User-friendly, affordable and packed with some pretty serious security features, NordPass makes the Nord brand proud! They may not have as many functions compared to the bigger brands, but NordPass sure gives them a good run for their money! Learn more.
NordPass Review – 9 Pros & 1 Con of NordPass Password Manager
June 02, 2020
If you’re anything at all like me, you’ll absolutely abhor security systems that make you change your passwords every few months.
Thank heavens the good developers at NordVPN has just released their brand new password manager, the aptly named NordPass. We’ve given it a go and we’ll share our thoughts about it, together with whatever unfortunate cons that might come with the program.
NordPass – Does It Do NordVPN Proud?
While Tefincom & Co’s NordVPN is serving them well in the VPN market (they actually made #1 in our best VPN list), we’re pretty happy that they’ve decided to foray into the password manager business, providing us with an affordable alternative to the competition out there.
Although NordPass has only been established in late 2019, the developers behind the tech has been working on NordVPN since 2012, giving them 8 solid years of experience in the internet security industry.
The company operates out of Panama, a very clever thing to do because the country doesn’t participate in the Five Eyes or Fourteen Eyes alliances, which allows them to keep user data private. This means that no one can invoke the law to force Tefincom to share their data whatsoever, which is great news for those of us that like to keep our private data, private.
I think it’s important for all of you reading this to know that Tefincom was in hot soup lately due to a credential stuffing attack early 2019, which caused over 2000 usernames and passwords to be leaked.
It’s possible that this happened to be a blessing in disguise, which forced the company to seek out zero-knowledge architecture, a security protocol which ensures no one will have access to your data except you. Experimenting with this tech possibly led them to realize that they could create another revenue stream with a password manager, which in turn, led to you reading this beautifully written piece today.
So, does NordPass do NordVPN proud? Read on to find out!
9 Reasons To Use NordPass Password Manager
1. Easily import data from other sources!
When you download a password manager, you don’t want to key in all the passwords you’ve managed to accumulate over the years, one by one. Naturally, you’ll want it to just work.
NordPass makes our lives easy by making it convenient to import all the password data from your browser and other password managers, so you won’t have to go through the hassle of manually keying in your passwords!
Once you’re done setting up the software, you’ll be prompted by NordPass to import your passwords and organize your vault.
Hit the big green “Import Items” button and you’ll see an entire selection of programs to import your data from.
For the purposes of this review, we just used the data accumulated from our Chrome browser, but feel free to use the data from your other browsers or password managers.
You will then need to export a CSV file from Chrome to upload to NordPass, but the instructions are a little unclear so we’ll guide you through the process.
In Chrome, you’ll have to go to settings by clicking on the three dots on the far right of the browser.
(Excuse my tabs, I’m working on several projects at the moment.)
Select the three dots in the red circle above, then click on “Settings” – “Autofill” – “Passwords”. This is where it gets a little confusing because there’s no option to export data as CSV in the page that’s visible. You’ll need to click on the three dots again, as shown below.
Once you’ve done that, the “Export Passwords” button will pop up and all you have to do is follow on-screen instructions to export your data as CSV. Not too difficult now is it?
After uploading the CSV file (make sure to delete the file or keep it somewhere safe, because anyone snooping around will be able to see your passwords) into NordPass, you get to pick whichever logins you want the manager to remember.
Since we just wanted them all, we got NordPass to select everything.
Congratulations, you’re done! You can move on to using NordPass normally now.
Note that NordPass doesn’t work for sensitive data like banking passwords, and rightfully so. You should at least remember the passwords you have for your primary financial service!
2. Speed up your browsing process!
As you know, speed is king when it comes to the internet, and NordPass helps speed up the process, which gives you a more pleasurable, natural feeling, user experience.
With the NordPass browser extension, you’ll get to see all your logins at a glance,
Best part is when you click on a login, you’re able to launch right into your favourite sites without having to stress about keying in the right password.
This will save you 1 or 2 seconds at most, but keep in mind that speeding up your browsing experience by just 1 second is MASSIVE in the digital world.
This is especially crucial if especially if you use a lot of digital services for your business. All the services you need will load of for you literally at the click of a button.
3. NordPass is useful for business!
The password manager comes with some features that are really useful! We’ll explore some of them here.
- Secure Notes
If your business employs rotating WiFi passwords or key locks, you can securely store those passwords away with Secure Notes, since writing it down on paper just leaves them vulnerable to prying eyes.
Adding a secure note is really quite easy.
Just click on the NordPass extension in Chrome (or whatever browser you might be using), click on “All Items” then look out for “Secure Notes”.
Once you’ve got the feature-loaded up, all you’ve gotta do is type in your title and the note itself. Doesn’t exactly require a masters degree in biochemistry.
As an example, I used it as a little notepad to tell myself how awesome I am, until my crippling anxiety took over and reminded me that I am not, in fact, not very awesome at all.
- Securely Share Notes
Now if you’re responsible for distributing the aforementioned rotating WiFi passwords or keylock codes, you’ll know that emailing them to your colleagues is just not as secure.
With NordPass, you’ll be able to share secure notes to your intended recipients, in a way that only they can view those notes.
It’s really simple to do too!
Click on the NordPass extension, select the secure note you want to send, and hit “Share”. Key in your recipient’s email address, and you’re done!
NordPass will then send an email to the recipient, notifying them that you have sent them a secure note. The receiver will then also have to get NordPass (free version) to view the document.
It’s a sneaky little move by NordPass to onboard more users but then again, you will need to be in their ecosystem to view the secure notes. Besides, no harm done!
- Securely Store Credit Cards with OCR Scanning
Shopping online for business supplies can be rather frustrating, with all the payment forms you have to fill up.
What’s worse is that if you forget your wallet or misplaced your card – you won’t be able to purchase your supplies at all!
Fortunately, NordPass has a built-in OCR scanner which provides a solution to this problem.
Fire up the OCR scanner from NordPass’ mobile app, scan your credit card, and it’ll automatically save your details into their system.
The next time you need to do any online shopping, you won’t have to fill up payment details. Instead, NordPass will automatically fill up your credit card info for you!
Such conveniences are truly life’s little luxuries.
4. NordPass uses Zero-Knowledge Architecture!
What does it mean and why is it important to you?
Well, seeing that this is a Password Manager, you’ll want to ensure that no one else knows your passwords, right?
With Zero-Knowledge Architecture, you can be assured that you’re the only one with access to your logins – even NordPass won’t have access to them, capeesh?
Using this tech, NordPass keeps proof that you have the key to unlock your vault, but they do not keep the key themselves, which makes it super secure.
To add on another layer of security, the data in your vault is encrypted by your Master Password, so in the unlikely event that NordPass’s servers are breached, your data will be rendered useless by whoever gets a hold of the data.
If you somehow forget your master password, the only thing that allows you to retrieve your account is the recovery code (which they’ll provide when you purchase an account).
If you somehow manage to lose both your master password AND your recovery code… well I’d hate to say it, but that’s really your own fault.
5. NordPass Autolocks your Passwords!
It’s can be quite worrisome leaving your computer or your laptop for extended hours to attend meetings or events, especially when all your passwords are literally unlocked with the use of a password manager.
Thankfully, the good people at NordPass are forward-thinking folks, and they’ve already created a solution for this problem.
Introducing, NordPass’s Autolock system!
With the Autolock system, NordPass will automatically lock the password manager after a set amount of time, requiring you to key in your master password to get access to everything else again. Goodbye prying eyes!
You can set the Autolock feature to lock up from anything as short as 15 minutes, or as long as 1 month. If you don’t want this feature at all, you can set it to never Autolock, but we really don’t recommend this unless no one else has access to your computer.
Personally, I found the sweet Autolock spot to be 1 hour. It’s long enough to keep my machine secure, yet doesn’t happen often enough to irritate me.
6. NordPass has 2-Factor Authentication!
For those of you that want as much security as possible with your password manager, NordPass has implemented two-factor authentication (2FA) just for you.
Although the password manager already has plenty of security features, we were quite happy with the 2FA because… well, it’s now impossible for anyone to access our passwords without us knowing!
We’d want to know if someone was trying to snoop around on our computers!
When you enable it, NordPass will produce a QR code for you to connect to your mobile authenticator of choice, be it Google Authenticator, Duo Mobile, or whatever flavour of the week you deem.
After scanning, the code will be sent to the authenticator app, which you’ll then need to key into NordPass.
Once you’ve done that, you’re set! 2FA is now set up on your computer, and it’s now damn near impossible for someone to snoop around your computer without alerting you.
7. NordPass is available on almost every platform!
Whether you use an Android device, an Apple phone, a tablet, or operate strictly from a computer, you’ll find that NordPass works with almost all devices.
It also works on most popular browsers, like Chrome, Edge, Firefox & Opera (although Safari is strangely left out).
Best part is NordPass syncs between all your devices, so if you save a password on Chrome, you’ll find that it is saved on your mobile device and iPad too!
Data syncing works with up to 6 devices, which is more than enough for a single user, but hey, we’re not complaining!
8. NordPass has top-notch security!
NordPass really has one of the best security systems we’ve seen in a password manager! Let’s take a look at some of the security features.
- XChaCha20 Encryption
NordPass uses the XChaCha20 algorithm to encrypt and decrypt data. It’s used to encrypt users vaults, with the 256-bit encryption being the most secure. It’s so effective at encryption that tech giants like Google and Cloudfare uses it to ensure safe yet speedy connections for their users!
- Thumbprint Authentication with Mobile Devices
NordPass applies biometric authentication with mobile devices, and it’s one of the best ways to keep sensitive data completely private.
Thumbprints are unique to each individual so this ensures that no one else is able to unlock your vault. With NordPass, it works as a key so only you have access to the content inside of your vault, be if credit card details, passwords, or nuclear missile launch codes!
9. NordPass has a kickass FREE version!
Which password manager is the best in the world?
The one that’s free, duh.
NordPass offers a completely free version of their password manager that completely kicks ass. It’s practically as awesome as the paid version, except that you won’t be able to sync your data across multiple devices, or share secure notes with other users.
Note that with the free version, you’re still able to receive secure notes just fine, you just won’t be able to share them.
Other than that, all the features you get to enjoy in the premium version, you’ll also enjoy in the free version! It’s actually pretty damn viable for someone that works primarily from one device.
One Minor Complaint About NordPass
Honestly, we had to struggle a little bit to come up with a complaint about NordPass. We don’t think it’s the best in the world, but there is really very little wrong with NordPass. The one thing we could come up with, is this:
1. No Organization Options
NordPass allows us to go through our passwords and acts like a bookmark for us, but unfortunately, it doesn’t have any organization options. You can sort by name or last used, but that’s about it.
We’d prefer it if we could sort our data by categories, such as forums, emails, hobbyist sites, etc. Right now, we have to make do with manually searching for the site we want to access with NordPass.
Again, this isn’t a huge complaint, it’s just a feature that we feel is missing from the program.
NordPass Plan & Pricing: Overview
NordPass has multiple billing cycles, allowing you the flexibility to cancel without losing out on much if you ever feel like cancelling.
Total Bill /yr
The nice thing about this is you’ll have the option to pay via credit cards, Amazon Pay and Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Dash, and Etherium!
How Does NordPass Hold Up Against Competition?
A password manager is just that, a password manager.
However, certain brands have certain features that make them unique, giving them a slight edge over the competition. Here, we’ll list the important features side by side so you get to see at a glance what makes NordPass better or worse, than their closest competitors.
NordPass VS Dashlane
I personally feel that value is subjective.
Some people feel that a low priced product brings forth the most value. Others feel value means bigger, better benefits.
NordPass is definitely cheaper, but their price reflects its benefits.
They are a no-frills password manager – in other words, it does the basics really well, but that’s about it.
Dashlane has enough features and benefits to put a smile on my grumpy old face, but that smile turns upside down once I get a glimpse of the price.
Personally, they both provide equal value, but it highly depends on what you’re looking for.
Both password managers did an excellent job of making their respective programs feel really easy to use.
Their interfaces are so well designed we never felt lost or overwhelmed.
Both are designed to look contemporary and clean, allowing you to access all of their features in just a couple of clicks.
In terms of ease of use, I’d say they’re pretty equal.
As previously mentioned, Dashlane completely floors NordPass if we’re just comparing features.
However, we also feel that this is highly subjective.
Some people just want a password manager to do what it does best – keep their passwords secure. They don’t need to program to actually do anything else.
NordPass does the basics extremely well, with no complaints from us whatsoever.
So yes, in terms of features Dashlane definitely beats NordPass… but keep in mind that even with the lack of features, we were pretty happy with NordPass, and that says a LOT.
The password manager industry is a stiff one, with plenty of competition all around.
This means that the players can’t afford to scrimp on security, because without proper security measures, they’ll be playing a losing game.
Dashlane and NordPass both employ the best security measures available to ensure that your login details remain safe and available only to you.
It so happens that It’s the only way they’re able to stay on top of the game.
So, both are excellent when it comes to security.
NordPass VS Google Password Manager
Many of you are familiar with Google Password Manager (GPM), since it comes built-in with Chrome.
By comparing NordPass to GPM, you’ll get a rough idea of how much of a difference it makes using a premium password manager.
GPM is free, and it does the job well, so it technically would provide the best value.
However, after having tried out both I would personally pay for the extra benefits NordPass affords me.
GPM doesn’t cost a cent, but I need a password manager that is more secure and user-friendly, hence to me, NordPass provides more value.
GPM comes preinstalled with Chrome, and it automatically saves your login data and uses it to make your browsing experience as seamless as possible.
Needless to say, it is VERY easy to use.
However, they’ve got a chink in the armour – GPM hides their features within Chrome’s settings, making it difficult to access. As a matter of fact, most people don’t know that GPM has more features beyond just saving your login details.
NordPass requires installation, but the onboarding process and fantastic UI makes using it feel like second nature. All the features are viewable at a glance and are easily accessible with just a few clicks.
Obviously, we personally prefer NordPass’s professionally designed user-experience over GPM.
GPM doesn’t come with a lot of features, but for what it is, it does its job well.
NordPass is as basic as a premium password manager gets, but they’ve definitely got GPM beat.
After using GPM for awhile and switching over to NordPass, we realized how much we were missing out on. Secure notes, secure sharing, biometric scanning, OCR scanner – all these and more are not available with GPM.
To be fair, GPM is free so we can’t expect them to have additional features but after using NordPass, we just can’t go back.
As you already know by now, Security needs to be top-notch if one wants to be a player in the password manager industry.
NordPass comes decked out with all the security features you’ll ever need, protecting your data against online and offline threats.
GPM… well it’s secure. We don’t know HOW secure exactly, but it’s Google. It’s secure.
Having said that, with GPM I never really felt comfortable letting them store my personal data.
With NordPass, I felt completely at ease keeping my passwords with them.
Says a lot, doesn’t it?
Verdict: Should You Go For NordPass?
NordPass delivers on what it promises and they delivered it well. It’s simple, efficient, and very easy to use. We like the multiple levels of security that the password manager offers, and the ability to sync our data across multiple platforms is such a convenience.
Speaking of conveniences, we no longer have to worry about forgetting a username or password. This gets us to our data much faster than we normally can. The stress of remembering important passwords or usernames is also a thing of the past, as NordPass remembers everything for us with just one master password required.
Their free version is very good, and we would highly recommend it for people that work primarily by themselves on a single device. If you’re working with multiple devices and you have a need to share data securely, you’re better off getting one of the plans as the data syncing and secure notes are so useful for those of us with those requirements.
They’re not the best, but as the new kid on the block, NordPass manages to kick all sorts of ass!