Dashlane Password Manager software on laptop.
Image: Adobe/monticellllo

Dashlane is a well-known password manager that offers a good mix of high-quality security and an intuitive user experience.

In this article, we walk you through how to set up Dashlane, how to use it and how you can maximize its features for your organization.

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How to set up and use Dashlane

  1. Decide on a Dashlane subscription.
  2. Set up the web app and browser extension.
  3. Use Dashlane.

Decide on a Dashlane subscription

Dashlane offers three subscription tiers: Free, Personal and Professional plans (Figure A). Under Personal, you have the option for an Individual Premium plan for one user and a Friends and Family plan that covers 10 users.

In our hands-on review, Dashlane earned a rating of 4.6 stars out of 5. Check out the full Dashlane review here.

Figure A

Screenshot of Dashlane subscriptions
Dashlane subscriptions. Image: Dashlane

On the Professional side, there’s a Starter subscription for 10 seats and a Business option with unlimited seats. Like most subscription tiers, these plans offer differences in included features depending on the subscription type.

I would recommend downloading Dashlane’s Free version first. This lets you try Dashlane’s flavor of password management without giving any credit information or paying an initial fee.

As of November 2023, Dashlane Free users will only be able to store up to 25 logins in their vault. Therefore, you may need to opt for a paid subscription once you go over the allowed number of credentials.

Figure B

Screenshot of downloading Dashlane extension.
Downloading Dashlane extension. Image: Dashlane

To get Dashlane’s free version, click on the “Try it free” button under Dashlane Premium and you’ll be redirected to a download page for Dashlane’s browser extension (Figure B).

Set up the web app and the browser extension

Once the extension is installed on your browser, Dashlane will bring you to its web application and ask for an email to try their service for free (Figure C).

Figure C

Screenshot of entering an email address for Dashlane.
Entering an email address. Image: Dashlane

Afterwards, Dashlane will ask you to provide a master password (Figure D). Make sure to keep a record of your master password, as this unlocks all the passwords you’ll eventually store in your vault. In theory, this will be the only password you have to make up on your own.

Figure D

Screenshot of master password for Dashlane.
Master password. Image: Dashlane

Because Dashlane operates on a zero-knowledge architecture, it doesn’t have access to any of your data—including your master password. If you forgot your master password and weren’t able to set a recovery method, you may need to reset your account.

Using Dashlane

Once you provide your master password, you’ll be directed to the web app’s main dashboard, and you will then officially have your own Dashlane account.

Figure E 

Screenshot of Dashlane welcome page.
Welcome page. Image: Dashlane

Of course, a password manager’s main purpose is to securely store passwords. While you can create individual logins within Dashlane, the more traditional way to use a password manager is through a normal sign up process.

To illustrate, let’s say we want to sign up and create an account in HubSpot. Once you reach their sign up page, you’ll see that Dashlane’s logo can be found within the email input box.

Figure F

Screenshot of Dashlane in sign up pages.
Dashlane in sign up pages. Image: Dashlane

If you click on it, a pop-up window will appear and show the email associated with your Dashlane account.

Figure G

Screenshot of generating a password for Dashlane.
Generating a password. Image: Dashlane

For the password phase, Dashlane automatically generates a random password according to your preferred configurations. You can set it to have a combination of letters, digits, symbols and set it to generate a password of up to 40 characters. At default, Dashlane generates a password with 16 characters.

After selecting the generated password, you can save it and Dashlane automatically stores it in your password vault (Figure H) alongside your other passwords. This vault holds all your credentials, usernames, passwords and other login information.

Figure H

Screenshot of Dashlane password vault.
Password vault. Image: Dashlane

At this point, you’re officially storing your passwords with Dashlane! However, there are a few steps I highly recommend you do at this stage for housekeeping purposes.

  • Set up 2FA: I highly suggest you set up 2-factor authentication, or 2FA. This is accessible via My account → Settings → Security settings → 2-factor authentication.

This adds an additional layer of security as toggling this on will have Dashlane ask you for a 6-digit code before gaining access to your Dashlane vault. This code will be sent either to your email, mobile number, an authenticator app and other options.

You can set 2FA to either require the token whenever a new device logs in to your Dashlane account or every time you log in to Dashlane.

  • Set up an account recovery method: This can be accessed by going to My account → Settings → Security settings → Account recovery.

Dashlane gives you the option to set a recovery key that lets you access your vault if you forget your master password or have biometric recovery on Dashlane’s mobile application. This acts as a safety net in the event you lose access to your account or forget your master password.

If you encounter any issues with Dashlane, you can check out their support website and their knowledge base articles and guides. You can also contact a Dashlane agent on their Customer Support website during their available hours, which are from 9AM to 6PM EST. Email and chat support will only be available for paid Dashlane users, beginning December 7, 2023.

Best ways to use Dashlane for your business

Dashlane checks all the boxes in terms of fundamental password manager features: encrypting and securely storing passwords, easy password generation and auto filling in sign up pages. Fortunately, Dashlane comes with other interesting features that can improve your business’ day-to-day operations and overall security.

Checking password health across accounts

Dashlane has a Password Health feature that scores passwords into three categories: compromised, reused or weak. This will allow users and organizations to flag passwords that may need to be changed, given their higher risk of being hacked.

This is also a great way to check on older passwords that may need to be updated based on their strength.

Monitoring for involvement in data breaches

Another way businesses can use Dashlane is through its Dark Web Monitor. Dashlane’s Dark Web Monitor alerts users if any data or security breach affects them in any way.

It sends security alerts to users when one of their recently used apps or sites is involved in a security breach. It also scans the dark web to see if any malicious actor has illegally accessed their information, alerting the user if any password found on the dark web matches their master password.

Have a handy record of passwords

In the event you want to retrieve a password, Dashlane offers a nifty Password History tool that automatically stores passwords. The cool thing is that these passwords don’t have to be saved as a login, as Dashlane keeps a record of any password you make or any password it generates.

Dashlane’s Password History can be useful for users who accidentally close a window when creating a new login or if a new password doesn’t seem to work because of a typographical error that goes unnoticed.

How to ensure you’re maximizing Dashlane capabilities

Having Dashlane is a significant step toward protecting your passwords and other credentials, but there are a few things you can do to maximize its capabilities.

  • Make sure Dashlane’s browser extension is pinned for easy access to Dashlane as you browse through websites, apps, and services. This means you don’t have to open Dashlane’s web application whenever you need to access your password vault or are about to create new logins.
  • Download Dashlane’s companion mobile apps for access to your passwords and logins from the convenience of your smartphone. Having the mobile Dashlane app also allows you to save new logins created within apps or your phone’s browser.
  • Check out Dashlane’s business plans to customize your Dashlane experience for your business’ needs. Dashlane offers specialized professional plans that can cater to both small businesses or larger organizations.

Recommended alternative password managers

While Dashlane is a quality password manager in its own right, there are other options if, after further review, you feel it’s not for you. Three password managers I recommend you check out are Bitwarden, 1Password and NordPass.

Bitwarden logo.
Image: Bitwarden

Bitwarden is a great option for those looking for a free and fully-functional password manager. It has a generous free version that allows for unlimited password storage and an unlimited number of usable devices—a stark contrast to Dashlane’s free version that only allows 25 stored passwords.

1Password logo.
Image: 1Password

Another secure password management service is 1Password. It comes with built-in phishing protection, automatic locking to ward off visual hackers and password security scoring. Similar to Dashlane, it also operates on the military-grade 256-bit AES encryption.

NordPass logo.
Image: NordPass

For fans of the Nord suite of security products, NordPass may be for you. Nord offers plans for both individual users and businesses. It has a more affordable starting price of $1.69 per month for its Premium individual plan compared to Dashlane’s comparable subscription at $3.33.

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This is your go-to resource for the latest news and tips on the following topics and more, XaaS, AWS, Microsoft Azure, DevOps, virtualization, the hybrid cloud, and cloud security. Delivered Mondays and Wednesdays