Bitwarden makes it easy to store your logins and passwords while keeping them synced between devices across all platforms
If you're looking for a password manager or an alternative password manager, Bitwarden is a good contender. It's open source with fully functional free accounts that include all the features you'd find in other password managers such as browser integration, secure password generation, access through a web vault, 2FA, the ability to sync across devices, and end-to-end encryption (Bitwarden uses end-to-end AES-256 bit encryption, salted hashing, and PBKDF2 SHA-256).
Bitwarden offers a variety of ways of accessing your data:
> WebVault is optimized for use on desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile devices
> Desktop applications for Windows, MacOS and Linux (no Internet connection needed to access passwords)
> Web browser extensions for Google Chrome, Firefox, Vivaldi, Opera, Tor, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and Brave
> Mobile apps for Android and iOS
> Web vault, accessible from any web browser
Data can be imported from a large array of password managers including LastPass, 1Password, Blur, Chrome, Dashlane, Enpass, Firefox, KeePass, Opera, PassKeep, RoboForm, Vivaldi, Zoho and more.
While the browser extension doesn’t auto-fill login information on pages when they load, there are two ways it will auto-fill login and password information. The keyboard shortcuts for Windows (Ctrl + Shift + L); Mac (Cmd + Shift + L), Linux: Right clicking an area of a website Ctrl + Shift + L, Edge: Ctrl + \, and Safari: Cmd + \) will auto-fill login and password information brings up Birtwarden > Autofill (currently unavailable in Safari browser).
Auto-fill can be enabled for any website in Bitwarden - click or tap the toolbar icon, choose Settings, scroll to Options, and choose Enable Auto-Fill On Page Load. This is a small inconvenience I'm OK with because it stops auto-fill theft.
There are a few issues with Firefox in Android - logins don't auto-fill on all Firefox versions (LastPass has the same issue with Firefox Android). Bitwarden recommends downloading the add-on. It's a few more taps but otherwise works well. It's a work in progress and has been fixed on Firefox Focus with other versions being worked on.
Other than a few oddities (some sites Bitwarden will auto-fill my login and password, others it doesn't) I've been happy with this password manager. It's open source, so the code is transparent. It recently completed an audit and the few issues that were noted are to be fixed in the upcoming release (similar issues are found in other password managers).
As a side note, I ran into an issue exporting my data from LastPass. In their instructions, LastPass says to save your data in CSV format but change the coding to Unicode. That resulted in none of my data showing up in Bitwarden when it was imported. Exporting from LastPass as CSV with the default ANSI imported my data with no problem.
If you're happy with your current password manager or want to stick with one that has longevity and a history of security then Bitwarden may not be a good option. If your current password manager has issues or you're looking for a non-proprietary password manager that you can take with you (self hosting) then it's worth a look. You can have more than one password manager installed in a browser - I've disabled LastPass and run Bitwarden with no issues. If you plan on using two password managers, export your data so it stays up to date. It's a good idea in any case to export your data on a regular basis. I password protect and encrypt the exported file and store it on a USB flash drive.
If you're interested, you can find Bitwarden's code on GitHub.
You can find more Tech Treats here.
Please rate this article: