When it comes to passwords, it is always smart to use a password manager. Consider this, if you can remember a password easily, then it will probably also be easy to crack.

Most password manager reviews and privacy advocates alike recommend Bitwarden as the best available manager. It’s open source, and it works on every platform. I've used it myself for the last two years and have always been pleased with the performance and integration. Easy and straightforward. I would recommend Bitwarden to most people when it comes to using a great and easy to use password manager, especially when you are new to using one.

However, I am not too impressed with the analytics that Bitwarden runs in the background, this is not only on iOS but also happens on Android (not on the F-Droid version) as well on the desktop versions. I think a password manager shouldn’t call in any diagnostics or analytics. Therefore, I made a recent switch back to KeepassXC, which is fully open-source and has an app on every platform. KeepassXC is a community fork from KeepassX which is one of the oldest open-source password managers out there.

The most significant difference between KeepassXC and Bitwarden comes in cloud integration. Bitwarden syncs on all your devices over the paid service of Bitwarden’s own cloud and KeepassXC was designed for offline usage. This is less practical if you have multiple devices, but at the same time it is safer to have your passwords offline at all times.

KeepassXC features

  • Password Generator
  • Ability to import passwords from 1Password, KeePass 1, and any CSV files
  • Easily share databases by exporting and synchronising with SSL certificate support
  • Database Encryption supported (256-bit AES)
  • Browser Integration Available (optional)
  • Ability to search for your credentials
  • Auto-type passwords into applications
  • Database reports to check password health and other stats
  • Supports exporting to CSV and HTML
  • 2-factor authentication token support
  • Attach files to passwords
  • YubiKey support
  • Command line option available
  • SSH Agent integration available
  • Change encryption algorithms if required
  • Ability to use DuckDuckGO to download the website icons
  • Database auto-lock timeout
  • Ability to clear the clipboard and the search query
  • Auto-file save
  • Folder/Nested Folder support
  • Set expiration of a credential
  • Dark theme available
  • Cross-platform support

Now even though I mentioned before that you can’t sync the passwords over the cloud like on Bitwarden but that is not entirely true. You can, of course, have your KDBX file on Nextcloud and sync it that way through all your devices, but I do strongly recommend having the file synced only on a self-hosted Nextcloud account. Even the encryption and your master password should make the file as safe as it gets - definitely a case of 'Better safe than sorry' here!

The beauty of KeepassXC is that it's comparable with other password managers on the same open-source backend such as Strongboxsafe on iOS or Mac which, unlike other password managers, really does not collect any data. The setup is as easy as with Bitwarden and of course you can sync Strongboxsafe between iOS and Mac (using iCloud) and other KeepassXC versions on Android, Windows, Linux and co using Nextcloud.

Thanks to Apple's new privacy section on apps you can see the difference between Bitwarden

And Strongboxsafe

Both are working perfectly at system level, Strongboxsafe is fully integrated into Safari on macOS, but sadly not into Firefox yet, so keep that in mind. Of course, the standalone app on macOS lets you copy and paste the passwords within the browsers, but on Safari you would have autofill and Fingerprint support to do so. On iOS, this works system wide.

Strongbox gives a 90 day free full version, and the standard features stay free forever. KeepassXC is free as is and community driven.

I recommend everyone to use KeepassXC or Strongboxsafe if you are on an i-device.

Stay safe and make sure your passwords are as safe!