Firefox is shutting down its Lockwise password manager service. The passwords you save in the Firefox app on desktop and mobile will still be available, and they’ll still be synced across all your devices; Mozilla is effectively rolling Lockwise’s features into Firefox and removing the iOS and Android app from the equation.
Which is fine if you use Firefox; however, if you were using Lockwise to store and sync passwords on different devices (not only dependent on the Firefox browser), you should be on the lookout for an alternative.
The Lockwise apps aren’t going away in an instant, as the apps will continue to exist on Apple App Store and Google Play Store, but Firefox will stop updating them on Dec. 13, 2021, putting an end to future patches or security fixes. Given that we’re talking about your passwords, it’s best to jump ship and remove your personal data before the deadline hits.
The best alternative to Firefox Lockwise is the Firefox browser itself. If you were using the Firefox Lockwise service, it’s because you trusted Firefox to save and sync your personal data. It will continue to do that, just in the Firefox browser.
If you’re an iOS user, Firefox will automatically sync your passwords that are saved in the Lockwise app, and Firefox will soon bring the ability to use Firefox as the default password manager for iOS. This means you can continue to use the familiar features, just in the Firefox app instead of Lockwise.
If you don’t use iOS, you can easily export and import passwords from Lockwise to Firefox. Firefox supports CSV import, like many popular browsers and services.
Bitwarden is currently our recommendation for the best free password manager. Every other competitor (like 1Password and LastPass) seems to have one major downside, but Bitwarden has so far managed to please us on all fronts.
Bitwarden is an open-source password manager with state-of-the-art security (which can be checked by experts). It works on all platforms (including Linux), and its sync feature is great. It’s currently one of the only password managers to offer a true, free unlimited plan for password management.
You can opt for its $US10 (A$14.30)/year premium plan if you want to use two-factor authentication or if you need more storage space for secure files.
LastPass used to be the reigning king of free and premium password managers. But after a couple of moves, it’s now only suitable if you’re looking for a premium plan (even then, Bitwarden comes out to be cheaper).
LastPass is an online-only password manager that protects your data in the cloud. But LastPass isn’t open-source so you have to trust the service provider.
That said, LastPass is generally easier to use compared to Bitwarden. Its auto-fill feature for browsers is still best-in-class.
The only issue is the pricing. LastPass is only free to use on one device. Anything more than that and you’re looking at a $US3 (A$4.30)/month plan.
If you’re all-in on the Apple ecosystem and you’re looking for a free alternative to Lockwise, don’t look further than the built-in option. iCloud Keychian, or iCloud Passwords, has been overhauled with the recent updates and is now much easier to use.
You can easily import your Lockwise passwords to iCloud Passwords using a Mac. It even plays nice with Windows now, and there’s two-factor support built-in.
It all syncs automatically using iCloud. And it’s backed by Apple’s encryption. What more does one need?
Need something more than iCloud Keychain? Perhaps you want a browser extension, password sharing, team support, customisable apps, or an option to store secure documents. While iCloud Keychain covers the basics, it leaves quite a lot of room for a more specialised app. And that app is 1Password.
1Password has been a crowd favourite on Apple devices for many years now. And while its recent shift to the Electron app has deterred some users, the 1Password service is still going strong.
If you want a third-party password manager that feels at home on Apple devices, a service that takes advantage of all native features (it even offers browser extensions for iPhone and iPad), 1Password has it. Plans start at $US3 (A$4.30)/month, and 1Password comes with one of the best password-sharing features that we have come across.
6. KeePass (and companion apps)
If you use and support Firefox, you might be the kind of person who likes open-source software. KeePass might be for you. KeePass is a Windows-only open-source password manager that uses an offline database as opposed to a cloud service.
While KeePass itself only runs on Windows, there are many unofficial ports for iOS, Android, and Mac that let you sync and use passwords from the same database.
Dashlane is a cloud-based password manager similar to LastPass. And just like LastPass, the free account is only limited to one device. And it only lets you store up to 50 passwords.
Dashlane’s Premium plan starts at $US3.99 (A$5.70) and removes all limits. It also comes with dark-web monitoring and a VPN.