Bitwarden: Security Meets Affordability

Bitwarden is an open-source password manager that is considered as one if not the best tool out there when it comes to offering free versions of their services. Unlike other password managers, Bitwarden doesn’t have limitations that force its users to upgrade to a paid tier, like restricting the number of passwords you can save or preventing you from syncing all your vaults across all your devices.

Aside from those, even Bitwarden’s paid version, which adds more sophisticated security protocols and sharing capabilities, is very affordable. Continue reading and see what else makes Bitwarden a great choice as a password manager.

Getting Started

As you set up an account with Bitwarden, you will need to create a strong master password. And as you type in your master password, Bitwarden will rate it as weak, good or strong, so keep in mind that a secure password has to include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.

Whether you were previously using another password manager or just using your browsers auto-save feature, you can import your credentials onto Bitwarden using your web vault. This allows you to easily import from password managers like RoboForm, Keeper, Dashlane and 50 others.

Authentication Options

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) remarkably strengthens the security of your stored passwords. Without it, anyone who hacks, steals or even just guesses your master password can access your vault. But with MFA, there is another layer of protection that cybercriminals have to go through before they reach your credentials.

Unlike other password managers, Bitwarden’s free version supports MFA and does this via authenticator apps. When you set up MFA, just remember to take note and keep a copy of your account recovery code because Bitwarden doesn’t keep a copy of it. Which means once you’re locked out, not even Bitwarden can help you unlock your vault.

User Experience

Unlike other password managers, Bitwarden lets you create and edit entries in your vault using its web interface, desktop app and browser extension. You can also share any item from any of those platforms. For users who would rather store their passwords locally, Bitwarden allows you to do this on various devices that run Windows, macOS and Linux.

Another thing that users love about Bitwarden is that the web and desktop apps have a similar layout. They also like that the themes of both the web and desktop apps can be changed. Aside from passwords, you can also add identities, credit cards and notes, and all these can be saved and arranged into separate folders. You also can specify how long until the automatic time out takes effect. In addition, both Bitwarden’s mobile and desktop apps support biometric authentication unlocks.

Security Tools

Adding all your passwords to your Bitwarden vault is just the start. The next step is replacing any duplicate, weak or compromised passwords with stronger and more unique ones.

Bitwarden can generate six reports to check on your passwords’ health: Data Breach, Inactive 2FA, Unsecured Websites, Weak Passwords, Reused Passwords and Exposed Passwords.

Password Generator

Once you’ve identified the weak passwords, you won’t have to crack your brains to think of a stronger one because Bitwarden’s password generator will do it for you. By default, Bitwarden’s password generator creates passwords that contain uppercase and lowercase letters, and numbers. So, make sure to check the boxes to include special characters and avoid ambiguous symbols.

Another thing that you can do is increase the password length from 14 to at least 20 characters, which makes your password more difficult to crack. If passwords aren’t for you, Bitwarden also gives you an option to use passphrases. The default word length is three and we suggest increasing it to at least four.

Storing Cards and Identities

Bitwarden stores multiple sets of personal data and uses them to help you fill out forms so you don’t have to memorize all your credentials. With this, Bitwarden allows users to store two kinds of data items: cards and identities.

Every time you have to fill a form, you only need to click the extension button on your browser, and Bitwarden will fill out the relevant fields for you.

Sharing and Emergency Access

It’s a good practice to never ever share credentials with anyone, but there are times when you really must. In times like this, Bitwarden offers you two quick and easy ways to do it: via ‘Send’ and ‘Organizations’.

The Send feature simplifies sharing and lets users send encrypted links to anyone, even to people who don’t use Bitwarden. When you setup Send, you can also setup a specific expiration date, deletion date, maximum access limit and password.

The Organization option, on the other hand, allows you to invite other Bitwarden users and share information within the organization. If you want this option though, you need to be subscribed to Bitwarden’s Family Organization tiers or any of its business plans.

Mobile App

Aside from the web platform and the browser extension, Bitwarden is also available on mobile phones. Both its iOS and Android versions have the same features, some of them are the biometric authentication and credential autofill.

The Android app includes four main navigation options: My Vault, Generator, Send and Settings. My Vault organizes your files into different folders and item types. The Generator section is where you will find Bitwarden’s password generator tool. The Send option lets you share items. The Settings tab is where you can control autofill preferences, enable additional security requirements, export your vault, and access other standard options.

Bitwarden for Business

For business and organizations looking for a secure password manager that won’t break the bank, Bitwarden might just be the one for you.

For a fraction of what its competitors cost, Bitwarden provides reports that will keep track of your password health. It will give you a list of passwords that are weak or have been exposed or reused. It will also tell you which multi-factor authentication has been inactive. Bitwarden also makes it easier to store business passwords by providing a separate business vault from the employee vault.

Final Thoughts

If you’re an individual looking for a free password manager, Bitwarden definitely is something you need to check out. It gives you more freedom by not limiting the number of passwords you can store and by allowing you to sync your vault across all your devices.

Bitwarden’s premium tier, on the other hand, is a great choice for different organizations looking for a secure but inexpensive password manager. Despite its affordability, it includes excellent features such as password health report, OTP generator, emergency access options and enhanced two-factor authentication methods.

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