Bitwarden Review: Secure Password Manager For Chrome OS

Published by Lamin Kanteh on

Bitwarden-logo

In modern times, we have mostly come to terms with technology running a large percentage of our daily lives mostly for the right reasons. Granted, we have become obsessed with our devices that as a race, it begs the question of whether our continual existence is at risk and if we’ve gone a little too far to turn back.

The power that the internet wields has enabled us to reimagine our way of life and how we navigate it to the detriment of our personal data. Not only is the internet our main source of information, it has, in the past decade or so, become a place where we connect with friends and meet new ones, share snippets of our most precious memories, or engage in heated debates over sensitive topics like politics, life, and every other facet of life.

Understandably, the advent of several social media platforms did propagate unimaginable possibilities, which inadvertently created unpleasant problems like stolen personalities, emptied bank accounts and all the other annoyances that come with unauthorized access to our personal portals to the internet be it social media accounts or emails.

To avoid being a victim of hacks, the advice from several online security think tanks has been to constantly change passwords, use a mixture of characters (letters and numbers), and avoid using the same version across all accounts.

This, however, presents a bit of a problem if you are a proud owner of several accounts across varying platforms due to the likelihood of forgetting your login credentials.

And that is where password managers come in as handy tools to preserve and safeguard your passwords, generate new passwords together with a generic feature set that includes platform-wide avaibility and the ability to sync login credentials across devices.

There are several option in the market at the moment but few can boast of the reliability that Bitwarden offers.

What is Bitwarden

Bitwarden is a cloud-based open source password management platform created by a handful of developers at 8bit Solutions LLC.

Available as a desktop application, mobile app, browser extension, BItwarden is practically everywhere. The service acts as safe for your most crucial login credentials which are encrypted and put away in an almost impenetrable vault.

Additionally, the program does offer instant login for your list of trusted websites through its autofill feature– which fills in all your details automatically.

Since the service is essentially cloud-based, all your details are synchronized across all devices on all platforms .

Putting all your passwords in one place is a risky business if your mode of storage isn’t secure but with Bitwarden, since security is paramount, the platform uses AES-256 bit encryption, salted hashing, and PBKDF2 SHA-256, putting robust secure layers over your data such that it’s inacessible to the first-party developers as well as any other third party.

Autofill BItwarden

Features

  • Items types such as Logins, Secure Notes, Credit Cards, and Identities
  • Secure sharing of vault items with other Bitwarden users
  • Auto-fill login information into websites and other applications[
  • Password generator
  • Two-factor authentication via authenticator apps, email, Duo,YubiKey, and FIDO U2F
  • File attachments.
  • Cloud-synchronization
  • Data breach reports and password exposure checks through Have I Been Pwned?

Getting Bitwarden

As I pointed out earlier, Bitwarden is completely flexible in its setup with availability across Platforms such as Windows and Mac OS with dedicated clients. On the other hand, for Chrome OS, you can either choose between getting Bitwarden’s Android client — If your Chromebook supports the Play Store —  or tje Chrome Browser extension.

Depending on which one you want to run on your system, you can either head over to the Play Store — for the Android version — or on the Chrome Web Store — if you prefer using the Chrome addon.

If you have installed apps from the Play Store or Web Store — which I am presuming you have — then getting Bitwarden shouldn’t be a problem for you.

After downloading, creating an account through the main UI by adding your email address and Master Password is a simple click and type process. But the Master password is what you use to access your vault and it is not recoverable, so I suggest using something you can easily remember.

Personal Impressions Using Bitwarden

Bitwarden Login Screen

Despite having issues downloading the Chrome Addon, I was able to get the Android version of the app up and running in no time.

I always avoid having to use long and complicated passwordsbut after having installed Bitwarden, I can attest to the upgrade that service has provided me all at no cost to you as an individual.

Not only does the app help keep my passwords safe, it also suggests strong ones by automatically generating random but yet secure passwords with just a few simple clicks.

All sensitive data is secured in a vault that can be protected with pin code, fingerprint, or even a master password which makes using the app easy and convenient.

Pros

  • Easy to manage all your passwords
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Encrypted data– everything is locked down tight
  • Suggests random strong and secure passwords
  • Ability to autofill on demand

Cons

  • Doesn’t give you the ability to access and manage old passwords
  • Riddled with too many third-party javascript within the vault which, in theory (but not in practice) render all the security barriers vulnerable. This means hackers can technically make a copy of your login credentials and run off with your entire unencrypted password vault.

Conclusion

Bitwarden is, by all means, an imperfect password manager but it deserves some credits for delivering on some of the core functionalities in its offering. Despite its flaws, it’s one of the better contenders out there.


Lamin Kanteh

I live, breath, and dream technology. I've only known myself to push the boundaries on what's possible in my mental scope in relation to technology. And having been a writer for the good part of the past three years (covering varying subjects on the major mobile platforms), No place has ever felt more like home than Chrome OS. And as you may know, Chrome OS is ushering us into a future of the unknown and I'm here to help in the process of easing the way into that future via ItsChromeOS.

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