Bitwarden Review 2024 — Open-Source, But Is It Good?

Our Score
8.2
GOOD
Ranked 12th out of 53 password managers
Ranked 12th out of 53 password managers
Katarina Glamoslija
Katarina Glamoslija Lead Cybersecurity Editor
Updated on: May 31, 2024
Fact Checked by Kate Davidson
Katarina Glamoslija
Katarina Glamoslija
Published on: May 31, 2024 Lead Cybersecurity Editor

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 rather well — it’s actually one of the best options on the market for advanced users, but it’s not as good as competitors like 1Password.

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

Other top password managers are a bit more user-friendly than Bitwarden, which is its biggest drawback. It can’t import passwords directly from a browser or other password manager (except for LastPass), and sharing and syncing password vaults with other users is more complicated than necessary. Additionally, the auto-save and auto-fill requires a few more clicks than with other password managers. Ultimately, the interface just isn’t quite as intuitive as the competition.

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 #12 out of 53 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, ChromeOS

Bitwarden Full Review

Bitwarden Full Review

Bitwarden is a basic but highly secure open-source password manager 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. But it does come with some cool extras, including local hosting and passkey support.

Bitwarden offers 2 plans that are extremely budget-friendly, and it’s one of the very few password managers that allows you to sync unlimited passwords across unlimited devices on its free plan — making it a great free password manager.

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 many 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 has several other features, including:

  • Multi-factor authentication.
  • Password generator.
  • Secure sharing.
  • Password auditing.
  • Passkey support.
  • Breach monitoring.
  • Emergency access.

I really like Bitwarden’s password generator, which allows you to create strong and unique passwords. I also like the inclusion of passkeys and emergency access. Both are advanced security features that some competitors lack.

Overall, Bitwarden provides great features to keep your accounts protected in 2024. Although it lacks a few extras, its open-source nature and ability to self-host make it an excellent choice if you’re tech-savvy.

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 allows you to view your history of generated passwords, which is 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 simple to create super-strong passwords and 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.

Password Vault

Bitwarden has a practical vault that allows you to store passwords and other information. However, it’s not as intuitive as a lot of other password managers, and some of its organizational functions are somewhat 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 a 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 handling the data within it is a bit of a hassle. It’s only possible to manage the Organization via the web app, and its impossible to move an entry from one Organization to another — you have to clone it in order to save it in your main vault and then delete the original, which just seems crazy.

Overall, Bitwarden’s password vault does the basics — 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.

Passkeys

Bitwarden supports passkeys, a convenient alternative to passwords. Passkeys are great because they’re more secure than traditional passwords, providing strong safeguards against phishing along with other benefits. While they rely on advanced technology, passkeys are actually very easy to use. Basically, when you register for a passkey-friendly website or add a passkey to an existing account, Bitwarden will recognize what’s happening and ask you if you want to store the passkey. I think it’s great that even free users get to make, store, and use passkeys with Bitwarden.

The feature was super easy to use in my tests. I started by adding a passkey to my eBay account through that website’s security settings. As soon as I did, the Bitwarden extension popped up and asked if I wanted to save the passkey. Naturally, I said yes. When I loaded eBay after resetting my browser, all I had to do was click Sign in and then Confirm on the Bitwarden window that opened immediately afterward.

Bitwarden Security Features

You can also use passkeys as a form of 2FA for your account. Bitwarden lets you add a Fido2 WebAuthn passkey to your account, meaning you’ll need to provide it alongside your master password in order to get into your vault. I think this is a useful added layer of security, but I would prefer passwordless logins.

Bitwarden’s browser extension and iOS app support passkeys, and Android users that have Android 14 installed can also access this feature. However, when I tested it on my Android 14 phone, I couldn’t use the passkey that I’d earlier created for eBay — which was a bit annoying.

I also found it difficult to distinguish passkeys from other more traditional logins as they all appeared identical in my vault (NordPass provides a separate tab for passkeys).

That said, including passkeys is a big step for Bitwarden. Few other password managers support passkeys. I found it very convenient and ultimately a better way to log into sites than traditional passwords.

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 when logging into an 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 is 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 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 genuinely good, and I like that it also supports USB keys — some competitors only allow 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.

Sharing Sensitive Information — Send

Bitwarden Security Features

Bitwarden’s unique Send feature lets you easily and securely share sensitive information with any recipient. 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 (up to 1,000 encrypted characters), which might include passwords, notes, or other sensitive data.

A nice bonus about it 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 from 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 the particular “send”, which is hosted on its secure servers, and anyone you share that link with can access it.

This feature is a 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 limit the total number of times they can access it. 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 feature, 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 a traditional password manager sharing feature.

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 determines 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. Upgrade to the Families plan to create an unlimited number of Organizations and Collections and share them with up to 6 people. If you need to share passwords with more than 6 people, you will need to upgrade to one of Bitwarden’s business plans. The Teams and Enterprise plans offer Organizations that include unlimited Bitwarden users.

Overall, it’s great to have a shared vault option, but setting up Organizations and Collections is a bit of a hassle. It’s also a little limiting in terms of the sharing options provided. 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 very reasonably priced.

Bitwarden’s password auditing feature works quite well — it brought 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.

Bitwarden’s vault health report makes it easy 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. 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 be required to create a Bitwarden account in order to accept the invite if they don’t already have one — 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 — enabling your vault to be unencrypted in the event of an emergency.

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 can further specify the level of access 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). If you choose the second option, you can use the feature to recover your account should you forget your master password.

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. This is a nice level of customization that I’d like to see more password managers offer.

Bitwarden Plans & 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, ChromeOS, Linux Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, ChromeOS, Linux Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, ChromeOS, Linux
Price
Free $10.00 / year $40.00 / year
Number of licenses 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, 5 other Users
Bitwarden Send Text Only Text and Files Text and Files
2FA Email, Authentication App YubiKey, FIDO2, Duo, Email, Authentication App YubiKey, FIDO2, Duo, Email, Authentication App
Passkey Support
Encrypted File Attachments 1 GB Personal (can buy extra) 1 GB Personal and 1 GB for Organizational Items (can buy extra)
Bitwarden TOTP Authenticator
Vault Health Reports Username Data Breach Report Only
Emergency Access
Self-Host Options
Email Alias Integration
Free trial N/A
(7 days)

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.
  • Passkey support.
  • 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 & 11 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 few 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

Bitwarden Premium is one of the cheapest and best value premium password managers on the market — costing just $10.00 / year. 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 (you can add extra for a fee).
  • Bitwarden Send (encrypted sharing) for text and files.
  • Priority support.

Bitwarden Free is truly 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.

Bitwarden Premium has one flaw — 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 per user and 1 GB shared storage (add extra storage for a fee).

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 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 permission settings for parents and families.

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

Bitwarden Ease of Use & Setup

How to Install Bitwarden (Just 3 Simple Steps):

  • Create a Bitwarden account. Choose the plan that best suits your needs, whether it’s Free or Premium, and sign up by following the prompts on Bitwarden website.
  • Install the Bitwarden app and browser extension. After creating your account, download the Bitwarden app. Also, install the Bitwarden browser extension by navigating to the downloads section on the website, selecting your browser, and clicking the Add or Install button.
  • Log into Bitwarden. Open the Bitwarden app (or use the browser extension) to log into your account. You can now securely manage your passwords across all your devices.

Bitwarden is easy to download and install. Importing passwords into Bitwarden is equally straightforward: simply select “Import” in the web app, choose which vault to import to, and if necessary, pick a folder. Next, select the file format of your passwords and upload the file from your computer. Bitwarden supports a wide range of file formats, including CSV files, making it easy to transition from most password managers. There’s also the option to directly import passwords if you’re switching from LastPass.

However, password auto-filling can be a bit clunky, and I 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, 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 click an icon in the login field to auto-fill without hassle.

Bitwarden Ease of Use & Setup

Bitwarden’s auto-save function worked reasonably well for me, but I had a few 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 several times that Bitwarden 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 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. You still have to unlock your vault with your master password or biometrics (if enabled) and you can set it to lock immediately when switching if you want to. It works for up to 5 accounts, and it’s a cool addition.

Managing passkeys is pretty easy with Bitwarden. I didn’t have any issues (except on my Android phone) as whenever I tried adding a passkey on a website, the Bitwarden extension automatically popped up. All I had to do was click Confirm and I was in.

For advanced users, particularly those comfortable with scripting and custom setups, Bitwarden offers a command-line interface (CLI) tool for Windows, macOS, and Linux. It’s a pretty cool inclusion which allows you to access and manage your vault from a terminal session.

I found it to be especially valuable for system administrators, who can use the CLI to integrate Bitwarden with other identity management systems within an organization’s IT infrastructure. The CLI also offers flexibility for creating custom user interfaces, making it great for those who need to tailor their password management solutions to specific needs.

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 the password generator and the Send feature. It’s simple to switch between your private and shared vaults, and if you have multiple Bitwarden accounts, you can also easily switch between these with just one tap.

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

Bitwarden’s mobile app also supports passkeys. For the most part, if works the same as on desktop, however I did have some problems logging into my eBay account using a passkey I’d previously saved on my desktop.

Overall, Bitwarden’s mobile app is really intuitive 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 easy for me to access my Bitwarden vault on my iPhone.

Bitwarden Customer Support

Bitwarden’s customer support options include:

  • Email.
  • Knowledge base.
  • Community form.
  • Learning center.
  • Social media support (X/Twitter, Github, and Reddit).

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

However, I was sincerely impressed with the swift response from Bitwarden when they replied to my 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 Friday night.

Bitwarden Customer Support

The Bitwarden knowledge base is quite comprehensive. It has an excellent Help Center with easily understandable user guides on all features and topics, as well as an impressive Learning Center with tutorials sorted by skill level. The active and informative community is an added bonus. Given that Bitwarden is open-source, there are numerous community members who contribute useful content to the knowledge base. Bitwarden’s staff also actively participates within the community.

I really like Bitwarden’s customer service — many competitors take a while to respond to their customers, and a few such as LastPass even complicate the process of sending an email! I managed to find solutions to the majority of my queries in the Help Center, but getting in touch with Bitwarden’s support representatives was also super straightforward. They promptly replied to all my questions, providing useful guidance.

What Bitwarden Can Do Better

Bitwarden is a secure password manager with very affordable plans, but there’s room for improvement. Like most password managers, Bitwarden operates on a zero-knowledge model, ensuring that only the user has access to their vault. However, this also means that if the master password is forgotten, there’s few ways to recover the account. Although biometric logins and emergency access can serve as backups, it would be nice if Bitwarden added a more reliable account recovery option.

The password vault in Bitwarden includes categories for logins, identities, credit cards, and secure notes, offering a decent level of organization. However, I find Bitwarden’s vault less intuitive and somewhat clunky. The shared vault option, while useful, can be challenging to manage, especially when trying to handle entries between the main vault and an organization. It would be so much easier if Bitwarden approached organizing passwords like either 1Password (lets you create as many vaults as you want) or RoboForm (lets you create as many folders as you want).

I really like Bitwarden’s password generator, but filling login details is a bit of a pain. I would like to see Bitwarden add a button in the username and password field the way 1Password and Dashlane do, instead of making you right-click and finding Bitwarden’s options in the drop-down list.

Overall, Bitwarden is a decent password manager — however, these improvements would be a big plus.

Is Bitwarden a Good Value in 2024?

Bitwarden is a reliable and secure password manager with a variety of useful security features for a 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.

I like that it promises 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 offers unlimited passwords across unlimited devices on its free plan, and it’s one of very few premium password managers to do this. It 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 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. You also get access to the full version of the distinctive Send feature, which allows you to send files and text (with time and access limits) to non-Bitwarden users via an encrypted URL. Free users can only send text files via Send.

Another plus is Bitwarden’s support for passkeys — it’s a simpler and more secure authentication method that keeps pace with evolving security standards.

My biggest complaint is that Bitwarden’s user experience isn’t intuitive when compared with most competing password managers. Auto-save and auto-fill are clunky, and 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 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 more intuitive, like 1Password or Dashlane. But if you’re willing to spend some time learning about how to make the most out of Bitwarden, its inexpensive price tag makes it a high-value password manager.

YouTube Video
If there’s something we haven’t covered in our Bitwarden review that you’re curious about, send us a message — we’ll be happy to carry out extra tests and answer any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

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, so not even Bitwarden staff can access your data.

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

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 Chrome, 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 offer local data storage.

Does Bitwarden have an auto-fill vulnerability?

The short answer is no. Auto-fill on page load is a feature included in Bitwarden’s browser extensions that is turned off by default. Although it is typically safe, this feature is not enabled by default due to the risk of compromised or untrusted websites using it to obtain login information.

Unless you deliberately change the settings to enable the ‘auto-fill on page load’ function, this is not something you need to worry about. And it comes with a visible warning, telling you that it is off because it can be potentially dangerous.

Bitwarden has also taken some additional steps to ensure users’ safety by only filling iframes from trusted websites. If users manually auto-fill an untrusted iframe, Bitwarden will display an alert that will give them the option to either cancel or proceed.

Does Bitwarden support passkeys?

Yes, Bitwarden is fully passkey-compatible. It’s a great alternative to traditional passwords and can be fully integrated into your Bitwarden account.

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 competitors like Dashlane or 1Password — 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.

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About the Author
Katarina Glamoslija
Katarina Glamoslija
Lead Cybersecurity Editor

About the Author

Katarina Glamoslija is Lead Cybersecurity Editor at SafetyDetectives. She has more than a decade of experience researching, testing, and reviewing cybersecurity products and investigating best practices for online safety and data protection. Before joining SafetyDetectives, she led several tech websites, including one about antiviruses and another about VPNs. She also worked as a freelance writer and editor for tech, medical, and business publications. When she’s not a “Safety Detective”, she can be found traveling (and writing about it on her small travel blog), playing with her cats, and binge-watching crime dramas.

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Bitwarden User Reviews

*User reviews are not verified

31 6
Based on 37 reviews in 6 languages 8.6
Language
You can trust the Community! Companies can't ask us to delete or change user reviews.
denis
denis
Russia
2.0
dropdown fields
Linux User
Unfortunately, but bitwarden does not saves the states of the dropdown fields in the login forms. I tried to ask this question at their feedback form, but they sent to me a links to their forum with very long instructions on how to do this. Couldn't this feature had be provided by default, like in the lastpass?? This is very frustrating...
james
james
United Kingdom
10.0
Best of the best
Windows User
Bitwarden is easily the best out there as it supports more MFA protocols than any other password manager
Shiro39
Shiro39
Indonesia
8.0
Simply Amazing
Windows User
So this is actually my first time using a password manager and before, I was using only Firefox's built-in password manager... Lockwise.

I did some research and I gathered 2 password managers, LastPass and Bitwarden.

I first tried LastPass since it's a more popular and more widely used password manager but, ugh, I just can't do it with LastPass.

I was trying to import all of my passwords that I exported from Firefox (of course in CSV format) but LastPass couldn't pick up all of my passwords. All I got was just blank entries.

Disappointed with LastPass, I moved to Bitwarden and holy moly, all those import options... jeez, that sure is a lot. Bitwarden picked up all of my passwords without any issue and here I'm, falling in love w...Show More
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
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