NordVPN, the leading VPN provider, recently expanded to include other cybersecurity products. This review will focus on one of them – NordPass – Nord’s very own password manager.
While the service might be new, it does have the backing of a large company with over 12 million users worldwide. That’s an important point to remember because trust is a big part of choosing a password manager. They are protecting their users’ accounts after all. So using a tool provided by a company that’s already trusted by millions is a big plus.
Why Are Password Managers Necessary?
Everyone has been guilty of at least one of these things during some part of their life:
- Using a weak or common password that someone else can guess. Most people are guilty of this. qwerty and 123456 are still some of the most commonly-used passwords
- Reusing passwords across many accounts and apps. It is a big one too because it’s way too hard to remember a unique password for 50+ online accounts
- Writing a password down somewhere for safekeeping
- Saving passwords in a browser, like Chrome, for autofill. It might be easy, but it leaves a lot of space for someone to get the saved passwords from the browser settings of one’s device
These situations open the doors for data breaches and hacks. And that’s why password managers are necessary to avoid them. And their extra features usually make them pretty attractive too.
What Does a Password Manager Do?
A password manager allows users to save their account passwords in a secure location. It encrypts the credentials, so the only way that users can access the stored passwords is by entering a master password.
Standard password manager features include:
- Saving passwords
- Generating new unique passwords
- Auto-filling passwords and other login information
Most premium password managers, including NordPass, also support many devices and can backup and sync passwords between them.
NordPass Features: The Good and the Bad
NordPass is a freemium password manager. There is a working free version as well as a paid version with more features. The free version comes with most of the standard NordPass features. It saves passwords, generates new ones, and auto-fills login entries. But the free version does limit an account to one single active device.
To put that in perspective, NordPass allows an account to backup and sync between six different devices. But the free version only allows one to be in use at a time. So if someone has NordPass installed on their laptop and phone, for instance, they won’t be able to access their passwords on both devices at the same time.
Despite that minor inconvenience for free users, they are still able to save as many passwords as they like. NordPass also allows storing private notes as well as credit card details; the latter has an auto-fill feature as well.
Security is another essential consideration when it comes to choosing a password manager. And NordPass doesn’t disappoint here. The app supports two-factor authentication and keeps passwords encrypted with zero-knowledge architecture. It means there’s no way for the company to see them either.
NordPass uses XChaCha20 encryption with Argon2 for key derivation. That means there’s almost zero chance that someone would be able to break that encryption to get all the passwords. The fact that they clarify this is great too. Many password managers don’t disclose the encryption methods they use. They also often don’t explain how passwords are encrypted and whether they have access to them.
How to Install and Use NordPass
The setup process starts by asking for an email address – and only an email address. NordPass doesn’t collect any other personal information, which indeed came as a welcome surprise. For the free version, NordPass didn’t ask for any credit card details either.
After entering those details, the website redirects to a page with installation options for the different platforms NordPass supports. Right now, the password manager provides:
- Software for PCs – for Windows, macOS, and Linux
- Mobile apps – for Android and iOS
- Browser extensions – for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Edge
The service has setup guides for installing the password manager on Vivaldi and Brave as well. All in all, the setup is easy to follow and only takes a couple of minutes.
The interface is user-friendly and straightforward. It’s a perfect choice for anyone new to password managers. Those who want advanced features might be a tad disappointed. There are other password managers out there with more to offer, but they’re also more pricey. So it comes down to value for money in the end – and NordPass definitely feels like it provides that.
How Does NordPass Compare With Other Password Managers
Unlike other free options, NordPass puts no restrictions on the number of passwords that you can save. Anyone can save as many passwords, credit cards, and private notes on their account as they like.
Likewise, many password managers support multiple devices, but NordPass goes above and beyond to support most of them. The only real gripe here is that it doesn’t support Safari, which is a reasonably popular browser.
It’s also a pretty affordable option, premium starting at $4.99/month. Users could also opt for $2.99/month on the annual plan or the $2.49/month two-year plan instead, saving even more. Those who prefer the free option can go for the 7-day free trial to check out NordPass’s more advanced features. The trial doesn’t ask for credit card details either.
The Bottom Line
NordPass is a reliable option and offers better peace of mind than many of the other password managers out there. It’s easy to use, so it’s perfect for beginners, though advanced users may lack some features.
It’s important to note that NordPass is a fairly new product, released only in fall 2019. If the growth of NordVPN taught us anything, it’s that the company always aims high, and their products only get better with time. So it’s safe to assume that we can expect the same from NordPass.
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Which password manager app do you use currently? Do you think NordPass can take the place of your current password manager app? Share your feedback with us in Comments section below.