Dedicated vs. browser-based password managers: Which is right for you?
Dedicated password managers are more secure and offer many more features and benefits than their browser-based alternatives.
Convenient, at first glance
In the age of constant cyber advancements and evolving browsing habits, you must make sure your data and credentials are as secure as possible, without sacrificing convenience. Password managers can help with this, so that you don’t forget your passwords and get locked out of your accounts, especially with the growing number of accounts with unique passwords that we have to regularly maintain.
Web browsers have also introduced their own browser-based password managers. Not only are they free, but they can also help you create unique and random passwords, alleviating the stress of remembering the info for each account. But, are browser-based password managers the best solution? And are they as convenient, safe, and secure as they claim?
The answer is that while web browser-based password managers are a free and convenient option for users, they aren’t the most accessible or secure way to store your passwords. “Standalone” or “dedicated” password managers, on the other hand, offer convenience without sacrificing applicability or security, as well as a slew of handy features.
Locked into one browser
Consider the browser you’re using right now. What if you need to switch to another one, or use a different device? If you’re using Chrome’s password manager, for example, you can only sign in to your online accounts using Chrome. So, if you log into a website via Firefox or Safari, you won’t have access to those passwords; you’ll have to use Chrome to see them. This is all done with one goal in mind: to keep you hooked on a single service.
This also means that if you use many browsers on multiple devices, you’ll have to update each password separately whenever you change them. Signing in via the browser on your mobile device? Unless you’re using the same browser and associated account (i.e., Apple or Google) on your computer and mobile device, then you’ll need a separate password manager for each.
A dedicated standalone password manager can be used on all of your browsers and devices. All you need to do is install the password manager tool on each device, and you’ll be able to use it on any website, desktop software, mobile app, or browser.
Is it safe to keep my passwords in my browser?
While browser-based password managers have made significant improvements in terms of security, they are still far more risky than dedicated password managers. Browser-based password managers are vulnerable to malware attacks, and passwords are constantly being tested by hackers using a list of commonly used passwords. Not to mention that the passwords that browser-based password managers generate are not as unique and customizable as those of the dedicated counterpart.
Take C2 password, a dedicated password manager, for example: C2 Password provides encrypted, unique, and customizable password generation that allows you to enter up to 30 characters of your choosing. You just need to enter a master key in a passphrase field when you sign in to a website, keeping your credentials even safer from hackers.
Another issue is that most browsers were not designed with password managers in mind, and their password managers are extra features that were introduced at a later point. Keep in mind as well that the companies that run these services are often in the business of using your data to sell ads. Even if these companies don’t want to access your credentials, it may not be in your best interest to keep all of your credentials in one place, or in one browser.
Dedicated password managers, however, are built from the ground up with your data safety in mind. By using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit encryption and zero-knowledge architecture, end-to-end encryption, and secured data centers, dedicated password managers provide a safer and more convenient system to help lower the risk of your data being stolen.
No secure sharing options
What if you need to share your account information with others? Browser-based password managers don’t actually allow you to do this. So, what other options are there? You can share your passwords by email or text message, but you will lose the encryption security. Plus, you have to deal with the hassle of sending a new password out to everyone every time you update it.
Modern password managers are meant not only to keep your data safe, but also to provide one-stop storage with useful sharing options for your personal and organizational needs.
Among the most useful features of a dedicated password manager is secure password sharing. You can share your Netflix or Disney+ accounts with your family and friends, or give shared folder access to your colleagues without having to worry about security issues.
JUST storing passwords?
Dedicated password managers allow you to save more than just passwords. They include cloud storage to store essential information, such as your personal ID, payment info, and even your bank account details. They also offer cloud storage where your data is encrypted before being stored to ensure data security.
Browser-based passwords managers, on the other hand, lack a lot of these features. Some browser-based password managers, such as Edge, Opera, Firefox, and Chrome, do offer payment method and address storage services, but these functions are even more vulnerable to malware attacks and may end up causing you more harm than good.
The power of one dedicated password manager
All in all, browser-based password managers just don’t make the cut. They don’t allow you to switch browsers, use the same services on apps, securely share your credentials with others, customize generated passwords, or store information other than passwords.
Besides that, by only sticking to browser-based password managers, you’re going to miss out on all of the advanced security features that dedicated password managers provide, such as zero-knowledge architecture, advanced encryption, and data centers dedicated to the storage of your data.
Get started for free with C2 Password
The advanced technology and functions that come along with a dedicated password manager usually come at a price, but you can get started for free with C2 Password. C2 Password’s free version provides encrypted password storage, with password generation, password strength detection, cross-device syncing, and Time-Based One-Time Passwords (TOTP).
C2 Password’s Plus plan even offers a Shared Vault, where you can safely share your credentials with others. All you need is your C2 Encryption Key (master key), and you’re good to go!
Now that’s real convenience, without compromising your data security. Why settle for less than you deserve, when you can have more reliable and secure protection with a dedicated password manager like C2 Password?
Written in collaboration with Arden Lim.
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