Dropbox adds a free, limited password manager

Dropbox joins the free password manager fray as LastPass limits its own free offerings.

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Last year, Dropbox launched a password manager as part of its paid Dropbox plans. On Tuesday the company said it’s making the technology available to those who use the free Dropbox plans, too. Unfortunately, the Dropbox solution isn’t as good as what other free password managers offer.

Beginning in April, users of the Dropbox Basic plan can try a limited version of the Dropbox password manager, known as Passwords. Here’s the catch: You’ll be able to save only 50 passwords. You’ll also be limited to syncing those passwords on three devices. (Eventually you’ll be able to share those passwords securely via another user—that feature is coming soon, Dropbox says.)

The Dropbox Passwords service will autofill passwords when asked. Dropbox provides apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, with zero-knowledge encryption, so the passwords will be known only by you.

If you want the more comprehensive Passwords service, you’ll need to pay an additional fee of $11.99 per user per month for Dropbox Plus. Dropbox also provides Plus users with Dropbox Vault, which offers encrypted storage with a PIN for added protection.

Dropbox’s announcement arrives, perhaps not coincidentally, as LastPass limits its own free password-management tier starting Tuesday. The adjustments to the LastPass tier mean you’ll be able to use it only on a single class of device (computer or phone) at no cost—though an unlimited number of devices within that class. 

Both LastPass and now Dropbox are among a growing number of free password managers, which include both browsers as well as discrete services. Why should you consider using a password manager? Because simple passwords are so easy to crack, you can do it yourself

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