With a gorgeous interface, built-in VPN and fantastic user experience, Dashlane is obviously the BEST password manager we've reviewed. It provides amazing value for money, BUT it's not a budget-friendly option. Nevertheless, it's worth every penny paid! Learn more.
Dashlane Review – 8 Pros & 3 Cons of Dashlane Password Manager!
June 02, 2020
We know you’re *this* close to pulling the trigger on a Dashlane Password Manager account, but before you hit the checkout button, we highly recommend you go through our very thorough review of the app.
After all, we put in a lot of effort and did our research to ensure that you’ll be reading the most detailed review of the password manager from a user’s point of view. We came up with the pros & cons of the software so that you can make an informed decision on whether or not the password manager is the right fit for you and your small business.
But before we dive elbows deep into the underbelly of this password manager, do allow us to share with you a little history about the company behind the brand, so you’ll know exactly what kind of company you’ll be doing business with.
Quick History of Dashlane
Dashlane was founded all the way back in 2012, a brainchild of one Mr. Bernard Liautaud. He gathered three of his most trusted acquaintances that shared his vision – a dream to make the world a better place by not having to stress about passwords, usernames, and everything related that makes life inconvenient.
These acquaintances (namely Jean Guillou, Guillaume Maron, and Emmanuel Schalit) joined Bernard and became his Co-Founders, with Jean as the VP of engineering, Guillaume as the OTHER VP of engineering, with Emmanuel leading the pack as the CEO.
Emmanuel Schalit has more than 20 years of experience in tech, cybersecurity and mass media, as he served as the CEO of CBS Outdoor in France, founded and led Flipside.com, and enjoyed multiple executive positions at Vivendi Universal Games, which is better known today as Activision Blizzard.
Since Bernard Liautaud managed to put together such a stellar team of co-founders, it’s no surprise that Dashlane is primed for success. In less than 10 years, Dashlane has grown from a small start-up, to opening offices in New York, Paris and Lisbon, with an international team of over 200 people!
What’s even more exciting is that the company has just recently raised a sweet $110 million in Series D funding, and has managed to lift the CMO from Lyft (see what I did there?) to join their ever expanding company.
9 Reasons To Use Dashlane Password Manager
Dashlane has a reputation of being one of the best password managers in town, so with this in mind, we downloaded the app to see if the legends are true, and what we discovered just might shock you.
1. Dashlane has beautiful UI!
Here in Bitcatcha, we strongly believe in the effectiveness of a good UI.
A well-designed UI draws you in, makes a program interesting, and can bring life to an otherwise uninteresting piece of software.
A poorly designed UI however, is a great way to turn people away from your software, no matter how interesting or useful it is.
Humans are very visual creatures and we respond positively to well-designed navigation prompts that feel instinctive and natural.
Dashlane’s interface does exactly that, with pleasing colours that go well with its entire aesthetic.
All of the navigational buttons are neatly placed on the left side of the app with a dark background for emphasis, while the actual mechanics and features are designed to be right in the middle, in reverse white for contrast.
It’s a really simple set up, but it’s really effective in getting the job done. The UI and UX team did a great job in making the software feel really welcoming and easy to use!
2. Superb onboarding process!
We were really impressed with Dashlane’s onboarding process. Every single step, from installing the browser extension, downloading the app and setting up was guided and made it so easy for the consumer to follow.
Once the download for the app is finished, Dashlane will prompt you to enter your Master Password, which is the only password you’ll need to remember to access the software.
Once you’ve got it keyed in and confirmed, Dashlane will automatically check the browser to see if you’ve got any login data saved in there.
All you have to do is hit the “Import” button and Dashlane will have all of your passwords backed up in their system. It is a seamless experience that feels almost ridiculously convenient to use.
After that, Dashlane will then prompt you to download their browser extension, which will enable to program to autofill forms for you.
You literally just have to click the big green button, and the onboarding process does the rest of the work.
Download the extension from the web store by clicking the big orange button. You just have to follow the on-screen instructions to continue the installation.
After clicking on “Start Setup”, you’ll be prompted to fill in your details in a form. Go ahead and do that, then Dashlane will generate another window so you can check if the Autofill feature works.
After all that, the installation should be done!
Upon booting up the program, Dashlane will prompt you to download the mobile app for a seamless, 360° experience.
Once you key in your mobile number and hit “Send Link”, Dashlane will send an SMS to your mobile with a link to download the app. For some reason, the link didn’t work for me so I just downloaded the app directly from the app store.
Once the mobile app is installed, it’ll ask for your email address which they’ll send an authentication code to. You must then key in that code to the mobile app, to unlock everything.
It might seem like a tedious process, but it’s highly secure.
After you’re done with all that, the Dashlane app will prompt you to try out all its features.
It works as a mini tutorial of sorts, and it’s a great way to get people to feel more comfortable with their system. All in all, one of the more fantastic onboarding processes we’ve ever seen.
3. Dashlane has numerous vault categories!
One of the many things that disappointed us with some of the other password managers we tried, is the lack of categories. It made tracking and looking for some of our saved passwords a little more difficult than we’d like it to be.
Dashlane automatically categorizes your passwords and neatly files it in a system so that you can quickly find what you’re looking for conveniently.
You have the option of filtering through your passwords from name, name reversed, category, category reversed, last used and most used. As you can imagine, this makes looking for your details very efficient.
Apart from password filtering, Dashlane categorizes your data in other useful ways.
- Personal Details
You can key in your personal details such as your ID, house address, driver’s license – basically everything and anything. Once it’s saved, Dashlane can autofill web forms for you!
If you key in gym membership ID or driver’s license, Dashlane will also prompt you of its expiry 6 months prior, which is not exactly necessary but a very welcomed feature!
- Payment Details
They’ve got a category strictly made for payment details. Here, you can key in your banking data, credit card info, debit card details, even your PayPal account number.
Once you’ve added your details, online shopping becomes a breeze as payment forms are auto-filled, making the shopping process so much quicker (if you haven’t noticed, we’re suckers for speed)!
- Receipt Storage
On top of being a kickass password manager, Dashlane helps you store online receipts in your vault, which helps keep track of all your online spending.
With this feature, you’ll be able to manage your ridiculous spending habits and get organized. It’ll also be a lifesaver come tax season!
4. It comes with a built-in VPN!
When you purchase a Dashlane account you really get immense value, as you’ll be purchasing not just one of the best password managers around, but a VPN too!
Talk about killing 2 birds with 1 stone!
I think it must be said though that Dashlane doesn’t have the tech to run their own VPN service. Instead, they leverage on their partner, AnchorFree. They’re the provider of the self-proclaimed “World’s Fastest VPN Service” Hotspot Shield.
Nevertheless, the VPN service is pretty decent, allowing you to select your server location, and supports peer-to-peer connections, something torrent-heads will be happy about.
5. Dashlane has an Identity Dashboard!
You’ll want to get to know Dashlane’s Identity Dashboard a little better and understand how it can help potentially keep you safe from identity theft.
You see, in the last decade or so, plenty of big-name online companies have had their servers breached and security details leaked, including the login data of their customers. Chances are your login details are already out there for the world to see, it’s just that you probably weren’t informed of the consequences of these breaches.
Dashlane’s Identity Dashboard monitors the dark web for leaked or stolen information, and lets you know if your data is compromised.
I tried it out myself and found some pretty disturbing results regarding my data.
It also analyzes your general password and gives it a healthy score, and a detailed breakdown which informs you how many passwords are safe, compromised, reused, or just plain weak (just like my forearms).
You can then choose to take action and change those compromised passwords. Or not, if you’re lazy. Don’t worry, we don’t judge, you do you.
Since the Identity Dashboard is constantly monitoring the dark web, you’ll be notified if your data is leaked again, so you can take action instantly.
6. Dashlane has an Automatic Password Changer!
See my compromised passwords in the previous point?
There’s a whopping 25 of them.
Twenty freaking five!
What a tragedy.
Now, I can’t be bothered to login to all those sites and change those passwords one by one, and I know I’m not alone in feeling this way.
Well lucky for us, Dashlane is already one step ahead and created an Automatic Password Changer that can change ALL of your passwords for you in a single click, and have Dashlane remember everything.
Note that this feature is useful, but it doesn’t work with all websites. It does work with quite a lengthy list, but you might still have to manually change the passwords to some of the more obscure sites. It’s still better than changing EVERYTHING by yourself though.
7. Dashlane practices great security!
You’ll want to make sure that your password manager is secure, seeing as it manages all of your passwords
It’s a good thing that Dashlane has pretty great security standards, which made us feel quite confident leaving our data in their hands.
- Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
2FA is disabled when you first start up the app because honestly, it’s quite a troublesome way of logging into your account. However, if you’re a stickler for security then it’s the one thing you really can’t do without.
You can enable 2FA by going into the App Preferences – Security – Two-Factor Authentication.
You’ll have to click on the bottom and key in your master password to unlock the settings, then you can turn it on. You’re then given the option to use 2FA every time you login to Dashlane, or just when you login from a new device. We picked the latter, because it’s simply more convenient.
Dashlane will then prompt you to download an authenticator app. Pick from Google Authenticator, Duo Mobile, or Authy.
Once your preferred authenticator is downloaded to your mobile, use it to scan the QR code provided by Dashlane. A code will then be displayed in your authenticator. Key it in the box below, hit next and you’re done!
- Zero-Knowledge Security
Like all good password managers, Dashlane practices Zero-Knowledge Security. This means that the passwords logged into the app are only viewable by YOU and the people you share it with, no one else.
Even the staff at Dashlane will not be able to view the data in your vault, because you’re the only one with the Master Password.
- AES-256 Encryption
The data in your vault is protected with military-grade AES-256 encryption. If Dashlane has a data leak, the data thieves might be able to get their hands on the data in your vault, but they won’t be able to read them, thanks to this encryption standard.
- Biometric Encryption
Our phones are one of the biggest security risks in our modern lives. If the mobile is physically stolen, the thieves will have access to your data too. Fortunately, Dashlane implemented Biometric Encryption, meaning only YOUR thumbprint will be able to unlock the passwords stored in the app.
8. It has Emergency Contacts!
The sh*t hits the fan and you need someone to access your email for you, but oh no! You don’t remember your password!
Dashlane allows you to set emergency contacts, so you can assign trusted friends to go through your selected accounts. To do that, they’ll have to request access from you, and once you approve that request, your friend can get the information from the email you desperately need.
If you’re worried about your friend snooping around when they’re not supposed to, fear not – they’ll have to request access every time they log in, and you can reject that request so they can’t look at your private data willy nilly.
4 Things We Dislike About Dashlane
As awesome as Dashlane has been so far, it isn’t without faults. We go through the ones we can’t stand, so at least you’ll know what you’ll be getting yourself into.
1. Dashlane is expensive
At $3.33 a month billed annually ($40 a year), Dashlane is one of the most expensive password managers we’ve tried so far. However, we have to highlight that although it’s pricey, we do think it’s worth the money if you can afford it.
2. Free plan only allows 50 passwords
Their free plan is actually one of the worst ones we’ve come across. We’d rather them not have a free plan at all, to be honest. You’ll get the basic Dashlane experience, but you’re limited to only 50 passwords in your vault.
To add insult to injury, the free plan also limits you to one device – no syncing to mobile and other computers. If you’re working with just a single computer, that’s fine. If you’re like everyone else who likes their devices as conveniently synced as possible, the free plan really sucks.
3. No Family Plan
So this ties in with Dashlane being expensive. At $40 a year, we expect to be able to share the account with our family, but that option is not available. If you want your wife to have the same conveniences as you, you’ll have to fork out another $40 bucks a year.
Your parents, $40 bucks each. The annoying child? Another 40 bucks.
This can quickly add up to be the most expensive password manager you’ll encounter.
Dashlane’s Plan & Pricing: Overview
Dashlane only has 2 plans, which is pretty straightforward.
No. of Password
Up to 50
Up to 5
VPN (WiFi Protection)
How Does Dashlane Hold Up Against Competition?
So we’ve brought you through everything we love and hate about Dashlane. It’s a damn good password manager with very little faults, but how does it compare against the other players in the industry?
Let’s take a quick look.
Dashlane VS NordPass
Dashlane is easily the most expensive password manager we’ve tried, so NordPass obviously has them beat when it comes to pricing.
However, value is subjective. We feel that NordPass is cheap, but they don’t offer nearly half as much as Dashlane.
We’ll have to say that Dashlane offers more value here.
A program is only as good as its UI, and both password managers have excellent UI designers.
They are both designed to make the user feel welcomed, starting from the onboarding process to actually using the program.
We didn’t at any point feel overwhelmed or frustrated at the software at all.
Both password managers perform equally well in this department.
NordPass is very new in the market, hence they haven’t had the time to implement a lot of features into their program yet.
Dashlane has been around for years, hence they know the market well and they know what features to implement to set them apart from the competition.
Both password managers perform basic duties very well, but Dashlane leaves NordPass in the dust with its unique features, like Dark Web Monitoring and free built-in VPN.
As password managers, security is vital because nobody wants their private data leaked out for the world to exploit.
Both programs did well by implementing the most stringent security features available in their systems, such as zero-knowledge architecture, 2FA, AES256 encryption, etc.
Both performed equally well in terms of security.
Dashlane VS Google Password Manager
People are most familiar with Google Password Manager (GPM) because it comes default with Chrome. By comparing them to Dashlane, you should be able to see the difference between a free and premium password manager.
GPM is free, hence it should provide the best value.
However, we feel this is incorrect. I personally think that GPM is like starter armour in online games.
It’s basic and it gets the job done, but I’d rather pay for better armour we simply get more value out of it, in terms of features, security, ease of use, everything.
So if you’re looking to not fork out any cash, GPM gives you more value.
If you want a password manager with real benefits, Dashlane is the one to go for.
So GPM is embedded in Chrome, and it automatically pops up all the time to save your passwords.
Technically, this makes GPM very easy to use, since everything is automated.
The problem is, many of GPM’s features are hidden deep within Chrome’s settings, which means that people don’t even know the features exist.
As a matter of fact, I bet that if I didn’t mention that GPM has a password generator, you wouldn’t even know about it.
Dashlane’s fantastic UI allows clear and easy access to all its features, making it a dream to use. You’re able to see all its features in a glance, and it takes no more than a few clicks to use them.
The point for ease of use obviously goes to Dashlane.
Both have the same basic functions.
However, Dashlane has more features that improve the user’s quality of life.
We’re talking categories, the ability to save app logins, personal details, secure notes.
None of these are available with GPM.
Dashlane uses the best kind of security measures available in its system. Zero-Knowledge tech, military-grade AES256 encryption…we’ve mentioned this before, you get the drill.
GPM uses… well we don’t know really.
We couldn’t find any information regarding the security measures GPM uses, all we know is that the data is encrypted.
Since we actually KNOW what sort of security Dashlane uses and nothing about GPM, I guess Dashlane gets the point!
Verdict: Should You Go For Dashlane?
We love Dashlane. It’s the finest password manager we’ve had the pleasure of reviewing, and it truly is a joy to use.
After thoroughly testing out an entire list of password managers to see how they work, Dashlane is by far the best one we’ve tried.
The UI is simple and beautifully done. It’s intuitive and easy to learn to use so new users won’t be too intimidated by the software. The onboarding process is hands down the best one we’ve experienced so far. It basically does everything for us while acting as a neat little tutorial.
It has really useful categories that transcend just password management, and some of the features are just plain fun to use, like the aforementioned password generator.
Dashlane’s dark web monitoring sure is handy and helps us keep tabs on the security level of our passwords. The free VPN with the premium account is definitely very welcomed too!
I guess the biggest issue we have with Dashlane is the price.
Rounded up to $40 a year for one account, we expect to be able to share this with at least our spouse, but Dashlane provides no such option.
Their free plan is basically just good enough for users to get a taste of premium plan. Once the premium trial runs out, their free plan is basically rubbish, with only 50 passwords stored.
If you don’t mind paying premium prices for quality products, then we highly recommend Dashlane.
It’s the best password manager money can buy.
But if you’re looking for something a little more budget-friendly, then you might want to check out our list of best password managers.