The best free password manager 2017

Passwords are a nuisance. It's easy to mock the people using '12345678' for everything, but creating and recalling strong passwords that are unique to each website is a huge PITA. Thank goodness, then, for password managers: not only do they do the remembering so you don't have to, but they can usually do all the typing too.

The apps we've selected here are all master password managers, and many of them have useful extra features too. Have we missed your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.

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Download LastPass free

1. LastPass

Free, secure login storage and generation – LastPass is the best password manager around

There are two versions of LastPass – free and premium. Both can store an unlimited number of account logins in a secure vault protected by a master password, will complete online forms for you automatically, and can employ multi-factor authentication.

The premium edition also syncs across multiple devices, stores passwords for desktop programs, and lets you share secured folders with other people. with customizable permissions.

One of LastPass's best features is its ability to generate strong, unguessable passwords for all your accounts, which it then stores for you. There's no need to remember long, awkward streams of characters, or re-use the same password for multiple accounts. It's a class act.

Review and where to download: LastPass

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Download Dashlane free

2. Dashlane

Superb password security with versions for all web browsers and devices

Dashlane is LastPass's most serious rival, and like LastPass it's absolutely superb with strong password security, exceptional ease of use and ability to store notes for future reference.

In addition to the Windows desktop password manager, there are browser plugins and mobile versions, and as with LastPass there's a premium edition of Dashlane that adds unlimited syncing and sharing.

The premium edition of Dashlane costs US$39.99 (about £30, AU$50) per year, but the free version provides all the essentials: you get the core password manager, autofill and digital wallet features, all of which work flawlessly. Don't settle for LastPass without trying Dashlane first, and vice versa.

Download here: Dashlane

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Roboform's free desktop version is strictly limited, but you can sync across as many mobile devices as you like

3. RoboForm

An excellent desktop password manager with free mobile apps

RoboForm claims to be the world's best password manager, though its free version only lets you store up to 10 logins and lacks the breadth of features offered by some of its rivals. If you need to store more passwords, a premium account costs US$9.95 (about £8, AU$13) for the first year, though the mobile apps are free.

It's available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, and is a good option for anybody who wants a simple and secure way to sync passwords between desktop, laptop and mobile devices.

RoboForm doesn't have quite the same features lists as Dashlane or LastPass, but it's a very good tool nonetheless and the free mobile apps are excellent.

Download here: RoboForm

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Download Keepass free

4. KeePass Password Safe

An open source password manager with regular updates to maintain security

It isn't the prettiest password manager around, but KeePass Password Safe is both free and open source with strong security, multiple user support and a whole bunch of plugins to expand the app further.

The password manager is small enough to run from USB without installing on a PC, it can input from and output to a wide range of file formats and there are stacks of customization options to play with.

The fact that KeePass Password Safe is open source means anybody can inspect the code for potential weaknesses, which means that any security issues can be identified and fixed quickly. It's a great little app, if a bit intimidating for absolute beginners.

Download here: KeePass Password Safe

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Download Sticky Password free

5. Sticky Password

Superb password management from the antivirus experts behind AVG Antivirus

Sticky Password comes from the team behind AVG Antivirus, so you can be confident that security is its top priority.

There are two versions of Sticky Password: free and premium. The latter adds cloud syncing and backup, and costs US$29.99, £19.99 (about AU$40) a year. There's also a lifetime license available for $149.99, £96.99 (about AU$200) – an option not offered by any other premium password manager.

The app works on PC, Mac, Android and iOS, supports fingerprint authentication on mobile, is available as a portable USB version and offers lots of synchronisation options including Wi-Fi syncing with local devices. It doesn't support the Edge browser just yet but it will once the Anniversary Update introduces extension support.

Download here: Sticky Password

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