Is it time to update your password? For the longest time, cybersecurity professionals might have urged you to change your login credentials regularly.
Creating new passwords minimizes the risk of a cyberattack. However, with the advancement of spyware and brute-force hacking technologies, this tactic isn’t as effective anymore.
Instead of frequency, focus on sophistication. New reports suggest that you only need to update your password if you suspect a cyberattack, but you should choose an intricate one.
Adding a number to your compromised password yields negligible results.
Now, the problem is that most people use weak login credentials. A recent study by Avast shows that 83% of Americans’ passwords are shorter than 10 characters.
To bolster your digital privacy, take the password test. The best password strength checkers will give you insights into the likelihood of your preferred combinations getting hacked.
Carefully choose your checker. You need a secure, encrypted platform you can entrust with your login credentials.
But don’t worry—you won’t have to assess these tools yourself. Just like you, we want to secure our passwords, so we asked our team to review the most reliable password checking and management platforms.
Please read until the end because we’ll discuss the most common mistake newbies make when choosing password managers. Otherwise, you won’t maximize your defenses effectively.
So, how strong is your password? Let’s find out!
Apps that have the best password strength checkers
Although hundreds of apps check password strength, only a few generate accurate insights. Not every platform with a password strength meter is legit.
To ensure that you get the best password strength checker with sophisticated, extensive web crawlers, check out the following options:
1. Have I Been Pwned?
Best for: Newbies using password checkers for the first time
When it comes to identity theft protection, most beginners start with Have I Been Pwned? A few of your friends might have recommended it before, but you probably felt uneasy disclosing your username, email address, and international phone number at the time.
Rest assured, Have I Been Pwned? is a legitimate platform. Cybersecurity leader Troy Hunt launched it in 2013, which was around the time major data breaches from Yahoo! and Adobe happened.
- Services are 100% free to use
- Offers other ways to protect your accounts
- Stays up to date with data breaches
- System doesn’t actively scan the dark web
- Very limited, entry-level features
- Doesn’t offer premium plans
As for its features, it has several helpful services that you can use to jumpstart your digital privacy setup, including:
|Password Checker||Have I Been Pwned? assesses passwords based on the number of times they’ve appeared in a data breach. Multiple hits indicate a weak password that hackers can easily bypass.|
|Email Data Breach Scanner||Send your email or phone number so that the system can alert you if it gets involved in a data breach.|
|Domain Search||The system will scan for recent breaches or attacks involving your domain.|
Feel free to test Have I Been Pwned? yourself. Just manage your expectations, especially since the platform doesn’t charge membership fees.
Have I Been Pwned? pricing options
You can use Have I Been Pwned? without paying for anything. Its features are relatively limited, but they’re still more than what you’d expect from a 100% free-to-use platform.
Best for: Users who want a robust, affordable platform
NordVPN offers NordPass, a straightforward password management app. Although NordVPN was founded in 2012, it only released NordPass in 2019.
However, its lack of tenure doesn’t bother users. On the contrary, they appreciate that NordPass provides an affordable, encrypted system that lets them securely store, share, and audit passwords.
- Free account provides excellent value
- Offers standard password management services
- Paid plans cost less than their competitors
- Password audits are a premium service
- No enterprise-level solutions
- UI might seem too basic for some
Apart from password management, NordPass also offers the following features:
|Password Audits||NordPass automatically audits all your old, unused passwords. It will alert you if similar combinations recently appeared in a data breach.|
|Password Generation||Let NordPass generate sophisticated password combinations. You can also store them in your private vault so that you won’t need to remember them.|
|Dark Web Scanning||The system scans the surface, deep, and dark web for any unusual activity involving your PII.|
Note that paid and premium plans carry different features.
NordPass pricing options
You can choose from the following NordPass password management plans:
|Free||The Free NordPass plan primarily focuses on sharing and storing login credentials, although it offers basic password checking features.|
|Premium||A Premium plan also audits registered passwords and scans the web for unauthorized transactions involving your PII. It only costs $1.99 a month.|
|Family||Save more than a 100% on monthly fees with the Family plan. It grants six users access to all the features of a Premium plan, including routine password audits.|
Although the Premium plan offers the best value for your money, we recommend signing up for a free account before upgrading. You’ll already get the most critical password management services for free.
3. UIC Password Strength Test
Best for: Users focused on password strength
The UIC Password Strength Test is a free, straightforward password checking platform. It was founded by the Academic Computing and Communications Center of the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Unlike the other options we mentioned, this checker solely focuses on password strength. You’ll need another app for password management and PII monitoring.
However, it also features one of the most sophisticated, extensive password checking systems, which analyzes every character in your password. It computes for many factors that other checkers ignore.
- 100% free-to-use platform
- Sophisticated password analysis system
- Gauges factors other checkers ignore
- Features limited to password checking
- No premium plans available
- Doesn’t compute for brute-force attack susceptibility
Its most noteworthy features include:
|Password Strength Checking||UIC Password Strength Test reviews passwords based on several factors, including length, character variation, and sequence. You’ll also see its recommended minimum score.|
|Real-Time Assessments||The system assesses passwords in real-time. Don’t worry—all computations will occur on your local device, so the UIC Password Strength Test never gains access to your credentials.|
|Score Breakdowns||The UIC Password Strength Test checker provides in-depth breakdowns of your passwords. Unlike other checkers, it won’t just give you your score. You can review the points, study the factors considered, and adjust your password accordingly.|
Admittedly, the UIC Password Strength Test has very limited features. Although it gives you extensive data on password strength, it doesn’t scan the dark web for data breaches, manage passwords, or compute brute-force attack susceptibility.
UIC Password Strength Test pricing options
The UIC Password Strength Test doesn’t charge anything. Unfortunately, it also doesn’t offer the option to upgrade and purchase premium services.
The basics of password strength checkers
Password strength checkers assess your login credentials based on several factors, including:
- Length: Most password checkers encourage users to choose passwords at least 10 characters long. Ditch the one-word variations.
- Character Combination: Your password should at least contain one uppercase letter and one special character. Of course, you’d do well to add more.
- Data Breach History: Advanced checkers scan the surface, deep, and dark web for recent breaches involving similar password combinations.
- Susceptibility to Brute-Force Attacks: Some systems can tell you how long it will take for a hacker to crack your password with brute force. For reference, experienced criminals can bypass seven-character passwords in less than a minute.
Note that the best password strength checkers continuously update their system based on the constantly evolving risk factors of cybersecurity.
How to maximize the best password strength checkers
Password strength checkers generally have the same function. Their overall impact on your online privacy depends on how you incorporate them into your daily surfing habits.
Important: Don’t settle for platforms that solely assess login credentials. Creating strong, unique passwords is just one of the many cyber hygiene practices you should observe.
Note that password checking is often an add-on for other cybersecurity services like password management, credit monitoring, and identity theft prevention. You’d be missing out if you didn’t take advantage of these features.
How often should you check your password?
Traditionally, cybersecurity experts recommend updating your passwords every 90 days. They especially encourage it for online accounts that contain critical PII (i.e., social media, online banking, mobile wallets, work emails).
However, recent reports suggest that this is an ineffective habit. As you exhaust your preferred password combinations, your login credentials become increasingly harder to remember.
Many users can’t keep track of multiple newly updated passwords. Instead, they resort to simple combinations, which ultimately compromise their accounts worse than less-frequent updates.
Based on our research, you only need to update their potentially compromised passwords; otherwise, you can wait for another 6 to 12 months.
Of course, you can still update your passwords more frequently. Use a password manager so that you won’t have to note your login credentials using insecure online and offline solutions (post-it notes, small notebooks, private Word documents).
Finding the best password strength checker
Overall, password strength checkers are excellent cybersecurity tools. They’ll significantly improve your digital privacy and security when combined with other services like password management and identity theft monitoring.
Remember: your login credentials serve as your first line of defense. Even if you use the most sophisticated platforms with end-to-end, zero-knowledge encryption, you’ll still fall victim to hackers if they quickly guess your passwords through brute force.
Also, explore your options. Password strength checking is a relatively common service offered by different institutions.
Who knows? Your current password manager might already have one, and you just haven’t used it yet.