Password managers are one of the best ways for individuals to increase their online security without sacrificing their browsing experience. Businesses can also benefit from the security tools because they help prevent productivity loss from forgotten passwords and the unnecessary IT of costs managing them.
In this guide to the best password manager for small business, we’re going to give you the five best options on the market. We’ll tell you a few reasons why we like each option for business and in general.
If you’ve read any of our password manager guides, it should come as no surprise that Dashlane beat the competition in this one. It has a low price tag, excellent set of features and some of the best security we’ve seen. If you want to go easy-mode, we recommend signing up for an account with it.
That shouldn’t deter you from the other options, though. If you like to shop around, read on.
Best Password Manager for Small Business 2018
What Makes a Password Manager Best for Small Business
The function of a personal password manager versus a business password manager is surprisingly similar. It does the same basic function — storing and automatically filling in passwords — but on a larger scale. That said, there are a few differences that make certain password managers shine for small businesses.
Specifically, we’re talking about business password managers that offer admin controls. That is the first area we looked at while making our list. Some options, such as Zoho Vault, offer extensive user control. Though not all of our choices have that level of functionality, they do offer ways to manage the users on your account.
This guide is aimed at small businesses, not just businesses in general. While there’s crosstalk between the two, the title of our guide implies a tight budget. Value was a strong factor while making our choices, as almost all business password managers are priced per user and that can add up fast.
Some of our recommendations for the best password manager for families will show up here, too. A few options, such as 1Password, offer a family plan for around five users at a deep discount. If you’re working with a small team, one of those can save you a lot of money.
Security is also important. While the same is true for personal password managers, the need for safety is exponentially increased when multiple users are hosted under the same roof. We looked for password managers that could bypass cybercrime with top-level encryption and a zero-knowledge model.
Finally, we looked for features that make a password manager unique. Dashlane, for example, offers Smart Spaces, which allows users to maintain business and personal vaults in the same account.
Some features can be overkill — read our LogMeOnce review to see what we mean — so we evaluated the offerings based on their usefulness.
The typical things we look for in a password manager applied, too. User-friendliness, support and useful features are important. These areas took a backseat to the business-focused criteria, though.
The Best Password Manager for Small Business: Dashlane
Dashlane won in our best password manager guide, so it’s no surprise it’s our first choice here. While the price is higher than other options on this list, Dashlane makes a compelling case for it with some of the best security in the business and an extensive list of features, to boot.
Dashlane Business comes with all the features of Dashlane Premium, minus the single-point virtual private network. That feature is mediocre compared to the best VPN providers, anyway, so we’re not disappointed by its omission.
There are business-specific features, too, most notably Smart Spaces. It allows users to create separate vaults for personal and work accounts. Since Dashlane Business gives each user their own account, Smart Spaces allows employees to store personal data without sacrificing privacy.
Accounts stored on the business end will show up in the Admin Console. That area is where the account manager can monitor the health and activity of users associated with an account. Admins can see the rights of each user, the number of passwords they have stored and the overall security score for their accounts.
There are multiple user roles below admins, too. You can share passwords with individuals or groups and modify the permissions each user has. For example, one employee may have full access to the password while another can only read it.
Other Reasons We Like Dashlane
Dashlane beats the competition with its superior security and ease of use. The experience from vault to browser is seamless. During our testing, Dashlane quickly captured login data, auto-filled without problems and synced across devices within seconds.
Even with excellent user-friendliness, Dashlane doesn’t skip out on security. We took a deep dive into it in our Dashlane vs. 1Password comparison and found that Dashlane’s use of a more modern hashing algorithm and end-to-end encryption makes it next to impossible to crack your master password or data stored in your account.
It also supports multiple two-factor authentication options, including the best 2FA apps. You can use simple time-based codes on a mobile device or opt for a more secure hardware solution, such as YubiKey.
While not as notable as the ease of use and security, Dashlane also comes with unique features, including dark web monitoring and secure document storage. You can learn about those in our Dashlane review or sign up for a Dashlane to test it yourself.
- Easy to use
- Excellent security
- Smart Spaces
1Password is the priciest option on our list, but we wouldn’t rate it second if it didn’t justify the cost. While you’ll flip a hefty bill, you’ll get one of the most intuitive and powerful business password managers on the market.
The business solution is built to integrate into any platform you have running. Out of the box, you can tie it to Slack and handle provisioning with Azure Active Directory. 1Password also includes a command-line tool, so you can integrate it with other software you may be using, too.
Like Dashlane, it has a control center where you can monitor users and their account health. There are advanced user permissions, too, so you can decide who can create, access, view and edit passwords across certain accounts. Users can be organized into groups with custom roles, as well.
After your business uses the password manager for a while, you can take advantage of its custom reports. Reporting isn’t unique to 1Password, but it handles the task better than most. Each report is generated based on your criteria in a format that’s easy to digest.
You can create reports on individual employees or entire vaults to understand how your business is using 1Password.
Other Reasons We Like 1Password
1Password has an excellent family plan that may be a better choice if you’re a business with a handful of employees. If you’re at five or more, though, you’ll need to upgrade. Thankfully, that extra cost is made up for.
Every user on your account gets a family plan. Like Smart Spaces, that allows employees to store personal data separate from business data under a single account. Unlike Smart Spaces, you’re gifting employees with up to five user accounts, 1GB of secure document storage and a family dashboard.
Some of our favorite features from the personal version of 1Password are available in the business version, too. It has Travel Mode, for example, which lets you remotely wipe employees’ devices before they travel. All data will be stored in their 1Password vault and returned to the device once they’ve reached their destination.
1Password also boasts one of the easiest to use interfaces on the market. It’s a streamlined experience with the right balance of user-friendliness and functionality. You can learn more about it in our 1Password review or sign up for a 30-day free trial.
- Travel Mode
- Included family plan for each user
- Command-line integration
RoboForm earned a spot in our best password manager for iOS guide because of its snappy auto-fill and excellent security. Its business solution works well enough to claim third place in this guide.
It handles pricing differently than the other options on this list. You still have to pay per user, but there are price breaks for higher user counts and buying multiple years of service upfront. If you have more than 100 employees and you purchase the five-year plan, the cost could be as low as $1.90 per user per month.
Even with the low price point, RoboForm doesn’t skimp on features. You can have an unlimited number of admins on an account to monitor password usage and assign user roles. Admins can organize users into groups with four roles, including limited use, regular use and group manager.
Admins can also set password policies for individual groups or your entire company. There are multiple settings, including master password requirements, local sync requirements and sharing restrictions. Policies let admins have more control over the security of employee actions while using RoboForm.
Other Reasons We Like RoboForm
While we aren’t fans of RoboForm’s personal interface, its business interface works wonders. The relevant controls for creating and managing users are available during setup. For example, you can select the storage type and usage permissions when creating a group, which saves you the headache of going back and configuring everything later.
RoboForm Business isn’t strictly for passwords, either. Employees can download the local application and browser extension to access bookmarks, encrypted notes, contacts, addresses and application logins. As with the previous options on this list, employees can organize entries for personal and business use, as well.
It also has all the features of RoboForm Everywhere, which is the personal subscription. That includes auto-fill for forms, secure folder sharing, advanced 2FA options and simple password audits. While users can audit their own passwords, only admins can access advanced reporting for all users.
RoboForm is an attractive option with a low price, multiple user controls and excellent security. It protects you with end-to-end encryption using top-level AES 256-bit and thousands of rounds of SHA-256 hashing. You can learn more about that in our RoboForm review or sign up for a free two-week trial.
- Unlimited admins
- Excellent security
- Hard to use desktop interface
Even though RoboForm has excellent pricing, Zoho Vault is less expensive. It is very cheap, with the standard plan running under $1 per user per month. It has some of the best security we’ve seen, too, but suffers in the user-friendliness department.
Zoho Vault has extensive user permission controls, which makes it a great option if you want the most control over your employees. You can set owners for each account and customize user roles associated with that account. That means no sensitive information is shared with someone who shouldn’t see it.
Users have one of three roles, with super admins occupying the top slot. Super admins have unique features, including password policies and vault access controls. The latter allows you to revoke access to certain accounts with a single click.
Security is great, too. Zoho Vault uses an RSA public-private key pair for the organization administrator to authenticate your account. Your master password decrypts the private key, which is matched to a public key to decrypt your AES 256-bit key. That final key is used to unlock your account.
Zoho calls that “host-proof hosting,” which basically means it never sees or stores your master password. Because of that, it doesn’t have the key to decrypt your vault, either. While your encrypted information is stored on Zoho’s servers, it can’t be decrypted.
Other Reasons We Like Zoho Vault
Zoho Vault’s most inexpensive plan is the most attractive, and it comes with a lot of functionality. That said, if you need more advanced integration with Azure Active Directory, OKTA or OneLogin, you’ll need to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
While the price is higher, it allows businesses to integrate Zoho Vault with the rest of their system. If you’re using other Zoho applications, you can also integrate them. Passwords can be stored and managed with Zoho Desk and Zoho Mail, making it easy to get around the business applications you may use.
It also offers single sign-on for over 90 applications out of the box. There’s a provision if you need custom integration, as well.
Zoho Vault offers a lot of control over what software it’s integrated with, and that’s one of its strongest points. That comes at the cost of user-friendliness, though. While it doesn’t have the problems of Steganos Password Manager (read our Steganos Password Manager review), it’s not as simple as the other options on this list.
- Advanced integrations
- Top-notch security
- Hard to use
LastPass is the best free password manager on the market and its business plans are inexpensive. It even traded blows with Dashlane in our Dashlane vs. LastPass comparison. LastPass has two business offerings and the cheaper one is attractive for small businesses.
LastPass Teams can support five to 50 users and costs around $2 per month per user. It’s similar to LastPass’s family plan, which protects up to six users and comes with features such as 1GB of secure file storage and auto-fill on desktop applications. That said, Teams comes with business features, too, including an admin dashboard, security policies and basic reporting.
While it lacks the features and advanced integrations of some of the offerings on this list, Teams still allows small businesses to protect their passwords for a low price. If you have more than 50 users or want more advanced features, you’ll need to upgrade to LastPass Enterprise.
The flagship plan can support five or more users and grants larger companies the tools they need for password management. It includes more security policies, advanced reporting, group management and additional multi-factor options. Though it’s more expensive than Teams, Enterprise is half the price of 1Password for Business.
Other Reasons We Like LastPass
LastPass is a browser-based password manager, so it can easily be integrated into your business. You can quickly access your vault, edit entries and generate new passwords without opening a second window.
While LastPass lives in your browser and its primary functions will be performed there, business users can use LastPass for Applications. The local tool lets you use LastPass’s snappy auto-fill on desktop applications. The tray icon on Windows can even launch applications and login immediately.
The enterprise plan can only be purchased by contacting LastPass. While that means going through a lengthier checkout process, LastPass makes it worth the time. You get a dedicated customer support agent, as well as the additional reporting and user permission features.
LastPass earns our last spot because it’s a solid password manager that doesn’t require you to get in the trenches to work. Though you’re sacrificing the functionality of some options on this list, you’re still getting an excellent password manager at a good price.
- Dedicated support representative
- Auto-fill for applications
- Lacking features
While they can be expensive, password managers often saves businesses money in the long run. Between productivity loss from forgotten passwords and IT overhead for resetting accounts, a password manager can help streamline your business on a technical level.
Thankfully, very small businesses can get in cheap with a family plan at 1Password or a team plan at LastPass. Paying per user is the end-game on those products, but options such as Dashlane make the cost worth it with a full license for each of your users.
Even so, you may want to keep browsing. If none of the options on our list stood out to you, feel free to look through our password manager reviews to find more choices.