The Bitwarden Blog
A Quick Guide to Bitwarden Client Applications
June 17, 2020
A good password manager will work across all of your devices and platforms. Wherever you access websites or applications that require passwords to login, your password manager needs to be there to provide them. That leaves a lot of choices, so here are a few guidelines.
Password managers help you generate, store, and use strong and unique passwords. Having them readily available on every device or platform you use is important to ensure a consistent, secure approach.
A comprehensive cross-platform strategy should include access to your password manager across these environments:
- Web Application accessible from any browser
- Browser Extensions for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, Brave, Opera and more
- Desktop Application for Windows, MacOS, and Linux
- Mobile Application for iOS and Android
- Command Line Interface and API
Within Bitwarden, the Web Application accessible at vault.bitwarden.com provides the most comprehensive interface for administration. We call this the Web Vault.
Within the Web Vault you can manage all aspects of your Bitwarden account, including:
- Your personal vault
- Any Organization vaults that you belong to
- Account information and settings
The Web Application also provides for bulk operations by providing checkboxes to select multiple items simultaneously.
The Web Application is also the place for creating new Folders in your personal vault, or Collections within Organizational vaults. Folders are used to organize your own personal items, and Organizations use Collections to arrange and share items.
Password managers shine when web browsing and logging in to multiple sites, changing passwords, and sharing passwords within existing Collections.
While most Bitwarden browser extensions are similar across popular browsers, Firefox provides a unique experience with a persistent sidebar, as does Opera.
All browser extensions allow you to generate passwords, autofill credentials, and modify a range of settings specific to the browser extension experience.
For Safari users, note that the recommended path from Apple is to install the MacOS desktop application which will simultaneously make the Safari extension available, although you might need to enable it within Safari > Preferences > Extensions.
Desktop applications provide a native experience for Windows, MacOS, and Linux, and can be useful for areas where web browsing is not part of the typical workflow. They are also ideal for storing and referencing other types of sensitive information besides passwords, such as credit card and bank account numbers.
For convenience on the go, nothing beats having all of your passwords at your fingertips on your phone or tablet. Bitwarden provides applications for both iOS and Android, each offering a tight integration to enable autofilling along with basic vault functionality. Be sure to check out the mobile themes as well to customize your ideal Bitwarden experience! Themes are also available on desktop apps and browser extensions.
For developers, systems administrators, and other power users, Bitwarden provides a full-featured command-line interface (CLI) tool to access and manage your Bitwarden vault. All features that you find in other Bitwarden client applications (desktop, browser extension, mobile application, and web vault) are also available through the CLI. The CLI can be used cross-platform on Windows, macOS, and Linux distributions.
The Bitwarden CLI allows for programmatic implementations of integrations between Bitwarden and other components of a secure identity and access management system. For more on the CLI, see this CLI help note.
Once you have the basics of Bitwarden client applications down, you’ll be enjoying secure, cross-platform operations with ease. To find out more about Bitwarden, or to get started with your own vault, visit bitwarden.com.
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