Dashlane vs KeePass: In-Depth Comparison of Password Managers

Dashlane vs KeePass: In-Depth Comparison of Password Managers

Dashlane is a highly rated password manager that has gained a following. Its popularity has increased after popular alternatives like LastPass were hacked. Dashlane is also a staff favorite at GT.

We will compare Dashlane to KeePass, another password manager known for its free and open-source nature.

Dashlane is free to use, with an optional premium upgrade. It has a user-friendly interface, strong security features, and works across different platforms.

KeePass has gained momentum due to its open-source nature, which gives users more control over their data, reduces the risk of data abuse by large companies, and prioritizes security.

Both apps have unique approaches. Let’s see how they differ.

1. How to Begin

Dashlane is easy to implement and use. You create an account which will take you to the free version — a solid product with all the essential features as in Dashlane Premium. You can then install Dashlane on any device and begin using it to generate and store passwords, payment gateway information, and profiles. The UI is aesthetically pleasing.

Dashlane vs KeePass: In-Depth Comparison of Password Managers

KeePass is an open-source and free password manager available in two versions: 1.x (.kdb files) and 2.x (.kdbx files). The main difference is that version 2.x supports Mono, allowing it to work on macOS, Linux, Debian, BSD, and Windows. It also offers advanced search, OTP, and smart card features.

Dashlane vs KeePass: In-Depth Comparison of Password Managers

KeePass has two unofficial versions – KeePass X, which is a fork of KeePass, and KeePass XC (C stands for Community), which is a fork of KeePass X developed by the community. While KeePass XC is actively developed thanks to the community-driven initiative, KeePass X is no longer receiving updates and seems to be stagnant.

Dashlane vs KeePass: In-Depth Comparison of Password Managers

There are multiple apps available for Android and iOS. The app you download and use depends on the file type supported by your chosen KeePass port. We recommend using the official KeePass app for this guide. However, if you prefer a ported version with more features and cross-platform compatibility, KeePass XC is a great option.

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Dashlane provides an interactive guide for installation and importing. This guide will help you select the appropriate version and app.

Dashlane vs KeePass: In-Depth Comparison of Password Managers

Both KeePass and Dashlane allow you to create, store, and auto-fill passwords for your favorite sites on all platforms. While Dashlane stores your data in the cloud, KeePass requires you to create a password database and save it locally on your computer. I chose to use Google Drive for added security.

Dashlane vs KeePass: In-Depth Comparison of Password Managers

Dashlane allows you to create profiles to auto-fill forms and make payments. It also has a separate tab to save digital copies of important documents and online purchase receipts.

Dashlane vs KeePass: In-Depth Comparison of Password Managers

You can create groups in KeePass to save entries for important sites. Each group can have sub-groups, allowing for a tree format.

Dashlane vs KeePass: In-Depth Comparison of Password Managers

KeePass can also auto-fill credit card information, but you must use a custom auto-type sequence. To do this, create a new entry and enter details on separate lines.

3. Security

The importance of security is increasing due to the rise in hacks that have plagued Silicon Valley. Dashlane and KeePass prioritize security.

Dashlane operates on a ‘zero-knowledge architecture’, meaning the company cannot access your data. KeePass, an open-source software, stores the password database on your hard disk. Both password managers use AES-256 bit encryption. However, if your master password is compromised, you lose everything.

Additionally, KeePass uses the Rijndael encryption algorithm and encrypts all fields in the database.

Dashlane vs KeePass: In-Depth Comparison of Password Managers

Dashlane allows users to securely share notes and passwords with trusted friends and family. KeePass uses SHA-256 technology to cryptographically hash key components.

Both Dashlane and KeePass support 2FA, utilizing mobile apps and Yubikey for added security.

Finally, users who prefer to store their data locally instead of in the cloud can opt for Dashlane’s free version. This version is limited to one device but provides the simplicity of KeePass with local storage. It is ideal for a primary work PC.

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A Dashlane Premium account is worth the price, as it offers numerous features to increase productivity. You can change passwords of multiple sites at once if you suspect a breach. Dashlane will also notify you if a site you use has reported a breach, sending alerts via email and in-app notifications.

Dashlane vs KeePass: In-Depth Comparison of Password Managers

Dashlane offers free VPN to premium and business users to mask identity and data.

Instances came to light where user data was leaked or sold on the dark web. Dashlane monitors the dark web and alerts you if it finds your credentials, names, or data there.

KeePass differs by allowing developers to contribute to the library and cross-check the source code. While it lacks in the UI department, it excels in database management.

Dashlane vs KeePass: In-Depth Comparison of Password Managers

There are numerous plugins and extensions available for KeePass that can enhance its functionality. These plugins enable functions such as database management, data importing, additional encryption methods (e.g., Twofish), removing duplicate entries, and more. As of now, there are over 70 available plugins, allowing for extensive customization of KeePass.

Furthermore, KeePass offers a portable version that can be installed on a pen drive, making it convenient for users who frequently switch between computers. Additionally, users can store documents and images alongside their entries, making it easy to include relevant screenshots, images, or instructional guides.

Another valuable feature of KeePass is its ability to keep a history of previous passwords, including metadata such as date and time, providing accessibility when needed.

5. Price and Availability

KeePass is free to download and use on various platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Ubuntu, BSD, Gentoo, Debian, openSUSE, Android, iOS, and J2ME smartphones developed by some developers in different flavors.

Dashlane is also available for major platforms such as Windows, iOS, Android, Mac, and browser extensions (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, Opera, Brave). The free version of Dashlane allows one device to hold up to 50 passwords for different accounts.

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Dashlane vs KeePass: In-Depth Comparison of Password Managers

Dashlane offers a Premium plan at $60 per year, which removes limitations and allows for advanced features such as password sharing and VPN. Personally, I believe that the unlimited VPN service alone justifies the cost.

Dashlane vs. KeePass: Which One Should You Use?

If you want a hassle-free secure password manager with additional features like receipts and documents storage and sharing, VPN, and you don’t mind storing data in the cloud, go for Dashlane. If you are not an advanced user, Dashlane’s free version will serve you well and let you control your data at will.

KeePass is more suitable for advanced users with some understanding of database management who are uncomfortable with sharing their data with companies or storing on cloud servers. It is not very user-friendly, but it is still a solid product because of its features.

Next up: Already using Dashlane? Want to learn how to share passwords securely with family members? Click on the link below to learn more.

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