Bitwarden is one of the top password managers out there. It is also one of the only ones that is open-source, that is to say you can see the code that makes the app run and companies that specialize in cyber security can review the code and tell you whether the application is secure and therefore if your passwords can get hacked.
Bitwarden recently went through a face lift and now their desktop applications, mobile applications, and browser extensions look more up-to-date. They updated their apps to have a more rounded look. It is a subtle change and not something you can see on the web vault (yet). I hope they bring it to the web vault sometime soon.
While it may not look as nice as 1Password it functions much better.
You can read my 1Password Review to understand all of my gripes with it. I will just say that it can be a bit buggy because it is trying to carry too many hats.
Is Bitwarden glitchy/buggy?
No, not in the slightest. The only visual glitch I have seen is that on the Apple Watch their complication (widget) displays as 2 lines instead of showing the Bitwarden logo. See the picture below. It doesn’t matter where this complication is placed, it is always two dashes. Which is just frustrating.
This is something they have been working to fix since they released the Apple Watch app 2+ months ago, supposedly. Though this is just a visual glitch. The apps themselves (on all of my devices) work wonderfully and I have yet to run into any bugs/glitches that are not visual ones since I started using it 3-ish years ago.
How secure is Bitwarden?
Since Bitwarden is open-source anyone is able to view their code and see how Bitwarden functions from the ground up. There is very little that a user like you or me cannot see. Which means it is reviewed by security companies that hack software for a living as well as random users that want to break things for fun. It makes them super strong.
That isn’t to say an app like 1Password isn’t secure as well. It is up to your personal preference. Though after the LastPass Hack that just recently happened, I find it hard to trust password managers that hide their code and are not open-source. This kind of hack could happen to any company that allows their users to work from home and does not have tight security on their work computers.
Does Bitwarden have any annoyances?
Of course. All applications do. Nothing is perfect. One of the biggest ones is that it doesn’t suggest to save passwords for you on any platform. Meaning you have to use the extension (on desktop) or the app (on mobile) to create and save a password THEN you create your account on the website or app you are wanting to use. It is an extra step that 1Password does not have.
Another one is that if you are creating an account in the browser extension and click out of it (even by accident) it restarts your progress completely. So you have to re-create an account via the extension every time you click out.
You can only check how secure your passwords are by using the website vault. It doesn’t have anything like 1Password’s watchtower included in any of its apps. Whether this be because it isn’t used much by the users of Bitwarden or Bitwarden doesn’t deem it necessary, it just isn’t available.
If you want to quickly get logged into a website, you have to remember to use
CTRL/CMD + SHIFT + L and as someone who has a horrible memory, I barely remember that is a thing (plus I use my iPad mostly so I can’t be blamed). This autofills your username and password into the fields on the website. Though, if the website tries to prevent this by naming the field something other than “username” or “password” then you have to do some workarounds with the custom fields Bitwarden provides and THEN it will work, otherwise the hotkeys will not work. I don’t notice this issue really ever with 1Password.
Bitwarden is planning on adding offline support in the future, so as of writing this, it does not support using it completely offline. If you lose access to the internet, you have access to any passwords that are stored on the secure cache Bitwarden has but you cannot edit those items. When you do, Bitwarden throws an error. When you try and save an edit on iOS/iPadOS you get “internet connection required”. Bitwarden works in a read-only mode when offline. This is another thing that 1Password does that Bitwarden doesn’t.
Do you recommend Bitwarden? Do you use it?
Yes and Yes. I have swapped between both Bitwarden and 1Password and finally landed on Bitwarden. While Bitwarden has features 1Password doesn’t have like being able to export vaults from the desktop to json or csv files as well as being able to force sync without having to lock the app and then unlock it.
I definitely recommend Bitwarden to anyone that wants a password manager and doesn’t want to pay $36+/year which is pretty steep for a password manager. Though while I have 1Password for free (or 50% off) I will be sticking with it as it is worth that price.
What do you think? Do you use Bitwarden?