Password manager for Windows, Android and Apple : On the safe side
A password manager is a software application designed to store and manage online credentials.
Online banking, social media, internet shops, and websites with log-in – a password is always required. Not just any, but a safe one, with upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Such passwords are hard to remember, and writing them down on a piece of paper isn’t the best idea either. A clever alternative are password managers in which all passwords are stored. We introduce you to recommended tools.
What do password managers do?
A password manager (or a web browser) can store all your passwords securely, so you don’t have to worry about remembering them. This allows you to use unique, strong passwords for all your important accounts (rather than using the same password for all of them, which you should never do).
You only have to remember the master password
The principle of password managers has quickly explained: the programs save and sort all your passwords in a clear user interface. On request, they can also create secure new passwords, for example for website log-ins. All you have to do is remember the master password for the password manager and you can access your saved passwords. You have the choice between free and paid versions – the latter offer more features. You can save money with security bundles such as o2 Protect, which already contain a password manager.
Free password managers for your devices
Both iPhones and iPads as well as Android smartphones and tablets come with password managers that work across devices. We explain to you which features you get for free with the Google password manager and the iCloud keychain from Apple.
Google’s password manager (Android, Windows PC, iPhone, Mac)
Are you using an Android device? Then Google’s password manager is available to you free of charge as a feature of the pre-installed Google app. It’s also built into Google Chrome, so you’ll have your passwords handy on any device you use Chrome to surf the web on. For other browsers, you can retrieve your passwords from the Google website. Google’s solution is therefore available for a wide range of systems and devices – from Android smartphones to iPads to Windows PCs. Cloud synchronization keeps all connected devices up to date with their passwords.
Google’s password manager automatically fills in login fields on websites. The tool also suggests secure passwords when you register for a new site. Existing passwords can be checked for possible hacks and other criminal activities via “Check passwords” – if necessary, Google will raise an alarm and advise you to change the password immediately.
Third-party apps can also access the password manager on Android devices, so you have your passwords at hand at all times, even beyond the browser. Practical for iPhone users: Google’s password solution can also be set up as the default service for passwords in iOS. This makes it possible for any iPhone app to retrieve the password data stored in Chrome.
iCloud Keychain (iPhone, Mac, Windows PC)
Apple’s equivalent of Google’s password manager is iCloud Keychain. If you’re using an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, Apple’s Password Storage is the default password protection solution pre-installed. It works similar to the Google version. The keychain saves and organizes your passwords, and the data is also synchronized with your other Apple devices via iCloud sync. The tool backs up credit card numbers, website logins, WiFi passwords, and internet accounts. In addition, Apple’s solution creates secure passwords for any Internet site and service on request. The stored passwords can also be used for third-party apps. Apple explains in detail on its own website how you can set up the iCloud keychain.
iCloud Keychain is easy to use because it’s mostly automated. But there is a downside: the tool is primarily designed for use on Apple devices with a Safari browser. For example, if you use an Android tablet in addition to the iPhone, you cannot access your iCloud passwords with it. On Windows devices, the passwords stored in the keychain can be called up via a Chrome extension in Google’s browser.
Third-party password managers – additional features
The free password managers already offer many functions – but some users want even more. Or you don’t want to entrust your passwords to Google or Apple but prefer a service beyond the big players. This is where third-party solutions come into play. The following tools are particularly recommended:
1Password – Versatile but expensive
1Password is an established password manager for Android, iPhone, Windows and Mac. The feature list is long. In addition to creating, storing, organizing, and syncing passwords, there are many other features that make password handling convenient. The log-in entries can be expanded to include any number of fields, and multiple passwords and usernames for a single website are no problem.
In addition, notes can be created and attachments such as photos can be added, and this content then remains protected from prying eyes. Clear templates for sensitive data such as account data and passport numbers complete the range of functions.
Another strength of 1Password is its support for many platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux and even Chrome OS. Browser plug-ins are also available for Safari, Firefox and the Chromium-based browsers Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. But the many features come at a price: 1Password costs around 36 dollars per year for individual users, and around 60 dollars per year for the family version for up to five users.
McAfee True Key – the cheap alternative
McAfee True Key is another password manager that we recommend, and it’s cheaper than 1Password. As with the other solutions, its core function is to back up passwords automatically. The app offers strong protection combined with high ease of use, and cross-device synchronization works automatically. To do this, enter your e-mail address and a new master password when you start True Key for the first time – you will also need this data on all your smartphones, tablets and computers on which you use True Key.
In addition to website login passwords, True Key can also be used to store other types of sensitive information, such as social security numbers, in an organized manner. There is a particularly convenient way of storing the associated data for credit cards: Simply take a picture of your card via the app – True Key will then take over the card number and other information. You can also automatically create new passwords when you log into a website if you are not already registered on the site.
Unlike 1Password, the McAfee solution does not have its own app for Windows PCs and Macs, instead, the tool can be used via the browser. True Key supports Firefox and Chrome, so other Chromium-based browsers like Microsoft Edge are no problem either.
The free version of the software is very limited in terms of functionality, more than 15 password entries are not possible. The highlight of the purchase version without limitations: True Key Premium only costs around 20 dollars per year, significantly less than for 1Password. But it’s even cheaper: with o2 Protect.
o2 Protect: Security Suite including a password manager
You can also book McAfee True Key as part of o2 Protect and save a lot of money – depending on the tariff.
o2 Protect is a security package for o2 customers that offers all-around carefree protection for your privacy and personal data. These include an antivirus app, anti-spam for e-mail inboxes and additional phishing protection, especially against the dangers of online banking. There are also numerous other features that keep you on the safe side online (and offline).
Another component of o2 Protect is the McAfee WebAdvisor module, which warns you of potentially dangerous websites and downloads when surfing. And, as already mentioned, McAfee’s True Key Premium password manager is also on board. Since o2 Protect can be booked from as little as 1.99 euros per month, the password manager is available to you here even more cheaply than if you bought it individually – o2 Protect also has the many security functions mentioned on top of that.
o2 Protect is based on a strong partnership with McAfee, a US company that develops network and computer security software and hardware. McAfee is based in California’s Silicon Valley, not far from other tech giants such as Apple and Microsoft. Especially today, location plays a role in terms of security that should not be underestimated.
Password manager – free or paid version
Nowadays, effective online protection includes a password manager – this is the only way you can conveniently organize secure and different passwords for your online accounts. If the features of the pre-installed password solutions from Google and Apple are not enough for you, third-party tools such as 1Password or McAfee True Key will help you – the latter is included in the attractively priced security package from o2 Protect.