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Looking for an open-source password manager? Give Bitwarden a spin

21 November 2018, Nick Peers

Everyone needs a password manager to surf the web safely – they enable you to set virtually crack-proof passwords for all your online accounts, plus store a range of other sensitive data too, all locked behind a single master password.

If you’re unsatisfied with your current offering, or looking to support an open-source alternative, then look at 8bit Solutions LLC’s Bitwarden 1.10.0 and Bitwarden for mobile 1.19.4.

Bitwarden offers a comprehensive solution for managing your passwords across all major desktop platforms (Windows, Mac and Linux), mobile devices (Android and iOS) and web browsers too (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera and more).


Bitwarden offers all the functionality you’d expect and need from a password manager.

Its open-source nature makes it a transparent solution, and the fact 8bit Solutions isn’t afraid to call in the professionals to provide additional security audits helps too, along with the fact it’s willing to disclose all parts of the report – both good and bad.

When it comes to functionality, Bitwarden has all the major bases covered – its feature set is practically identical to rival services like LastPass, and it scores points for providing better browser add-ons, particularly on Firefox where LastPass’s weakness is acute.

The main universal app is comprehensive, but user-friendly, with similar – and familiar – functionality across all platforms on mobile and desktop. Pair it with the relevant browser add-ons on your computer, and it puts most logins and other sensitive items such as forms within easy reach. That said, a minor criticism (of the Firefox add-on at least) is that you can’t easily link generated passwords to the account you’ve just created them for – either you must create the login manually, or log out and back in before Bitwarden offers to save it for you.

Support for 2FA and the fact all cloud syncs of your vault between devices are performed using end-to-end 256-bit AES encryption should offer peace of mind to the security-conscious too.

Those wondering about the long-term sustainability of an open-source project like this should look at its paid tiers. All major functionality is free, including the ability to share your account with one other person, but you can upgrade to share across a family of five for just $1/mo, which includes unlimited collections, 1GB encrypted file storage and the option of self-hosting your vault for additional security. Business plans starting from $5/month (Teams) and $3 per user/month (Enterprise) are also available.

Bitwarden 1.10.0 is available now as a free, open-source download for Windows (7 or later), macOS (Mavericks or later) and Linux. Bitwarden 1.19.4 is available for Apple (64-bit phones, iOS 10.0 or later) and Android (Android 4.4 or later).

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