Although securing your business can often be a daunting task, there are few tools as easy to implement than a password manager. Unlike most online security tools, password managers help keep your accounts secure while making them easier to use. In this guide to the best password manager for small business, we’re going to show you our top five.
We pulled five options from our best password manager guide, all of which can help secure passwords across your business. We’ll give a brief overview of each and why it’s a great option for businesses, but be sure to read the corresponding review if you’d like more information.
If you want the short answer, 1Password is the best option, followed closely by Dashlane and Zoho Vault. Although expensive, 1Password offers a lot of features, including a free Family plan for each of your employees (they’re like family, after all).
Choosing the Best Password Manager for Small Business
Choosing a password manager for a small business is more involved than picking a multi-user plan off the shelf. Although teams of 10 or fewer can get by for very little with noncommercial multi-user plans, a dedicated business password manager comes with some perks. In particular, business password managers are scalable.
When making our list, we looked for password managers that could scale as your business does. That comes in the form of user management, group sharing and integration with services like Duo and Active Directory. Although those features may not be relevant for small teams, they quickly become important when the user count grows.
Additionally, we looked at security. A zero-knowledge model, top-of-the-line encryption and secure password sharing are essential. Beyond that, we looked for services that offer contextual multi-factor authentication, which provide an extra layer of security should an employee lose their master password.
Best Password Managers for Small Business 2020
- Zoho Vault
- Honorable Mention: OneLogin
1Password offers everything a company could want, with a breadth of features, simple onboarding and an easy-to-use interface. It ranked first in our best password manager for families guide because of its dedication to multi-user plans, and that carries over into the business end of things.
There are two business plans available: Teams and Business. The Teams plan is better for small outfits, offering the same features as a personal plan, such as unlimited shared vaults and two-factor authentication. It comes with business-specific features, too, including Duo integration and an admin panel.
For teams of, say, fewer than 20, this plan works well. However, the Business plan is where 1Password shines.
In addition to VIP support, Business comes with usage reports, custom roles, an activity log, granular vault access control, provision with Active Directory and much, much more. 1Password even gives each user a free Families account, which normally costs $4.99 on its own.
The extra features come at a price, however. 1Password has expensive business plans, with Teams clocking in at $4 per user per month, and Business at double the price.
The cost is worth it, thanks to 1Password’s long list of features and integrations. That said, there isn’t a tiered pricing structure, meaning you’ll pay the same per user no matter how large your business is.
If you’re looking for hundreds of accounts, the Enterprise plan — 1Password’s top tier of service — is probably best for you. Here, 1Password gets a chance to flex its abilities, offering a dedicated account manager, custom setup training and an onboard engineer.
The Enterprise plan is offered by quote only, however, and given how expensive a Business subscription is, you can expect it to be a pretty penny.
1Password in Practice
Features aside, 1Password ranks as the best password manager for small business because of its day-to-day operation. The application is dead simple to use, allowing you and your users to create as many vaults as you want. Within those vaults, you can add passwords and organize them with tags, with granular control over who can access what.
Although there are plenty of goodies for admins to tinker with, employees can easily harness the power of 1Password. For example, 1Password X provides a browser-exclusive password management experience, allowing your employees to see their logins no matter what operating system they’re running (just so you know, it’s our best password manager for iOS).
There are a handful of other useful features, including Watchtower, which shows the security of accounts across your business. You can learn more about these features in our 1Password review or give it a shot yourself with a free 30-day trial.
- Standalone version
- Duo integration
- Active Directory support
Dashlane isn’t as scalable as 1Password when it comes to larger businesses, a fact that worked to its detriment in our Dashlane vs 1Password comparison. For small businesses, however, it’s excellent. With a single plan and easy-to-understand pricing, Dashlane is perfect for teams of fewer than a hundred users.
The business plan runs $4 per month per user and is charged per year. It includes all of the features of Dashlane’s Premium membership, including dark web monitoring and U2F support, though doesn’t come with the virtual private network seen with the personal version. Even so, Dashlane’s asking price is $1 less per user than if everyone at your company bought a personal plan.
1-year plan $ 4.99/ month
$59.88 billed every year
1-year plan $ 9.99/ month
$119.88 billed every year
Employees won’t need a personal password manager with Dashlane, either. It includes Smart Space Management, which allows every user to store personal and work-related logins on the same account. Those logins are segmented into different areas, so your employees can stay safe at home and at work.
Dashlane doesn’t quite make the cut when it comes to business integrations, lacking support for things like company-wide MFA. That said, it’s still a competent business password manager, with group sharing support, an admin console and an account manager for plans for more than 50 users.
Dashlane’s Patented Security
Outside of price and features, Dashlane stands above the pack with its excellent security. The structure actually requires its own U.S. patent, and when MIT dug through it in 2016, it found that the security was nearly impossible to crack. That’s because Dashlane users a master password along with hardware characteristics to authenticate your account.
Dashlane has zero knowledge of your master password, which is true for most password managers. When you set up a new device, however, it generates a key using 38 random characters based on hardware and software specifications with the OpenSSL RAND_byte function. This device key, along with your master password, is required to unlock your account.
There’s more to the security structure, which you can learn about in our full Dashlane review. If you’d rather spend some hands-on time with it, you can try the Business plan for free, no credit card required, or talk to someone at Dashlane about how a subscription can help your operation.
- Easy to use
- Multiple 2FA options
- Inexpensive business plan
- Lacking some integrations
3. Zoho Vault
Zoho Vault, unlike Dashlane and 1Password, is focused solely on businesses. Although there’s a free personal plan available, it’s clear Vault targets multi-user operations. That focus brings with its some benefits — in the form of a low price tag and multiple third-party integrations — and some unfortunate drawbacks.
Instead of locking document storage and support behind its different tiers, Vault segments its plans based on the the platforms it can integrate with. The most expensive plan, Enterprise, features full integration with Azure, Active Directory, Okta and more, as well as support for single sign-on through services like OneLogin (more on that later).
Outside of integrations, Zoho also features fine-grained control over users, no matter which plan you choose. Super admins have control over every employee and entry stored in your account. With that level of control, they can set password policies, revoke and add access to passwords and folders, invite new users and transfer ownership of passwords.
Unfortunately, Zoho Vault, as an enterprise-focused password manager, is targeted in that way in terms of design. It’s not as accessible as Dashlane or 1Password because it has seemingly endless menus and options. Although these are essential for admins, most users will use nothing more than the browser extension.
Zoho Vault’s Price
Although an Enterprise subscription with Zoho is expensive, costing more than $6 per user per month, small businesses on a budget can get by for less than $1 per user. Zoho Vault’s Standard plan comes with most of the service’s features, including user management control, vault backups and G Suite integration, for only $0.90 per employee.
Standard is missing some features, namely the ability to group users and passwords, but for teams with fewer than 20 users, it’s enough. You can learn more about Vault’s pricing and features in our Zoho Vault review or give it a shot yourself with a free trial.
- Fine user control
- Multiple integrations
- Multiple support resources
- Sometimes complex to use
Bitwarden is typically known as a free, open-source password manager for personal use (it ranked highly in our best free password manager guide, in fact). However, the developers behind Bitwarden make most of their money from multi-user subscriptions. Although not as feature-rich as our previous options out of the box, Bitwarden is highly flexible.
For businesses, a key feature of Bitwarden is self-hosting. Bitwarden makes all of its source code available, allowing you to host its infrastructure stack on Linux, macOS or Windows. The process is simple, as well, thanks to Docker support. Although you’ll need a basic grasp of networking, you don’t need a system administrator to host a Bitwarden server.
Bitwarden offers two paid plans: Teams and Enterprise. There’s also a free plan, and although you can technically use it across accounts, password sharing is limited to two users. The Teams plan, at $5 per month, supports unlimited users, sharing and collections. The base price covers five users, but you can add more at a price of $2 each per month.
1-year plan $ 0.83/ month
$10.00 billed every year
However, Enterprise is better suited for most businesses. It runs $3 for each user every month but comes with a lot of extra features. In addition to user groups and directory sync, Enterprise features event logs so you can keep track of all password events on your account. Furthermore, each user on your subscription gets a free Premium membership.
Bitwarden is inexpensive and surprisingly accessible, though it will better serve those who have the know-how to utilize its source code. You can learn more in our Bitwarden review or start a free trial of Teams or Enterprise to see how you like it.
- Open source
- Self-hosting support
- Easy to use
- Limited entry types
LastPass, like Bitwarden, has prowess as an excellent free, personal password manager (see our Bitwarden vs LastPass comparison). It has a range of business solutions, too, all of which feature the same dead-simple interface and excellent autofill capabilities.
Although LastPass offers four business-focused subscriptions, only two of them relate to password management: Teams and Enterprise. The former is for five to 50 users with limited features. You get all of the features of a personal subscription, but at $4 per month for each user, the price is high.
Enterprise is costly, though it comes with enough features to justify the $2 premium. Fit with SSO support, directory integration and advanced user reporting, Enterprise offers the necessary features for any growing business. It’s not restricted to 50 users, either, meaning you can grow your subscription as your business does.
LastPass also offers multi-factor authentication for businesses, either on its own or as part of an Enterprise subscription. Although all plans come with 2FA support, MFA has an adaptive architecture that uses contextual analysis to authenticate users. Beyond standard time-based codes, LastPass’ MFA adds an additional layer of security each time a user logs in.
That said, LastPass is expensive, matching 1Password at the top end of things while offering less in the way of features (read our 1Password vs LastPass comparison). Even so, it’s a solid password management tool for small businesses. You can learn more in our LastPass review or try a business subscription to see how you take to it.
- Excellent autofill
- LastPass Authenticator
- Easy to use
- Expensive business plans
- Data breach on record
Honorable Mention: OneLogin
OneLogin isn’t actually a password manager, but it’s worthy of a mention in this guide. It’s a single sign-on and multi-factor authentication service, building upon the MFA service that LastPass has (the two aren’t related; OneLogin just has more features). You shouldn’t use OneLogin on its own, but rather in addition to a tool like Zoho Vault.
Instead of storing passwords and auto-filling them for a variety of websites, OneLogin works by authenticating a user once and managing the credentials for that user across multiple business apps. It’s similar to a password manager, but rather than logging in, the authentication is already handled by OneLogin.
Furthermore, OneLogin offers contextual MFA, which uses a variety of factors to determine if a user can unlock their account or not. SmartFactor Authentication, as OneLogin calls it, uses the Vigilance AI to monitor each login attempt. Using machine learning, the two tools become accustomed to normal behavior of users at your business.
If anything strange pops up, the admin will be notified with a risk score based on factors, including the originating IP address, time of day and network type. This type of MFA is useful for large businesses with a variety of sensitive logins. Although it’s not a great password manager on its own, it’s an essential addition for businesses concerned with their security.
When it comes to protecting your employees, it’s hard to beat 1Password. Although expensive, 1Password offers so many goodies that the price is easily justified. If the cost is too high for you, though, there are some alternatives in the form of Zoho Vault, Dashlane and Bitwarden. They don’t offer as much, but for how inexpensive they are, it’s hard to complain.
What password tool are you using for your company? Why did you choose it? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.