Dashlane promises to help you ‘live your best life online’, which is a pretty bold statement!
It certainly looks good from a first impression. In fact, it reminded me more of some kind of marketing software than a password manager, due to how slick it was.
But how does Dashlane compare to other password managers on the market? I checked out almost 70 password managers, and here’s what I thought about Dashlane — the good, the bad, and everything in between!
|Dashlane Features Overview|
|Multi-device sync||No - only on the paid plan|
|Backup and recovery||Paid plan only|
|Mobile apps available||Yes|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Edge|
|Languages available||English, French, German|
|24/7 support||English - 7 days a week, French and German, M-F 9-6 EST.|
The one-click installation really is something. Right from the start, Dashlane does everything it needs to do automatically, and it takes you along for the ride.
I just downloaded the software, opened the file, and let the download client do the rest! The whole thing took about two minutes, and I ended up on this screen...
Dashlane had just imported all of my current saved passwords, instantly. That’s not something that other password managers will do (for Zoho Vault and LastPass, you have to manually export your saved passwords via Excel or CSV, and even then, that’s only if you have them saved all in one place).
From the start, Dashlane shows that it knows what you need in terms of important basic features, and they make it easy for you to move between them. There’s:
- an area where you can store your personal details for later auto-fill purposes.
- a payments wallet (where you can store your PayPal or credit card information securely).
- a section where you can securely save your ID or passport (or other highly sensitive documents).
- a secure notes section (separate to the secure financial details section) where you can add in sensitive generic information — Social Security numbers, WiFi passwords, or anything not covered by the above secure storage areas.
...all of which are pretty standard.
And then there are the not-so standard features that highly impressed me:
The Password Changer - Automatically Change Multiple Passwords Instantly
I didn't believe it until I saw it for myself.
The Password Changer brings up a list of every password you have saved on your current device, and it gives you a safety level as you can see in the screenshot:
Hovering over this safety level gives you some more information as to what actually makes a password ‘safe’ or not:
If you find that your passwords are considered unsafe, you can choose the ones you want to auto-change, and either click ‘Change all passwords’ (or those you have selected) or go one-by-one.
Receipts Manager - Securely Save Your Receipts in One Place
The Receipts Manager is a strange feature of Dashlane that I’ve personally never seen elsewhere in any other password manager.
I’m not entirely sure who would find this useful — perhaps if you’d like to keep your secure information separated nicely into different categories like: general, financial, documents, and… receipts? To me, I would happily store everything in the secure notes area, and I would maybe use the financial storage area, too.
In any case, the receipts section is a secure way to store any receipts from online (or offline) purchases you make. It actually logs those purchases you make online once you've made them. So this would be a pretty useful feature for online shopping fans!
Emergency Access - Give Emergency Access According to a Customizable Waiting Period
A few other password managers on the market — LastPass, TrueKey, etc. — give you emergency contact access, whether that’s calling a service center and asking for a reset code or adding a contact for access.
In Dashlane, the ‘Emergency’ section allows you to add one emergency contact who will receive potential emergency login details in an email after a defined period of time. Once you trigger the emergency access, they’ll be sent an email (after the defined waiting period) with emergency login details.
If that’s not super cool, I don't know what is. This is definitely something I’ll be using (along with any of you who tend to forget your passwords from time to time).
This is also a great feature for families. It means you could get almost instant emergency access to your logins again, as long as you set the waiting period to ‘no waiting period’.
Other Features to Watch Out For
Dashlane has some extra cool features that are available on its paid plan.
The features range from the useful VPN that connects to the fastest server available based on your WiFi connection to the awesome Dark Web Monitoring.
This feature doesn't actually provide you with a secure way to surf the Dark Web, but it does monitor it for any mentions of your personal information. That’s a pretty important feature, if you think about it.
Similarly, on the Premium Plus plan, Dashlane offers you identity theft protection: It will monitor your credit score for anything out of the ordinary. It also goes the extra mile and insures you for up to $1 million should you be a victim of identity theft.
These extra features are fantastic for anyone looking for the ultimate in online protection. And by that, I mean anything that goes way, way beyond just saving and protecting your online accounts. Dashlane goes all out with these extra features to protect your reputation online! That’s so much more than 1Password or RoboForm will do!
Plans and Pricing
Dashlane keeps things nice and simple with two plans — the Free plan and the Premium plan.
The Free plan gives you access to Dashlane’s basic functions — the password manager, password strength analysis, that awesome auto multi-changer tool, and the instant form filling functions.
So far, so good... but if all of it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is.
You see, Dashlane will give you all of the awesome password manager features it has to offer… up to 50 passwords.
And only one device.
All of this begs the question: Who has only one device, nowadays? Who has only up to 50 passwords, for that matter? I'd say the Free plan is for you if you fit either of those two categories (and I doubt anyone does) OR if you'd just like to try out the features before committing to the Premium plan.
With the Premium plan, regardless of whether you’re interested in using the Dark Web Monitoring and alert system (thinking about it has made me paranoid and the more I think about it, the more I want it) and VPN for WiFi protection, the fact that these things are there means you might need them. And, if you’re like me, maybe you’re now realizing that they’re all things you should never have been going online without!
Couple that with the fact that once you see how amazingly Dashlane does the job, you’ll want far more than just one device and 50 passwords!
Luckily, the Premium plan is highly affordable and can be bought and renewed annually.,
I'd recommend getting the Premium plan and seeing how it goes — it has a 30-day money-back guarantee, during which time you can cancel the plan. When I did this, I requested a refund and received it just one day later:
As far as the Premium pricing goes, I think Dashlane is a little more on the expensive side when you compare it to LastPass or 1Password, both of whose Premium plans are cheaper annually and have similar features.
But I think there’s more to it than just money: Dashlane is super easy to use (it literally imports of all your passwords in one click, and changes them all automatically in one click), and it has cool extra features and secure online spaces.
LastPass is similarly versatile, except it doesn't have that super cool password changer (which is definitely a huge bonus of Dashlane). As for 1Password, well, it certainly matches Dashlane when it comes to features… but it's only really for use on Mac OS. Clearly, in this case, Dashlane’s Premium plan beats the competition.
Ease of Use and Setup
One massive thing that Dashlane has going for it is just how super easy it was to install.
I literally did it in two or three clicks, and I was up and running within 3 minutes. And that included a one-click password import (as I mentioned earlier — see the screenshot above!) and a browser installation! Nice one, Dashlane.
I'd say this is a solid benefit for users who want to stay completely secure online, but get confused when it comes to installing anything even slightly complicated (looking at you, Zoho Vault).
Dashlane works across most platforms — Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS, and watchOS. It has browser plugins available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge, which is more than I can say for other password managers!
Once you've clicked twice and installed Dashlane onto your device, you’ll see this screen:
...and from here, it's just one more click. Next you’ll be taken to the Google Play Store or App Store (depending on your device) and will be asked to install the browser extension. Once you do, you’ll see a popup in your bookmarks bar with all of your imported browser passwords:
...click ‘Import’, and now you're ready to browse securely.
From the browser extension, you can manage pretty much everything you need to:
It also analyzes the current password you have saved for the site you're browsing, and suggests a stronger password for you direct from the extension. That’s seriously amazing.
You can also access your password vault from the browser extension although the options are far better on the desktop app. Otherwise, under ‘This website’, you can set your password and security options per page or site:
As you navigate, Dashlane will capture and store your passwords for you. Dashlane will then sync your passwords across your devices... but only on the Premium plan (remember, the Free plan only comes with one device).
The whole installation and navigation experience was one of the best I’ve seen — and not just when installing a password manager — I mean when I’ve ever installed anything.
It's a great way to manage your passwords on the go, and it’s very similar to the web versions of Dashlane.
To log into Dashlane, visit their web app or click on the browser extension.
You’ll be asked to login using your email and the authentication code that is sent within 30 seconds to your registered email address — this is Dashlane’s two-factor authentication process. Once you've done this, you’ll have to enter your master password, and as long as you don't forget it, you’ll be asked if you’d like to add your device to your Dashlane account.
Once you do, you’ll receive an email confirming this:
If you’ve forgotten your password, click on the ‘forgot password’ link on the sign-in screen, and you’ll be taken to a step-by-step help process, trying to work out if you’ve forgotten your password, or if you just have a typo in your email address:
And then you’re asked if you have an emergency contact:
You’ll then be sent to the Dashlane reset page, and from there, everything is as it was when you first signed up.
It was a quick, easy process, and it took under 1 minute for me to get up and running again after I reset my master password!
For the two-factor authentication, I guess I’m just spoiled by the huge range of other options from other password managers (TrueKey’s biometric TFA, for one thing, was my favorite). I do think Dashlane could have more TFA options — on the Premium plan, Dashlane supports U2F Yubikeys as TFA, which is just another reason to upgrade to Premium.
Dashlane is secured by 256-AES security — considered to be the industry standard. It promises that your information is secure and is zero-knowledge, meaning that it isn't stored anywhere — not on the Dashlane servers and not locally on your device.
I was very impressed with Dashlane’s support — it's pretty rare that a password manager has such comprehensive customer support (of course, this is better and even more is available for Premium plan subscribers).
They have email support, available in English, French. and German. This is pretty impressive in itself. The English email support is available 7 days/week, and French and German requests will receive a reply Monday through Friday between 9:00AM and 6:00PM EST.
There’s currently no phone support, but there’s a Twitter handle you can tweet at to receive assistance.
Here’s where there’s very little difference between the Free and Premium plans...
After upgrading to Premium, I filled out Dashlane’s online web form to request support:
I appreciate how specific the options were on the web form, so I asked a question that I couldn’t see a specific answer to:
I submitted the form at 1:04 PM, and I received a reply from the support team at 7:37 PM. That’s actually longer than it took them to reply to me on the Free plan!
While it did take a long time for the team to get back to me, their reply really went deep. I already knew they didn't have a phone when I emailed them, and I appreciated the extra effort they put in to keep me happy.
Other than the custom support given, Dashlane’s FAQ is incredibly in-depth. Each topic or query has an automated step-by-step direction, allowing you to try and troubleshoot the issues yourself. I'd say it's a great alternative to live chat, and certainly helped me when I forgot my master password!
The lack of a phone number might be frustrating if you're used to instant replies, however, I found that the FAQ more than handed my semi-emergency situation, and the reply I received back from the support team was quick enough that I felt satisfied.