If you’re currently considering changing the password management software you use, particularly a move away from LastPass following the changes that have recently been introduced to the free tier of the solution, it is well worth your while to take a look at one of the best free password managers currently available – Bitwarden.
Bitwarden is widely considered to be the perfect free password manager on the market. It offers compatibility with all devices, does not restrict you to desktop or mobile like LastPass now does, and the solution has enhanced security features to protect your credentials and other sensitive data.
Configuration is simple once you register for an account on the Bitwarden website. The most important thing during the registration process is the creation of a unique and impenetrable master password. It is crucial that this master password is both complex and memorable. It must be complex as it is al that stands between a hacker and your entire database of passwords. It must also be memorable to you so you do not actually lock yourself out of your own password vault. It is a good idea to consider using a passphrase rather than a password. A passphrase is much longer so much harder to for hackers to guess (brute force) and these are generally easy to remember.
There is a function available to import all your data from LastPass, or another password management solution. Once you identify how to export the list of credentials from your existing solution – for LastPass this is located in the Advanced Options link at the bottom – you can transfer passwords via a simple .CSV list. The content of this list can then be copied and pasted straight into Bitwarden using the Tools menu and ‘Import Data’ option.
Once this has been completed, your list of passwords will be available on the main screen. You will now be able to synchronize all of your Bitwarden apps across your devices. Should you need to edit any of your passwords, you can select the hyperlink for that platform and you can do it instantly.
There are additional features that you can also activate by clicking the profile image in the upper-righthand corner and then choosing ‘My Account’. Following this step to set up the two-step login in the left-most sidebar and enable two-factor authentication for your account. This is important to prevent unauthorized logins to your account. In the event of your master password (or passphrase) being compromised, a second identification factor must be provided before access to the account is granted. Do not forget this step as it is important for security.
You can also use the options link in the left sidebar to amend the time out setting for your your secure password vault. The timing setting for this should be made as short as possible if you are using a shared computer or device.
Once all of these steps have been completed, you can install the Bitwarden app on your devices and browser extensions to make your online interactions effortless. This is very straightforward to do and you will be able to access the contents of your Bitwarden vault at any time, from any device.
While the free version of the Bitwarden password management solution is excellent with a good range of features, it is worthwhile considering a premium plan for the additional features it offers. As a personal user this will only cost $10 per year. The paid versions are strongly recommended for businesses due to the additional features provided. The premium plans will also give you the best password security available.