Bitwarden Reviews 2020: Is It Safe?
If you are looking for a competent password manager with the best free features in the market, the Bitwarden is the app for you.
The app is quite different from most password managers, based on how its payment is set up.
With Bitwarden, you will be billed for added features and not for the number of devices used or the number of passwords it can hold.
Apart from the free account available on the app, you can get added features on the app through registering for the paid version.
The password manager also comes with some top of the line security. If you are looking for such an app, then take a look at this article, we will provide a more detailed review of the Bitwarden password manager.
What We Like
- Can work and synchronize on a number of devices
- Comes with various plans, including the free and paid versions
- Easy to use
- Comes with added features
What We Don’t Like
- No phone or live chat support
Privacy and Security
Since it is a US-based company, the app is subject to FISA and the Patriot Act. Bitwarden uses end-to-end encryption, meaning that your data cannot be accessed or decrypted unless with your master password.
The end-to-end encryption ensures your information is kept safe from risks such as backdoor hacks.
Based on the open-source end-to-end encryption, the app will not put you at any risk for the app to store your information on the Microsoft Azure Cloud.
Plus, keeping you safe, cloud storage also increases the app’s efficiency.
Bitwarden Payment Plans
The Bitwarden, although being open-source software, and communally developed, is still a commercial venture.
The password manager, however, allows for the core of the product to be free, with the option of supporting the app with a 10$ annual subscription fee, which is not necessary if you do; however, you get access to the premium plan, which comes with some added features.
The free version of the app is completely free, and will not come in the form of a trial basis.
The Bitwarden password manager also comes with a family plan plus some other business plans as part of its package.
For the free version of the password manager, you will get the following features:
- Share your password with one other user
- unlimited shared items
- limit if two collections
For the family plan:
- You will be billed at 1$ a month
- It will come with the option of sharing with up to five users
- Unlimited collections
- Unlimited sharing options
- 1GB worth of file storage
- Option for self-hosting
For the teams’ plan:
- You will be billed at 5$ a month
- Unlimited users
- Unlimited collections
- Unlimited shared items
- 1GB file storage
- Priority for tech support
For the enterprise plan:
- You will be billed at 3$ a month
- Access to user groups
- Directory sync capability
- On-premise hosting
- Event/audit logs
- MFA with duo security
The app will provide the core functionality for all users in the free and all other paid versions, making it virtually free software.
Only those looking for features that are more specific will require the paid versions of the Bitwarden password manager.
How to Use Bitwarden Password Manager
As with most password managers, first set up your account. This will be done by registering for the password manager with a valid email and a strong master password.
The password manager will rate the password set and inform you whether it is durable, weak, or good as your master password.
The app rates your password based on several patterns and not just the length and characters used.
You will then have to download the app to the current device to log in.
You will have to install the extensions on all the browsers you use if you are using a desktop device. If you are using a mobile platform, it will be advisable to ensure you use the fingerprint recognition option.
In case you are opting to switch from a different password manager to Bitwarden, you will have to navigate to the online portal of the Bitwarden App and then go to the web vault.
On the online portals menu, you will have the option of importing passwords from other password managers, such as Dashlane. You also have the option of importing passwords stored in your browser.
Most password managers will attempt to delete passwords if they are stored insecurely; however, Bitwarden will not do that. Therefore, you will have to ensure you personally delete any password you deem may be stored insecurely in browsers.
Password Capture and Replay
Based on tests performed mainly on a windows ten machine, the Bitwarden password manager worked quite well with most of the websites thrown to it o the chrome browser, as it always provided the users with the option for saving credentials.
The app also worked quite fine on the yahoo browser and captured nearly all the websites opened.
The Microsoft edge extension, however, was not working properly at the time of testing.
When it comes to account creation, the Bitwarden capture credentials were also tested, and worked well, in terms of handling passwords.
This was done by attempting a nonstandard login, which failed to bring out the capture system.
Other password managers such as sticky password will let you fill in all the fields, and capture everything on demand, something that Bitwarden doesn’t do.
When it comes to filling your credentials, some password managers will fill them in once you return to a previously visited site.
Others may put in an icon in the username field and will only fill in the credentials after you click allow. Bitwarden takes a different approach.
The Bitwarden password manager will save the credentials for the site you visited and overlay the number of entries on the apps’ toolbar section.
If you click on the button and desired entry, it will fill the data. The difference here is that Bitwarden is not as automated as most password managers, and will not matter how many sets of credentials you may have for a certain site.
Review, Is Bitwarden Safe – Bitwarden Password Manager Security
As far as password managers are concerned, the app comes with one of the best security systems for your phone. It also has a codebase system available for all users to navigate and contribute.
Apart from this, the app comes with an AES-256, which comes as the best option for protecting your data. The security system for the app is also accompanied by zero-knowledge encryption, which keeps your data and passwords private.
Another great thing that the app comes with is the level of privacy they offer their users, protecting them even from the company itself.
A good example is a personal password for your vault. How it works is such that, once you set up the master password, the app will not see your password, rather it will derive a key using the PBKDF2 and add on a more hashed SHA-256.
This is cryptographic libraries that will change the password is some kind of useless gibberish of no use to a hacker.
The feature for password storage is, however, only available for people using the Bitwarden server; otherwise, if you want to host your passwords, you can choose your preferred platforms.
Also, the app has left its source code open for any scrutiny, further raising their confidence points in terms of the level of service their system offers.
Apart from the open-source code, which can view and accessed by Bitwarden users, they offer all the Bitwarden code for scrutiny. You can access the command line installer, server infrastructure, and the mobile app.
The development team will also invite security analysis from researchers, meaning that the app s ever-present for improvements from a myriad of people, making it proactive and better adapted to any new problems.
Two-Way Factor Authentication (2FA)
You get to use a couple of options when it comes to the two – way factor authentication. You have the option of combining any of the compatible USB or NFC devices.
The app also comes with a two-factor authentication mechanism to make it even more secure. There is also the option for a time based one-time password or an email verification method.
Other Features of the Bitwarden App
The app was created for increased functionality, including multi-device sync, self-hosting, unlimited storage, and more.
All these can be found on the free feature, coupled with the number of passwords and devices allowed on the platform.
If you decide to upgrade to the app’s premium version, you get some added features, such as the authenticator key storage plus a 1GB of encrypted file storage.
Premium users also have increased sharing options. Free users can only share with one other user. Those in a family plan under the app will have the option of sharing logins with up to five users.
The Desktop Version
When it comes to the desktop version of the Bitwarden password manager, the password manager looks similar in the windows, Mac and Linux OS.
Thanks to the App image format, Linux was able to be included in the list of compatible operating systems.
The password manager works in the form of four types of data, namely; login, card, identity, and secure note.
Each means of entry is made in such a way that it is suitable for entering any of the data of that prescribed kind.
Each entry type is formatted in a way that allows the entry types to use auto-fill passwords, web forms, and card detail forms using the browser add-ons.
There is a new button, which can be found in the password field. The button will help in checking whether the passwords you have inputted have been exposed.
How it works is similar to a data each tool, and will take into comparison the username and the password you enter with a database of known password breaches.
The password manager also provides you with the option of adding more info through creating folders and adding items to them. In case what you want is a group password management ad-sharing feature, you can get them too.
Getting passwords and effectively assimilating them into the systems is one of the key features of the Bitwarden password manager.
Apart from this, the app is also quite easy to use, and you get to import passwords through the browser extension.
The app comes with a long list of options for importing passwords; you can get over thirty different options on the long list provided by the app.
The importation is also easy and fast, with a requirement of the CSV file to be dragged and roped in the right place, and all your passwords will appear.
You have managed to get all your passwords in one place; you now have to ensure that these passwords are strong and not easily hackable.
This may involve checking the password yourself and removing or editing the simpler passwords.
Bitwarden, however, comes with tools to help you find the password that is weak or undesirable. However, this feature is not available for the free version of the app.
If you come across one of the easier and weaker passwords you may have used somewhere, the Bitwarden App will provide you with options for stronger passwords. This comes in the form of a random password generator.
How the password generator works is such that it will create a password that has capital letters, small letters, and digits.
The generator will avoid ambiguous characters and punctuations, plus it will also use at least one digit for the passwords it creates.
The password generator can generate passwords of between five and one hundred and twenty-eight character long passwords.
Its default, however, stands at fourteen characters. For the IOS edition, the app will create characters of up to ten by default.
The app can also create a password with multi-word passphrases. This may come in handy in creating a memorable master password.
The Bitwarden App comes with password organization options, which will come in handy if you want to keep things tidy and efficient. As you have most probably realized, the app and vault versions of Bitwarden, are very similar.
However, it is worth noting that you will require the app for you to change or edit a password, while the importation of passwords will require the vault.
Most password managers will allow you to give each of the entries a friendly, memorable name at the time of the capture; however, Bitwarden will make it simpler as it just needs the click of a button.
The app will allow you to take two entries with some default name and rename them as your passwords.
The app will also let you organize your saved password into folders.
Other types of password managers that allow for the same are LogMeOnce and password premium suite.
Although the app allows for arranging password in folders, it may come as extra work as you will need to create the folders and edit each password to the preferred folder.
Filling Personal Data
There are other data fillable apart from the username and password fields, such as personal data on web forms. Several password managers can fill multiple sets of personal data and use them to assist the user as he or she fills out a form.
Bitwarden has the capability of filling two kinds of information: identities and cards.
If you record the details of a credit card, such as the cardholder’s name, or CCV, the app will not allow you to snap the card with a smartphone camera, similar to other passwords. However, filling it here means you don’t have to fill it anywhere else.
Business Use Reporting
The app will also come with a function for generating reports. This is specifically for Bitwarden users, and it is only available through the website for premium users.
The reports inform you o any weak, unused, or re-used passwords; administrators also get reports on any passwords or logins used in risky websites, plus any inactive two-factor logins.
The Bitwarden reporting is quite amazing and can be considered to be up there with other leading apps such as Myki’s
All the major browsers such as Mozilla chrome, Microsoft edge, all have extensions on the Bitwarden App. This is not all; Bitwarden also has extension options for the more technical browsers such as Tor and Brave.
The browser extension is quite similar to the desktop app and even looks similar to it.
That is not all; the app also comes with some handy in browse features too, such as the data, copy username, and copy password options.
The options are all easy to use and will not take long to find your way around the app.
The app also comes with a web app. The web app is easy to get acquainted with and start using. The menu for the option is also quite intuitive, and it makes it easier for you as you navigate the web.
The web app, however, does not come with automatic categorization; however, it will support login info, card and financial info, identity-related info, plus secure notes.
Bitwarden will not categorize this information, and you will have to get it on your own.
Something like adding credit card info will have to be done manually.
Apart from this, the app comes with an auto capturing mechanism, which is also quite impressive. The password capture operates in the background, but it will notify you in case it catches anything.
The app will also come with a way for you to access your information stored on the Bitwarden password manager from any browser through the web vault.
This gives you much-needed flexibility in accessing your information across various devices that support the more popular browsers.
However, compromised servers can directly send malicious or risky code into your browser window.
As the browsers, e2ee cryptography is not as safe or as secure as the stand-alone client when it comes to performing cryptography.
Command Line Interface CLI
The Bitwarden password manager also adds a powerful CLI client for all the major OS. This provides some support for the graphical user interface (GUI’S)
The CLI does not necessarily do anything that the GUI interface cannot; however, it is lightweight, and most computer and app geeks will love it.
Add-Ons for Browsers
The app comes with an add-on for virtually all browsers, including the tor browser.
The add-ons look and function similarly to the Bitwarden App. They also make autofill logins, forms, and such.
The Mobile Version of the App
Both the mobile App and IOS apps are quite similar. They both come with attractive and well laid out designs on the desktop.
The mobile apps will perform similar to their desktop counterparts, including secure and random passwords.
Both the desktop and mobile apps also come with a fingerprint unlocking service.
The android apps will also use the autofill framework service on Android 8+ devices and the autofill accessibility service on any older versions of android. The mobile app version also works with most of the leading browsers, such as Firefox or Chrome.
In IOS 12+, the app will integrate with apples new authentication services framework and provide instant autofill capabilities for most browsers and apps.
The app shows more upsides compared to the downsides. Besides being free, the Bitwarden App is one of the best in terms of the features of the wholesome app, from the free to paid options the app will not disappoint as it is secure and works across several platforms and browsers, making it one of the best password managers around.
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