Cloud storage specialist pCloud unveiled its password manager, known simply as Pass (opens in new tab), at a time where the need for such an application is becoming almost universal amidst a quasi-endless stream of stories about credential leaks and hacks.
The European storage service, which ranks amongst the best cloud storage providers on the market, launched Pass towards the end of September but few – if any – English-speaking tech websites picked it up.
Pass shares most of the features associated with mainstream password managers like Dashlane, Bitwarden, Keeper or LastPass. It offers autofill, biometric unlock, the ability to autosave and generate strong passwords, multi platform, unlimited storage for passwords and quasi-universal password import from browsers or other password managers.
pCloud stands out by offering a fully-fledged service for free but only for one active device without the need for a credit card to start. Equally enticing is the possibility to opt for a lifetime payment for unlimited active devices of only £149 / $149 / Eur149 (opens in new tab); that compares favorably with paying £29 / $29 / Eur29 that the annual subscription cost. You will have to spend more than five years with pCloud Pass to make it worth it; you can always try Pass Premium for free for 30 days (opens in new tab), again without any credit card needed.
In comparison, our top password manager, Dashlane, costs $89.99 for the first year but includes 1GB document storage, dark web monitoring and even a VPN.
Will it succeed?
A survey we carried out in April 2022 showed that more than a quarter of the respondents didn’t see the point of a password manager with a further 26% preferring to store their passwords “elsewhere”. So the market is massive but hyper competitive.
For all its merits, one has to question whether now is the right time for pCloud to launch a password manager given the sheer number of options on the market. All major browsers have rudimentary built-in password managers, VPN providers are either giving them for free (ExpressVPN with Keys) or for cheap (NordPass from NordVPN) and that’s not even accounting for antivirus companies like Bitdefender or Norton that have been bundling them for ages. And we’re not even looking at password managers that compete with pCloud by offering cloud backup options.
For a reminder of how cutthroat the password manager market can be, Remembear, the password manager service from VPN provider Tunnelbear, closed in July 2022 after four years of operation after finding that “many users had already found their password solution and switching to a new service was simply too much to ask.”
We have reached out to pCloud to find out about 2FA (two-factor authentication) and support and to get Pass reviewed and we will try to grab an exclusive offer for our readers as well.