, but cheap with solid security
- Dashlane — Enhanced vault features, great autofill and extras like a VPN
- Keeper — Solid application with autofill, offers extra encrypted file storage
- LastPass — A nice family manager dashboard and dark-web monitoring
First, choose a secure password vault that can be trusted. After that, make sure it fits your family’s lifestyle by integrating seamlessly into everyday activities on everyone’s devices.
Though we covered five password managers for families here, there are dozens of options available for different operating systems and mobile devices. Not all provide features that enable a family group, so we’ve focused on those that make the best family password managers. Plus, ideally the password manager would offer many multiple devices, considering the number of users.
Ideally, we can get all of those features without emptying our pockets. We can’t very well recommend a password manager that nobody can afford. Pricing wasn’t the most important factor in our decision, but it does play a significant role.
Fortunately, you can use this list to try one of the services, as all of them offer a trial period. Many even rank as some of the best free password managers.
The 5 Best Password Managers for Families
Keeping in mind all the factors mentioned above, let’s get to the results for our best family password manager. 1Password tops our list for an excellent history of security while maintaining a wide host of features and user-friendliness.
Bitwarden comes in at a strong second for being one of the cheapest secure family password managers, though it is missing capabilities like file storage.
At the third spot for family password managers, Dashlane has enhanced vault monitoring and includes a VPN, but it is expensive. Next, Keeper is functional and offers extra encrypted storage, but it’s also pricier. Finally, LastPass has suffered recent security breaches, but it matches most 1Password features and has a great family dashboard.
More details about 1Password:
- Pricing: $4.99 per month (one-month plan) for five users
- Provider website: 1password.com
- Multiple vaults for each account member
- Travel mode for extra security
- Free version
- Options heavy interface
- Not the cheapest option
It’s no coincidence that most of our reviews have 1Password at or near the top of the list. The service provides what it says on the tin: It manages your passwords securely and without getting in the way. Five members can log in to one plan, and they can share data by assigning individual permissions without sharing their unique master password.
Larger families or friend groups can extend invitations to additional members. Each additional member costs one dollar per month. That’s useful if your group needs to share stored passwords with someone new or temporary. Then, whoever joins will have no shortage of app or extension support, as 1Password is well supported on most browsers and operating systems.
All the Data Types and Categories
Logging in to 1Password reveals an almost daunting array of data categories. You can store passports, membership documents, wireless router credentials or just plain old passwords. This allows your family to organize credentials to their heart’s content.
That also means you’re more likely to receive the right information. When sharing credentials, 1Password lets you select entire groups of data before changing the family’s permissions to that information. For example, you could share all of your wireless passwords while preventing anyone from getting access to your Amazon orders.
The 1Password family plan is only $4.99 per month and will easily take care of your family’s password management requirements. The service has been upgraded to 256-bit encryption since our last review, and it continues to add new features while streamlining functionality. A zero-knowledge model also means that the service doesn’t know any of your passwords.
Though it is not the cheapest password manager, 1Password earns its value by having extremely solid functionality and extras like file storage and dark-web monitoring. It works for browsers or on mobile devices without a hiccup. You get unlimited passwords for each family member, and the password monitoring features keep weak credentials from being misused.
That said, if you want to test the functionality before committing, you can use the free password manager version. For more information, check our full review on 1Password review.
- Unlimited storage, 1GB document storage
- Up to five users, Up to 5 additional guests
- 1GB of document storage per user, up to 10 people
- 5GB of document storage per users, Free family accounts for members, Up to 20 guest accounts
More details about Bitwarden:
- Pricing: $3.33 per month (one-year plan) for six users
- Provider website: bitwarden.com
- Cheapest password manager
- External auditing & validation
- Fully featured free version
- Limited data types
- No file storage
Bitwarden has grown in features while maintaining an open-source model with strong security practices. The program uses AES-256, PBKDF2 and SHA-256 for hashing. It has been audited by a third party, so you can trust it to keep your family safe. Those main reasons are why we’ve selected it as one of our best family password managers, and the low cost certainly doesn’t hurt.
Families also get up to six separate vaults, and each vault can store an unlimited number of items. Bitwarden also makes it easy to share those credentials with its Bitwarden “send” feature.
Plus, you never have to worry about leaving a Bitwarden family plan. You can always perform an encrypted export and start anew as a lone wolf with the free Bitwarden plan, which we’ve ranked as one of the best free password managers.
Bitwarden’s Unlimited Devices
Your friends and family can sync your Bitwarden vaults to as many devices as you want. That means the family plan comes with six unlimited vaults that can go on every device in the household. In other words, you won’t have to worry if your kid saves every password for every possible website.
Thanks to its open-source model, that list of unlimited devices doesn’t stop when something new comes along. Unlike some other free password managers, Bitwarden has an active community of developers who have created apps and extensions for common and uncommon browsers or operating systems. It works almost anywhere, and it can integrate with applications.
At $3.33 per month for unlimited devices, the Bitwarden Family plan is hard to beat. You get six vaults that each store an unlimited number of credentials. The desktop app works without a hitch, there are common browser extensions and there are apps available for Android and iOS.
All of that is built on secure foundational code that has been externally audited, so you can rest easy knowing you’ve secured your family’s data.
There are some missing features, like encrypted file storage, and some of its login processes aren’t quite as seamless as they could be. Still, it exceeds the password manager basic requirements. Find additional details in our full Bitwarden review, or try out the free version to see if it could be right for you and your family members.
- Unlimited storage, Multi-device sync, 2FA
- 1GB of encrypted file storage, Additional 2FA options, Password health reports, Priority customer service
- Six accounts
- Per user, includes all premium features
- Per user, includes all premium features and families plan for all users,
More details about Dashlane:
- Pricing: $4.99 per month (one-year plan) for six users
- Provider website: dashlane.com
- 1GB of encrypted file storage
- Dark-web monitoring
- Free version
- Expensive password manager
- No offline autofill passwords
Dashlane is another top contender on our lists. It has no shortage of functionality and security; its lower score is a result of its higher monthly cost. That said, the price does add a very basic VPN capability. Similar VPN services could cost your family anywhere from $3 to $6 per month, though the Dashlane VPN has sub-par performance and privacy.
Extras aside, Dashlane fulfills its responsibilities as a password manager with flying colors. Its web-based desktop interface means you can avoid software downloads and use it from any computer that has the extension. The mobile apps integrate seamlessly using an auto typing capability. All of its passwords are encrypted with the modern 256-bit AES standard.
Secure From the Ground Up
Dashlane’s features are comprehensive, but it may be one of the most secure password managers available. Like others, the service has zero knowledge of your master password. Unlike most others, it uses one-time passwords for new device logins.
Dashlane uses device characteristics to recognize an attempted login, so new systems require an email to confirm a user’s identity. That means hackers can’t gain access to your family’s vault using brute force.
Users have to be logged in to an email account or an existing Dashlane system to access their account’s passwords. However, that could cause hiccups for family members who are less tech savvy. Luckily, the account admin can help with password recovery.
Though more expensive than others, Dashlane offers families a lot for the high price tag. You’re getting unlimited password storage, dark-web monitoring, encrypted file storage and access to a VPN. The Dashlane cost will protect most aspects of your family’s online lives.
There are some limitations if you’re a power user or have applications with passwords. Dashlane only works for mobile autofill and websites, and the VPN and encrypted files aren’t as configurable as others.
However, it covers the password-manager basics, and everyday users in most families will appreciate that its simplicity doesn’t sacrifice security. Find out more in our latest Dashlane review, or try the free version.
- Up to 50 entries, One device, Autofill, Security alerts, Password sharing with five accounts
- 10 users
More details about Keeper:
- Pricing: $4.99 per month (one-year plan) for five users
- Provider website: keepersecurity.com
- 10GB of encrypted storage
- Fingerprint & facial login
- Free version
- Only 5 vaults for families
- Dark web monitoring costs extra
A good user interface goes a long way when comparing similar services. Keeper provides a well-designed UI with attractive contrast to make navigation easy. Like others on this list, it provides a secure, encrypted password vault with unlimited password storage. Families also get a handy record-sharing feature between users or to external email addresses.
That record-sharing capability extends to a 10GB encrypted file vault. Family members can store their sensitive documents for safekeeping or sharing when it’s time to register for school. For users who don’t like any passwords, you can use your face or fingerprint to unlock the Keeper mobile app.
Chat With Ease and Peace of Mind
As a unique feature, the Keeper company includes a chat capability as an add-on to its service. Keeper Chat provides end-to-end encrypted messaging that can include media galleries and self-destructing messages. You can even retract a message if you forgot a detail or made a mistake.
More impressively, Keeper Chat ties into the service’s password vault. You can share records through the chat system and view your vault, all with the same password or biometric login. All of those features work on nearly any device.
When it comes to password managers, your family’s needs should determine your selection. With Keeper, a household gains a large vault for securing important files and documents.
You might also consider Keeper if you use mobile devices that are heavily integrated with fingerprints or facial recognition. Biometrics mean you don’t have to remember a master password.
Just keep in mind that the Keeper add-ons cost extra. Those extra features have an additional monthly cost that can lead to unexpected charges at a later date. Otherwise, Keeper provides solid functionality in an attractive package that works on most operating systems or devices. Check our Keeper review or try the one-device free version if you want to know more.
- Price per month, billed annually Single user
- Price per month, billed annually Up to five private vaults
- Price per month, per user, billed annually Private vault for each user
More details about LastPass:
- Pricing: $4 per month (one-month plan) for six users
- Provider website: lastpass.com
- Dark web monitoring
- Tracks users & security
- Basic free version
- Several security breaches
- Missing support options
There aren’t many password managers that are as well known as LastPass, though some of its notoriety comes from recent data breaches. That’s unfortunate, because LastPass is still a strong family password manager with ample features for any user. The service provides password storage, a secure vault, dark-web monitoring and some slick security dashboards.
Despite those security breaches, you probably don’t have much to worry about. Like many password managers, the LastPass zero-knowledge security model means they don’t store any of your actual information. Your household passwords and data are all stored as hashes and encrypted with the user’s master password.
Earn a Good Security Score
We briefly mentioned the LastPass dashboards above. They’re slick, yes, but they’re also incredibly functional, which is not true of all password manager dashboards. Navigating to the main LastPass security dashboard shows an overall score, but you also get a list of compromised or at-risk credentials. You can even initiate password changes from those alerts.
With a family plan, that security dashboard gets extended to the family manager. If you run the account, you can see security scores for every user. As the adult in the room, you can track dark-web alerts or password breaches for your kids or other household members.
The best password managers also automate the process of securing your family’s lives with tools like password sharing. LastPass provides the core functionality of a password manager while adding enhancements that increase security awareness. Users benefit from an interface that informs rather than just listing saved passwords.
Luckily, you can even give the family plan a shot for free. All of LastPass’ features are available to try for 30 days, so you can make sure it fits your family’s needs. Anything stored in the vault will be encrypted at 256-bit with AES, so you can stay confident that a breach wouldn’t reveal any sensitive details anyway. You can get more information in our LastPass review.
- Unlimited storage
- Priority support One-to-many sharing Application autofill Multi-device sync
- Protection for six users Family dashboard Unlimited shared folders Multi-device sync
- Price per user Admin dashboard 5-50 users Standard reporting Multi-device sync
- Price per user Includes all Teams features Unlimited users 3 SSO apps with MFA LastPass Families for employees
Final Thoughts: The Best Password Managers for Families
The password managers we reviewed are safe, secure and easy to use for your family. You can’t go wrong choosing any of them as your password manager. However, 1Password stands at the top of the best password managers for families — it’s also the best password manager for small businesses.
It has a third-party validated history of security, plus solid apps and extensions. It’s a great product, even if it isn’t the cheapest password manager.
In closing, the best password managers are the ones that fit your needs. Use password managers that improve your family’s livelihood by protecting them from unknown threats while making password sharing easier.
Do you think we listed the password managers that you would use? Alternatively, do you think a family can stay secure without one? Do you use a password generator in addition to a password manager? Either way, thank you for reading, and we look forward to seeing your comments.