NordPass Review: Finally a Free Password Manager We Can Love

Label us "impressed" with this relatively new password manager.
Michael Michael (115)
0
3.75 - Our Rating

NordPass is the password manager offering from the makers of NordVPN—a major name in VPNs. It's no surprise that NordVPN would be branch out into password security, as it's a close cousin to the security a VPN provides. NordPass looks to make a name for itself by offering similar and, in some cases, better security than the major players in password management at a slightly reduced price.

A password manager, like NordPass, stores all of the passwords that you use online in one securely encrypted place.

We imagine most readers like us will be excited and curious about NordPass's free version, so we'll be sure to let you know when a particular feature is or is not included in NordPass's free password manager.

If you'd rather just skip the review, we can say that with NordPass's free version, you get unlimited passwords! Trust us! It's a great free password manager.

What is a password manager?

A password manager, like NordPass, stores all of the passwords that you use online in one securely encrypted place. It allows users to generate random, long passwords that they never have to remember again because the password manager will remember it for them. The password manager is unlocked with a "master password," which happens to be the only password that a user needs to remember. It makes your internet experience easier and certainly more secure.

Do you need a password manager like NordPass?

Think about all the times you couldn't remember which password you used for which website or service. It's a lot, right?! And ask yourself another question. Have you been using the same password for many different websites, over and over again? If you answered yes, then you definitely need to up your password security game with a password manager like NordPass.

It will definitely make your information and passwords more secure and less hackable!

Aren't they all the same?

No. You'd be surprised how different the many password managers like NordPass can be in terms of security, privacy, password sharing, ease of use, and definitely price. That's why we're here with this review guide to show you what sets NordPass apart from rivals like 1Password and LastPass. For an even closer look, check out our in-depth comparison of NordPass vs 1Password.

How do we know so much about NordPass?

The Howchoo team started using NordVPN this year, and we were given access to their password manager, NordPass. We were already pretty happy with 1Password but decided to give NordPass a try to see what we thought. We were certainly surprised by the newcomer!

NordPassNordPass ×1

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Here are the most relevant specs for NordPass:

Feature/Specification
Complete data encryption Yes
Secret Key encryption Yes
Encryption type XChaCha20 256-bit
Two-factor authentication Yes
Random password generator Yes
Multiple Accounts No
Country restrictions No
Support 24/7 (no phone support)
Biometric login Yes (fingerprint, face, eyes)
Operating systems macOS, iOS, Windows, Linux, Android
Browsers Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Brave
Password retrieval Recovery Code; Support
iCloud sync No
Dropbox sync No
Zero-knowledge encryption Yes
NordPass Logo

If you're looking for a free password manager that you can start using right away, then NordPass is hands-down your best option. The free version gives you unlimited passwords across your devices and only punishes you when you're using NordPass on multiple devices at the same time—which will be rare to never for an individual.

We're excited about this newcomer to the password manager market, and we think you will be too!

NordPass's premium, paid versions are excellent too and cheaper than the competition. The company really made an effort to find footing in the password manager market by looking for every way to offer just a bit more than the major players, like 1Password. They've even found a way to offer just a bit more in terms of security at a lower price.

We're excited about this newcomer to the password manager market, and we think you will be too!

Pros

  • Free version for individuals
  • Lower prices than other password managers
  • Next-level data encryption

Cons

  • Relatively little support articles
  • No travel mode
  • No phone support
  • Few extra features that other password managers have

Best for...?

Honestly, most individuals and families will find that NordPass handles their password management just as well as the competition at a lower price. NordPass offers many of the same features and costs about $10-20 less per year. And the free version is going to appeal to single individuals who just need the password manager for average, daily use.

Teams and small businesses might find that NordPass just doesn't offer enough to make the investment worthwhile. They will likely be better looking elsewhere to a more well-established password manager like 1Password.

Price

Across the board, NordPass's prices tend to be about $1.00/mo less than the major brands. We assume this is a purposeful decision to sway people over the NordPass, and it's likely to work given how good NordPass is.

We'll detail what each plan entails later on in this review, but here is the price of each of NordPass's plans. Note that each of these plans requires a year-long commitment at these prices.

Free (Individual) Individual Family Business
Free $1.99/mo. $3.99/mo. via Quote
NordPass Free Account

This is the account that's going to really draw the most people over to NordPass. The free NordPass account is for one individual user and can only be used on one device at a time.

However, the free NordPass version does give its user unlimited passwords that they can save, which definitely makes this a better deal than even LastPass's free version, which caps the number of passwords you can save with the free version.

It syncs across all the same devices but does not come with some of the goodies like password health checkups.

Will it remain free?

According to NordPass, yes! If you want further proof, NordPass does not require you to use a credit card to sign up for the account—which means they can't make you pay later on down the road.

NordPass Family accounts

Individual (Premium)

With the individual paid account, NordPass users can pay about $2.00/mo. to have access to all the goodies that NordPass has to offer. They will be able to have NordPass active on up to 6 devices at the same time.

Is it worth it?

It depends on how important the extra goodies are to you. Do you need the ability to securely share items/photos/documents? Will you be using the password on more than one device simultaneously? Do you want the added security of password checkups to make sure you're as secure as you can be? If you answered yes to any of these, then you should consider the small price to upgrade beyond the free version.

Family

Like other password managers, the benefit of a family plan with NordPass is the ability to share passwords among the members of your family in a shared vault. It also ensures that all the members of your family are engaging in password best-practices and safety.

The NordPass family plan includes a maximum of 5 family members, including the account holder. You can even share or restrict access to certain credit cards, should the credit card owner store it in a shared vault.

Like any password manager, NordPass stores the passwords you use at various websites in a secure vault. When you need to use the password, NordPass will autofill it for you on the website or in the service. In order to activate the service, the user needs to input what's known as their Master Password, before their password can be retrieved for the website. Sound complicated? It's not as complicated as you'd think.

Account setup

When you first setup your account, you will create both a Master Password and be given a 24-digit security code.

Master Password

The master password you create will be the password you use to log in to NordPass and autofill your randomly-generated password for every website. So it's important!

It should not be the same password you've been using or have used in the past. We recommend using NordPass's random password generator to create this password.

Security code

NordPass Security Code

The security that NordPass gives you when you first open your account should be printed out and put somewhere safe—like a safety deposit box. This is the code you can use to recover your passwords if you ever forget or lose your master password.

Download apps and install plugins

NordPass makes this whole process really easy! When you first set up your account, NordPass provides you with options to install plugins for your browsers and even import your passwords from those browsers into NordPass.

You can install the individual plugins directly from the NordPass application itself.

NordPass Browser Settings

Import or add logins

Now, you'll want to import all of your login information to NordPass. If you've been using the same password for each website, you should go and change your passwords across the board right away.

NordPass Mac Application

The above image is a free NordPass account.

The user interface of NordPass is very intuitive with the added benefit of NordPass recommendations in terms of password management.

The interface looks and acts generally the same across both macOS and Windows. NordPass organizes your passwords into a single "Logins" vault, offering a separate "Shared" vault for those who are using their family or business plans.

You can manually enter or remove information from inside the app. Conversely, you will be prompted to update and add passwords as you use them when browsing the internet.

We found the user interface to be very similar to 1Password, which is not a bad thing for NordPass at all.

NordPass's security features are what you would expect from a password manager, including encryption, two-factor authentication, a no-log policy, and data-breach scanning to see if your password was involved in any kind of data breach.

There are two highlights to NordPass's security features that help to differentiate them from the competition, however: their recent security audit and XChaCha20 data encryption.

Security audit

Recently, NordPass was audited by the German cybersecurity firm, Cure53. NordPass passed this months-long audit, earning praise in a number of security areas like its source code and its codebase. This is important because Cure53 is a trusted name in cybersecurity, and you can be assured that NordPass is taking the security of your passwords very seriously.

XChaCha20 250-bit encryption

Why wouldn't they just the industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption that's all but unhackable at this point? Well...according to NordPass, they're envisioning a future when hackers are able to build supercomputers powerful enough to hack AES 256-bit. They came up with XChaCha20 encryption as an alternative to AES that they're betting will stand the test of time. This is important because it shows that NordPass is taking steps to ensure your passwords remain safe for a very long time.

With NordPass, you can have it store your passwords across all of your various devices and browsers. Just note that if you're using the free version of NordPass, then you'll likely find yourself getting signed out of NordPass when trying to access it on multiple devices at the same time.

We didn't have any issues setting up NordPass and getting the passwords to sync across our devices. The browser extensions felt like extensions of the app itself, and we did not have to wait to see our passwords appear on our mobile devices, for example, before being able to use them.

Supported operating systems

  • macOS
  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Android
  • iOS

Support browsers

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Brave
  • Edge
  • Opera

Note that we were not able to test the extensions for every browser, so we can't confirm how well NordPass will work with Brave, Edge, or Opera.

What we particularly liked about each of NordPass's applications were they felt synced with one another and consistently offered "next steps" to us. These "next steps" will be great for any user who wants to quickly begin using NordPass without having to read a thousand guides on how to use it.

The GIF above is from the iOS application.

Phone application (iOS, Android)

(Good)

The only thing we would have liked for the mobile experience was more options in terms of signing in to NordPass. It did not always appear in the log in boxes, as we would have liked—and sometimes we had to navigate back-and-forth from the app to the mobile browser in order to save or fill the password.

Desktop applications (macOS, Windows)

(Fair)

Again, once you're into the desktop app, it's easy to navigate and find all of your passwords. We appreciate that the app is organized simply, as that's fairly important for a password manager. No one wants to have to spend an inordinate amount of time using a password manager like NordPass, and Nordpass gets that.

Login process clunky

What we didn't like, however, is the process of having to log in to NordPass for the first time. When opening the app, you can't just sign in natively in the application. You are redirected to the NordPass website, which opens in a new window, where you sign in to the service. Then, you can sign in again with your Master Password in the NordVPN app. Just a clunky experience all around!

Browser Plugins

(Great)

We had no issues syncing the browser plugins as we navigated the web. NordPass appeared at the right times and auto-filling the passwords was a breeze—exactly what you're looking for from a password manager.

Sharing Secure Note NordPass

With a NordPass family or business account, you can share passwords with select members of your plan.

When you first set up the family plan, for example, you're given a code for each member of your family to input when they log in.

How sharing works

In order to share a password or secure note, you simply right-click on the password and select Share. Then, you are given options about which family member(s) with which you want to share the note.

No additional vaults

While we like that this system makes it easy to share individual passwords, we would have preferred the ability to create additional vaults for only certain members of a family, like a "Kids Vault," for example. This makes it easier when managing a large number of passwords in a family.

NordPass Help Center

NordPass offers 24/7 chat support and email support to users.

Nothing new about software companies moving toward chat-based support and heavier reliance on internal message boarding. Still, it's always nice to have some kind of option to get phone-based support if required.

Growing selection of blog and support articles

Like their NordVPNcounterpart, NordPass has a growing selection of guides and support articles designed to help users make the most of NordPass. It's not comprehensive yet, as NordPass is fairly new, but it is growing. We're hopeful!

Indentities NordVPN

No more filling out online forms! NordPass lets you input your personal information securely into the app to be used whenever you need to input the information. It works fairly well in practice, with NordPass detecting the forms most of the time.

Only 1 identity

We would have liked the option to add multiple identities for filling out billing forms when our shipping and billing address is not the same. Still, it will save you half the time, in that case.

Credit Card Storage NordPass

NordPass offers this feature as a kind of digital wallet, where you can securely store your credit cards for use when making purchases online. This is much more secure than storing your credit cards on individual websites, and we recommend you switch over to this method ASAP.

We found this worked well, in unison with the identity information to save you time filling out your credit card and billing information when making an online purchase. Again, we'd love the ability to store more than 1 address for this, as well.

NordPass Features

Data breach scanner

NordPass does not automatically keep track of your password security; rather, you can use their data breach scanner to check if your stored passwords were associated with any kind of data breach.

It would be nice to have an automatic checkup, particularly when you're using a family plan with kids on the plan. Still, the ability to check your passwords' security is solid.

Password health tool

NordPass gives you the ability to scan all of your passwords to determine their overall strength and give you recommendations for updating. Again, it would be great for NordPass to monitor this actively, like 1Password, but it's still a great feature included with a premium version.

The data breach scanner and password health tool is only available with a paid version of NordPass.

Great for individuals wanting an actually free password manager.

And a nice, simple password manager offering at a cheaper rate for those looking for the premium version.

The real appeal of NordPass is its free version that allows you have to unlimited passwords, and we imagine that, for many, this is all they will need.

The real appeal of NordPass is its free version that allows you have to unlimited passwords, and we imagine that, for many, this is all they will need. And for about $40/year you can have some of the other goodies that NordPass offers.

Businesses and families, however, will likely want the tested security that a password manager like 1Password provides. NordPass just doesn't offer enough for businesses whose needs are complex and changing.

NordPass has intentionally built a password manager to look and operate like many of the leading password managers and set the price just below their competitors. They don't sacrifice security, and they have the backing of leading VPN company, NordVPN. So honestly, we think it's worth giving NordPass a shot.