Last Updated: June 9, 2020
- Encryption protocol: AES-256
- Two-factor authentication: Yes
- Automatic password generator: Yes
- Multi-device sync: Yes
- Zero-knowledge model: Yes
- Digital wallet: Yes
- Autofill: Yes
- Available storage: Unlimited
Keeping your passwords in one place.
- Great for beginners
- Password monitoring
- Costly premium package
- Free plans don’t allow multi-device sync
Dashlane is a leading password manager with a suite of other features. It comes in three versions, the first being a free version. The free version allows storage of up to 50 passwords and instant web form autofill for a single device. The version we tested is Dashlane Premium, which offers unlimited password storage, data syncing across devices, dark web monitoring, a VPN and more. There is a third version, premium plus, which has some added features including up to $1 million in Identity Theft coverage. We chose the plan that the average user would choose, which was the premium plan at $60 annually.
At $60 annually, Dashlane is one of the more expensive password managers out there. Factored into that price, no doubt, is the VPN. We will touch on the VPN in this review, but as a whole we are reviewing Dashlane’s performance as a password manager. Dashlane’s competitors, for the most part, all sit at or underneath $30 a year. Even without the VPN, I would say Dashlane is a great value. It does everything and more than a password manager should need to do, with browser extensions and native apps to keep everything in order. Dashlane is a simple and helpful tool with security features to boot.
Ease of use
No surprise here, Dashlane provides an incredibly smooth experience to get started. You start by creating an account with a master password, Dashlane then gets you started with the basic password manager functions, before branching out and allowing you to explore the rest of their features. Immediately you are able to see your password health, as they catalog all of your passwords into 3 categories: Compromised, Reused, and Weak. Prior to testing the service, I created accounts on sites like Reddit, Amazon, and Facebook with very weak passwords. Immediately, all the weak passwords I had created were sorted into the “compromised” category with the suggestion that I resolve them immediately. To my surprise, there were numerous weak and reused passwords that I was presented with. It was a simple process to generate new passwords for these sites and implement them.
Hidden Fees & Dummy Features
Dashlane is very straightforward about what they are offering you. Every feature observed has a purpose and a utility that can be accessed immediately. I did not find a single feature that was out of place. They passed this test with flying colors.
Upon installation, Dashlane gives you the option to import all the passwords you have stored in your web browsers (Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari). There is also an option to import data from other password managers. Once you’ve imported your passwords, you can search them or sort them by category. After the browser extension is installed, you will likely need to sign into sites again using Dashlane’s autofill for logins. By default, most password managers will clear the stored logins from your browse, as your native browser’s password manager is far less secure than other providers. No great hassle here, but something to be aware of.
Dashlane’s features are neatly organized on the left side of the native app. First, you have the vault, where you can manage passwords, notes, personal info, payments, IDs and Receipts. Following that is Security, you can access their Dark Web Monitoring to see if any of your information is at risk on the other side of the internet. This is also where you find your password health. When using Dashlane for my personal account, rather than my work account, I found that my password health sat at an abysmal 50/100. Fortunately, they made it easy to fix my dozens of reused and weak passwords. I simply had to log into those sites again with dashlane and bask in my newfound internet security.
I ran two customer support tests, one before purchasing and one after. The first was just an inquiry on the features and the VPN. The representative I talked to was very helpful and knowledgeable, I would anticipate that they would be able to resolve any further issues I would have had. The second test went a little differently, they took a bit longer to respond and passed me off between multiple representatives. It wasn’t as straightforward or streamlined as the other support I received, but still got the job done in a relatively timely manner.
Tallying up the scores was interesting for Dashlane, as many of their premium features fall outside of the scope of traditional password managers. We break up our ratings into 4 categories each weighted at 25%: Use, Support, Price, and Features. Let’s start with use.
Dashlane offers a simple and digestible user interface that puts everything you need right within reach. The interface is clean and modern, the add-ons and extensions do not clutter up your browser, and the password management is clean and minimal on screen. Every feature is simple to access and made easily available. Beyond just password managers, Dashlane offers some of the best user experiences one can find.
As mentioned in my Customer Support section, of the two support instances I observed, one was resolved almost immediately and the other was resolved in a relatively timely manner. The second brings the score down as I got a little whiplash going back and forth between representatives.
It is tough for Dashlane to merit a score, when judging as a password manager, higher than 7. As the most expensive option we have tested, there was nothing offered as a password manager that other providers didn’t already offer for half the price. The features, which we will get to in a moment, certainly merited the price but the cost as a password manager lowers their score due to the overall price. Still a great bang for your buck considering the other features, but not the best overall deal on the market as a password manager.
From Dark Web Monitoring to a stellar VPN to a tremendous password management experience, Dashlane offers everything you could want and more from a password manager. Dashlane has affixed itself firmly into the “Swiss Army Knife” category of software on my computer. Usually, my standard for good software is do very little very well. Dashlane blows that standard out of the water as they do a very great amount, very very well.
Overall score: 8.6/10
While this isn’t a 10/10 score, I certainly have had a 10/10 experience with Dashlane. Very pleased with this product and I will continue to use it going forward.