Bitwarden Open Source Password Manager

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So, here is our compassion between Bitwarden vs LastPass, which of these is the best open source password manager 2021. The winner takes it all (and hides it) in the battle of the password managers.

Password Managers are, we think, generally a good thing. Remembering adsofpjdp is one thing, but also committing 4256p4m2glm! and paLsdKfnk26& to memory is quite another. Keeping your passwords strong and changing them regularly is important these days, when you can check on a website whether or not you’ve been “pwned,” and Chrome harasses you with your unfeasible large number of compromised passwords.

Web browsers, the front line in the war between password and jailbird, have been able to remember your passwords for a while now, and can generate strong passwords that you’ll never be expected to remember. This is fine until you try to log in on a different system, or using your cell phone, and have to dig in the browser settings to view the password that it recorded for you.

Mar 06, 2021 So, here is our compassion between Bitwarden vs LastPass, which of these is the best open source password manager 2021. The winner takes it all (and hides it) in the battle of the password managers. Password Managers are, we think, generally a good thing. Not even the team at Bitwarden can read your data, even if we wanted to. Your data is sealed with AES-256 bit encryption, salted hashing, and PBKDF2 SHA-256. Bitwarden is focused on open source software. The source code for Bitwarden is hosted on GitHub and everyone is free to review, audit, and contribute to the Bitwarden codebase. Bitwarden: Security Because it’s an open-source password manager, Bitwarden is considered extremely safe — thousands of security experts across the world have independently reviewed every piece of its source code. Bitwarden also uses 256-bit AES encryption to encrypt user data before the data reaches Bitwarden’s servers.

Benefits of Password Managers

Bitwarden open source password manager free

There’s another benefit of password managers: they tend to come backed with some sort of internet security suite or browser plugin. They also make it easy to manage your passwords, syncing across devices, generating new ones, and hiding everything behind a master password—which is the only one you need to remember. You can also use them to hide encrypted notes, too.

Disadvantages of Password Managers

Of course, the downside of this is that they’re massive targets for password thieves. Once they’ve compromised your master password, your entire digital life is laid open. It’s worth, therefore, making that master password as complex as you can possibly cope with, changing it regularly, and never reusing passwords. There are also services, such as some banks, that don’t support their use, and if you’re caught with your banking details in one you may not get a refund if you’re a victim of cyber crime.

Two of the market leaders in password-management software are LastPass and Bitwarden. Both are available for free, though they maintain premium subscription tiers if you need the additional features they can bring. The free apps, however, contain all the functionality you’ll need as a one-person user, and only become limiting if you want to roll them out across entire organizations.

You can store an unlimited number of passwords in both, and sync them across devices. They both generate random passwords when you sign up for a new service or want to change an existing password, and you can use them to encrypt information, such as bank details or credit card numbers.

Bitwarden VS LastPass

Bitwarden is open source, which means it has faced external scrutiny from security experts, while LastPass is not. This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with LastPass’s security, of course—it takes part in security audits—and neither app has reported a full data breach, though LastPass has been the target of some minor ones. LastPass offers a hint for your master password, which can save you if you’ve forgotten it. Bitwarden does not.

Both apps offer plugins for major browsers—Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. Bitwarden goes one further and plugs into the, ahem, “privacy-focused” browser Tor, while LastPass works nicely with Internet Explorer. These plugins can be used to auto-fill identity fields within webpages, as well as manage your password database via the web interface.

Bitwarden Open Source Password Manager

Both services also come with desktop apps, although it’s notable that Bitwarden’s doesn’t support two-factor authentication, and doesn’t have the random-password generator or password-sharing abilities of the LastPass app. Both services use separate authenticator apps, however.


The award for user-friendliness has to go to LastPass, as its app and web interface are virtually identical, meaning you only have to learn how to use it once. Both managers use AES-256—the only public security standard approved by the NSA—against which there is no known practical attack strategy that doesn’t use a side-channel or some additional knowledge of the key.


Setting the apps up is a simple process. If you’ve got passwords stored somewhere, such as in Chrome, then they will import them for you. LastPass’s Security Challenge feature regularly reminds you to change passwords that are overdue or weak, and there’s an auto-change feature that can rattle through multiple password updates quickly— an extremely popular feature with users.

LastPass also has recovery options if you lose your master password, sending one-time passwords to trusted email addresses. Bitwarden doesn’t offer this—any passwords you store on its servers are accessible to you alone through the master password, so if you lose it or it becomes compromised, then you’ll need to rebuild your entire password database.

The Difference

Bitwarden has one feature you won’t find in many other places: your password vault doesn’t have to be stored on its servers. This is likely to be of more interest to corporate users (it’s only available through the Enterprise subscription tier), but the ability to keep your passwords under your control on your own server can be an attractive feature. Both apps offer secure password-sharing between two users as part of their free tier, which scales up through their Premium and Enterprise tiers, and both offer a small amount of encrypted file storage too, as long as you’re a subscriber.

It’s worth pointing out again that both apps have a free tier, so it’s perfectly possible to download them both, get them set up, and choose which one suits you best with no cost other than a little bit of your time. We’re big fans of Bitwarden, but using either app is still better than using neither and trying to remember all your passwords, which inevitably leads to reused, weak passwords, or other security flaws. Password managers are also more secure and flexible than getting your browser to remember them.

The Cost

Pricing is very close, with LastPass’s tiers being slightly more expensive each month by a buck or so. You may find, though, that you get more for your money with LastPass if you’re going to go for one of the business-oriented tiers.

Either way, a password manager is a valuable addition to your enterprise, and anyone who uses passwords online can benefit from one. These apps are so similar that it will come down to which has a feature you like, or just personal preference as to which one you ultimately choose.

The importance of password management

When you’re using weak passwords, or in the worse case, even reusing the same weak password across many services, you’re risking a lot. Hacks happen more often than you would thought.

Honestly, how well is safeguarded your main, personal email? You know, the one you created many years back and haven’t reviewed since?

Email is arguably the center of our digital lives – imagine what damage could one do if they could access it.

Bitwarden open source password manager reviews

That’s where password managers come into play to save the day.

How password managers work

Contrary to their name, password managers don’t only take care of your passwords. They are a useful tool to keep many of your digital secrets safe:

  • logins to online services
  • personal information (name, address, phone number etc. for shopping purposes)
  • credit card info
  • and even secure notes and attachments

Password managers strongly encrypt all these sensitive information and make them very accessible as well. Many of them come in various formats – web-based, as plug-ins for web browsers, mobile and standalone apps.

Main benefits

The main benefit of using a password manager lies in the fact, that you won’t need to ever again reuse or remember your usual password(s), however long and secure you think they are.

With a password manager, you will be free to use different and ridiculously long and secure passwords for each service separately.

Bitwarden Open Source Password Manager For Linux

Are you using 2-factor authentication (2FA)? No problem – password managers can take care of those very elegantly as well.1

In practice, all you will ever need with a password manager is only one, but very secure and long password to open it 2.

Meet Bitwarden

When I choose my software, I always prefer those that are open source (think transparent and auditable code, so that there’s not any funky business happening behind the curtain) and as multiplatform as possible (available on ideally all operating systems in case I want to switch).

Bitwarden excels in all of these. As a nice cherry on top, it’s perfectly usable in it’s free plan, so it won’t make a hole in your pocket.

Seriously, if you’re still not using any password manager, now is the time to jump in. Your digital security and possibly your future self will thank you greatly!

Secure password generator

Bitwarden Open Source Password Manager Software

Let’s start with the obvious. Password managers, like Bitwarden, can generate strong passwords. And by that, I mean ridiculously long and complex passwords like:

Are your current passwords anything like this?

So why not to treat yourself to a nice 70+ character password combining the weirdest symbols available? 3

What’s even better is that you canshould have a different password like this for each of the service you’re using. This way, even when the worst happens and the service gets compromised, the attacker can’t exploit the same password on other services you use.

That’s why using the same passwords everywhere is a very bad idea.

Auto-fill feature

So how do you handle all these various long passwords for each site and app?

Every time you visit a page for which you have a password saved in Bitwarden, you’ll get a notification that allows you to use it instantly. It doesn’t matter if you’re using Bitwarden on your phone or in your web browser (via plug-in).

With this approach, not only it saves your time and energy to type in your password, it also prevents you to mistype them.

As mentioned before, Bitwarden takes care of your other digital secrets as well. The same auto-fill feature applies to credit cards and your personal information (e.g. by auto-filling your name and address when shopping online).

Nobody forces you to use all that though. However the option is there if you need/want it.

Open Source Fnaf


Of course it also works the other way around. Let’s say you just signed up on a new site. Bitwarden recognizes the form and asks you if you would like to save your login details right away. Effortless!

Wrapping up

I think that should all give you a nice overview of how password managers work and why you definitely need one. Many password managers exist, but Bitwarden is my personal favorite for all the reasons I mentioned.

Bitwarden Open Source Password Manager Free

With a free plan, it doesn’t cost you anything, except for a bit of your time to go through your services and change their passwords to a unique and secure ones. You can do that gradually, but the sooner the better.

Bitwarden Open Source Password Manager Reviews

To help out with that, Bitwarden offers a nifty feature called Reused Passwords Report, where you can easily see all the services that still share the same weak passwords:

Do I sound like I’m pushing this too hard? Maybe I do.

This is seriously one of the most impactful things to do in the increasingly digital age. I write all of this from my personal experience.

So, do you really need more reasons to level up security of your digital identities?

Support Bitwarden

Bitwarden Open Source Password Manager Download

As with every open source software, it’s a nice idea to support the developer giving away their product transparently and for free. Bitwarden’s premium plan costs humble $10 a year and adds some nice features on top of everything mentioned so far:

  • Two-step login (2FA) into Bitwarden itself via hardware security keys (Yubikey, FIDO U2F, Duo)
  • Support for 2FA one-time codes (TOTP) for password entries
  • 1 GB of encrypted file storage (think attachments for your password entries and other)
  • Warm feeling for supporting the developer :)
  1. Although 2FA code support is included only in the Bitwarden’s Premium plan (at affordable price of $10 per year) ↩︎

  2. You can secure your password manager even further with use of 2FA like hardware security keys (e.g. Yubikey) ↩︎

  3. Be aware though – some services actually limit their password length, so you might need to trim it down sometimes ↩︎