If you are tech savvy, or even socially active on the internet, you are probably registered in a long list of web services and networks. And hopefully, you are using different passwords for all your accounts. You may not be a Mitt Romney, but unfortunately your data and your privacy is important not just to you but to hackers as well! In such a hostile web space, you cannot afford to be lackadaisical. If you are indeed using different passwords for different accounts, you’ll also be better off using a password manager to maintain or remember all those passwords for you. If you look around the internet you’ll find a host of powerful password managers that offer you great services. In today’s post, we take a look at Dashlane and what it offers in terms of security and password management.
Dashlane Password Manager Features
As password managers go, Dashlane has an impressive list of features. Not only does it offer top quality features such as auto logins, security breach alerts, eWallet, AES-256 encryption, auto form filler, and strong password generator, but it also offers a beautiful clutter-free interface to work on, and cloud backup services as well.
To start with, a really good software is one that provides a simple and clean interface with sensible usability options and a fairly simple installation process. Dashlane gets full marks for this. It took all of two minutes to download and install Dashlane on my Windows 8 laptop. A few click Next’s on the nice and easy wizard had me setting up my password manager in no time at all.
You will be required to input your master password when you install the program, and since there is no password reminder to help you retrieve this password, make sure to remember this one. Dashlane will then install on all your browsers if you are using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer.
One of the first things that will grab your attention when you launch the Dashlane application is your security scorecard. A big bold security score will stare at you, showing how well you’ve been handling your data security until now. There are also plenty of suggestions to help you fix issues and improve your security scores. This feature should be pretty helpful to those of us who never stop to think about how we are jeopardizing our security when online.
If you don’t know where to start with, the Getting Started button at the top of the application is a great place. It lets you demo all the main features of the application, making you instantly familiar with its usability.
Dashlane is quite an intuitive program. Since it has already installed itself on all browsers, it automatically saves the passwords that you type on the web. You can also manually add them if you like. There’s also a really cool option to categorize your passwords, so that you can find them faster.
On Chrome, Dashlane shows up on the toolbar with a tiny green light, indicating that Dashlane is working perfectly. A browser page gives you a little demo of Dashlane in action. You can see an auto filler in action, auto login to a social account and check out the updated passwords in the Dashlane application. A small blue impala icon inside a text field indicating that Dashlane can auto fill that data for you. If you have multiple auto fillers, you can click the impala icon and select your option from the drop down list!
Cloud Syncing & Mobile Apps
Unlike services like LastPass, your Dashlane data is not on the cloud, and if you choose to do some automatic cloud syncing, you’ll have to cough up a hefty $20 as an annual fee. Furthermore, accessing Dashlane info from your iPhone browser or from your Android device is pretty painful, that you may just prefer to avoid using it altogether.
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Note: When you install Dashlane, it comes with a 30 day full trial of the premium version. Remember to back out of it, if you don’t want to go for the pricier model.
Your database in Dashlane is AES-256 encrypted, and that’s the world standard in encryption services, but if you want to take that security to another level, you can make of the Google Authenticator option too.
You can access the Dashlane password manager only from the browser extension or when you go to the password field of a particular account online. You will not find the password generator tool within the application.
Two Factor Authentication
For added security, you can enable two factor authentication on Dashlane using Google Authenticator tool. This means that aside from using your master password, you will also need to input a 6-digit security code that is displayed on your mobile device.
Saving Other Personal Info
Dashlane also offers options to save your PayPal, bank, credit and debit card details, your different IDs, phone numbers, contact details, tax numbers and so on. All of which comes in handy when you are shopping online.
No Set Profiles
What I did like about Dashlane is its data profiling system. It does not have a fixed name, address, and email for one name. So you can create multiple names, multiple email address, multiple home addresses, multiple websites, and login using any of the information as you see fit. As I said before, you can just choose each field you fill online from the drop-down list.
If you want to share logins, passwords or notes with others, Dashlane offers a Send this securely option where the message is ciphered and can be opened by the recipient using a unique decryption key. Plus, the message will self destruct in 30 minutes and deleted from shared servers after 3 days.
If you have any special pieces of information you want to store in a secure place, Dashlane offers Secure Notes. You can also categorize these notes, color code them, share and search, and lock them with your master passwords.
Issues with Dashlane
If user reviews are anything to go by, users have complained about inconsistencies in its workings especially on mobile devices and Mac, inabilities to sync across certain company firewalls, non available for iPad and Windows phones, no options to import notes into Dashlane, and expensive cloud synching and backup pricing.
Dashlane may not match the likes of LastPass yet, but it has many cool features and options that makes it worth a worthy alternative. If you have used Dashlane before or are using it now, share your feedback with us so that our readers can make an informed decision about trying Dashlane.