Home

Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.

The Best Single-Sign-On Solutions of 2021

By Nicole Fallon,
business.com Member
| Updated
Jan 04, 2021

Compare the best single-sign-on solutions side by side. Read in-depth reviews and learn how the best single-sign-on companies stack up.
Best SSO for Small Businesses
Easy to navigate
Easily scalable
Robust administrative controls
Best SSO for Midsize Businesses
1,200-plus SSO app integrations
Customizable security policies
Advanced MFA features
Best SSO for Enterprises
User provisioning
App-by-app control
Data-driven reporting
Best SSO for Startups
Familiar Google integrations
Robust free plan
Endpoint mgmt. for multiple OS
Best Free SSO
Free for up to 10 users
Central Directory as a Service
Easy to set up
Compare the best single-sign-on solutions side by side. Read in-depth reviews and learn how the best single-sign-on companies stack up.

Most modern professionals use dozens of digital applications on a daily or weekly basis. Each of these apps requires a password, and asking employees to maintain all of their own passwords to these applications is not only inefficient; it also presents inherent security risks.

For example, it can introduce IT risks when employees fail to change their credentials or they use the same credentials for every application. Single-sign-on (SSO) solutions can solve that problem.

SSO solutions allow network administrators to control credentials on the back end and give employees a single password from which to log in to every application via a central user interface. The ability for IT teams to grant and revoke application access easily and remotely has become especially critical as many businesses have transitioned to a fully remote or hybrid work model.

This guide will introduce you to the SSO solutions on the market, including our best picks – OneLogin, LastPass, Okta, Cloud Identity and JumpCloud – and explain what they enable your organization to do. In addition, the pricing and negotiation sections will walk you through the process of selecting a service.

Find the Right Single-Sign-On Solution for Your Business

Fill out this questionnaire to find vendors that meet your needs.
How We Decided
Our team spends weeks evaluating dozens of business solutions to identify the best options. To stay current, our research is regularly updated.
25
Considered
10
Researched
5
Selected

Compare Our Best Picks

  OneLogin LastPass Okta Cloud Identity JumpCloud
Price per month Starts at $2 per user Starts at $6 per user Starts at $2 per user Free version; paid plans start at $6 per user Free for up to 10 users; paid plans start at $10 per user
Additional security solutions offered Advanced directory, MFA, SmartFactor Authentication, desktop, identity lifecycle management, HR-driven access MFA, password management, API access, directory integrations MFA, universal directory, lifecycle management, API access management, advanced server access, access gateway MFA, endpoint management, automated provisioning Cloud directory services, access provisioning, cloud LDAP, server access and management, MFA
Customer support 24/7 live chat, email support, technical support portal 24/7 live chat, email and phone support, self-help, customer success manager (for higher tiers) 24/7 live chat, email and phone support, self-help FAQ knowledgebase  Community support, 24/7 email, phone and chat support 24/7 live chat, self-help knowledgebase, email support

Reviews

OneLogin: Best Single-Sign-On Solution for Small Businesses

OneLogin is a straightforward SSO solution that is easy to use and implement within your small business.
This solution prioritizes security with multiple features to protect your employees' and business's data.
Some of OneLogin's custom applications can be difficult to integrate.
Visit Site

OneLogin is our pick for the best SSO solution for small businesses because it offers a customizable service that can easily scale up with your growing business. It is a user-friendly product with a straightforward implementation process.

Although an IT administrator has to set it up, there should be very little training required for the staff who use OneLogin's SSO solution on a day-to-day basis. Overall, OneLogin combines simplicity, flexibility and cost-effectiveness, making it a prime choice for small businesses.

Pricing

OneLogin offers several pricing tiers and the option to bundle multiple security solutions for a discounted price. For just SSO, you can expect to pay $2 per user per month, but you can get the Advanced bundle – which includes SSO, an advanced directory and multifactor authentication (MFA) – for just $4 per user per month. (Each service is normally $2 per user per month.) The Professional bundle costs $8 per user per month and adds Advanced+, identity lifecycle management and HR-driven identity to your plan.

Features

OneLogin is a flexible SSO solution that allows administrators to tailor the identity management process to suit their organization's specific needs. Its compatibility with numerous directory types – including Active Directory (AD), Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and Google apps – makes it useful for any organization, as does the unique methods OneLogin offers for managing groups.

OneLogin has an easily navigated and simple-to-use portal that grants users access to certain applications with a single set of sign-on credentials. Approved applications appear in one central location and, once users utilize their SSO credentials, can be accessed with a single click. The user portal can be customized to match a company's aesthetic and branding as well.

Here are some other features OneLogin offers:

  • Mapping: OneLogin has a unique mapping tool that allows administrators to manage security groups directly rather than synchronizing them with the integrated directory. In effect, OneLogin mapping automates the user provisioning process.

  • Self-registration pages: OneLogin's self-registration feature sets the SSO solution apart from the competition by enabling users to request permission to access specific applications themselves. These pages are subject to administrative controls but streamline users' ability to collaborate with partner organizations or grant temporary access to the SSO ecosystem – for example, for temps or interns. For administrators, these types of self-registered users can be added to one group that is subject to specific permissions and restrictions.

  • Multifactor authentication: Like all of our best picks, OneLogin has an MFA feature that verifies users' identities a minimum of two times for an added layer of security. Administrators can set MFA policies during implementation and modify those settings later.

  • Policies: Administrators are given great latitude over setting policies and user restrictions. One of our favorite policies is the ability to control password complexity, as well as the option to mandate regular password resets and limit users' abilities to reuse old passwords. Like MFA, these policies boost the security of OneLogin's overall system and put network administrators in the driver's seat.

OneLogin Pros

Companies love that OneLogin is a robust SSO platform that covers their entire workforce. It remembers users' passwords with ease and provides access to all company information. OneLogin is accessible to any industry, thanks to the platform's easy-to-navigate interface and customizability.

OneLogin Cons

Some users have had difficulty implementing OneLogin with their custom-built applications, requiring them to get a custom solution.

Customer Support

OneLogin offers multiple customer support features to facilitate the user experience. The company has an online Customer Help Center that allows users to find answers and troubleshoot problems. There is also a library of onboarding training videos to get you and your team up to speed on the service. Your team can also request training packages that are targeted to your team's needs.

More

LastPass: Best Single-Sign-On Solution for Midsize Businesses

LastPass offers more than 1,200 single-sign-on integrations.
Your IT team has complete control over which employees get access to certain applications and can revoke permissions as needed.
The most useful features of LastPass – including single sign-on, multifactor authentication and customizable security policies – are included only in the higher-tier plans.
Visit Site

LastPass by LogMeIn is a comprehensive identity and access management (IAM) solution that offers everything a growing business needs to secure its employees' passwords and application access, no matter where they're working. We chose it as our best pick for midsize businesses because of its low price, robust features and impressive IT controls.

Pricing

Like many SSO and password management solutions, LastPass offers multiple pricing tiers for business plans. The lowest tier is the Teams plan, which is recommended for up to 50 users and costs $4 per user per month. However, this plan includes only basic password management and does not allow for customizable security policies.

The Enterprise tier includes Last Pass' single-sign-on and password management solutions for an unlimited number of users for $6 per user per month. The Identity tier, which costs $8 per user per month, adds a robust suite of advanced multifactor authentication (MFA) features.

In addition to customizable security, application programming interface (API) access and directory integrations, the Enterprise and Identity plans come with a dedicated customer success manager to guide you through the onboarding process. MFA can be added separately to the Teams and Enterprise plans for $3 per user per month.

Features

Every LastPass business plan comes with simple, secure online/offline password management. This includes an admin console, individual employee password vaults, a password generator, a security dashboard, dark-web monitoring and standard two-factor authentication.

If you choose one of the higher tiers, you'll get access to these single-sign-on features and integrations for your business:

  • Large integrated-app catalog: LastPass includes integrations for more than 1,200 popular business applications, including Asana, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Workspace, HubSpot, Jira, Salesforce, Slack and Zoom.

  • Contextual access: Your IT team can set parameters for when, where and on which devices your employees can access their accounts. This is especially important for remote workers, who may be tempted to use unsecured personal devices to access their business applications.

  • Customizable security policies: LastPass allows your company to leverage 100-plus configurable security and access policies so you can enforce best practices with your team's password security.

  • Detailed reporting: Learn when, where and how your employees are using their work apps with in-depth reports from LastPass.

  • Advanced MFA: Certain LastPass business plans include impressive methods, including adaptive biometric authentication, contextual authentication policies and workstation login. Authentication reporting offers insight into which employees are accessing which applications.

LastPass Pros

LastPass provides a wide range of features to help companies of all sizes keep their business accounts secure, especially with its Enterprise and Identity plans. LastPass' large catalog of SSO application integrations means your business systems are likely already a part of the LastPass ecosystem, making it easy to set it up and start granting access to employees. Customizable security and contextual access policies offer your IT team comprehensive control over how your employees use their work resources.

LastPass Cons

Businesses that are looking for a truly comprehensive IAM solution with single sign-on, MFA and flexible IT controls won't find it here, unless they opt for the highest LastPass service tier. At double the cost per user of the basic Teams plan, the Identity plan may quickly become expensive as a midsize company grows.

Customer Support

LastPass offers a number of options for customer support for all business users, including 24/7 live chat, a self-help user manual, phone support and priority email support. Qualified companies that opt for the Enterprise, Identity or MFA plans are also assigned a dedicated customer success manager to help with onboarding questions and issues.

More

Okta Identity Management: Best Single-Sign-On Solution for Enterprises

For enterprises, Okta delivers a superior product for a low price.
Okta works across all devices and platforms.
Setup can be slow because you have to set security policies for each application.

In addition to integration with a variety of directory types, detailed reporting and a user-friendly experience, Okta's SSO solution features a policy engine that gives administrators a great degree of control over who can access what, as well as how, when and where they can access it. Despite its powerful features, Okta costs the same as most of its competitors. It works across all devices and platforms, meaning users can access applications wherever and whenever they need to, security policies permitting. These are some of the reasons we chose Okta as our pick for the best SSO solution for enterprises.

Pricing

Okta maintains a multitier pricing system that starts at $2 per user per month for its basic single-sign-on solution and goes up to $5 per user per month for the additional features in its Adaptive SSO offering. Multifactor authentication (MFA) – a must for modern business security – starts at an additional $3 per user per month. The Enterprise service, which the company recommends for 5,000-plus users, requires a quote but can be tailored to the demands of your organization and may be eligible for a volume discount. 

Features

Okta is easy to navigate. The web portal, like those of many SSO solutions, organizes your applications and sites into a neat grid. The portal is customizable, allowing users to drag and drop icons and set up personalized tabs for quick reference. Administrators can also use the portal to update credentials. Okta's browser tab makes it easy to quickly cycle through and access your saved websites and applications.

Okta supports integration with several directory types, including Active Directory and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, across multiple domains. It also includes robust security policy controls, helping administrators tailor specific rules for access, MFA and conditions.

Here are a few of Okta's most useful features for businesses:

  • User provisioning: Okta gives administrators a unique level of control over the user provisioning process. Settings for how and when to import a user based on specific conditions, such as whether they have an existing Okta account, help tailor an automated import process to your needs. For example, administrators can set the precise instances when they should be alerted to further monitor an account. This feature can expedite the implementation process by directing administrators' attention only to the necessary users.

  • Multifactor authentication: MFA is imperative for security purposes, and Okta allows it to be activated in a number of ways. Several platforms come pre-integrated with Okta, and security policies can be set to require MFA under specific conditions. This added layer of security is especially important for large firms.

  • Security reports: Okta provides security reporting in real time, which can help administrators monitor the system for any signs of foul play or easily spot potential vulnerabilities before they become problems. The heavily data-driven reports can feel overwhelming, but they are thorough and helpful.

Okta Pros and Cons

The biggest limitation we encountered with Okta is that the security policies have to be set on an application-by-application basis. While this isn't a barrier to functionality, it slows the setup process and produces additional work for the IT department.

Ultimately, Okta delivers a superior product for a low price, but administrators should consider this potential drawback. Still, Okta is an easy-to-use, powerful solution that allows administrators to craft the identity management process to best suit their organizations' needs.

More

Google Cloud Identity: Best Single-Sign-On Solution for Startups

Cloud Identity comes with high brand recognition, and can be easily integrated into your existing Google Workspace.
The free version is robust enough for early-stage startups, and at $6 per user, per month, the premium version is highly affordable.
A lack of custom enterprise pricing options and the simplicity of the features may deter larger teams from using Cloud Identity.

With a robust no-cost option and affordable pricing for its premium plan, Google's Cloud Identity is our pick for the best SSO solution for startups. It offers a strong identity access app and end-point management platform for companies of various sizes.  One of Cloud Identity's biggest strengths is its ability to integrate multiple directory types. It is compatible with Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), Google Workspace, Microsoft Active Directory and HR management systems. Moreover, Cloud Identity assists security teams in protecting company data through multifactor authentication (MFA) and Google's threat intelligence systems. However, it's important to note that the free version has a user cap for the user lifecycle management feature.

Pricing

Cloud Identity offers two pricing packages. One package is free and includes unlimited organizational units and groups, as well as 15GB of storage per user. The premium package costs $6 per user per month and expands the offerings with unlimited users for user lifecycle management, additional Google security features, access to advanced mobile management features and enterprise end-point management.   

Features

Here are some of the features of Cloud Identity's SSO solution:

  • A single console: Administrators can control the entire SSO ecosystem from a central location. Cloud Identity allows admins to enable and disable applications to users with a single sign-on. Additionally, business accounts can be accessed the same way as personal Google accounts, allowing for easy usage.

  • Digital workspace: Users can access their workplace from anywhere in the world with only one login for thousands of applications. It's as simple as logging in once and accessing pre-integrated SAML 2.0 and OpenID Connect (OIDC) apps, custom apps and on-premises apps.

  • Google-grade security: Cloud Identity offers the BeyondCorp security model, which brings remote, VPN-style access to all users and their devices. Cloud Identity employs Google's threat intelligence signals that alert administrators to security breaches or issues within their infrastructure. A main security center allows administrators to manage end points and investigate these potential security threats in real time.

  • Multifactor authentication: MFA is a must-have feature in a modern-day SSO solution. The ability to verify a user's identity with two or more steps is essential to avoiding data breaches that result in the loss of sensitive data, such as login credentials.

Cloud Identity Pros

Cloud Identity allows users to work from virtually anywhere by providing integrations with thousands of popular apps, such as Salesforce and Slack. A unified admin console makes it easy for administrators to provision and deprovision users, and Cloud Identity also allows access to traditional applications with secure LDAP, thus providing easy access to on-premises apps.

Security is one of Cloud Identity's main strengths. The SSO solution employs measures such as push notifications, one-time passwords and security keys to keep users and applications safe from phishing threats and security breaches. It also offers end-point management for Android, iOS and Windows 10 devices for easy deployment. Bring-your-own-device support allows users to safely use their personal devices to get work done.

Cloud Identity Cons

Cloud Identity offers only two plans, which may be limiting for large organizations. Additionally, certain features, such as 24/7 support, are restricted to the premium plan, which may not be the case for other SSO solutions.

Customer Support

Google Cloud Identity includes 24/7 support with a live representative in the premium subscription package. Access is granted through an administrative account, and support is available in multiple languages. The free version of Cloud Identity offers a community support feature to answer frequently asked questions and 24/7 support if you paid for Cloud Platform support or Google Workspace.

More

JumpCloud: Best Free Single Sign-On Solution

JumpCloud is free, making it an appealing choice for businesses on a budget.
This SSO solution is easy to scale up as your team grows.
Business-hours-only customer support and a lack of reporting options may make it difficult to get the answers and information you need.

Not only is JumpCloud free, but it also offers a range of the most important features we looked for in the SSO solutions we reviewed. Every JumpCloud plan includes every feature, meaning as long as you don't exceed 10 users, you have access to the full SSO solution for free, forever. Companies with more than 10 users should consider our best picks for SSO solutions for small businesses and enterprises.

Pricing

JumpCloud offers competitive pricing, including an always-free version that provides access to every SSO feature for up to 10 users. For 10 or more users, JumpCloud offers a Pro pricing package that starts at $10 per user per month.

The company also allows companies to build their own directory and plan, starting at $2 per user per month, depending on the features. All plans give users access to all of the features, some of which are listed below. The company offers a 30-day free trial on paid packages, so you can take it for a test spin before subscribing.

Features

Here are some of the features that come with a JumpCloud subscription:

  • User management: JumpCloud offers administrators a number of ways to manage users, including a central Directory as a Service (DaaS), which can tie users to the applications, devices and networks needed for them to work productively. Admins can easily manage users by creating or importing accounts in the JumpCloud console, where they can be mapped to different devices, apps and networks. Administrators can also utilize groups to manage several users simultaneously.

  • Access control: JumpCloud makes it easy for administrators to control the levels of access for each user or group of users. By leveraging the central JumpCloud console, administrators can quickly grant and manage access throughout all applications, devices and networks. The console also enables administrators to regularly change credentials and terminate old users, such as employees who have left the organization.

  • Integrations: Applications can be authenticated with JumpCloud using Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, Security Assertion Markup Language and JumpCloud's own REST API. JumpCloud offers integrations with Google Workspace applications, Microsoft Office 365 and the organization's preferred active directory.

JumpCloud Pros

The free version of JumpCloud is perfect for small businesses and startups, and once these businesses do scale, the solution is still very affordable. Customers love the easy accessibility and setup and the wide variety of integrations.

JumpCloud also has consistently high user satisfaction ratings across several review platforms. Customers often refer to JumpCloud as "useful," "effective" and "reliable" when describing this SSO solution.

JumpCloud Cons

Compared with its competitors, JumpCloud has limited options for detailed reports. In addition, the company's customer service is available only during typical business hours.

Customer Support

JumpCloud offers a customer support portal where users can ask questions and browse issues by topic. Users can also submit a case directly to the website or chat with a customer service expert through the company's premium support chat feature. Every Friday, JumpCloud hosts "Office Hours Q&A sessions," which allow IT administrators to talk with JumpCloud's experts.

More

Buying Guide

How a Single-Sign-On Solution Works

Whenever you log in to an online account, you have to enter a username and password to authenticate and gain access to your account. A single-sign-on solution, in essence, bypasses the need to manually enter those login credentials by interfacing with each individual website and establishing a "trust relationship" between them.

By entering and storing your login credentials for specific applications into an SSO or identity access management solution, you create an authentication token that identifies you as a verified user. That token is then passed to the app or website and grants you access, just as if you had entered your own username and password.

The advantage of single sign-on is that you only have to remember the credentials for the SSO solution instead of all of the usernames and passwords for the individual apps and websites. Once your applications are connected, encrypted and stored within the solution, you won't have to re-enter them unless you change your password or the app or website is updated and resets its security tokens.

How to Determine the Best Single-Sign-On Solution for You

When you're looking for the best single-sign-on solution for your company's needs, there are several important factors to consider:

  • Application integrations. Does the SSO solution integrate with the business programs you use regularly? If not, your employees will still have to remember and enter passwords for certain applications. Robust solutions include extensive app libraries with thousands of integration options, as well as custom API capabilities so your IT team can add its own applications.

  • Security. Any good SSO solution offers top-notch encryption and security features to ensure none of your employees' sensitive data gets into the wrong hands.

  • Customizable access and security policies. Not every employee needs the same level of access to every business application your company uses. Your IT team should be able to provide access to certain employees and apps on an as-needed basis – and more importantly, revoke that access as soon as an employee leaves the company or changes roles.

  • User-friendly interface and experience. An SSO solution won't do you much good if your employees hate using it. Look for a platform that is user-friendly and easy to access and navigate, even from a mobile device.

  • Scalability. If your company grows, you should be able to add new users to your SSO solution easily and affordably. Consider how easily you can scale up or down as your workforce and business needs change.

Single-Sign-On-Solution Costs

Most SSO solutions are cloud-based and priced by a monthly subscription model. Most monthly subscriptions tend to range from $1 to $10 per user per month. Enterprise SSO solutions, which are typically more comprehensive and wide-ranging, generally require a quote from the vendor because they are often customized to each company.

Negotiation Tips

When you are negotiating with an SSO solution vendor, it's important to understand both the needs of your organization and the capabilities of the software you're purchasing. Consider your security needs, and identify applications that need to be integrated. With that information in mind, you can begin contacting vendors. Make sure to do the following:

  • Contact multiple vendors, and have them walk you through the SSO solution feature by feature.
  • Ask for recommendations from other SSO users, and scour online reviews. 
  • Request free demos whenever possible.
  • Ask about any discounts or deals for which your business might qualify.
  • Request a detailed breakdown of the pricing and fee structure.

Cloud-based SSO solutions are often month-to-month or based on annual contracts. If you are going to sign a long-term contract, be sure you understand the ins and outs of what you'll be getting for the price and what level of support you're entitled to. As always, it's important to have an attorney look over any contract before you sign it.

Our Methodology

To choose the best SSO solutions for businesses, we analyzed dozens of reputable software companies by looking at user feedback, previous reviews and Better Business Bureau ratings. From there, we examined our list more closely and narrowed down the selection to a pool of finalists.

To select the final best picks candidates, we analyzed the following:

  • Pricing
  • Ease of use
  • Implementation
  • Security policies
  • SAML authentication
  • Password vaulting
  • Multifactor authentication
  • Mobile capabilities
  • Customization
  • Customer/tech support

What to Expect in 2021

The SSO industry has grown as more businesses have adopted cloud-based applications, and the industry is expected to continue growing at a steady rate and eclipse $1.5 billion by 2021, according to research from Markets and Markets.

The projected growth of the SSO industry underpins businesses' increasing need for efficiency and security for accessing digital applications. According to Datamation, the average organization used 1,427 different cloud services in 2016, which represented a 23.7% increase from the year before.

"The average employee actively uses 36 cloud services at work, including nine collaboration services, six file-sharing services and five content-sharing services," Datamation reported.

The growth of cloud adoption is focused in some industries more than others. For example, companies in the technology, manufacturing, business services and energy industries are very likely to employ cloud services. With a slew of emerging markets yet to fully adopt digital technologies, it's a relatively safe bet that growth will continue.

 

Nicole  Fallon
Nicole Fallon
business.com Member
See Nicole Fallon's Profile
Nicole received her Bachelor's degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. Nicole served as the site's managing editor until January 2018, and briefly ran Business.com's copy and production team. Follow her on Twitter.
Image Credit: fizkes / Getty Images
Back to Top
Back to Top