Is It Safe To Use A Free Password Manager? Let’s Find Out!

In the digital age, safeguarding our online accounts has become paramount. A password manager offers a convenient solution, but with a multitude of options available, a common question arises.

When it comes to free password managers, are they safe to use?

This article delves into the intricacies and my detailed research of free password managers services, exploring their safety and reliability in protecting your valuable digital assets. Is it really, free free? What’s the catch? While password managers are not risk free, there are some details that people overthink, so let’s talk about it.

Why Do We Have Free Password Managers, What Are The Way They Make Money?

The way many businesses make more money is through advertising, and it can come in many forms, some not so obvious. One way to advertise is to give something away. It’s easier to upsell someone already using your product and giving away products spread faster and often cheaper than running normal ad campaigns.

And people and businesses have passwords, and most often they have a lot of them. This means they need some type of manager, especially when it comes to sharing passwords.

Thus, we get password managers that are free, it’s advertising!

It’s All About Advertising

When you look at a password manager, you’ll notice that many have a free version and a paid version. The paid version will always have more features. How do you get people to pay for the paid version? Simple, by giving away a version that has no cost to it!

The main goal for this is to act as advertising; it’s to get the user “in the door”, storing their passwords and making themselves at home. Once you’ve used the product and gotten used to the no-cost option, you’re more likely to stay and even upgrade. Plus, you’ve already organized your passwords, so you’re kind of sticky and not often wanting to go other places.

Not only that, but you’re more likely to recommend it to others. And these other people can be businesses or people who work for those businesses. As covered, even businesses have a password or two, and they often need to share it securely within the company. These companies that offer no-cost versions will be merely the cost to advertise for them. The more users they can get to use their product, the more customers they get who need the paid or business plans. And it’s those business plans that will be the real money maker in the industry.

Business Plans Is Where The Real Money Is At

They want business customers. Business customers spend more and rarely switch due to the headache of moving all their many employees’ to a new manager. The bigger the business they attract, the more they spend, and the more likely they’ll stay.

There is no better salesman for an app than a guy who’s been using it for his personal life and knows it inside and out. When it’s time for a solution for the business, he will recommend what he knows, and if the password vault company can get him hooked from the start and storing a password or two, then it is worth the cost.

A trusting password manager thats free is just the cost of doing business for some password managers.

But does this mean the password managers company only cares about businesses and not the free users?

They Only Care About The Business Customers?

If all the money is in the business customers, does that mean they only care about them? Let’s be clear, the real money for password managers is getting the business customers who have a password storage problem. The individual accounts don’t hold a candle to the money business accounts generate.

But… the business accounts tend to be built on these accounts.

We’ve seen many password managers companies do their free customers wrong in the past, and it never works out well for them. The problem with pissing them off is that there is more of them, and bad news travels fast.

You must not forget the business users tend to be normal users at home. If the password manager they use for work sucks for personal use, it could be the domino that starts the trend for the business itself to ultimately switch. After all, the no-cost accounts tend to be the advertising to get you in the door, and someone unhappy with the current product at home is looking for new doors.

The money is in the business accounts, but some password manager companies need to keep the other plans happy to keep from losing their bread and butter. It’s hard to gain new users, but easy to lose them. There is also some outliers, they don’t make money and every one is equal.

The Outliers

There do exist options like KeePass that come entirely free. There is no premium or extra charge; everything is free and free of blocking of features, just store some passwords. Oddly enough, KeePass and its many variations may even be the safest password manager you can get, even though they’re completely come at no cost to you.

KeePass and its varieties tend to be an application that is an open-sourced and safe password managers. Like many open-source projects, it’s free to use, even if it’s for businesses, but harder to share a items like logins, though. The great thing about open source projects is that anyone can see the code and offer to make changes to better the projects.

There’s no cost open-source projects that make money; the Bitwarden password manager is one example. While Bitwarden is open-sourced it does generate income with its plans and makes it sustainable. KeePass is not like Bitwarden, as it doesn’t have plans or set out to make money. It’s just a simple place to keep your passwords in a secure place, but you’re responsible for backups and figuring out sharing. How is KeePass even a thing, why do they keep going?

Why Is KeePass A Thing? How Does It Stick Around?

The KeePass or KeePassXC don’t have a system to generate money. The reason KeePass can keep going is selfless and selfish at the same time. The people who code for KeePass or KeePassXC also use the software to store their passwords. So it’s in their best interest to make it the best password manager it can be. They also can’t be dishonest, as anyone can view the code since it’s open-source.

Since anyone can view the code, anyone who uses the app can also write code to improve it, make it safer and better their own password manager needs, too. Since the coders need a password manager, and they trust one they help make more, and others can help to better it and confirm the code is good, you get a self-filling application that comes at no cost.

It’s the perfect storm when it comes to a great password manager and password creation, but innovation can be slowed as there is not much fear of competition. The coders can simply leave to the “competition” if something better comes along, so you end up stagnant option like “KeePassX”.

KeePass – It’s Like A Private Road

The KeePass is like having a shared private road to your home. You and many others need to use that road. The state won’t maintain it, so it’s up to you and your neighbors to keep it going. Tearing up the road won’t help you, and doing something to hurt your neighbor’s section won’t help either, as you both need that road. So when you can, you chip in to better or improve the road.

For software like KeePass, it’s the private road, and your neighbors will be the other people who use it; when you have thousands if not millions of people using it, you’ll get many willing to better the “road” as it also benefits them. If someone damages the road or decides to put a private investigator at the end of the road, you can “fork” the road to go a different direction.

Since it’s open to the public, we can all see the changes being made, and if we don’t like it, we can change where the road goes or better it for our own needs. Throw a few hundred people willing to better it in their spare time, you get something that is not only the best of the best but given away too. This greatly builds trust, but what about other password vaults?

Is It Secure to Use Free Password Vaults?

These free password managers are safe to use for your passwords, listed below.

  1. Bitwarden
  2. KeePassXC
  3. 1Password
  4. KeePass
  5. Enpass
  6. SafeInCloud
  7. RoboForm
  8. Keeper

I find the people who generally bring up the word “safe” when it comes to password managers tend to be new to them. It’s hard to convince them as most don’t understand the encryption and security that goes into a password manager.

But I have one tool that convinces most people because it’s so simple.

You pepper your important passwords.

Even if someone got into your vault, they would not know the full password. Life is too hard not to be using password managers; peppering passwords in your password manager gets people over their fears.

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