What is Dashlane?
Dashlane is one of the leading password managers on the market. It has over 14 million customers all around the world. It helps you in storing your passwords, usernames, secure notes, banking details in a safe place. It is attractive, powerful and extremely easy-to-use.
It offers both free and premium subscription plans so that you can choose the one that suits you the best. It is a very safe and secure password manager and with its amazing features, your data will be in secure hands.
Technology is improving and progressing each and every day but technology is a double-edged sword. With technology you can create something productive like vaccines or you can create something as dangerous as nuclear weapons!
Similarly, technology has made sure that your data is secure but hackers are also sharpening their hacking skills. What will you do to protect your data? Will saving your passwords and banking details on a spreadsheet solve the issue? I doubt that! Your computer is always vulnerable to things unknown (setting hackers aside). What if a rogue asteroid drops on your computer?
An extremely secure password manager with highest security management is the only probable solution that I could think of. Dashlane is one such password manager that assures that it is super secure. Are Dashlane’ s claims true? Here, I’m going to review Dashlane and tell you whether its claims are true or not.
But before I dig deep, let’s first read about the pros and cons of using Dashlane (because nothing in this world can be without flaws).
Pros of Dashlane
- Zero knowledge.
- Free plan.
- Huge knowledgebase.
- Numerous 2FA options.
- Browser and local applications.
- Dashboard is secure.
- Distinct security model.
- Automatic password changer.
- Built-in VPN.
- Amazing user interface across platforms.
Cons of Dashlane
- VPN is not as efficient as VPNs like NordVPN or ExpressVPN.
- Functionality of web app is limited.
- Only 50 entries in free plan.
Now that you have learned about the strengths and weakness of Dashlane, it is time I dig deep into the review starting with the features that the product has to offer.
Dashlane is a feature-packed password manager. It goes beyond a typical password manager and provides a VPN and identity-theft protection, two-factor authentication, etc. Here are the most important features of Dashlane.
Dashlane has a security dashboard which indicates the overall strength and health of your passwords and also checks for any data breaches on dark web. It also has an identity theft protection which works pretty decently.
Dashlane has an in-built VPN service. It makes sure that your data is secure and there are no digital footprints of your activity on web. However, on the flip side the VPN Dashlane provides doesn’t really cut to the chase and doesn’t work like NordVPN or ExpressVPN.
Automatic Password Changer
This is one of the most unique features present in Dashlane. You can change/update your passwords on many websites with just one click! There is a list of supported sites and the list includes biggies like Reddit, Corel, Citrix, etc.
With this feature, you can happily keep updating the passwords of various sites whenever you want. However, for a very little time, both your new and old passwords would get decrypted on the servers of Dashlane.
That being said, the passwords are saved only on RAM and gets removed once the passwords change. The data never gets stored permanently. If you are a little skeptical about decrypting passwords then you have a choice of not using this feature.
Some of the noteworthy features of Dashlane are two-factor authentication, zero knowledge, password generator, limited live chat, backup and recovery, security analysis, help center, etc.
Dashlane User Friendliness
The features may look intimidating but they are easy to use for new and old customers alike. The flawless setup and user interface make it crystal clear what you need to do. When it comes to the entries, you can make it simple or complex – it depends on you. Functionality and usability is well balanced by this password manager.
You don’t have to sign up for downloading Dashlane. You need to click on the ‘Let’s get started’ button and Dashlane will automatically download the Windows application. It gives an option of downloading the macOS application. After your download, you can create an account.
When you sign up, you are automatically signed up in a free plan. Once you sign up, Dashlane sends you a short tour on how to use and what its capabilities are. It also goes through your browser to find any saved passwords and if there are any, it will automatically import them. With the short tour, you can easily set up your account on Dashlane.
macOS and Windows Applications
You can finish the rest of the tasks on the local application like adding Dashlane extension to browser, downloading the mobile app. Here you have the option of upgrading your account from free plan to the paid or premium one.
Using Dashlane is like a walk in the park. It has many filtering options which allows you to see the entries in the form of a list or in the form of block tiles. You can categorize them or alphabetize them. It also sets categories automatically while importing passwords and it was impressive.
You can edit any of the passwords that got imported You can even see the password history. There is a lot of information available on the entry page. You can add a secondary login, add a note, rename the entry, categorize the password and you can do much more. For every entry, you can see a rating for your password, it also tells the number of times a password has been reused in your vault.
In the local application, you can find identity dashboard. It shows password health score, safe, compromised, reused, and weak passwords. It also notifies of any important and necessary breach notifications in the identity dashboard.
If you go for the premium version, you have the facility to enter your email address so that Dashlane can do dark web monitoring. If you subscribe to the Premium Plus plan, you can even track your credit.
Password Generator and Autofill
Dashlane has browser extensions for Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox but not for Opera. The extension allows you to generate or create passwords for any new accounts and helps in auto filling existing entries.
For the password generator part, Dashlane is same as any and every other password generator. When it comes to autofill, Dashlane plays a little different. You can tell Dashlane to fill forms and login info or just login info or nothing for a page on a website or for the entire website. It may look a little daunting but it is very simple. Many password managers don’t offer such functionality.
Okay, let’s talk the standard stuff here. Dashlane follows zero-knowledge model and it also uses the AES-256 encryption. That’s quite standard, right? Wait for it!
Dashlane doesn’t settle for that. It makes a few tweaks to make it nearly impossible for anyone to get access to your vault.
According to the technical white paper published by Dashlane, the company has zero knowledge of the master password that you are setting to secure your account. Not only does Dashlane not see your master password, it doesn’t see any of its derivatives either.
What Dashlane does is that it uses a 32-byte salt along with your master password and creates an Argon2d hash. It is this hash that is required for encrypting and decrypting your information.
So, someone who gets access to your master password cannot access your vault. He or she needs to have access to the Argon2d hash.
It doesn’t end there. There’s more!
Dashlane will not use your master password for authenticating your device. Rather, it will generate a new key for every device on which you set up Dashlane. The key is based on the software and hardware characteristics of your device. It also includes another 38 characters that Dashlane generates using OpenSSL RAND_byte function.
In this method, you will receive a one-time password in your email that you need to use for authentication.
This approach keeps device authentication and the process of encryption and decryption completely separate from each other. So, if a hacker is trying to get access to your vault, he or she will need access to one of your devices or your email and your master password. This makes Dashlane one of the most secure password managers you can find.
You can further enhance the security using their two-factor authentication system. The 2FA is both software based (using authenticator apps like Authy or Google Authenticator) and hardware-based (you can use YubiKey).
Dashlane also offers an identity theft protection feature, but it is not really a full-fledged service. You will be better off using an option like Identity Guard.
Another thing that Dashlane offers is a VPN service. It is not a homebrew. It rather uses the network of AnchorFree – the company that owns Hotspot Shield. If you really want to use a VPN, I will suggest you go for options like NordVPN or ExpressVPN. They are the best in business.
There are three plans that Dashlane offers – Free, Premium, and Premium Plus. In Free plan, you can store up to 50 passwords. You can only use one device, but can share passwords with five accounts. Features like Autofill and security alerts are available in free tier. Free plan costs $0.
Needless to say, the Premium plan has more features. You can store unlimited entries and have unlimited sharing. It also provides multi-device sync and secure file storage. It includes dark web monitoring, support for YubiKey, and a VPN. Premium plan costs $60 per year (billed annually).
If you subscribe to Premium Plus plan, you will get identity restoration service, $1,000,000 in the identity theft insurance, and credit monitoring. Premium Plus plan charges $120 per year (billed annually).
Note: Premium Plus plan is present only for US customers.
Dashlane offers support in multiple ways. Most of the features don’t really require any explanation or clarification but if you want to clear your confusion then you can do so by either mailing them or use their live chat during business hours. You can even tweet to them on their Twitter account. Knowledgebase articles are aplenty and solve most of the issues.
You can mail them through a contact form. Dashlane provides support in French, German, and English languages. Live chat is available only in English. Business hours are 9 a.m. EST to 6 p.m. EST.
Dashlane is no doubt a fantastic password manager. It offers a free plan too (though limited) but there is only one flip side – money! It is too expensive. If you are okay with the money or if you really want identity theft protection, identity theft insurance, and/or a VPN, then you can go for it. Some people who don’t use these features may feel that they are overpaying (which is partly true). If you want to go for cheaper but good quality password managers, you can opt either 1Password, LastPass, or Keeper.
Dashlane stores an encrypted file of your data on its servers. It then syncs the same file across your devices. You can decrypt that file on your device using master password. Dashlane never transfers or sees data unencrypted. The decryption happens locally.
You can use Dashlane through the browser extension or the desktop application. Dashlane will ask you whether to import the saved passwords from the browser while installing. If you go for it, you are good to go.
You can go to the Chrome Web Store to add Dashlane. If you have the Windows Dashlane application, just select the ‘extensions’ menu item. There you can easily find a link to install the browser extension.