Choosing the right and free open-source password manager for your PC and your smartphone is really challenging. Most of the password managers available online do provide support for both PC and smartphone such as Android or iOS, but you have to spend some bucks for it, it’s not free. However, after spending a few times browsing the internet, one such password manager has been discovered, which possesses most of the qualities an ideal password manager should have, that too at no cost. Yes, you are absolutely right, it’s unbelievable to get such software, free of cost. In this article, we will discuss Bitwarden, a free and open-source password manager that provides support for both PC and smartphones.
Secure your online account with the best free password manager- Bitwarden
Nowadays, most of our day-to-day activity is prone to online, from online shopping to social communication. Thus to do all these activities, we need to maintain several online accounts for individual service providers. But it’s very difficult to remember them. Even if you remember the user id, it’s very difficult to remember each account’s password. You have the option to remember your user id and password in your browser. But that will be browser-specific. That means if you are using google chrome and logged into chrome with your personal Google account id, the passwords which you are saving into google chrome will be synchronized with your Google account. And if any bot or spyware or virus enters your system, then it can easily target your passwords saved into your browser and steal your identity, and any of your online accounts do have the possibility to get hacked or breached. So it’s to be on the safer side, not to save, or better to avoid saving the passwords or any other online identity into your browser’s memory. Rather use any password manager will be an intelligent choice.
If you have read my previous post, things which you must remember while choosing the right password manager, you must have noticed that I had discussed a few features that a password manager should possess, or rather it can be said, the features which a user can expect from a password manager software. There are several password managers available online such as Lastpass and so on. But if you want to enjoy all the features, you have to upgrade to the premium version. However, Bitwarden is one such password that is completely free for a personal basic account and a business plan for an organization with a maximum of 2 users. However, for more user organization, or a premium personal plan, you have to pay as per tariff. In this article, we will be discussing the features of the basic free personal account of Bitwarden.
Multiple Device Access
Bitwarden provides multi-device access to its free account holders even, not only that you can enjoy for different operating systems, that is for desktop or laptop users, the application has been developed for Windows, Linux, and macOS. Even Bitwarden integrates directly with your favorite browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Vivaldi, Brave, and Tor Browser. Browser extensions have been developed with which it can easily integrate with your browser. Mobile applications have also been developed for Android and Apple OS. Also, powerful command-line tools have been developed for the developers to write and execute commands and scripts on your Bitwarden vault.
The most interesting fact is that, if you are not using any of your own systems, then also you would be able to access your password manager from the web vault. Just login with the username and master password, into the web vault and you, will be able to access all your passwords.
More than a Simple Password Manager
From the name itself you can understand that Password Manager is an application or software that manages or securely stores your password. But Bitwarden not only provides secure storage of your passwords, but also you can use this software to store your card details, your identity card, or certificate details, and even if you want to store any secure note, that feature is also loaded in this password manager.
Extra security with two-factor authentication (2FA)
You have the privilege to add extra security to your online vault of your password manager. For that, you need to activate the Two-step login feature into your Bitwarden account. There are several providers integrated with Bitwarden to provide 2FA features, such as Authy or Google Authenticator app, Yubico (OTP security key), Duo(SMS, phone call or U2F security key), FIDO2 WebAuthn (WebAuthn enabled security key), and Email (email verification code). Out of all the mentioned providers, only Authy or Google Authenticator and Email verification are open for the free basic account holders, which is enough to ensure 2FA security.
However, one thing you must remember, if you are enabling the 2FA feature for your Bitwarden account, please write down or securely save the recovery code. It’s because by any means if you lose your smartphone or your smartphone is malfunctioning then, you will be able to unlock your Bitwarden account with the recovery code provided in your account and if you are not able to provide the recovery code then, your account may get permanently locked. So, in this situation prevention is better than cure.
Auto-fill and Password Generator
If you are using the browser extension, you need not copy the password from the password manager and paste it into the password field. Just install the browser extension for the browser you are using and log in with the user id and the master password. At the time of login to any online account, click on the Bitwarden extension icon, where you will be able to view your account details. Just click on the account with which you want to log in, the user id and the password with be automatically loaded in the respective fields. The same is applicable, in the case of password or passphrase generators.
For the mobile application, you need to enable the Auto-fill service from the settings of the Bitwarden application, so that the Bitwarden application will automatically load the username and password saved into it without any further delay.
If you are using any other password manager or you are saving your passwords into your browser’s account, then you need to export it from it, and easily import it to Bitwarden vault. Bitwarden supports multiple import options. You may also export the information saved into your Bitwarden account, for backup.
Last but not the least, all these features which we have discussed in this article are included in the free basic account. So, it can be said, despite these features are being provided by other password manager providers, but are not a part of their free account. In this regard, it is really commendable, that Bitwarden is providing all these features to its free users. And this makes Bitwarden a step ahead in the competition with other password manager providers.