Our bottom line: Both Bitwarden and Dashlane are excellent choices, but a robust “free forever” plan and great 2FA features push Bitwarden over the top to take the win.
This is an incredibly close matchup, with every category being won by only a fraction. We could wholeheartedly recommend either as a great option for password management without reservation. But in this competition, one leaves as the victor.
Which password manager should you get? Let this Bitwarden vs. Dashlane face-off help you make that decision.
|Password manager||Details||Basic plan features|
Overall rating: 4.8/5
Read our full Bitwarden review.
|Starting price: Free|
Platform compatibility: Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Web (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera, Vivaldi, Brave, Tor)
Security: AES 256-bit encryption, 2FA
Overall rating: 4.7/5
Read our full Dashlane review.
|Starting price: Free|
Platform compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, iOS, Android
Security: AES 256-bit encryption, 2FA
Price winner: Bitwarden
|Bitwarden (5/5)||“Free Forever” plan, with a premium plan starting at $10 annually and a family plan for $40 a year|
|Dashlane (5/5)||Free version for individuals; $33 per year for advanced; $59.88 per year for premium|
Let’s cut to the chase — Bitwarden’s equivalent premium pricing plan costs significantly less than Dashlane’s, but both offer excellent value. In our independent reviews, each scored a perfect five out of five. How is this possible? We rate plans for password managers based on industry standards. And by those standards, Dashlane is still one of the best free password managers.
If you’re an individual or a family, it’s hard to argue against Bitwarden being one of the best deals in the industry. Business plans are where things start to get a little more interesting. Dashlane technically has the cheapest per seat at $2 per person for the basic “Starter” plan against Bitwarden’s $3 per user.
But you pay for all 10 seats in the Starter plan, whether you’re using all 10 or not. Both of them have a $5 per user level which offer a roughly similar level of service, but Dashlane also has an $8 per seat plan which adds in a few extra features like on-demand phone support.
Winner: Both are a great value, but Bitwarden offers significantly lower rates for individuals and families and slightly lower rates for businesses.
Platform compatibility winner: Draw
|Bitwarden (5/5)||OS: Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS|
Supported browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera, Vivaldi, Brave, Tor
|Dashlane (5/5)||OS: Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android|
Supported browsers: Brave, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, Safari
Bitwarden is compatible with nearly every platform — a huge selling point for the free version. Many free password managers are compatible with a limited range of platforms. Bitwarden is also accessible in over 50 languages, solidifying it as one of the most accessible password managers on the market.
Dashlane is also available on most popular platforms and browsers. It’s even available in the Google Play store, meaning it can be added to devices like Kindles. Also, compared to some other password managers, Dashlane works with older versions of Android and iOS, which can be useful to some.
While Bitwarden is technically compatible with more platforms, the browsers that it adds aren’t common enough to make it a huge selling point.
UX winner: Bitwarden
|Bitwarden (5/5)||Bitwarden’s desktop, browser, and mobile apps each have a clean, user-friendly UX that makes navigation easy.|
|Dashlane (4.75/5)||A clean, visually appealing interface — almost no one will be left wondering how to use Dashlane.|
Bitwarden’s desktop, browser, and mobile apps each have a clean, user-friendly interface that makes navigation easy and understandable. I found Bitwarden’s desktop app for Mac to be especially minimalistic (in the best way possible). Adding and editing vault items is a breeze.
The browser extension is also quite user friendly. Vault items can be added from the browser extension, which isn’t also a given among free password managers.
While I found Dashlane’s desktop app was simple to navigate and visually appealing, I didn’t have the same experience with the browser extension. Dashlane essentially packed its desktop interface into the extension. Some may find this helpful, but I only use the extension to quickly add or retrieve passwords.
Ultimately, I found that I preferred Bitwarden’s more minimalistic approach, though obviously your preferences may vary. The nice thing about these both having free versions is that you can try them both for yourself — risk free.
Winner: Bitwarden has a more consistent and user-friendly interface across platforms.
Form filling winner: Dashlane
|Bitwarden (4.5/5)||Login and credit card information auto-filled with ease. Yet two notable shortcomings make Bitwarden a less competitive option.|
|Dashlane (4.75/5)||I found no difficulty with the password or username autofill, but it did struggle at times with more comprehensive fields, such as payment and shipping information.|
Both Bitwarden and Dashlane offer robust form-filling — including logins, addresses, and credit card information — on both desktop and mobile.
Bitwarden’s form-filling performs just as well as any premium password manager I’ve used. Both login and credit card information auto-filled with ease. Two shortcomings, though, make Bitwarden a less competitive option:
During my testing,, I found Dashlane’s form-filling capabilities worked mostly fine. Sometimes, it didn’t recognize certain fields in a given form — however, it was usually the form’s fault. Where Dashlane can improve, though, is by offering custom fields.
Most people should find Dashlane’s built-in sections more than adequate. Logins, payment information, addresses, and IDs can all easily be inputted and autofilled.
Winner: Dashlane wins by making it easy and mostly seamless to autofill information.
Security winner: Bitwarden
Most password managers use powerful 256-bit AES encryption, and Bitwarden is no exception. 256-bit AES encryption is widely accepted to be unbreachable and is the industry standard. No-knowledge architecture ensures only you will have access to your data. While not everyone uses 2FA, it should always be an option and Bitwarden does offer it.
Where it falls short is more premium features some competitors offer at higher prices, including live dark web monitoring, biometric 2FA, and VPN. However, Bitwarden will give you reports of leaked usernames and passwords.
Additionally, its source code is open source and able to be inspected by anyone — if there’s a weakness in the code, you can bet that there’s someone on the internet who is sure to point it out.
Dashlane’s security stands out, though, with two unique offerings: live dark web monitoring and a VPN. While many password managers offer dark web monitoring, few offer Dashlane’s live version. When Dashlane detects your information on the dark web, it notifies you in real time. This is a useful feature because such matters can be timely.
Where Dashlane truly stands above the rest, though, is the VPN it includes in its premium tier. Dashlane uses a licensed version of Hotspot Shield, which on its own costs $12.99 per month. You get it with Dashlane for just $4.99 per month. The version Dashlane offers is more limited, but it still offers tremendous value for those who are new to VPNs.
However, you’re going to be paying quite a bit more for this feature. From the standpoint of cost to benefits received, you get more for your money from Bitwarden.
Winner: Bitwarden wins by offering more features at comparable plan levels.
2FA winner: Bitwarden
|Bitwarden (4.75/5)||Bitwarden offers many 2FA options, including:|
Both Bitwarden and Dashlane support 2FA via authenticator apps (which use time-based one-time passwords, or TOTPs) but that’s pretty much the end of the list for Dashlane. Bitwarden simply offers more options.
I like that Bitwarden offers 2FA via YubiKey and FIDO, two highly secure forms of 2FA I’ve yet to see offered by a password manager. That said, the vast majority of people won’t make use of this feature.
As for Dashlane — personally, an authenticator app is not my preferred method of 2FA. I opt for Biometric or SMS authentication and find it surprising that Dashlane’s 2FA is limited to authenticator apps. Introducing biometric or SMS authentication would make it an even more competitive option. An authenticator can be a great way to secure your vault, but more options are always better.
Winner: Bitwarden wins by offering more 2FA options, including several options available to free plan users.
Bottom line winner: Bitwarden
Best for: People who want a free password manager without sacrificing performance
Best for: Those who want more premium features
This was a close call, with both password managers scoring highly across the board and even earning perfect scores in some categories. Yet the win goes to Bitwarden for offering a great balance of useful features at a price that can’t be beat — no “introductory rates” here, just a low yearly fee for premium users and no cost at all for those who want to stick with the free forever plan. It’s one of the best cheap password managers.
However, this isn’t to say that Dashlane isn’t a great password manager. In fact, it ranks near the top of the list of our favorite password managers of 2023. There isn’t an objectively wrong choice between the two and their free versions let you try them before committing to anything.
On the surface, all password managers essentially generate and store passwords. As I evaluated providers, I dug deeper, comparing software on what matters most, including price, platform compatibility, security, and other factors.
I signed up for a plan with each provider to test:
Learn more about our review methodology.
About the Password Manager, Gunnar Kallstrom:
Kallstrom is a Cyber Team Lead for a Department of Defense (DOD) contracting company in Huntsville, Alabama, and has also worked as a computer network defense (CND) Cyber Analyst. An author and content creator for a cybersecurity academy, Kallstrom spent nearly 15 years in the Army as a musician before entering the cybersecurity field.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Thomas Edison State University and a master’s in organizational development and leadership from the University of the Incarnate Word.
Kallstrom has completed several Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) courses, including Security+, Network+, A+ Core 1, and A+ Core 2. He earned a CompTIA Security+ Certification. Additionally, he has completed the Cyber Warrior Academy program with more than 800 hours of hands-on, intensive, and lab-driven technical training in cybersecurity methods and procedures.
Passionate about all things cyber, Kallstrom was a speaker on a panel at the 2022 InfoSec World conference, giving a talk entitled “Hacking into a Cyber Career – True Stories.” Kallstrom is also a mentor to entry-level cybersecurity candidates seeking to break into the field. When he’s not working, he still enjoys playing guitar and fishing (not phishing).