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Bitwarden Review [2022] — Open-Source, But Is It Good?

Katarina Glamoslija
Katarina Glamoslija
Published on: October 26, 2022

Bitwarden Review: Quick Expert Summary

Bitwarden is a secure open-source password manager that comes with heaps of extra features and a remarkably low price tag — I tested all of Bitwarden’s features for security and usability, and it performed pretty well. It’s actually one of the best options on the market for advanced users, but it’s not quite as good as competitors like 1Password.

Bitwarden has all of the security tools that I expect from a premium password manager, including strong encryption, two-factor authentication (2FA), password security auditing, password breach monitoring, and cloud or local hosting options. It doesn’t have as many extra features as some of its top competitors, like Dashlane’s VPN or 1Password’s Travel Mode, but it does have a unique Send feature, which allows you to securely send sensitive information and files to non-Bitwarden users.

The biggest downside is that Bitwarden isn’t nearly as user-friendly as other top password managers. Importing passwords from a browser or other password manager is a bit tricky, sharing and syncing password vaults with other users is pretty complicated, and auto-save and auto-fill can be clunky. Also, the interface isn’t particularly intuitive.

That said, Bitwarden is a good, low-cost option for tech-savvy users and users on a budget — it’s highly secure, handles basic password management well, has a couple of really useful extras, and is around one-third the cost of most competitors.

🏅 Overall Rank #9 out of 52 password managers
🔐 Encryption 256-bit AES
🎁 Free Plan Unlimited passwords, unlimited devices
💸 Pricing Starting at $10.00/year
💰 Money-Back Guarantee 30 days
📀 Operating Systems Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux

Bitwarden Full Review

Bitwarden Full Review

Bitwarden is a basic but highly secure open-source password manager that comes with some great extras. It’s also one of the cheapest products on the market. However, Bitwarden is not as user-friendly as most top competitors — a lot of its features are clunky, complicated to use, and unintuitive. Nonetheless, Bitwarden is a feature-rich password manager that performs its main functions well. Plus, it does come with some cool extras, including local hosting.

Bitwarden offers a range of plans that are all extremely budget-friendly, and it’s one of the very few password managers that allows unlimited passwords synced across unlimited devices on its free plan (Avira and Norton Password Manager also have this) — making it a great option in the free password manager market.

Bitwarden Security Features

Bitwarden Security Features

Bitwarden keeps user data secure with 256-bit AES encryption — the same encryption used by banks and governments around the world — so you can feel secure storing your information on Bitwarden’s cloud servers. However, if you’re worried about your data being compromised in the cloud, Bitwarden also offers the option for local data storage (self-hosting). This is a nice option for tech-savvy and security-conscious users, but Bitwarden’s servers are actually more secure than most users’ local networks, so local storage isn’t something most users need to worry about.

Bitwarden is also a zero-knowledge password manager, meaning no one from the company can access or see the data in your Bitwarden vault — you’re the only one who knows your Master Password and therefore the only one who can unencrypt your Bitwarden vault. This is a good thing as far as security goes, but it does mean that if you forget your Master Password, you’ll lose access to all your passwords — because unlike some competitors, such as LastPass, Bitwarden doesn’t offer any account recovery options. That said, you may still be able to access your vault if you have biometric logins set up on another device, or emergency access enabled, plus there’s an option to set up a master password hint for such occasions.

Bitwarden also has all the security tools and features I expect in a premium password manager, such as:

Password Vault

Bitwarden has a practical vault that allows you to store passwords and a good range of other information. However, it’s not as intuitive as a lot of other password managers, and some of its organizational functions are pretty clunky.

Bitwarden Security Features

Bitwarden’s vault allows you to store 4 main types of data:

  • Logins.
  • Identities.
  • Credit cards.
  • Secure notes.

The forms for each of these entries have a decent number of fields — all the standard ones you’ll want, plus a few customization options. There are also options to create folders so you can keep your vault organized, which is an nice feature. However, I didn’t find Bitwarden’s vault particularly intuitive or easy to use. I much prefer other password managers’ vaults, like RoboForm, which has one of the most detailed vaults on the market with templates for pretty much every single piece of data you can imagine, or 1Password, which has one of my favorite vaults for usability and easy organization.

Bitwarden includes a shared vault option in all its plans, called Organizations — but I found this feature particularly unintuitive in my tests. Creating an Organization and sharing it with your chosen person is straightforward, but managing the data within it is a bit of a hassle. For example, managing logins between your main vault and an Organization is only possible via the web app, not the desktop or mobile apps, and moving an entry from an Organization appears to be impossible — you have to clone a copy to save in your main vault and then delete the original, which just seems crazy.

Overall, Bitwarden’s password vault does the basics of what you need — it has space for all your passwords and other sensitive information. But it’s one of the least attractive and least intuitive designs in the password manager market, so Bitwarden might not be the best choice for anyone wanting a smooth, simple, click-and-go type password manager.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Bitwarden Security Features

Bitwarden provides excellent two-factor authentication (2FA) options. When enabled, 2FA means you need to provide both your password and a second form of verification while logging into that account. This provides an important extra layer of protection for securing online accounts, because it prevents others from gaining access to your accounts even if they somehow get a hold of your passwords. Bitwarden supports a range of different 2FA options to increase the security of your Bitwarden vault, including:

  • Using an authenticator app like Authy or Google Authenticator.
  • Getting one-time codes via email.
  • Biometric logins (on compatible devices).
  • USB security keys like Duo and YubiKey (Premium only).

Premium users also get an integrated TOTP (temporary one-time password) authenticator, which you can use to log into the compatible accounts saved in your vault. Most top password managers now have integrated TOTP authenticators, but not all — Sticky Password and Password Boss are yet to include this feature.

This feature is easy to use, and it’s also very convenient. Bitwarden shows you all the TOTP-compatible accounts in your vault and explains how to set it up. I had no trouble syncing up Bitwarden with the TOTP 2FA on my PayPal account, and once set up, a secure 6-digit password is auto-generated every 30 seconds. Both Bitwarden’s mobile apps and browser extensions will then automatically copy this TOTP code so you can easily paste it into the required login field.

Bitwarden’s 2FA options are really good, and I like that it also supports USB keys — other competitors, including Dashlane, only enable 2FA via authenticator apps and TOTP SMS codes. I also think it’s great that Bitwarden Premium has its own TOTP authenticator, so you can easily enhance the security of your online logins without having to use a third-party authenticator.

Password Generator

Bitwarden’s password generator is simple to use and effective — it offers users the ability to generate either random strings of numbers, letters, and symbols, or to create easy-to-remember passphrases like correct-horse-battery-staple. It also has the option of generating usernames — which can include parts of your email address, or other defined choices. Not all password generators have this many options. Dashlane only generates random passwords, so I like these additional features from Bitwarden.

I also like that Bitwarden can generate passwords from 5 to 128 characters long. The default password length is 14, which is ok, but I recommend making your passwords at least a couple of characters longer. I also think it’s cool that you can choose to exclude ambiguous characters from your passwords, although this isn’t too important since you don’t actually have to remember the passwords (still, it’s a nice touch!).

Bitwarden Security Features

Generating passwords with Bitwarden and copy-pasting them was easy, but I had some trouble getting Bitwarden to save these new logins automatically. During my tests, Bitwarden didn’t auto-save a couple of the passwords I had just generated, so I had to manually copy-paste the new logins into my vault. This wasn’t too time consuming, but given competitors like 1Password and Dashlane auto-save passwords quickly and easily, it’s definitely something I’d like to see Bitwarden do better. However, Bitwarden does also allow you to view your history of generated passwords, which is really useful if the auto-save doesn’t work or if you neglect to save one. Dashlane also has this feature, but a lot of password managers don’t.

Overall, Bitwarden makes it very simple to create super-strong passwords or passphrases. I think it’s great that Bitwarden’s password manager has plenty of customization options, and I especially like that it can generate passwords up to 128 characters long.

Sharing Sensitive Information — Send

Bitwarden Security Features

Bitwarden has a great (and unique) feature for easily and securely sharing sensitive information with any recipient, called Send. The Send feature is built into Bitwarden’s web dashboard, browser extension, mobile app, and desktop app, and it allows you to quickly share files (up to 500 MB on desktop or 100 MB on mobile) and text information, which might include passwords, notes, or other sensitive data.

One of the best things about this feature is that the recipient doesn’t need a Bitwarden account. Most top password managers, like Dashlane and 1Password, offer secure sharing features — but the recipient needs an account to access them. Send is also quite different to those features in other ways.

You can create and store “sends” within a specific section of your Bitwarden vault. When creating a new “send”, you give it a name, write the text you want your recipient to see and/or attach the files you want them to have access to, choose from a range of options relating to access, and then hit save. Bitwarden then generates a unique URL for this particular “send”, which is hosted on its secure servers, and anyone you share that link with can access it.

This feature is a particularly great way to send sensitive information to companies or other third parties, as it means it won’t sit in their email accounts indefinitely. When creating your “send” you can put a time limit on how long it will be accessible for, as well as limiting the total number of times it can be accessed. You can also password-protect it, meaning that only recipients with both the URL and the password (which you’d send separately) would have access.

I really like this featur, but it only provides access to a single, static piece of data. If you’re looking to share and sync whole folders or vaults with other users, or share passwords that your friends can automatically use to log in to accounts, you’ll need to use Bitwarden’s Organization feature, which is more like traditional password manager sharing features.

Password Sharing — Organization

Bitwarden Security Features

Bitwarden also has a more traditional password-sharing feature, similar to those offered by Dashlane and LastPass. This feature allows you to share logins and other details from your vault with your friends and family, but they will need a Bitwarden account to view, access, and use all the data.

Bitwarden’s sharing feature works via Organizations — which is basically a shared vault. You start by creating an Organization and adding all the passwords and other data you want to share. You then send an invite to your chosen recipient(s), and choose their level of access — which includes things like whether they can access and modify the entire vault, or whether they only have read-only access. There’s also the option to hide the passwords, meaning they can use them to log-in, but not read them.

You can also create Collections within your Organization — this makes it easy to organize your logins, as well as who has access to what. For example, if you’re using an Organization to share passwords with your family, you can group the items everyone can access in one Collection and make another Collection for sensitive info you want to share with your partner but not your kids.

Bitwarden’s Free and Premium plans both include 1 free Organization, in which you can store unlimited items. However, you can only create 2 Collections and share items with 1 other user. If you want to share with more users, you can upgrade to the Families plan, which lets you create an unlimited number of Organizations, unlimited Collections, and can be shared with up to 6 different people. Users looking to share passwords with more than 6 people will need to upgrade to one of Bitwarden’s business plans. The Teams and Enterprise plans offer Organizations that can include unlimited Bitwarden users.

While I like the convenience of having a shared vault, setting up Organizations and Collections between users is kind of a hassle, and it’s a little limiting in terms of the options it provides. Other top password managers, like Dashlane, offer a much more intuitive and flexible sharing experience. Plus, if you want to share logins with more than one user, you have to upgrade to the family plan. On the other hand, Bitwarden Families allows for comprehensive shared vault management between up to 6 users and is much cheaper than the competition.

Password Auditing and Breach Monitoring

Bitwarden Security Features

Bitwarden offers several password auditing tools to keep your vault as secure as possible. These “reports” all offer valuable information to help you analyze different aspects of your password vault. Here’s what Bitwarden’s password auditing checks for:

  • Exposed passwords. Checks breach databases for any of your saved passwords.
  • Reused passwords. Scans your vault for repeated passwords.
  • Weak passwords. Flags simple and weak passwords in your vault.
  • Unsecured websites. Warns if you have accounts on sites with the insecure HTTP protocol instead of the safer HTTPS protocol.
  • Inactive 2FA. Highlights the accounts in your vault that support 2FA login, which you can set up with the Bitwarden TOTP Authenticator for extra security.
  • Data breach. Checks breach databases for any of your emails or usernames to see if they’ve been breached.

Data breach monitoring is included in Bitwarden’s Free plan, but you’ll need to upgrade to Premium to access all the other reports. This is a shame, as competitors like Dashlane include this feature for free. That said, Password Boss and others also charge for their password auditing tools, and Bitwarden’s plans are at least a very reasonable price.

Bitwarden’s password auditing feature works pretty well — it turned up all of the weak and repeated passwords, unsecured sites, inactive 2FA, and breached logins in my testing, so it was easy for me to see which passwords I should change.

The only complaint I have is that Bitwarden doesn’t have real-time breach monitoring — competitors like Dashlane and Keeper automatically notify users when their sensitive information shows up on the dark web, whereas Bitwarden only checks when you do a manual search. But if you regularly check on the security of your online accounts, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Overall, Bitwarden’s vault health report makes it easy for you to monitor the strength of your logins and change weak or compromised passwords.

Emergency Access

Bitwarden Security Features

Bitwarden has an Emergency Access feature for Premium subscribers. This is an important feature that allows your loved ones or other trusted contacts to access your passwords in the event of an emergency, and I was pleased to see Bitwarden offers this.

Bitwarden’s Emergency Access is easy to set up and use. From the Emergency Access tab within your main Account Settings, simply click on + Add emergency contact, enter the email address of your chosen contact, and define their waiting period and access level. They will receive an email notification, and if they don’t already have one, they will need to create a Bitwarden account in order to accept the invite — but a free account is sufficient for the invitee. Once both parties have accepted and reconfirmed the trusted contact, an encrypted key (linked to your emergency contact’s email address and Bitwarden account) is created and stored, and this enables your vault to be unencrypted in the event of an emergency.

If/when your contact needs access, they simply request it from within their Bitwarden account, and if you don’t manually accept or deny the request, they will automatically gain access once the specified waiting period has elapsed (which you will have chosen when first setting up the trusted contact). You also specify the access level of your vault that your contact will be granted: View (they can read/view all items in your vault), or Takeover (they create a new master password and gain complete control of the vault).

Overall, this is a great feature that is easy to set up, works perfectly, and gives extra peace of mind. Most password managers have a similar feature, although Password Boss allows you to choose the specific passwords that are shared with specific contacts, rather than automatically sharing the entire vault, which is a nice level of customization that I’d like to see more password managers offer.

Bitwarden Plans and Pricing

Bitwarden is one of my favorite password managers for users on a budget — it offers tons of good features in every single plan, and its paid plans are cheaper than any other premium competitor.

Here’s a quick overview of Bitwarden’s different plans:

Free Premium Families
Platforms Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, Chrome OS, Linux Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, Chrome OS, Linux Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, Chrome OS, Linux
Number of licences 1 1 6
Unlimited devices
Unlimited passwords
Shared Vaults (Organizations) 1 Organization, 2 Collections, 1 other User 1 Organization, 2 Collections, 1 other User Unlimited Organizations, Unlimited Collections, 6 Users
Bitwarden Send Text Only Text and Files Text and Files
2FA Email, Authentication App YubiKey, FIDO1, Duo, Email, Authentication App YubiKey, FIDO1, Duo, Email, Authentication App
Encrypted File Attachments 1 GB Personal 1 GB Personal and 1 GB for Organizational Items
Bitwarden TOTP Authenticator
Vault Health Reports Data Breach Report Only
Emergency Access

Bitwarden Free — Good Range of Features

Bitwarden Free offers a lot of good free features:

  • Unlimited password storage across unlimited devices.
  • Unlimited secure notes, credit cards, and identity storage.
  • Password generator.
  • Unlimited password sharing with 1 user.
  • Bitwarden Send (encrypted sharing) for text notes.
  • Data breach scanner.
  • 2FA compatibility with TOTP authenticators like Authy.
  • Biometric login for Android, iOS, and Windows 10 devices.
  • Local data storage (self-hosting).

I think Bitwarden Free is one of the best free password managers out there. It has most of the features a single user needs to keep their passwords protected, and it’s one of the only free password managers to allow unlimited passwords synced across unlimited devices. However, it doesn’t include password-strength auditing or encrypted file storage like Dashlane Free).

Bitwarden Premium — Great Features for a Great Price

At $10.00 / year, Bitwarden Premium is one of the cheapest — and best value  premium password managers on the market. It offers a ton of useful cybersecurity features, and it costs a lot less than most competing products.

Bitwarden Premium includes all of the features mentioned in the Free plan, plus:

  • Password health and auditing tools.
  • Built-in TOTP 2FA authenticator.
  • USB 2FA with apps like YubiKey and FIDO.
  • Emergency access.
  • 1 GB encrypted storage.
  • Bitwarden Send (encrypted sharing) for text and files.
  • Priority support.

Bitwarden Free is already really useful, but Bitwarden Premium is cheap enough that it’s well worth the upgrade, as it comes with excellent additional security features, including advanced 2FA, vault auditing, and a built-in authenticator.

The only thing I don’t like about Bitwarden Premium is that you can only share or sync folders with one other user. Sure, you can use Send to share text or files, but this means you’re restricted to sharing static pieces of data. Many competitors have sharing features without these limitations — Dashlane provides unlimited password sharing with unlimited users in both its free and premium plans.

That said, Bitwarden Premium is a great password manager, especially for the price. And you can try Bitwarden risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bitwarden Families — Decent Family Plan

Bitwarden Families includes all of the features in Bitwarden Premium, plus:

  • Coverage for up to 6 users.
  • Unlimited password sharing between up to 6 users.
  • 1 GB storage for shared items.

The Families plan is only slightly more costly than Bitwarden Premium, and at $40.00 / year, it’s the cheapest password manager for families on the market.

Unfortunately, I found the password-sharing feature to be pretty unintuitive — the Organizations feature is hard to find in the online dashboard, and it can be tricky to sync and share logins. 1Password’s family sharing feature is much simpler, and it also includes a variety of permissions settings for parents and families.

However, more tech-savvy families will definitely appreciate Bitwarden Families — it’s cheap, secure, effective, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee as well, which 1Password doesn’t offer.

Bitwarden Ease of Use and Setup

Bitwarden is pretty easy to download and install, but importing passwords isn’t as streamlined as it is with other password managers — I had to go through Bitwarden’s Help Center to figure out how to import passwords from my old password manager into the Bitwarden vault. Once I found the instructions, it was easy for me to import a CSV file with my passwords into Bitwarden. But I think it would be much better if Bitwarden provided better guidelines during the installation and migration process. Dashlane, 1Password, and most other premium password managers make importing passwords much easier.

In addition, the password auto-filling can be pretty clunky, and I often found myself wasting time editing my logins. Whenever you enter a new login, Bitwarden offers to save that login to your password vault. Each time you want to log into a saved website (that Bitwarden recognizes), you will see a small number “1” in the browser extension. Clicking on the browser extension should reveal the saved login in your vault, and you can simply click that login to auto-fill your password. This isn’t the worst auto-fill option, but it’s still not as convenient as Dashlane and LastPass, which allow you to simply click an icon in the login field to auto-fill.

Bitwarden Ease of Use and Setup

Bitwarden’s password replay worked pretty well for me, but I had a few really frustrating experiences with it. I would use the auto-save function to add a new password to my vault, but Bitwarden would fail to remember that site when I returned to it. I had to either manually search for the saved password in the browser extension, or manually edit the saved login so that Bitwarden was able to identify the website. There were also a number of times that Bitwarden completely failed to offer to auto-save a new login, so I had to add it manually — this is really annoying. Competitors like Dashlane and 1Password are able to immediately auto-save and auto-fill logins without all of this hassle. Users looking for a password manager that provides a seamless and simple auto-fill and auto-save experience should definitely avoid Bitwarden.

That said, Bitwarden has recently added a handy account-switching feature to enhance ease of use for users with multiple Bitwarden accounts. This means that if you have more than 1 Bitwarden account, for example work and personal accounts, you can switch between them seamlessly without having to log out and log back in again each time. It works for up to 5 accounts, and it’s a cool addition.

Overall though, Bitwarden isn’t the most intuitive password manager. But users who are willing to put a little bit of extra time into customizing their password manager experience will find that Bitwarden provides everything they need to securely save, store, and fill their logins.

Bitwarden Mobile App

Bitwarden’s mobile app is pretty good. I tested it out on my iPhone, and it integrated really well with iOS, including my iPhone’s biometric scanner — I could log into Bitwarden using just a fingerprint. All of my passwords were synced easily between my desktop and my phone, and I had no trouble setting up Bitwarden to auto-fill my passwords.

Bitwarden Mobile App

The mobile app includes a password generator, the Send feature, and you can easily switch between your private and shared vaults. If you have multiple Bitwarden accounts, you can also easily switch between these with just one click.

If you use the TOTP authenticator, these codes are easily found at the top of the main screen, and new codes are automatically copied to your mobile’s clipboard so you can easily paste them.

For the most part, Bitwarden’s mobile app is really easy to use. During my tests, it automatically detected password fields and auto-filled logins for my saved sites more easily than the browser extension on my PC, and the biometric login made it really easy for me to access my Bitwarden vault on my iPhone.

Bitwarden Customer Support

Bitwarden’s customer support options are simple and a little limited but responsive and helpful — Bitwarden offers excellent email support as well as a robust knowledge base and forum community. However, there is no phone support and no live chat — a number of top competitors offer this, including Dashlane and RoboForm — and I really missed this option with Bitwarden.

However, I was really impressed with how quickly Bitwarden got back to me on email — check out the time stamps on our email exchange that occurred after business hours on a Friday! Most password manager tech departments try to get back to you within 24 hours, and often those hours are limited to business hours on Monday-Friday. Bitwarden got back to me in just over 90 minutes on a weekend.

Bitwarden Customer Support

I was also really impressed with Bitwarden’s knowledge base. There’s an excellent Help Center with simple-to-understand user guides on all features and topics, as well as a great Learning Center with tutorials organized by skill level. Plus there’s an active and useful community — and because Bitwarden is open-source, there are a ton of users in the community that add helpful content to the knowledge base. Bitwarden’s staff are also pretty active within the community.

I’m a big fan of Bitwarden’s customer support — most competitors take too long to get back to their customers, and some competitors like LastPass make it tricky to send an email at all! I was able to find answers to most of my questions in the Help Center, but it was also easy to make contact with Bitwarden’s support reps, and they responded to all of my inquiries in a timely manner and offered helpful and accurate advice.

Is Bitwarden a Good Value in 2022?

Bitwarden is a reliable and secure password manager with a wide variety of useful security features for a really good price. It’s not the most attractive or intuitive product, and it doesn’t have as many unique or extra features as the likes of 1Password or Dashlane, but it’s definitely got what it takes to keep your logins secure — and it costs a fraction of the price of most competitors.

Bitwarden offers secure encryption and zero-knowledge architecture — your data is securely protected in your vault and on Bitwarden’s servers with 256-bit AES end-to-end encryption. It’s basically impossible for hackers to steal user data off of Bitwarden’s servers, but if that’s something you’re worried about, Bitwarden also offers advanced users the option to store their data locally.

Bitwarden is one of the very few premium password managers to offer unlimited passwords across unlimited devices on its free plan, which also comes with all the core password management features you’ll need as well as 2FA and biometric logins for extra security. Upgrading to Bitwarden Premium — which is around one-third the price of most competitors — also brings you compatibility with advanced 2FA tools like YubiKey, an integrated TOTP authenticator to use with your saved accounts, plus comprehensive password auditing and password breach monitoring to keep your accounts totally secure. Bitwarden also has a pretty unique feature for sharing sensitive data, called Send, which allows you to send files and text (with time and access limits) to non-Bitwarden users via an encrypted URL.

My biggest complaint is with Bitwarden’s user experience, which isn’t as intuitive as most competing password managers. The auto-save and auto-fill features are clunky, and it took me several trips to Bitwarden’s Help Center to figure out how to navigate my way through all of its features. Plus, sharing password vaults between users is needlessly complicated. That said, Bitwarden’s customer support is great — the tech support team got back to me right away via email, and there is also a comprehensive FAQ knowledge base.

Overall, Bitwarden is not a “set-and-forget” type of application. Users looking for an easy-to-use password manager should look to something much more intuitive like 1Password or Dashlane. But if you’re willing to spend some time setting up and learning about how to make the most out of Bitwarden, its inexpensive price tag makes it a really high-value password manager.

Is Bitwarden safe?

Yes, Bitwarden is very safe. It protects user passwords with 256-bit AES encryption, which makes it basically impossible for hackers to access the data on Bitwarden’s servers. Bitwarden also has a zero-knowledge policy, which means that not even Bitwarden can access your data!

Plus, Bitwarden’s open-source development means that it has been extensively scrutinized by a ton of cybersecurity experts around the globe. Many security-minded users stand by Bitwarden as one of the most secure password managers on the market because every piece of its source code has been carefully analyzed.

Is Bitwarden free?

Bitwarden Free is one of the most full-featured free password managers on the market. Here’s what Bitwarden users get for free:

  • Unlimited password storage on unlimited devices.
  • Secure notes, credit cards, and identity storage.
  • Unlimited password sharing with one user.
  • Bitwarden Send for text notes.
  • Data breach scanner.
  • Password generator.
  • 2FA Compatibility with TOTP authenticators like Authy and Google Authenticator.
  • Biometric login with iOS, Android, and Windows Hello.

Bitwarden Free is pretty good, but I still recommend upgrading to a paid password manager. Bitwarden Premium is a very affordable and secure option. It offers a lot of excellent additional features, like vault auditing, USB-key 2FA compatibility, a built-in TOTP Authenticator, and 1 GB encrypted storage, all for much less than competitors.

Does Bitwarden work for Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS?

Yes! Bitwarden is compatible with all major operating systems — it has a desktop app for Windows, MacOS, and even Linux, a mobile app for Android and iOS, a web app, and browser extensions for an impressive range of browsers, including Chome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, Vivaldi, Brave, and Tor.

Bitwarden lets you save an unlimited number of passwords across all devices, operating systems, and browsers, and you can sync your data either through the cloud or through your local network.

Where are Bitwarden passwords stored?

Bitwarden offers users two locations to store their passwords. Storing passwords on Bitwarden’s servers allows for simple cloud-sync between all devices, and Bitwarden protects user passwords with 256-bit AES encryption and a secure SRP handshake.

For users with strong network security, Bitwarden also offers the option for local data storage. You can keep your data within your network, which eliminates the (extremely low) risk of a man-in-the-middle attack. Bitwarden is one of the only free password managers that offers local data storage.

Bitwarden Products & Pricing

Free
$0.00 / year
Premium
$10.00 / year
Families
$40.00 / year
Bottom Line

Bitwarden is a highly secure password manager that costs much less than competing brands. Security-focused users will appreciate that Bitwarden is an open-source product, and also that it offers local data storage. Users on a budget will appreciate the unlimited password storage on unlimited devices in Bitwarden Free, as well as the low-cost Premium and Families plans. Bitwarden isn’t nearly as user-friendly as most competitors — auto-save and auto-fill are complicated, password vault sharing is tricky, and the user interface is unintuitive. But it’s a good choice for tech-savvy users who want a feature-rich password manager for a great price.

About the Author

About the Author

Katarina is a tech enthusiast specializing in cybersecurity products, data protection, and maintaining strong practices for general online safety. When she's not a "Safety Detective", she likes to play with her two cats, binge watch crime dramas, sample fine wines, and read about the origins of the universe.

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Bitwarden User Reviews

*User reviews are not verified

28 5
Based on 33 reviews in 6 languages 8.5
Language
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Maxie
Maxie
United States
9.0
Best for me
Windows User
I would give Bitwarden the least a 4.5/ 5 because I am not judging it based on some of the unnecessary extra features of cosmetics and things l like browsers, Vpn and so on - which is what some Password Managers (PM) offers. These features push up the cost of the PM gives which does not necessarily make you are not more secure. Security can be a relative term and can be manipulated for the sake of marketing. Sometimes even these tech writers get up in the bubble of the marketing lure. Notwithstanding I love to read Sophie even though I may not always agree with her like when she gives Bitwarden a 3/5 rating. But she does an excellent job.

But know ...because I have used those crazed PM over a time. Therefore I am not writing to defend Bi...Show More
Joslyn
Joslyn
United States
10.0
Helped me stay safe.
Mac User
My son introduced me to Bitwarden after I had a conversation with myself on Facebook! I had been hacked and the person decided to chat with me! Since using Bitwarden, I haven't been hacked and I feel my passwords have been stronger and safer than they were before. Now, to help my 95 yo mom with Bitwarden.
Richard
Richard
Spain
9.0
14 Eyes
Mac User
I agree that hosting the server in 14 Eyes country is a concern, but the server data is strongly encrypted. If you're on security services radar, then it's bad news. But if you're John or Jane Doe, then it's pretty unlikely that intelligence services will be interested enough in you to try and hack into open source code and vacuum up data. So giving 3/5 to Bitwarden is a bit unfair.
Roger
Roger
United States
8.0
Almost as full-featured as LastPass, but costs less...
Mac User
There is two-factor authentication (Duo security, email, and a couple of other options) in Bitwarden now. Password sharing via "Collections" is also implemented. So this review, as far as I can see, is not updated for 2020, since it's pretty far out of date. I switched from LastPass to BItwarden when LastPass was bought by a hedge fund at the end of last year, and found it to be fully functional.

The ONLY thing that I miss from LastPass is the emergency access feature of LastPass, where you can allow someone else access after the account owner is not heard from in a number of days. In lieu of that in Bitwarden, I set up a collection for my wife, and she has her own login credentials for her account, which includes the collection that I ...Show More
user avatar
Bjorn Johansson Roger
I hope this updated article meets your needs Roger! The 2FA options are great, and I'm honestly a pretty big fan of this PM. It's like a scrappy underdog to me, and I have a lot of love for the open source community that think it's #1.
nats
nats
Canada
5.0
poor support
Linux User
Support replied in less than 24 hours but their reply was nonsense. They suggested that after logging in successfully about 20 times I forgot my email address. Then 2 hours later I suddenly remembered it. The reply looked like a templated reply. I doubt they even read my question. The good news is that I have installed another password vault and have not forgotten my email address !
user avatar
Siam nats
Bitwarden has zero knowledge on your info, they do not know your email because it's one way salted hashed
user avatar
rats nats
You my friend, is a retard.
Dylan
Dylan
South Africa
10.0
Great
Windows User
Again a terribly biased review (as usual for this site). This site appears to only give good reviews to the ones they are associated with. Bitwarden is open source, what more could you want as an assurance for your data security? Yes Bitwarden may lack in the feature department, but would you rather have great security and less features or visa versa? In every review I've read on this site, you compare the reviewed password manager to Dashlane and LastPass, being closed source there will be so many severe security issues yet to be found. Bitwarden is open source, so any one can view the code and report issues. With Bitwarden, you can even host your data on your own server if you`re worried about security.
Larry McJunkin
Larry McJunkin
United States
9.0
Much better than this site's review
Mac User
There are many sites similar to safetydetectives.com that purport to be experts on apps like password managers, VPNs, etc. The problem I've found with ALL of them is they exist solely for their collusive efforts to seemingly review apps but then recommend ONLY the ones with which they have affiliate marketing relationships.

I get that they're trying to make money and I'm not begrudging them that. But for the most part, I've found their reviews and comparisons a little like reviewing a Mercedes, a Bentley, a Porsche, and a Mazda...then telling everyone the Mazda is by far the best automobile, only because they make 10% on the sale of every Mazda that starts out on their site. Call it what you want...it's collusion.

That said, I'm a ret...Show More
user avatar
Erin Larry McJunkin
Thank you for your perspective. I am looking for my first password managing software which will be for personal use and also for my very small business I am running (so I can have my assistant and various contractors be able to lo...Show More
Liz H.
Liz H.
United States
1.0
App and customer service both entirely fell apart after a year
Windows User
Had zero problems with Bitwarden until one day it wouldn't recognize my PW any longer. Customer service was entirely useless, continuing to "send" me PW hints that I didn't need (never changed my PW) and that I ever received in my email. So there is absolutely no backup for your data... if the app. shuts down on you, you're out of luck. Find another app!
user avatar
RF Liz H.
Data corruption is always a risk. Which is possibly why your data is no longer accessible. Always back up your data once a month. Especially your password manager data.
user avatar
Ve Liz H.
Mind telling me how it happened??
user avatar
Damion Liz H.
Same thing happened to me twice in 2 years on premium Bitwarden
Singapore
10.0
Open sourced secure and affordable
iOS User
Perfect to secure the chrome and google passwords. Works nicely once you get past the initial setup required on the browser or iphone/android. Syncs on all my devices. Password generator is a real bonus.
Kuty
Kuty
Czech Republic
10.0
Open-source, secure, can be self-hosted and is audited
Linux User
Being open-source and regularly audited, this is one of the most secure ones and I don't agree with the score at all. All the encryption is done locally and only the data owner (with master password) can get access to it. That's why Keeper is far less secure as it allows to recover master password by responding secure questions (so they must be another master key, protected by secure questions, potentially saved as clear bytes somewhere). Bitwarden also supports organizations, is cheaper than LastPass and there are nice browsers extensions, made with security in mind (e.g. not filling in by default, requiring an user action). No reason to use any other pasword manager.
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