Dashlane review: This password manager makes you smarter about security

Password auditing keeps you on your toes.

Of all the password managers we’ve reviewed, Dashlane has come closest to stealing LastPass’s crown. Easy to use and rich with features, it meets all our requirements for a top-tier password manager. But Dashlane goes beyond just managing your login credentials, providing insights for how to think smarter about security.

Dashlane’s strength has long been its elegant interface, which displays your accounts as tiles—indeed, LastPass recently adopted this style—but version 4 adds the option of showing them as a list as well. Each tile has its own fly-out menu from which you can edit your account info, securely share your login credentials, and view your password history.

As with LastPass, Dashlane includes a password changer, which you can open from the top of the password list. Unlike LastPass, which requires you to open a specific website entry to auto-change its password, Dashlane’s tool lists all of your saved websites and you can change as many passwords as you want at once by selecting the checkbox next to each entry. Dashlane’s password changer also supports 500 sites, soundly trumping LastPass’s 80.

dashlane password changer PCWorld

Dashlane's password changer lets you strengthen multiple passwords at once.

One of Dashlane’s most attractive features is its security dashboard. At the top, it gives you an overall security rating based on the cumulative strength of your passwords, and offers suggestions for improving it by upgrading specific passwords. For example, I could get a total 6 percent rating bump by updating my Skype and LinkedIn passwords. A Detailed Password Analysis panel provides a closer look at each of your passwords, which you can sort by website, password, strength, or safety level. Clicking an info button reveals the reasons behind its rating so you can take action to improve it.

Dashlane also supports auto-login, form autofill, secure notes, and secure sharing with emergency contacts. The desktop client is free to use on any single device, but to sync your password you’ll need Dashlane Premium for $40 per year. (You'll first need to download the standard version and then upgrade.) The paid plan also gives you two-factor authentication and unlimited password sharing, among other perks.

dashlane vault PCWorld

Dashlane will evaluate and rate your passwords and tell you how to make them stronger.

Bottom line

At this point Dashlane’s capabilities have caught up with LastPass, so the only significant differentiator is how much you have to spend to unlock each tool’s full capabilities. At more than three times the cost of LastPass, Dashlane’s premium may be the deciding factor for many. But if the extra expense isn’t a concern, Dashlane is a top-shelf password manager.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Ansaldo

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?