Dashlane Password Manager
For most people, as the number of logins we have manage increases, so does the need for a secure and effective tool to help manage them, this is where a password manager can help! Not only does a password manager help effectively store all of your passwords, it can also helps generate unique and secure passwords for each website in use thus minimising any potential security issues arising from data breaches!
Dashlane is one of the leading password managers on the market today, it is well designed, secure, fairly priced (with a free version) in addition to being very easy to setup and use! Sounds good so far so lets get into the review!
Key Features of Dashlane
- Well designed and easy to use software
- Plugins available for all major browsers
- iOS and Android apps available
- Automatic cloud synchronisation
- Supports 2FA (multi-factor authentication)
- Impressive set of features in the free version
- Automatic password generator
- Automatic web logins
- Automatic payment form fills
- Easy sharing of passwords (max 5 shares with free account)
- Dark web monitoring and alerts (Premium only)
- VPN included (Premium version only)
- Free version limited to 50 passwords and 1 device!
Dashlane operate both a free and premium version of this password manager, this means getting started with the free version of Dashlane is quick and easy and the installer can be downloaded without the need to first set up an account (this can be done a little later). Once downloaded and run the installer will proceed to download and install the Windows application.
Once downloaded and installed the app will allow for a free user account to be created, it is also here that the master password for the account is to be entered (make sure this is both long and unique whilst setting it).
Once the install has finished and the account has been created Dashlane will automatically prompt us to install the browser plugins, these are available for all of the mainstream web browsers which might be installed on the PC.
Once these web browser plugins are installed Dashlane becomes a much more useful tool, as you browse the web any login forms will be filled automatically (if you choose) and any new accounts will be automatically added to Dashlane as they are created!
Types of Data Stored by Dashlane
As you might expect, one of the main features of Dashlane is the secure storing of website usernames and passwords (i.e. logins), in addition to this the software can also store many other useful pieces of information!
The “Personal Info” section allows users to store their name, address, phone number and so on, this is useful when buying from e-commerce websites as the forms asking for this information can be filled in automatically. Other data types stored also extend to payment cards which can be safely stored and the details automatically filled in whenever using an e-commerce store. Dashlane also allows for personal ID document details and receipts to be stored in addition to the above!
In addition to the above Dashlane also provides the storage of store secure notes which will be encrypted and synchronised between any connected devices. This is ideal for keeping to hand any other sensitive personal information aside from passwords and payment details.
Another great feature of Dashlane is the dark web monitoring service, this takes your email address and will automatically check them against any data found in any known data breeches (including any available on the dark web). If you email address is found in a breach then Dashlane will automatically send a warning email giving you notice to change any compromised passwords!
Adding a New Site to Dashlane
Once everything is setup the process of adding new passwords to Dashlane is very convenient, to start with (as was mentioned earlier) Dashlane will automatically offer to import any logins already stored in you web browsers as the plugin is installed.
After this any logins can be added automatically by simply using them as normal and allowing the web browser plugins to capture them. In the event that a login form isn’t compatible with the plugin then details can still be entered manually in the web browser plugin.
The Windows application is also a great tool for adding new logins to Dashlane, this can be done manually (one by one) or by using the Dashlane automatic import tools.
As can be seen above Dashlane have made it quick and simple to import passwords from both browser based password managers plus other mainstream password managers including LastPass and 1Password. Should this not be enough the option to import via a CSV file should cover almost any other password manager you might be migrating away from!
Can Dashlane Create Passwords?
Yes, one of the great things about Dashlane is it can generate long, unique and very secure passwords automatically. This can be done using the Windows application, the smartphone apps or the web browser plugins whilst creating a new login!
It is especially important to make sure all logins have a unique and secure password so a feature such as this one is essential in a modern password manager!
Signing into Websites with Dashlane
One of the best features of Dashlane are the web browser plugins, these make logging into any websites stored within Dashlane very quick and convenient.
In many cases the browser plugin will login into the website automatically, this can of course be turned on or off accordingly for each website. When auto login is not available (or turned off) Dashlane will provide a small logo in the login form which, once clicked, will fill in the username and password for the site itself:
How Secure and Reliable is Dashlane
Dashlane is widely regarded as one of the industry leading password managers and they clearly take data security very seriously. This goes way beyond the basics of securing you stored passwords and additionally involves providing multi-factor authentication and ensuring you are notified whenever you personal data is involved in a breach.
The dark web monitoring service (shown in use above) is particularly useful in notifying users whenever their data is found following a security breach at a third party company or generally found for sale on the dark web.
Can Dashlane Import from Other Password managers?
Yes, in fact, Dashlane have made importing form other password managers really straightforward thanks to the specially built importing tools.
The import tools cover imports from other common password managers including 1Password and LastPass plus all of the mainstream web browsers. Logins from other password managers can potentially still be imported thanks to the CSV import tool.
Dashlane Free vs Premium
Dashlane is available in two versions, a free version which users initially sign up for when downloading the software and a Premium version priced at $39.99/year. The free version is actually quite comprehensive and is fully usable as a password manager, it even includes use of the Windows application, the smartphone apps and the web browser plugins amongst other things.
Other features induced for free are the automatic login and form filling service and the customised data breach warning system which will automatically email users if any of their data was found in a breach.
The free version of Dashlane also allows users to further secure their account with multi-factor authentication as well as synchronise their passwords back to the cloud.
Despite providing a good solution in its own right there are some limitations to the free version of Dashlane, one of the biggest being a hard limit of only 50 logins which can be stored on the account. There is also a limit of only 1 device which can be synchronised with the cloud account meaning the Premium version is a must for anyone who regularly uses multiple devices.
Other benefits of the Premium account include the ability to share multiple passwords with as many other people as needed (versus a limit of 5 in the free version) and more multi-factor authentication options including the ability to use Yubikey.
Dashlane makes use of strong encryption and multi-factor authentication to provide a secure password manager application. The built in password generator and data breach alerting tools also helps users maintain the maximum security of their various accounts.
Also included in the Premium version is a VPN which is useful when working on any device over a public or otherwise shared Wi-Fi network.
Should you get stuck with Dashlane there is a web based knowledge base available which covers many topics you might encounter whilst using Dashlane. Via this online knowledge base there is also the option to contact the Dashlane support team via live chat.
Dashlane operate both a Free and Premium account structure with the Premium account costing $39.99/year.
You can sign up for the free account by clicking here!
Dashlane is clearly a very good example of a password manager, not only does it function well but the user interface is very well thought out making it very easy to use. Even if you have never used a password manager before I am sure that virtually anyone will soon feel comfortable trusting and integrating Dashlane into their daily workflow!
The free version functions well and it is great to see the browser extensions included on this cost free tier making it a complete solution for those with simple password management needs. Unfortunately, whilst the free version is very good, the maximum limit of 50 passwords and 1 synced device will make this tier unsuitable for many (versus LastPass who allow unlimited accounts on their free tier).
At $39.99/year the Premium version provides good value and allows an unlimited number of passwords to be stored and an unlimited number of devices to be synchronised. The addition of a VPN in the Premium version is also a very welcome addition, in fact for those already looking for a VPN solution this will more than pay for itself given that most VPNs cost more than $40/year to begin with!
All in all a great password management solution, I would like to see the limits relaxed on the free version a little more to help compete with LastPass but this is still very impressive, well done Dashlane!