Dashlane stands out among its excellent competition thanks to its many features, great interface and friendly pricing. Though nothing is perfect, Dashlane comes pretty damn close. Check out our full review to see why we rank it number one.
Free plan available
In this Dashlane review, we’re going to run through the pros and cons of the service. You get a lot of bang for your buck (even if you’re not paying), but features like multi-device sync and priority support certainly push for an upgrade.
Dashlane goes a long way in securing your passwords and managing them simply. There is still information about protecting your information online. Check out some of our other articles on setting a strong password to protect yourself, like our guide on how to set up a strong password.
- Extremely secure
- Mobile and desktop apps
- Automatic password changer
- Security analysis
- Easy to use
- Multiple support options
- No multi-device sync on free plans
- Difficult to set and manage categories
From the get-go, Dashlane looks like a fairly typical password manager in terms of features. You have auto-fill, strong password generation (check out our own password generator) and apps for iOS and Android. It distances itself from the competition by having one of the most well-rounded feature packages for security, however.
Every plan comes with real-time password monitoring, even the free one. From the moment you set your password in Dashlane, it will start tracking it for any security threat or breach and notify you immediately to change your password if it finds one. This feature can be found in the security dashboard, an area we’ll touch on in a later section.
Should you have a compromised password, you can change it automatically with Dashlane. There’s a generator, but unlike other password managers where you copy the new password over, Dashlane will handle the process.
It’s aptly named Password Changer and is one of the best features we’ve seen from a password manager. Simply check the boxes on the passwords you want to change and Dashlane will generate strong passwords and change them for each site.
Even without a breach, Password Changer is useful. When you install Dashlane, it will search your browsers for any stored passwords and transfer them into the program. After that, you can batch change all your passwords at once instead of going at it individually.
We’ll talk more about password imports in the user friendliness section below.
Importing can cause a few stumbles. If you’ve changed and stored different passwords for the same site, then Dashlane will import everything. It’s not as time-consuming as entering all of your passwords manually, but still a small thing you should consider.
In addition to storing passwords, Dashlane supports storage for personal info, credit cards, PayPal accounts, IDs, notes and receipts.
Any of these items, as well as passwords, can be separately encrypted and shared with other users. In the event something happens to you, Dashlane allows you to set up an emergency contact who’ll receive notes, passwords, medical information, etc. In the more likely event that nothing happens, your data stays private to you.
Dashlane 6 Features
The sixth version of Dashlane launched in July. With it came a slew of new features, a new plan and a price hike.
Free plans stayed the same. You can still store up to 50 passwords on a single device and use the browser extension for autofill.
Premium is more than a password manager now. You have a simplified VPN that automatically connects to the fastest server when using wi-fi. It’s rudimentary when compared to our best VPNs but should get the job done in a pinch.
It also comes with dark web monitoring. This isn’t a security tool for using the dark web as we first thought, but rather a monitor that will alert you if any personal information appears on the dark web.
Premium Plus is essentially the same plan but with identity theft protection. Dashlane monitors your credit score for any suspicious changes and provides up to $1 million in identity theft insurance.
Dashlane already had a dense set of features. The sixth edition comes with more, transforming the platform from password manager into an online security tool. While you’ll be paying a premium on the alredy high price, it’s worth it.
Dashlane Features Overview
Dashlane’s pricing sits well within the range set by other password managers. The Premium plan is slightly higher than average, but comes with enough features to justify the cost, while the Business plan is on par with the competition.
Most people will gravitate toward a free plan. A password generator, unlimited password storage and instant form fill-out is typical. This plan, however, offers the Password Changer and security monitoring, which are features that LastPass (read our LastPass review) doesn’t have.
Two things we would’ve liked to see in the free plan are password sync and backup. The free plan only works on one device and doesn’t backup your passwords off site. The latter is a feature normally reserved for paid plans, but it still would’ve been nice to see.
The Premium plan has these features as well as authentication with YubiKey. The price is higher than 1Password (read our 1Password review), but brings with it extra goods like unlimited backup and recovery. Overall, the slight price bump is justified.
Premium Plus, at twice the price, is too much to stomach. The differentiating factor is identity theft insurance and, while it’s worth the price, it’s not always necessary. Using our six tips to prevent identity theft, you should be covered.
Out of the bunch, Dashlane’s Premium plan is priced slightly higher than the competition. It does, however, easily justify the cost by providing a full suite of features including backup and restore with it. It also offers a 30-day trial for free, so you’ve nothing to lose.
Dashlane is simple to set up on your devices. You use the desktop application in conjunction with browser extensions to automatically fill in passwords when you land on a site.
Setting it up is simple. All you need to do is download the desktop application. From there, it will automatically pull in stored passwords from your browser and ask which ones you’d like to import.
Once that’s done, Dashlane will prompt you to install its extension in your default browser so it can automatically fill in information when you land on a site. It will also prompt you to enter details such as your name, address and phone number for form auto-fill, but you can skip this section if you’d like.
You can access your password vault from your browser, but it doesn’t have as many features as the desktop application.
By default, your imported passwords will be displayed alphabetically. You can organize them with different categories. Follow the path “tools > add password categories” to set up new ones outside of the default offerings.
Your stored passwords must be added to categories manually which is a pain. Once you add new passwords, however, you can set the category for them as you go.
Adding a password is simple. Dashlane will prompt you to add one when you log into a new site. If you want to add it manually, simply click on the “add new” icon in the top right corner of the desktop application.
As mentioned above, one of the best features for user friendliness is the Password Changer. You can access it from the button next to the “add new” one in the desktop application. The changer has a limited number of sites it supports, though. Here are some notable inclusions:
The list is constantly evolving, so we hope to see more from Dashlane’s Password Changer in the future. Some nice inclusions would be Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google, although we can understand the potential security issues that could arise as a result.
Some ease of use concerns come with your master password, though. Dashlane does not store your password or provide any sort of recovery. Should you forget or lose your password, you’re out of luck. This model has a higher upside in security, so it makes sense, even if it puts a damper on usability.
Setting up Dashlane is as easy as it gets with a password manager. However, going through all of your imported passwords to categorize them can be a long process. Even so, it can be set up with a few clicks and not much fuss afterward, if organization within the UI doesn’t matter to you.
The mobile apps for iOS and Android are easy to use, showing a similar interface to the desktop client and supporting auto-fill. However, you must manually sync your passwords between the clients by going to “sync > sync now.”
Free plans only allow one device, though, so syncing only applies to Premium users and above.
Security is the best area of Dashlane (although, it’s a close call given the rest of the service). It uses the standard 256-bit AES encryption to scramble your passwords which grants 1.1 x 1077 possible combinations for your information.
It would take 3.31 x 1056 years to crack.
Needless to say, your information is secure. Dashlane provides other security measures as well. Your password is zero-knowledge, meaning you, and only you, know the master password to unlock your account. It isn’t stored on Dashlane’s servers or on your local machine.
On top of that, Dashlane has two-factor authentication (2FA) built in. It sends a unique code to your email address when you log in on an unfamiliar device so you can register it. You can change it so a code is sent only when you add a new device or each time you log in from the security tab in the desktop client.
Should you lose access to your email, Dashlane provides backup codes to temporarily bypass 2FA. You can use the codes once and Dashlane doesn’t store them, so make sure you keep them in a safe place. If you want a more secure form of 2FA, Dashlane supports U2F YubiKeys on the Premium plan.
In short, no one can access your account unless they know your master password. That means no hackers or government projects like PRISM could possibly access your account through some sort of attack.
There are a few reasons why this is the case. Dashlane has a unique security system that requires its own U.S. patent. In MIT’s study of the security system, it found that “…the security of AES ensures that it is infeasible to obtain a user’s sensitive information without knowledge of their master password.”
In the Dashlane desktop UI, you can access your security dashboard. This area provides a complete analysis of your passwords, showing all weak, old or reused passwords. Should a breach happen on any website stored in Dashlane, it will notify you to change your password immediately.
Here at Cloudwards.net, we rarely give out perfect scores, but Dashlane’s security is so good it warrants it. Top-level AES-256 encryption takes a backseat to the rest of the security suite, making the service (at least for now) next to impossible to infiltrate.
Most password managers are a bit skimpy when it comes to one-on-one support. Dashlane is better, offering email support any time and English-language live chat between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.
We reached out to support with a dummy question to measure the response. On a free account, we received a reply in just over four hours, which is snappy.
That’s on a free account, though. The Premium plan and above have priority access over free users, meaning you should get a faster reply. We weren’t able to test the priority access, so we can’t say how much faster it is, though.
The majority of your questions can be answered in the help center. Dashlane has guides on everything from starting with the application to importing and exporting your data. Articles are, thankfully, very detailed and full of screenshots. Dashlane has a short troubleshooting guide for most topics at the end of the article for niche cases.
You can access the help center either by using the link in the footer of Dashlane’s website or through the browser interface.
Dashlane makes it simple to store your passwords securely. The client is easy to navigate and set up and it’s practical in use. The stand-out feature about this service is security, but it’s still a close call given how much else Dashlane gets right.
If we were to spot a flaw (and we’re nitpicking here), it would be in the user friendliness when it comes to creating categories. It isn’t a difficult process, but rather time-consuming. If there’s one thing we could change, it would be a simpler way to batch add passwords to particular categories.
Dashlane is our first pick for password managers, but if you want a few more options, feel free to check out our other password manager reviews. For redundancy, make sure to also store your passwords with cloud storage (you can learn how to securely store your passwords in the cloud with our guide).
What do you think of Dashlane? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.