Best Free Password Managers For Australian SMEs In 2020

Published on 23/03/2020 by Anna Hammond

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A quick way small and mid-sized businesses (SMEs) can ramp up their cyber defences is by securing their company passwords. Luckily, the task doesn’t have to be complicated. Password management software is a great, inexpensive approach to strengthening digital security initiatives. In this article, we reveal three of the best free password managers available to SMEs in Australia.

Best free password managers tools

Why is password management important?

 

Anyone who works (or has worked) in a growing business will know that employees tend to juggle a large workload, and often across many tools. It’s tempting, in this situation, to give and apply one password across all those platforms. 

Let me tell you why that’s a bad idea.

Over the years, cybercriminals have developed a cryptographic hack called brute force attacks. The hacker only needs an email address to start. They’ll then enter thousands of password combinations until they discover the correct one. Often, this is with the aid of automated software and so a weak password can be ‘cracked’ in a matter of seconds. Unsurprisingly, an experienced hacker won’t hesitate to check if the login details work on other sites too.

Brute force attacks have risen in Australia, with small businesses being the target. To combat this, Australians must create strong and unique passwords for every account they own.

How to strengthen passwords

 

A strong password should be a mix of:

  • At least eight to sixteen characters
  • Capital and lowercase letters
  • Special characters
  • Numbers.

An example of a strong password would look something like this: [email protected]!xf44.

Common, breakable passwords usually include real names, words, or dates. Year after year, ‘123456’ has come out on top as the most hackable password a user can choose.

Creating unique, randomised combinations for digital accounts makes sense for password security. But expecting staff to memorise complex sequences for many accounts is unrealistic.

What is a password manager?

 

A password manager is a tool that provides users with the means to synchronise passwords across several accounts. The security software saves the passwords in a central hub and activates them using a master password.

One key benefit of password managers is that users only have to remember one password. Many providers also include a browser plug-in, which enables users to login with the master password from the toolbar. They can access any online account stored in the manager thereafter.

What to look for in a password manager

 

When researching password management tools, there are a few crucial features to look out for.

In a free version, you’ll want to include:

  • Master passwords
  • New password generators
  • Password capture
  • Password resets
  • Unlimited storage allowance.

Another handy feature to look out for is two-factor authentication.

PCMag explains how two-factor authentication works:

“There are three generally recognised factors for authentication: something you know (such as a password), something you have (such as a hardware token or cell phone), and something you are (such as your fingerprint). Two-factor means the system is using two of these options.”

In short, a password manager will help apply extra layers of security to your business regardless of how basic or advanced it may be.

Best free password managers 2020

 

Implementing a new password manager shouldn’t be a burden on you or your IT department. Users who get baffled or frustrated by a tool may well abandon it. Therefore, it’s important to explore an option that works for everyone. 

To that end, we set the following criteria during our research. The software selected must have all of the features mentioned above, plus:

  • An established market in Australia
  • A high search volume in Australia
  • At least 200 written reviews on Capterra Australia with 4+ stars.

Based on these requirements, we’ve selected three password management software tools. Listed in alphabetical order:

1. 1Password 

 

1pass password management tool

Overall rating: 4.7/5

Ease of use: 4.6/5

Features: 4.6/5

Value for money: 4.5/5

Two-factor authentication: Yes

Biometric login: No

Free version: Free one-month trial (increased to six months to help businesses work securely from home as a response to COVID-19)

Cost to upgrade: US$3.99 per user per month

Platforms supported: Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, Linus, and Chrome OS

About 1Pass

1Pass aims to make good security habits become second nature within businesses. While it doesn’t offer a freemium version, it has recently extended it’s trial offerings to six months (March 2020.) As a result, this will allow companies to respond to the coronavirus outbreak with secure, remote workflows.

The tool also syncs across devices, so employees always have access to their passwords.

There are a few different pricing options for 1Pass subscribers: Teams, Business and Enterprise. The latter is better suited to larger businesses that need a bespoke package, whereas the Teams and Business versions work well for small and mid-sized businesses.

What’s included?

The Teams version increases password security for small teams that manage several online accounts. After the six-month free trial, it costs US$3.99 per user per month.

It includes:

  • Unlimited shared vaults and item storage
  • Admin controls to view and manage permissions
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Duo integration for business-wide multi-factor authentication
  • 24/7 email support
  • 1 GB document storage per person
  • 5 guest accounts for limited sharing.

1Pass Business costs US$7.99 per month per user after the free trial, and it includes everything from the Teams version; plus:

  • VIP Support
  • 5 GB document storage
  • 20 guest accounts for limited sharing
  • Custom security controls with 1Pass Advanced Protection
  • Permission-based access control for each vault
  • Free family accounts for team members
  • Activity log for tracking changes to vaults and items
  • Custom roles
  • Usage reports for creating an audit trail
  • Custom groups to organise teams
  • Provisioning with Active Directory, Okta, and OneLogin.

User opinions

What users liked: Users said 1Password makes it easy to capture logins in a central hub. It also takes little time to access online accounts without memorising several password combinations.

Users highlighted the 1Password app because it’s available on a multitude of devices. It also tells users what’s wrong with their passwords and how to strengthen them. For example, a password may be too weak or an exact copy of one of their other account logins.

What users found challenging: 1Password doesn’t offer an annual payment option. However, users won’t need to pay anything for up to six months depending on the platform version they choose.

Read software reviews for 1Pass.

2. LastPass

 

Lastpass password management software screenshot

 

Overall rating: 4.7/5

Ease of use: 4.5/5

Features: 4.6/5

Value for money: 4.6/5

Two-factor authentication: Yes

Biometric login: Yes

Free version: Yes

Cost to upgrade: Billed $48 USD annually per user

Platforms supported: Web, iOS, Android 

About Lastpass

LastPass allows users to securely generate and save passwords, and use them across multiple devices. To keep the password management tool activated, users can install the browser extension and log in using a master password.

What’s included?

The free version is for personal use, but individual employees could use it to manage their digital work environment too. The account includes:

  • 1 user
  • Access on all devices
  • One-to-one sharing (sharing passwords with trusted family and friends in a secure way)
  • Save and fill passwords
  • Password generator
  • Secure notes (such as saving the details of the business credit card)
  • Password audits
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • LastPass Authenticator.

The business version, which caters towards teams, costs US$4 per user per month. As well as everything included in the free version, it also includes:

  • 5-50 users
  • Admin dashboard for IT
  • Zero-knowledge security model (employees create their own master password)
  • Directory integration
  • Single sign-on
  • Multifactor authentication
  • Customised policies
  • Reporting.

User opinions

What users liked: Users said it’s easy to add, view and manage items that they’ve saved to their LastPass account. Subscribers can also add passwords to their vault when they log in or create a new account.

Lastpass account holders also commended the password generator because they said it helped strengthen their accounts. The software takes a different route to randomised password combinations, and instead, suggests creating a password (such as a composition of random words) that the user can remember easily. The software will then strengthen it by adding easy-to-remember punctuation, dashes or periods in between and within words.

What users found challenging: Subscribers said they can’t ask for a reminder if they forget their password. However, the platform does allow them to reset it.

Read software reviews for LastPass.

3. RoboForm

 

Roboform password manager interface

Overall rating: 4.6/5

Ease of use: 4.4/5

Features: 4.4/5

Value for money: 4.5/5

Two-factor authentication: Yes

Biometric login: No

Free version: Yes

Cost to upgrade: Billed US$40.2 annually per user

Platforms supported: Web, iOS, Android 

About Roboform: 

Roboform subscribers can securely store passwords and log in to accounts with a single password. Once a Roboform account is opened, the user sets a master password to secure their data.

Users can add or import their existing passwords into the platform from their browser, a CSV, or another password management tool. Roboform automatically saves passwords as the new user logs in or creates online accounts. 

What’s included?

The free version is basic but includes:

  • Unlimited logins
  • Autofill forms
  • Password audits
  • Password generator.

Companies can upgrade to the business account at US$3.35 per user per month for more features. These include:

  • Easy user onboarding
  • Centralised management
  • Active Directory integration
  • Role-based permissions
  • Full separation of business and personal passwords
  • Unlimited sharing groups (for teams)
  • Security policy deployment
  • Account data backup
  • Detailed reporting
  • Pay as you go (no contracts)
  • Premium support.

User opinions

What users liked: RoboForm generates strong password suggestions for their user accounts. It auto-fills the information when they next login; which subscribers said was a valuable, time-saving feature. 

Users also noted that its simplicity makes it a good option for people who have little to no experience with password managers.

What users found challenging: Users mentioned that the autofill feature doesn’t always function as it should. However, they also noted that copying and pasting passwords from the application is a reliable backup.

Read software reviews for RoboForm.

Want to compare these platforms side by side? Check out GetApp’s comparison tool for LastPass, Roboform and 1Pass today. 

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This article may refer to products, programs or services that are not available in your country, or that may be restricted under the laws or regulations of your country. We suggest that you consult the software provider directly for information regarding product availability and compliance with local laws.