Bitwarden vs. KeePass 2024 — Which One Is Better?

Manual Thomas
Manual Thomas Writer
Updated on: May 5, 2024
Fact Checked by Kate Davidson
Manual Thomas Manual Thomas
Updated on: May 5, 2024 Writer

Short on Time? Here’s the Final Verdict:

  • 🥇 Bitwarden — Winner in all categories. Whether you’re looking at Security & Data Privacy, Basic Features, Advanced Features, Apps & Browser Extensions, Ease of Use & Setup, Plans & Pricing, or Customer Support, Bitwarden comes out on top. It’s secure, easy to use, and provides great value with extras like password auditing, dark web monitoring, and secure password sharing.

Bitwarden and KeePass are two of the most secure password managers in 2024. They’re both open-source, offer strong basic security features, and have generous free versions. I compared them in terms of security, features, plans and pricing, ease of use, and customer support to determine which is best.

Bitwarden and KeePass share essential features like:

  • 256-bit AES encryption.
  • Password generator.
  • Open-source architecture.
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA).

However, there are also some key differences between them. For example, Bitwarden offers a more user-friendly interface, cloud-based syncing across devices, and a broader range of features, while KeePass lets you change the encryption standard and has numerous third-party plugins that can be added to customize and expand its functionality.

I determined which open-source password manager provides a better overall experience after spending several weeks testing and comparing them both. Read on to find out which password manager best suits your needs.

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Bitwarden vs. KeePass — Quick Overview

Bitwarden KeePass
💸 Starting Price Starts at $10.00 / year Free
📱 Number of Devices Unlimited Unlimited
🔐 Security Features 256-bit AES encryption
Zero-knowledge protocol
Two-factor authentication
Biometric unlocking option
Passkey support
Secure password sharing
256-bit AES/ChaCha20 encryption
Two-factor authentication (via plugins)
Windows Hello (via plugins)
✍️ Auto-Fill Capabilities
🔄 Password Generator
🔎 Password Vault Auditing
🚨 Data Breach Alerts
🆘 Emergency Access
🧰 Extra Tools Encrypted file storage
Secure sharing feature
Backup (via plugin)
Auto-type
Plugin support
💻 Apps Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux Windows, Mac, Linux, (Android and iOS have unofficial ports)
🧩 Browser Extensions Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, Tor
(Unofficial browser extensions available)
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Family Plans
(Families)
🏢 Business Plans
(Teams, Enterprise)
❓Customer Support Email, knowledge base, forum Knowledge base, forums
💰 Money-Back Guarantee
(30 days)

Security & Data Privacy — Bitwarden Wins This Round

Encryption Multi-Factor Authentication Zero-Knowledge Architecture Account Security Settings Account Recovery Options Security Audits
Bitwarden 256-bit AES TOTP authentication, biometric logins, USB tokens, and email verification
(Master password hint and via Emergency Access contact)

(Cure53, SOC 2 Type II, SOC 3)
KeePass 256-bit AES/ChaCha20 Plugins for 2FA (Yubikey and TOTP)
(EU-FOSSA 1)

Bitwarden and KeePass share several key features like:

  • 256-bit AES encryption — uses an unbreakable encryption method to protect your info.
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA) — requires you to use two forms of identification.

I really like how KeePass offers users the flexibility to choose their preferred encryption algorithm. You can select between 256-bit AES encryption or ChaCha20. While beginner users won’t necessarily need to choose between them (as neither method has been cracked by hackers), it lets advanced users easily pick the encryption method that best suits their needs. Bitwarden users on the other hand have to use 256-bit AES encryption.

The multi-factor authentication options also differ between the two. Bitwarden offers many 2FA options such as TOTP apps (Google Authenticator, Authy), USB tokens (Duo, YubiKey), and biometric logins. KeePass, on the other hand, relies on plugins to add 2FA functionality. On top of that, Bitwarden offers password auditing and data breach monitoring — something else KeePass lacks.

I was disappointed that neither password manager offers good account recovery options. Bitwarden has the option to set up Emergency Access, so if you trust someone, they can help you recover your master password if you forget it — but that’s about it. Still, this is better than KeePass, where if you lose your master password, you lose access to your vault. I wish both offered more account recovery options like LastPass does to reduce the risk of losing all your passwords.

Finally, both KeePass and Bitwarden are open-source, and their code has been reviewed by security experts to ensure security and reliability. Bitwarden is SOC 3 and SOC 2 Type 2 certified, meaning that an independent audit has proven that it protects users’ data. KeePass has passed a EU-FOSSA 1 and 2 audit, and while some security issues were found in the audit, they were quickly fixed.

Winner (Security & Data Privacy): Bitwarden

Bitwarden comes out on top due to its broader range of two-factor authentication options. While KeePass is also a highly secure option, the reliance on third-party plugins for enhanced functionality makes it slightly less appealing than Bitwarden.

Basic Features — Bitwarden Has More Features

Auto-Fill Auto-Save Password Generator Password Sharing Payment Card Storage
Bitwarden
KeePass

Bitwarden offers an auto-fill feature that allows users to automatically input their saved credentials into login fields. On the other hand, KeePass lacks a convenient auto-fill function, requiring users to copy and paste their saved credentials or use the Auto-Type feature, which is less intuitive than Bitwarden’s auto-fill.

Bitwarden also has an auto-save feature to automatically save new login credentials, whereas KeePass lacks this essential feature — which is frustrating. That said, Bitwarden’s auto-save feature didn’t always work that well in my tests.

Another great thing about Bitwarden is its password-sharing tool — I was able to share any piece of information with any individual by sending them a unique link. The information can be a piece of text or a file attachment up to 500 MB on desktop or 100 MB on mobile. I wish KeePass had a similar tool, especially when most of the best password managers in 2024 include password sharing. You can allow multiple users to access your vault by storing it on a shared network or drive — but this isn’t anywhere near as intuitive or secure.

Both password managers have robust password generators, but KeePass’s generator is highly customizable and can generate passwords up to 30,000 characters long. However, Bitwarden’s password generator is more than sufficient for most users, with the ability to generate strong passwords up to 128 characters long. I really like how Bitwarden lets you generate passphrases, too. These are more secure than standard passwords, and it’s not super common for password managers to offer that option.

I was also able to store payment cards, notes, and identities in Bitwarden — KeePass is limited to password storage by default, although you can create custom fields to store different types of information.

Winner (Basic Features): Bitwarden

Bitwarden wins this round. Both Bitwarden and KeePass offer the essential basic features that most password managers include, such as unlimited password storage and powerful password generators. But Bitwarden offers additional features such as password sharing, auto-save, and auto-fill, making it the clear winner here.

Advanced Features — Bitwarden Comes Out on Top

Dark Web Monitoring Data Breach Alerts Password Vault Auditing Emergency Access Additional Tools
Bitwarden Encrypted file storage
Passkey support
KeePass
(Via plugins)

(Via plugins)

(Via plugins)
Auto-Type

Bitwarden has many advanced features, including password auditing, passkey support, emergency access, and breach monitoring. KeePass lacks many of these features by default, but I extended its functionality through the use of third-party plugins. For example, I installed a plugin that scanned the haveibeenpwned database for leaked passwords stored in my KeePass vault. That said, this can be tricky for non-technical users due to the configuration required to get it to behave as desired.

That said, KeePass does have an interesting Auto-Type feature that lets you set up a sequence of keypresses. These keypresses are automatically entered into dialog windows using a hotkey. It’s pretty cool, but I can’t see much use for it outside of auto-filling passwords (which Bitwarden offers as standard anyway).

I found Bitwarden’s password auditing tool pretty impressive — it checks the haveibeenpwned database for passwords exposed in a breach and flags weak, reused, or duplicate passwords, as well as sites with inactive 2FA. Bitwarden also warns you if any of your accounts are registered on unsecured websites, which most password managers don’t do.

Emergency Access is another useful feature provided by Bitwarden — it allowed me to designate a trusted user to access my password vault or take over my account in case of an emergency. Unfortunately, KeePass doesn’t include any kind of emergency access.

Winner (Advanced Features): Bitwarden

Bitwarden takes the lead with a more comprehensive set of advanced features — it has password auditing, emergency access, passkey support, and data breach alerts. KeePass falls short in this category, relying on third-party plugins to extend its functionality. While plugins can add some desired features, they may not be as seamless or reliable as Bitwarden’s built-in tools.

Apps & Browser Extensions — Bitwarden Is More Intuitive

Windows Mac Android iOS Other Operating Systems Browser Extensions
Bitwarden
(Linux)
Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, Vivaldi, Brave, Tor
KeePass
(Unofficial ports)

(Unofficial ports)

(Linux)

(Unofficial 3rd party extensions)

Apps & Browser Extensions — Bitwarden Is More Intuitive

Bitwarden provides a smooth experience across all its supported platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux.

I found Bitwarden’s mobile app really user-friendly, too, offering seamless integration with iOS and Android devices. It syncs passwords across devices, supports biometric login, provides a password generator and offers the ability to send passwords to your trusted contacts. I also appreciate the ease of switching between private and shared vaults and multiple accounts.

Apps & Browser Extensions — Bitwarden Is More Intuitive

Bitwarden’s browser extensions also worked well for me. That said, I found that auto-filling passwords via the app was much easier than using the browser extension.

KeePass, on the other hand, relies on unofficial third-party apps like KeePass2Android and Strongbox (for iOS). While both apps offer clean and user-friendly interfaces, I found the iOS app to have limited auto-fill capabilities in Safari during my testing. Plus, the fact that they are developed by third parties and may require additional plugins can be off-putting.

KeePass’s browser extensions are available for the same browsers as Bitwarden, but the overall experience can be less polished due to its reliance on third-party developers.

Winner (Apps & Browser Extensions): Bitwarden

Bitwarden emerges as the winner thanks to its consistent experience across platforms and its well-designed mobile apps with biometric login support. KeePass falls short due to its reliance on third-party ports for mobile apps, resulting in an inconsistent user experience. Both password managers offer browser extensions for a wide range of browsers, but Bitwarden’s overall user experience is more polished and enjoyable.

Ease of Use & Setup — Bitwarden Is Easier to Install and Use

Overall User Experience Easy Setup Process Master Password Requirements Import via CSV Direct Sync Importing
Bitwarden Minimalistic and user-friendly interface Minimum 12 characters
(Available as a separate tool, only works with LastPass)
KeePass Plain and outdated design None

Bitwarden is easy to install and provides a more comprehensive range of tools. Its straightforward interface allows users to quickly add item vaults, favorite frequently used items, and enable 2FA without issues. Although Bitwarden’s auto-save feature may not always work properly, it functions well most of the time.

In contrast, KeePass has a plain and outdated interface, making it harder for users to navigate its features. Although it is simple to install, the process of setting up a database and adding entries can be time-consuming and frustrating. Even essential tasks like importing passwords from another password manager take some effort. I had to consult a guide to do this and most other things.

KeePass’s reliance on third-party plugins makes it fundamentally harder to use, too. Features like 2FA, password auditing, and data breach alerts are all available via plugins, but these can be tricky to set up for non-technical users. Even auto-fill, arguably the most useful feature a password manager can have, requires a plugin — and it doesn’t work very well!

All of these features are built into Bitwarden, making it much easier to use. It also means Bitwarden is safer because it doesn’t rely on outside sources. While the basic infrastructure of KeePass is secure and regularly updated, that’s not the case with many plugins. Some haven’t been updated for years and might have vulnerabilities.

If you have any issues using KeePass, you have to rely on a help guide and a forum as there is no official customer support. The guides on the KeePass website are generally good, but they tend to be quite technical. The forum isn’t very active either so it can be hard to get an answer there.

The guides in Bitwarden’s knowledge base are easier to understand. Though there isn’t any live chat or phone number, I got a quick response when I emailed the support team with a question.

Winner (Ease of Use & Setup): Bitwarden

Bitwarden is easier to set up and use, offering a minimalistic and intuitive interface that is accessible to both technical and non-technical users. KeePass falls behind due to its outdated design and reliance on third-party plugins for additional features, making it a more challenging option for users who are not familiar with the technical aspects of password management.

Plans & Pricing — Bitwarden’s Plans Offer More

Starting Price Free Plan Family Plan Business Plan Payment Options Money-Back Guarantee
Bitwarden $10.00 / year Credit/debit cards, PayPal, bank transfer, Bitcoin
(30 days)
KeePass Free N/A N/A

Bitwarden offers three plans: Free, Premium, and Families, as well as plans for businesses. The free plan is excellent (it’s one of the best free plans in 2024), with unlimited password storage on unlimited devices, 2FA compatibility with TOTP authenticators, data breach scanning, and unlimited password sharing with 1 user.

The Premium plan, at just $10.00 / year, adds features such as a built-in 2FA authenticator, password health and auditing tools, 2FA compatibility with USB tokens like Duo and YubiKey, and 1 GB of encrypted storage.

The Families plan costs $40.00 / year and includes the same features as the Premium plan. It also extends password sharing to up to 6 users and adds an extra 1 GB of storage for shared items.

Bitwarden accepts payment through credit card, PayPal, bank transfer (ACH), and Bitcoin. Plus, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

KeePass, on the other hand, is a free password manager with no premium plans available. It’s most suitable for single users looking for a password manager for personal use on a single device.

Winner (Plans & Pricing): Bitwarden

While Bitwarden and KeePass both have free plans, I found Bitwarden to be better. It has more and better features than KeePass. Moreover, Bitwarden’s paid plans offer valuable extras like password auditing and advanced 2FA options, with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Customer Support — Bitwarden’s Support Is More Comprehensive

Email Support Live Chat Setup Tutorials FAQs Troubleshooting Guides Phone Support
Bitwarden
KeePass

Bitwarden’s customer support options include:

  • Email support.
  • Knowledge base.
  • Forum community.

I found Bitwarden’s email support to be excellent — I got a response in just over 90 minutes after business hours on a Friday!

The Bitwarden knowledge base is pretty impressive as well — it covers a wide range of topics, including features and applications, while the Learning Center offers tutorials organized by skill level.

Bitwarden’s forum is really active, and most threads receive helpful responses from both Bitwarden staff and other users. When I posted a question, I received a helpful response from a moderator within a few hours.

KeePass’s customer support options include:

  • FAQs.
  • Documentation.
  • Forums.

Being a completely open-source project, KeePass relies on its community for support. It offers a knowledge base with articles on various aspects of the program, such as installations and error codes, as well as FAQs addressing administrative and technical aspects.

Unlike Bitwarden, KeePass doesn’t offer email support or any other direct support option — which is very disappointing.

Winner (Customer Support): Bitwarden

Bitwarden provides a better customer support experience compared to KeePass. It offers email support, providing users with a more reliable and direct way to seek assistance. While KeePass has a decent knowledge base and community forums, the lack of direct support options puts it at a disadvantage compared to Bitwarden.

Overall Winner: Bitwarden

Bitwarden is a secure, feature-rich, and intuitive open-source password manager — I was particularly impressed with its passkey support, range of two-factor authentication options, and the seamless user experience across devices.

KeePass, on the other hand, is a good password manager that offers strong security. That said, its reliance on third-party plugins and outdated interface can be off-putting for users who prefer a more streamlined and modern approach.

Overall, Bitwarden and KeePass are both good options, but I found Bitwarden to provide a better overall experience. With a more user-friendly interface, more features, and better customer support, Bitwarden is the clear winner in this comparison.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which password manager is better: Bitwarden or KeePass?

Bitwarden is better for most users — it’s easier to use and has more features like password auditing, secure password sharing, emergency access, and secure file storage. KeePass is somewhat flexible thanks to a wealth of plugins, but these can be hard to get to work. Even basic features like auto-fill didn’t reliably work after I went through the hassle of messing with multiple third-party plugins.

Are Bitwarden and KeePass secure enough for storing sensitive information?

Yes, both Bitwarden and KeePass offer strong security measures to protect your sensitive information. They use end-to-end 256-bit AES encryption to secure user data, ensuring only you can access your password vault. Plus, both password managers offer advanced 2FA options — which adds an extra layer of protection to secure your online accounts.

How user-friendly are Bitwarden and KeePass?

Bitwarden is more user-friendly than KeePass. It features a simple, intuitive interface and supports seamless syncing across multiple platforms, making it easy for users to access their passwords. In contrast, KeePass has an outdated interface that may be challenging for non-technical users. It requires some technical knowledge and experience to fully take advantage of its features and options.

Can I use Bitwarden and KeePass on my mobile devices?

Yes, both Bitwarden and KeePass offer mobile apps for Android and iOS devices.

Additionally, they provide desktop applications for Windows, macOS, and Linux. However, it’s essential to note that Bitwarden offers more seamless cross-platform syncing compared to KeePass. That’s because KeePass is only available on mobile devices via third-party ports. If you prioritize easy access to your passwords on multiple devices, Bitwarden is a better choice.

Read more about the best password managers in 2024

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About the Author
Manual Thomas
Updated on: May 5, 2024

About the Author

Manual Thomas is a writer at SafetyDetectives. He is a cybersecurity enthusiast and software engineer who has been in the industry for over 5 years, specializing in analyzing the latest developments in online security, such as new threats and best practices for remaining secure online. Manual is also a passionate gamer, linguist, and traveler who always looks for new and intriguing places to visit.

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