Blur is an easy to use password manager that rewards those with a set-it-and-forget it mentality. Its bare-bones design functions in the background, but doesn't offer much flexibility otherwise. You can read more about it in our full Blur review.
Free plan available
Abine Blur is among our best password managers because of its unique masking features, ease of use and excellent direct support. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of other password managers, it excels for those that live primarily online.
In this Blur review, we’re going to cover all the ups and downs of this password manager. Throughout the next five sections, we’ll discuss features, pricing, ease of use, security and support before giving our final verdict on who the service is for.
Before we do, though, we’d like to make a note. A password manager helps organize your online accounts, but doesn’t fully protect you. Check out our own password generator as well as our guide on how to set up a strong password.
- Unique masking feature
- Easy to use
- Great support
- Multi-device sync
- No folder options
- No desktop client
- Clunky browser extension
Blur takes a unique approach to password management that goes far beyond auto-filling your password. It protects you online, with auto-fill convenience and a smart masking feature.
The star of the show is the masking. Blur allows you to mask phone numbers, email addresses and credit cards. Essentially, it will generate a random sequence of numbers and letters to put in place of any of your information and tie it back to your number or address.
On the free plan, you get email masking, but not credit card or phone masking. They are, however, noteworthy features of the Premium plan that warrant an upgrade.
Blur also supports autofill for passwords, addresses, identities and credit cards. This is a common feature among password managers, but often buried within the settings. With Blur, you can access these settings from your main dashboard, making it simple to enter your autofill settings and browse with convenience.
All plans have access to the Tracker Blocker as well. As you browse, Blur will automatically block any sort of tracking of your information, one of the most potent threats to privacy online. Just for giggles and grins, you can actually see all of the tracking Blur has blocked within your dashboard.
Blur is missing a universal password changer like Dashlane has (read our Dashlane review), but that is something we’ve seen across all password managers.
While not as notable as other features, all plans come with multi-device sync and apps for Android and iOS Password backups are reserved for Premium subscribers.
Backups are handled with your Dropbox account (read our Dropbox review). While Dropbox isn’t the best when it comes to privacy, your passwords are stored in an encrypted form so you should be safe.
Blur Features Overview
Blur has a straightforward pricing model that we can appreciate. While small to midsize businesses have little reason to consider Blur, individual users only get a choice between a free and Premium plan.
The free plan will suffice for most, as you’re granted all the features that a password manager should include. Multi-device sync is the important one and, while LastPass (read our LastPass review) provides it on the free plan, it does not include email masking like Blur.
The Premium plan comes for as low as a couple of bucks per month. However, you have to pay that cost up front. The lowest price comes with a three year subscription and, while it’s quite cheap, you’ll have to swallow the bulk at the onset.
A single-year subscription comes to around three dollars per month, on par with 1Password’s single user plan (read our 1Password review). With Blur, however, you have credit card and phone masking as well as full backup and restore.
Single users will fare just fine with Blur, but Business plans are quite expensive. The prices range from $40-$100 per month with only a handful of users. It’s far more expensive than business or family plans on other password managers, so we recommend avoiding this area altogether.
If you’re flying solo, though, we can’t find a reason to deter you from using Blur. The prices are sound with solid features to boot. On the free end, you get a lot for signing up, while extra features on the Premium plan justify the cost.
Day-to-day use of Blur is easy because of its lack of features. While masking and tracker blocking stand out, there aren’t features for storing any information outside of passwords. You can only add notes on particular accounts.
From an ease of use perspective, this works quite well. There are two parts of Blur’s service: the browser dashboard and browser extension. Mobile apps are available for iOS and Android that provide a look at your dashboard, but there is no desktop client available.
For us, that’s a con as there’s no offline way to view your information or automatically fill it into non-browser applications. If you want to store passwords for offline apps, you’ll need to have a browser window open so you can copy your password.
It’s not difficult for us to imagine a situation where this is actually a positive feature of Blur. If you live on the internet and don’t care about a desktop interface, then the streamlined system should appeal to you.
Setting up Blur is a hassle if you don’t have another password manager to import data from. You either have to enter all of your passwords manually or add the accounts as you sign in to different sites.
Importing is the way to go. While Blur doesn’t prompt you to import data like Dashlane does, you can do so within your dashboard as long as you have a .csv file of your account information.
The dashboard itself is quite simple to navigate, but there is no way to group passwords into folders or categories. If you have a long list of accounts (as many often do), it can make it difficult to go through all of your passwords.
Unfortunately, going through your passwords is something you’ll often have to do. The browser extension is abysmal with no way to generate new passwords or quickly view the accounts for the URL you’re on.
Blur will try to automatically log you into any site you land on, but it becomes an issue if you have multiple accounts at the same URL. We tried to log into Google with multiple email addresses and it was a nightmare to get Blur to automatically fill in the information for the account we wanted.
Blur is an overall simple service that punishes users who try to get too complex. As long as you have a single account at every domain and prefer to set and forget your information, ease of use is great. If you sit on the other side of the camp, however, it can be quite difficult to get around.
As with most password managers, Blur encrypts your data with AES-256 before sending it over an SSL channel. The data then sent to Blur is fully encrypted and the server it’s hosted on will never decrypt the data. Blur and its employees can never see it.
This is what’s known as a zero-knowledge model, and Blur uses it with your encrypted data and master password. You, and only you, know your master password. It’s never sent to Blur and never stored locally.
Should you forget your master password, Blur does offer some form of account restoration. When you log in for the first time, you can view your backup phrase, a random assortment of words that allows you to gain access to your account. This is the only way to restore your account should you be locked out, so make sure you physically keep your backup phrase safe.
Blur does offer two-factor authentication, but only with an external application. 2FA usually means you’ll receive a code on your mobile device any time you log in, verifying it’s you trying to access the account. You can use 2FA with Blur, but only with another application such as Google Authenticator. It’s not a major con, but it is another step you must take in securing your account.
2FA works well, but we would like to see support for physical authentication keys such as the YubiKey in the future.
Privacy is a close topic to security and, here, Blur does quite well. The masking feature for credit cards, email addresses and phone numbers is something we like a lot. It keeps spam out of your inbox and helps ensure lurking eyes don’t get a single piece of information.
From a security standpoint, everything is in tip-top shape outside of a little hassle with 2FA. The only thing we’d like to see Blur introduce is some sort of security dashboard that’ll give you an overview of how secure your passwords are from a big picture standpoint.
Blur has quite a nice support system, especially for a password manager. Usually, you’re left emailing and hoping for a response, but Blur provides guaranteed response times and live chat for any urgent issues.
Free users will hear back from Blur within three business days and Premium users will hear back within one. On our free account, we received a response to a test email in a little over 48 hours.
We like using live chat much more, though. It’s the quickest way to support and, while it can’t go as in-depth as email, it gets a suitable response for many questions. If you need to reference a particular issue in the future, you can email yourself a transcript of the chat.
Blur also has an FAQ, but it’s difficult to navigate. Questions are laid out one after the other, with only a few categories separating the massive list. You can search for your question, but this implementation of an FAQ isn’t the most elegant we’ve seen.
The direct support is the best form at Blur, with the FAQ lacking a little in the looks department. We would’ve liked to see some sort of community forum as a place to discuss the platform and any future features.
Blur is a simple password manager with a surprising amount of privacy features. Without a desktop client or ways to organize your vault, it’s clear this password manager appeals to a set it and forget mentality.
If you’d like a few more options for your vault, then Blur isn’t the right fit for you. Other managers such as Dashlane and 1Password allow you to enter a variety of things into your vault outside of your online passwords.
For those that live online, however, Blur works quite well with its ease of use and excellent support. If you want a few more choices, make sure to check out some of our other password manager reviews.
You can also learn how to securely store passwords in the cloud as an additional backup should you lose access to your vault.
What do you think of Blur? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.