Your digital presence can be complicated when running a business, but the best password manager for small business can prevent passwords from causing problems. After all, employees can’t leak passwords they don’t know. Social engineering is the number one cause for security breaches, but a password manager can prevent a bypass of your technical security controls.
If you already use a password manager, keeping your existing service might seem attractive. However, we have knowledgeable experts who reviewed the top password managers. We’ve found that the best small business password manager can differ based on your number of employees or required software integrations.
- Despite its price, 1Password takes the top spot as a provider with strong features and integrations.
- Dashlane has great functionality, but it falls short on some integrations.
- Bitwarden is cheap but not streamlined, Zoho Vault has tiered options but is dated and RoboForm has extra customization but more complications.
To be upfront with you, we think 1Password is the best bet for small business password managers. It has strong, industry standard encryption and ease of use. It goes above and beyond with single sign-on integrations for everything from Active Directory to Slack and Splunk.
However, read on to learn more detail and see the overall top five competitors for business password managers.
11/02/2022 Facts checked
Rewrote the article; overhauled list with new picks to reflect password managers.
Definitely. Two-factor authentication, secure passwords and a password manager can prevent employees from misusing or forgetting passwords while maintaining security requirements for password length and complexity.
The best business password managers grant password access rights based on roles and responsibilities. Employees are usually assigned to groups that correspond with their roles.
Most of the top-rated password managers provide equal levels of security, but each has features that may be best-suited to different organizations based on their daily tasks or policy-based requirements.
1Password provides the best capabilities for securing passwords and integrating login access into outside services and organizations.
Top Password Managers for Small Business
What Makes the Best Password Manager for Small Business?
Choosing a software package is easy when it’s just you or your family. All you have to do is select a base product and install it on one or two devices. For a business, it’s exponentially tougher. Every employee must be onboarded into your systems and processes. Streamlining integrations within your environment becomes crucial to saving time and money.
Those are the core considerations we used when selecting small business password managers. We made sure that the services fit into work environments with minimal effort, minimal training and without breaking the budget. The list below was chosen from the password managers that were already considered top performers for features and security.
- 1Password — User-friendly password manager with a wealth of integrations and strong security
- Dashlane — Great overall security with nice reporting and alerting tools, though more expensive
- Bitwarden — Easy open-source password manager with power options, not as user-friendly
- Zoho Vault — Low-cost plans, lots of options and customization, more complicated
- RoboForm — Simplified group management and auditing but limited integrations
1Password takes the trophy as our top small business password manager. It has dozens of integrations, admirable ease of use and strong security. Though the cost per seat is high, the service delivers noticeable efficiencies and free family plans. In second place, Dashlane offers a great interface and useful reporting capabilities, and it also includes free family plans.
Bitwarden comes in third for being similarly integration-friendly, low-cost, open-source and capable of self-hosted installations. At fourth, Zoho Vault provides all the basics while enabling powerful flexibility in terms of rebranding and custom webhook capabilities. Rounding out the list at fifth, RoboForm is a strong contender for its tiered pricing plans and auditing features.
Whether first or fifth, these password managers are models of password sharing with modern security standards. They use 256-bit PBKDF2 encryption and maintain SOC 2 or GDPR compliance. All five use TLS encryption data transfer and zero-knowledge password security. Choosing any of these business password managers will secure you and your employee data.
The 5 Best Password Managers for Small Business
Enough preamble, let’s talk about the reasons for our password manager choices. As you’ll see, we try to focus on provider strengths. They wouldn’t have made it into the top five if they had critical weaknesses or security concerns. To begin, let’s talk about 1Password’s password management.
More details about 1Password:
- Pricing: $7.99 per month (one-month plan)
- Provider website: 1password.com
- Broad integrations & custom scripting
- Private vaults & free family accounts
- Data breach & weak passwords reports
- Expensive Business plan
- Team excludes integrations & advanced reports
A smaller business often has fewer resources. That means simplifying operations, and that’s exactly where 1Password makes its case. With a Business account, you or your tech can use the service’s web interface or browser extensions to import users, create vaults and assign custom groups. Users can upload 5GB of documents or share passwords based on group permissions.
If you’re on a team plan, 1Password’s business password manager only gives 1GB of document sharing, five guest accounts and doesn’t offer group permissions or extra integrations. User management is assigned per individual user, and you won’t get reports or security analytics on the admin console. However, it is a much cheaper option for a small team’s password manager.
Integrate Every Aspect of Your Business
Many business password managers can tie into Active Directory, but 1Password doesn’t stop there. It also has predefined plugins and webhooks that tie user management into your Google Workspace, virtual cards or even Slack chats. You could also forward logs into services like Elastic and Splunk to identify trends in members who use strong passwords.
For a small business that needs extra customization, 1Password also offers custom scripting for integration into nearly everything else. It provides a custom command line interface, “CLI2,” and automation interfaces for Kubernetes, Ansible and other modern deployment systems. That would allow for secure password sharing between systems or group accounts.
The 1Password Business service is $7.99 per month per seat, and each user gets a free family plan for use at home, which is why it’s the best password manager for families. That means dark web monitoring for work and home. For critical systems, workers can also integrate a U2F key to unlock 1Password without a master password or enable two-factor authentication.
For teams of 10 or less, 1Password might be one of the cheaper password managers. Its Teams Starter Pack is only $19.95 a month, so it’s just under $2 per month per seat. You lose integrations and free family plans, but small teams may not need the extra power. For more information, read our 1Password review or try the free 14-day trial.
- 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 Dashlane:
- Pricing: Free, $6.49 per month (one-month plan)
- Provider website: dashlane.com
- U.S. patented security architecture
- Sharing between personal & business vaults
- Data breach & password reports
- High cost
- Few built-in or custom integrations
Dashlane provides businesses with three plan options. The Business, Team and Starter packages give managers options based on team size and security features. All three plans provide the same slick interface and secure password sharing options. The Business plan is just a cent less than 1Password — though that might add up for larger deployments.
There are quirks in Dashlane’s interface. Teams are created and assigned through multipage processes and some actions send emails with back-and-forth confirmations. Expect a dozen emails in your inbox every time password sharing happens between employees. On the plus side, that produces a noticeable trail that can be useful when auditing your company’s security.
Rest Easy With SCIM Integration
Dashlane’s Business password manager plans don’t have many prebuilt integrations, but they do enable a “system for cross-domain identity management” — SCIM for short. At the time of writing, Dashlane’s SCIM integrates with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, so you can virtualize your identity management to enable web-based single sign-on.
With SCIM, Dashlane can be integrated into your employee and user provisioning across an enterprise. You would lose access to Dashlane’s zero-knowledge account recovery and increase complexity in how data synchronizes between groups and vaults. Still, users would only need one password to log in between Dashlane’s vault and company applications.
Dashlane’s pricing differences come down to your need for single sign-on provisioning and company size. The Starter pack is limited to 10 users, and all the Team plan includes is Dashlane’s lower-quality VPN capability (check out our Dashlane VPN review). You don’t get advanced features, family plans or phone support unless you purchase the full Business tier.
You still get plenty of security and capability at lower tiers. Companies with simpler structures or web-only tools won’t need the complex integration capabilities or U2F required at an enterprise level. In all likelihood, the middle tier will fit best for a small business password manager. Find out more with Dashlane’s 14-day trial, and read our Dashlane review for more details.
- Up to 50 entries, One device, Autofill, Security alerts, Password sharing with five accounts
- 10 users
More details about Bitwarden:
- Pricing: Free, $3 per month (one-month plan)
- Provider website: bitwarden.com
- Cheap enterprise capabilities
- Customizable policies
- Family plans work for all enterprise users
- Business interface is outdated
- No single security dashboard
The freemium model seems to be working for Bitwarden (the best free password manager); it continues to develop new capabilities with costs that are a fraction of other services. Your small business could purchase both of Bitwarden’s business tiers for less than 1Password’s most expensive plan. Despite the low cost, Bitwarden still enables 1GB of storage, API access and features like single sign-on.
You can enable U2F key support, an integrated authenticator app or self-hosting for work on a closed network. Those options come at the price of convenience. Advanced features will require your technicians to customize a deployment, and many of the business interfaces aren’t user-friendly.
However, the browser extension and app are designed well.
An Inspectable Gadget
Bitwarden consists of two open-source tools. Its server stores and retrieves information in a database. Its client interacts with phones or browsers to fill passwords. Code for these tools is available on Github to inspect or update. There’s worldwide scrutiny on Bitwarden’s password security.
With other companies, you have to trust them and their private auditors.
Open source has proven to be at least equally secure as closed-source competitors. Additionally, open source benefits from community contributions that enhance functionality and stability. Plus, companies with the technical power could always clone the repo to make the next best business password manager.
Businesses can run Bitwarden at $3 per seat per month for unlimited users. Add the Enterprise cost only if you need SSO, SCIM or self-hosting. Then again, Enterprise seats also grant family plans to every user — an added value of $3.33 each per month. Neither plan has dark web monitoring for sensitive data, but Bitwarden does monitor your password security.
Bitwarden isn’t quite as slick as pricier options. It has work to do on the user interface and streamlining usability. Many integrations also take customizations and knowledgeable technical work. Still, it’s built on secure code that is externally audited. Read our Bitwarden review or try the seven-day trial to see how your business passwords and digital documents will be secured.
- Unlimited storage, Multi-device sync, 2FA
- 1GB of encrypted file storage, Additional 2FA options, Password health reports, Priority customer service
- Six accounts
4. Zoho Vault
More details about Zoho Vault:
- Pricing: Free, $5 per month (one-month plan)
- Provider website: zoho.com
- Cheapest multi-user pricing
- Google Workspace & Microsoft 365 integration
- Cloud backups & rebranding
- Basic & clunky user interface
- No dark web or breach monitoring
Zoho Vault takes different directions in interface design, but has excellent features at low prices. Despite that low cost, you get functional integrations into a wide array of services, and Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 users have built-in single sign-on capabilities. Users can log in with Google or Microsoft accounts, rather than using a new master password.
The majority of Zoho Vault’s security features are included in the free tier. Offline access and Zoho apps integration are two that are unique to the service, but cloud backups are another interesting feature enabled under the Standard plan. Programmable webhooks, rebranding and enterprise SSO are added at the Professional and Enterprise tiers.
Customize Away Zoho Vault
Some small businesses strive to make a unique mark. Part of that is branding, and Zoho enables the digital equivalent of a custom paint job. If you have the tech, Zoho Vault can be rebranded until it looks like your own product. Taken to the next level, Zoho Vault can be embedded into your company’s help desk software, Active Directory and cloud SSO.
It would take extra work, but all that customization could be amplified through unlimited custom webhooks. Defining custom URLs could enable automated responses for users, employees or service applications. Zoho Vault could become your enterprise-wide system for authentication, authorization and accounting.
For a small business, the Standard Zoho Vault tier is more than powerful enough to meet your company’s needs. It’s only $1 per seat per month when billed annually and has plenty of controls and password storage. You even get priority technical support and features like security alerts and reporting. It’s a little clunky to use, but the low cost may make up for the difference.
If you need more sharing finesse, Zoho’s higher tiers let you manage permissions via group assignments. Just weigh those options versus the similar but streamlined functions provided in some of our higher-rated password managers. A 15-day free trial might help you make up your mind, or check out our Zoho Vault review for more details.
- Unlimited password storage
- User management, Vault backup, G Suite & Office 365 integration
- User groups, Password groups, Password changer
- SSO for cloud apps, Password event notifications, Integration with OKTA & OneLogin
More details about RoboForm:
- Pricing: $1.99 per month (one-year plan)
- Provider website: roboform.com
- Cheap, tiered pricing
- Fine-grain controls
- Excellent email support
- Unintuitive business backend
- Overly simple extension user interface
Cost and simplicity seem to be at odds in the world of software, and RoboForm is a great example of that dichotomy. RoboForm has some of the cheapest enterprise prices, but its interface can be puzzling at best for a new installation. Functions are vastly different between the web app admin console and its password management extension.
Thankfully, most employees won’t see that difference between RoboForm’s sides. Installing the app or extension is a breeze, and saving new logins or notes holds to industry defaults. RoboForm keeps its features the same for all tiers under 1,000 users, so you get the same capabilities and support from the start.
A Strong Sense of Identity
Most password managers can store more than just passwords, and lots of them can store specific data types. RoboForm specializes in building a secure contact list. Much like the contacts in your phone, RoboForm identities can include addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers and custom notes.
This capability can be ideal for managing industry contacts.
That leads back to RoboForm’s granular control over group permissions. Every item in RoboForm can be assigned to specific storage folders, and each folder can have different group permissions. That means you can create contact lists arranged per organization, and different users can be granted read or write permissions based on company priorities.
It cannot be overstated that a company’s processes and requirements should influence its hardware and software purchases. The software shouldn’t define the organization. RoboForm might be just what an organization needs: simple password management with fine-tuned access controls. It provides that at a cost that can save thousands annually.
For smaller organizations, another service’s small team plan would be sufficient and come with more streamlined interfaces. However, you should give RoboForm a chance if you’re willing to learn software that’s a little different from the rest of the pack. You can do that with its 14-day free trial, and make sure to read more in our RoboForm review.
- Free forever
- Five users
- Priced per person
Software for a small business is tough. You have to purchase licenses that will be maintained for years. You have to integrate an application into your daily operational processes. Not only that, but you’re dedicating your teams to a future of training on that user interface and its widgets. All of that happens with small teams, where people take on the roles of managers and technicians.
That’s why we’ve tried to pinpoint the best password managers for business. We know small decisions lead to greater efficiencies or budget shortfalls. Password managers should lead to the positive side of those two outcomes. Thankfully, these are all among the best password managers.
Hopefully, you’re closer to knowing which will work best for you.
We highly recommend 1Password if you’re still undecided. It provides an efficient tier for small teams, and its Business plan enables as many granular integrations as you’ll need. That control also comes with an intuitive user interface. Ease of use can go a long way to preventing headaches and misunderstandings, especially with password management solutions.
Is there a different service you think we should have included? What password management solutions does your business use? What works best for your organization? Let us know in the comments below, and thank you for reading.