Bitwarden is getting traction in the Password Manager world, because they are Open Source, and their free product covers a lot of features. We’ll look at this Password Manager to see whether these statements are true, and if so, how do they stack up against Dashlane, Roboform, or LastPass. As usual, we’ll examine this software in 5 areas: Features, Security, Useability, Price and Support. Let’s see how this Bitwarden Review pans out:
Bitwarden in its free plan is not a feature-rich password manager, only with one notable exception: Multi-device sync. This means that you can log in and see and manage your passwords across multiple devices, which is a feature that only LastPass provides in the free plan. Foregoing this, Bitwarden has a password generator, and it can help you keeping some secure notes and identities, unfortunately the password-hygiene related tools are barred behind the paid tier, only Data Breach Report is available for everyone (which is a very useful feature!) Exposed Passwords, Reused Passwords, Weak Passwords, Unsecured Websites reports can be all used in the Premium tier. If we look at this tier, for the price (We’ll get there later) it is a decent offer.
About platforms: Bitwarden supports Windows, macOS and Linux natively on the desktop, and has dedicated browser addons for Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Opera, along with Vivaldi, Brave and the Tor browser. This is very commendable On Mobile you can download the app for your iOS or Android device, so there’s nothing to scoff at.
Bitwarden Review: Security
There is a huge plus on Bitwarden’s side: It’s an open source software, and it’s public audit by Cure53. You can check out their source code on Github, and even look for possible vulnerabilities there. This all means that the makers of Bitwarden are very confident that their solution is super-secure, and it’s a brave step which not a lot of password manager software providers take.
Regarding your data: The Vault is secured by the industry standard AES-256bit encryption. Also, BitWarden runs on a zero-knowledge model, this means that you, and only you know the contents of your account. However, if you don’t want to host your passwords in the cloud, Bitwarden has you covered, there is an exhaustive know-how on how to self-host your passwords with Bitwarden, and this is a huge plus, even though it requires technical knowledge to implement.
Bitwarden’s pricing model is very generous, but there is one thing that we didn’t like. Let’s check these out:
The Free Plan is obviously free, and covers all the basic password manager features (Multi-device sync, Unlimited password storage, Password Generator, basic 2-factor authentication). However, if you want to try out the premium features, you have to sign up and pay in advance, there is no trial period. We think that this is something Bitwarden should change in the future, even though their Paid plan is very cheap.
Personal Paid Plan: for $10 per year, You’ll get a lot of extra features, including the beforementoined Vault Health Reports, Yubikey, U2F or Duo, 1 GByte of secure storage. What we miss is a password share option, and emergency contact addons. Then again, we can’t really complain because of the price.
Family plan: for $12 per year, you’ll have premium features (with the exception of advanced 2FA) for 5 users, plus unlimited shared items.This is a very generous price indeed.
For Businesses there are 2 options available: Teams and Enterprise for $2 and $3 per user per month respectively. What is strange is that premium features are ‘addon’ in case of the teams subscription, and even the prices are not so great, there are several other password managers which have better pricing for businesses.
- Bitwarden Free Free
Password Generator, Multi-device sync, unlimited passwords
- Bitwarden Paid (Personal) $10 per year
Everything in Free tier +1Gb storage, Vault Health Reports
- Roboform Business from $2 per month
Depends on plan
Usability of Bitwarden
It’s a mixed bag. The initial setup is more cumbersome, especially when compared to the best 3 password managers, and if you have some passwords to import, but when it’s done, Bitwarden works as intended. The password generator is great, there is no great password-changer option, and you can access your notes or identities easily. We would say that it hits the industry standard average, but there are some issues with form-filling (bitwarden calls these identities), it was very inaccurate in a number of times. Credit card filling works great though.
Support at Bitwarden
It’s not ideal, to say the least. There is no chat or phone support, free-tier users can only write emails to Bitwarden, and the response time is not great (2-3 days in our 2 tests). On the bright side, there is a very exhaustive help center available, and there is a forum available, and it has a relatively decent activity as well. Premium VIP support also has it’s lags, but the answers we got our answers in approximately 1 working day. Overall we would say that Bitwarden support is not on par with the industry leaders.
Bitwarden Review - Final Verdict
We have mixed feelings about Bitwarden. On the plus side, it is great that even the free plan contains multi-device sync, and the security is top notch. On the negatives we can say that support is not the best, and there are some usability-issues, especially regarding imports and form-filling. Bitwarden is also missing some of the cool features other password managers have (like the built-in VPN of Dashlane, or easy password sharing in case of LastPass). We also miss the trial period for the Premium product. Overall, we would say that Bitwarden is a decent password manager, if you’re looking for a free one (although not the best), but we would choose something else if we would like a well-rounded password manager.
During our Dashlane review, it came evident that this software was the best password manager we have tested. It’s secure, easy to use, and has