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Login vs. Password — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on October 29, 2023
Login is the account or username used to identify a user, while a password is a secret key used to verify the user's identity.
Login vs. Password — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Login and Password


Key Differences

Login is commonly used to refer to either a username or the act of entering into a system. Passwords, on the other hand, are unique identifiers created to protect and secure the user's login from unauthorized access. In essence, the login acts as a public identifier, while the password serves as a private key.
Every login corresponds to a specific password, set up by the user to authenticate their identity. While the login can be seen or used by multiple people in some systems (like a family login for a streaming service), the password should always be kept confidential to ensure security.
A login is typically a user’s email or a custom username; it's the label that tells the system who is trying to gain access. The password, conversely, is the credential paired with the login that must be entered correctly to confirm that the user is who they claim to be.
To maintain security, it is advised to change passwords regularly, but logins are usually kept the same for continuity. While a login can often be seen by others, for instance in a shared network, a password should remain hidden and is usually encrypted for security.
Users frequently recover forgotten passwords using their login information. The login stays constant, enabling users to reset or retrieve their password when forgotten, but one should never share their password, as it is the key to their personal login.

Comparison Chart


Username or account ID.
A secret code or phrase.


Often public or visible.
Always kept hidden.


Identifies the user.
Verifies the user.

Change Frequency

Rarely changed.
Changed regularly.

Complexity Requirements

Usually simple.
Often complex.

Compare with Definitions


A session in which a user is authenticated to use a system or service.
After her login, she spent two hours shopping online.


A combination of characters used to verify a user's identity.
She entered her password incorrectly three times and got locked out.


A username used for access to a computer system or service.
Please enter your login to access the application.


A term used in computer security to denote a private authentication element.
Without the correct password, you cannot retrieve your email messages.


The process of gaining access to a system by entering a username and password.
He completed his login at 9 AM sharp.


A key for unlocking encrypted or restricted access.
The technician asked for the password to install the software.


The credentials used to access a personal account or space on a network.
I had to reset my login because I forgot the original one.


A form of security to protect user accounts and data.
For your safety, never share your password with anyone.


An entry point to a website that requires user identification.
Click on the top right corner to find the login page.


A secret word or phrase that grants access to a system or service.
He updated his password to something more secure.


In computer security, logging in (or logging on, signing in, or signing on) is the process by which an individual gains access to a computer system by identifying and authenticating themselves. The user credentials are typically some form of "username" and a matching "password", and these credentials themselves are sometimes referred to as a login (or logon, sign-in, sign-on).


A password, sometimes called a passcode, is secret data, typically a string of characters, usually used to confirm a user's identity. Traditionally, passwords were expected to be memorized, but the large number of password-protected services that a typical individual accesses can make memorization of unique passwords for each service impractical.


The process of identifying oneself to a computer, usually by entering one's username and password.


A secret word, phrase, or sequence of characters that must be presented in order to gain access or admittance. Also called pass phrase.


A username.


A word relayed to a person to gain admittance to a place or to gain access to information.
Only if a would-be visitor knew the password du jour could he pass; the guards allowed no exceptions.


(computing) A combination of a user's identification and password used to enter a computer, program, network, etc.
I've forgotten my login again.


A string of characters used to log in to a computer or network, to access a level in a video game, and so on; archetypally a word#Noun but nowadays often an alphanumeric#Adjective string or a phrase#Noun.
A strong password has a mixture of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and punctuation marks.


(computing) The process of logging in.
Your login failed because you weren't connected to the office network.


To protect with a password.


A word to be given before a person is allowed to pass; a watchword; a countersign.


A secret word or phrase known only to a restricted group;
He forgot the password

Common Curiosities

Can my login be my email address?

Yes, many services use an email address as the login for simplicity and uniqueness.

How often should I change my password?

It is recommended to change your password every 3 to 6 months, or whenever you suspect it might be compromised.

What is a login?

A login is typically a username or email address used to identify a user on a digital platform.

Is a login the same as a user ID?

Yes, login and user ID are often used interchangeably to refer to a user’s identifier.

What do I do if I forget my login?

If you forget your login, use the service's recovery process, often requiring your email or phone number.

Can anyone else see my password when I log in?

No, passwords are usually encrypted and masked when entered for security.

What if I forget my password?

Use the "Forgot Password" feature typically found on the login screen, which may require email or security questions.

Should my password be complex?

Yes, passwords should be complex and include a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols for better security.

Why do some logins fail even with the right password?

Login failures can occur due to caps lock being on, account restrictions, or server issues.

Can I use the same login for multiple accounts?

You can use the same login for multiple accounts, though it is not recommended for security reasons.

Is it safe to write down my password?

It is not recommended to write down your password due to the risk of it being found and misused.

Why do websites require both a login and a password?

A login identifies the user, while a password ensures that the user is the legitimate account owner.

Can my login and password be the same?

Technically yes, but for security reasons, they should always be different.

How many times can I attempt to login before getting locked out?

This varies by service, but usually, there’s a limit of 3 to 5 attempts before temporary lockout.

Should I use a password manager?

Password managers are recommended to securely store and generate complex passwords for your logins.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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