These days, all major browsers come with their own password manager. They are very convenient to use: just enter your username and password on a website, and the browser will ask if you want it to remember your contact details. If you agree, you’ll never have to manually type in your credentials again; simply visit the login page and your browser will take care of the rest.
However, this does not mean that the third party password manager is dead. In fact, you can install third-party password manager extensions on a browser and disable the native one. This then raises the question: should you use your browser’s password manager or go for a third party?
Using a web browser’s password manager
The browser password manager is the choice most people use. This isn’t necessarily because it’s the best choice, but because it’s convenient and doesn’t require any configuration. But what is so good about your browser manager?
On the one hand, a browser password manager is very useful if you only use that browser. Big browsers these days have a sync feature that applies your settings to every instance you use.
As such, you can make sure that your information is syncing automatically, wherever you are. For example, if you are using Chrome on your PC, any connections you save will also sync with your Chrome mobile.
This is especially useful for mobile devices, as third-party administrators cannot be installed as an extension. Instead, you’ll likely download a separate app that you’ll have to manually replace each time you need a password. It’s much more complicated for the browser to remember everything.
Using a third-party password manager
A third-party manager, however, has one key element: confidentiality. When using a browser’s proprietary password manager, all code is hidden. As such, you have no real idea what the business is doing with your data. Are they storing it properly? Could an employee potentially see all of your details?
Third-party password managers can avoid this. While some of them are owners, others (such as KeePassXC and BitWarden) are open source. This means that the code is available to everyone, so there is nothing fishy about them.
Third-party password managers can also adapt to whatever browser you use. If you’re juggling Chrome and Firefox, for example, you can install Manager Extensions on both. This way you can access your passwords wherever you are.
Browser vs. third party: which is best for you?
So what should you use? As you might expect, if you’ve found the right browser for you, you may want to consider sticking with its password manager. This simplifies switching between computers, tablets and mobile phones, as passwords sync with each browser.
However, if you are using different browsers, a third-party password manager can save you a lot of trouble. It acts as a cross-sync between all your browsers, so you always have your passwords handy. Not only that, but there are some open-source managers that respect your privacy and are worthy of your trust.
Browser password managers come in handy, but they’re not the only ones. If you like to roam around browsers or just want a little privacy, a third-party password manager is for you.
Also, it is good to know what you need to check when looking for a password manager before making your decision.
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