In recent posts we’ve covered what a password manager is, and why you should use one. Now it’s time to find the best open source password manager.
If you’re not sure what a password manager is, or why you should use one, I recommend you read two of my previous posts. What is a Password Manager? covers the “what”, and Why Should I Use a Password Manager? covers the “why”.
What is the best password manager is, of course, subjective. But my criteria are as follows:
- The password manager has to be open source. Open source code means that everyone can audit the code and make sure nothing fishy is going on.
- It has to be free as in speech (libre). There are no restrictions on how the password manager can be used.
- The password manager doesn’t have to be free as in beer (gratis). If it’s good enough, and the price is fair, I’d gladly pay for it.
- The password manager has to work on the operating systems I use frequently: Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android.
- It has to be possible to self-host the password manager. This means that I can install and run it on my own server or computer.
- It has to be possible to synchronize the password manager’s database across multiple devices.
- Backing up the password manager’s database has to be hassle free.
- The password manager has to have an accompanying browser extension to make using it with a browser as user friendly as possible.
The open source and self-hosting criteria limit the number of possible password managers. While there are a lot of different password managers available, only a few of them are open source and supports self-hosting.
Now let’s get cracking!