Edvinas Urbasius

@edvinasurbasius

Tutorials, reviews, and other articles about technology.

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Password Security and Bitwarden

Let’s talk about passwords. Some of us hate it, but passwords are an important piece of our life. Without a password, we wouldn’t be able to access our bank account, connect to social networks or encrypt our hard drive. Even in the opening days of the Battle of Normandy, paratroopers used word flash as a challenge to which others responded with a password thunder.

As you see, passwords are everywhere, but we tend to neglect them. We make them weak, we reuse the same passwords everywhere, we leave notes filled with them in our offices, we just don’t care!

Strong password security is like a habit and it takes time to develop it. To ease up the process, we could use a password manager. This type of software gets a lot of criticism, due to its sensitive nature. It protects lots of passwords with one master password. If it's compromised – you are done. However, with 2FA and ability to inspect the software’s code, I think we can get some level of trust.

If I have convinced you to try a password manager, let me introduce you Bitwarden. It’s a free and open-source password management solution for individuals, teams, and businesses. I liked the software so much that I even bought a license. Here is why you should give it a try.

Sync all of your devices

Secure cloud syncing gives you the ability to access Bitwarden from any device. For example, I have two laptops, a phone, and a tablet, so I use Bitwarden with all of my devices. And if you are wondering about how secure is cloud syncing, Bitwarden uses AES 256 bit encryption. It's been adopted by the US government and used worldwide ever since.

Bitwarden app for every platform

Native desktop application for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

The browser extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Vivaldi, Brave, and Tor Browser.

App for iOS and Android.

Open Source

Bitwarden is open source software. The code is hosted on GitHub and everybody can audit. That's so different from a typical proprietary software model where only one entity can edit the code and others are kept in the dark. Due to Bitwarden's sensitive nature, it's important that code is in public. There is a greater chance that someone will discover a bug or vulnerability.

Two-step login (2FA)

To increase your account security, you can use 2FA which is available for free and premium users. What 2FA does, it gives you an additional step of protection. Let’s say your master password for Bitwarden vault is compromised, the attacker would have the difficulty of logging in without an access to the second step.

I use the authentication app and YubiKey. When I was a free user, I relied only on the app, but having a license gives me more flexibility!

Self-hosting

If you are super paranoid and do not trust Bitwarden's servers, you can self-host entire infrastructure stack on the platform of your choice. At the moment I do not have the means to do it, but it's a tempting option to try!

Conclusion

Bitwarden is very easy to use. I tried plenty of password managers before, but I always go back to it. Cloud syncing, two-set verification, open source are the most important features for me and I highly recommend others to try Bitwarden. If you like the software, do not hesitate to buy a license. It costs $10 and it’s valid for a year. Give it a try!


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