LastPass is a user-friendly password management service with a free plan that offers more features than some of its paid-for competitors.
The challenge with passwords is that we need a unique one for each online account. If we use the same one everywhere, a compromise on a single service could compromise them all. However, trying to memorise a unique password for every account is also not practical.
LastPass is a secure password management solution that solves this problem. By leveraging its capabilities, you can have a unique password for every account, but only need to remember one.
What's in this guide?
What is LastPass?
LastPass is a secure password manager. It allows you to save, store and manage an unlimited number of usernames and passwords. Initially released in 2008, LastPass has won numerous editor's choice awards from the information security press.
How does it work?
LastPass stores all of your various login credentials in one location called a vault. Once you have saved a password to your LastPass vault, it encrypts it to your device. The next time you visit a website, you can retrieve it from your vault or have LastPass enter it for you automatically. The same functionality is available on its mobile app, where it can also auto-fill the relevant information needed to access your favourite services.
LastPass is available on macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android. However, to get the service's full benefit, you need to use a web browser extension. It supports Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari and Opera, giving you the capability to manage all your data via the web.
What features does LastPass offer?
- Unlimited passwords. You can create and store as many passwords as you like.
- Categories. You can organise your different usernames and passwords into various categories such as personal, work and family.
- Security dashboard. This feature rates each saved credential's strength, identifying potential risks such as old, reused or weak passwords.
- Password generator. You no longer need to create long complex passwords. LastPass does it for you and saves it automatically.
- Support for Multi-Factor Authentication. You have the option to strengthen your security and use a second factor in addition to your password to access your LastPass vault.
- Webform auto-fill. You can use LastPass to complete all the standard information required by web forms such as name, address and contact numbers.
How safe is LastPass?
LastPass is very secure. It saves, stores and organises all of your login information in an encrypted vault. It does not store your master password or authentication keys on its servers. Instead, the vault encryption keys remain on your device. This security mechanism ensures no-one can obtain your encrypted data remotely. Even LastPass cannot access the usernames and passwords stored on their service.
LastPass also uses 256-bit AES encryption to protect your information, the most secure encryption standard commercially available. It also leverages Transport Layer Security (TLS) to prevent attackers from gaining access to your data in transit.
How much does LastPass cost?
LastPass Personal pricing comes in three tiers:
- Premium ($54 per year)
- Family ($72 per year)
The free plan includes the password vault, access to LastPass on your computer, phone or tablet, the ability to auto-fill passwords and a password generator.
The premium tier comes with all the features of the free plan, but also offers additional features. Some of the more notable ones include:
- One-to-many password sharing. This feature is useful in organisations where several individuals need to know the password for a particular account.
- Advanced Multi-Factor Authentication options. The free tier only offers support for Duo, Google or Microsoft Authenticator. The premium tier extends this to other services.
- Emergency access. This feature allows you to provide emergency contact access to your passwords in the event of a crisis or your untimely demise.
- Dark web monitoring. If hackers publish any of your login credentials on the dark web, this feature alerts you so that you can take proactive action.
The LastPass family tier offers six premium licences and caters, as the name suggests, to families. Subscribing to this service reduces the cost of a premium licence to $12 per year instead of the standard $54, assuming you use all 6. It also comes with a family security dashboard giving the administrator a comprehensive view of password risk across the group.
Who is LastPass aimed at?
Password managers strengthen security as they allow you to have a unique, complex password for every online service. As you only need to remember one password, it simplifies your digital life while securing it. Anyone who has multiple accounts can use LastPass. Its free tier has every feature you need to strengthen your online security.
Pros and cons of LastPass
- Unlimited password storage
- Works on all popular browsers and devices
- Password generator
- Auto-fill capabilities
- Multi-Factor Authentication support
- Security dashboard with a password strength report
- Feature-rich free version
- Emergency access is only available to paying customers
- Importing passwords can be cumbersome
- LastPass has had security scares in the past
How does LastPass compare to other password managers?
Does your company belong in this list?
LastPass is a comprehensive password manager. The free edition comes packed with features, some of which you need to pay for with other competing products. It syncs across all your devices, is easy to use, has no limits on the number of passwords you can store and protects your information with the strongest commercially available encryption.
Frequently asked questions about LastPass
How secure is the data I store in LastPass?
LastPass secures your data with the strongest commercially available encryption. Encryption and decryption only take place on your device. Your sensitive data does not travel over the Internet and LastPass does not store it on their servers. LastPass only keeps your encrypted data, secured by your master password, so no-one can access it (including LastPass).
What happens if I lose or forget my master password?
If you forget or misplace your master password, LastPass offers several account recovery methods you set up when you first subscribe to the service. These include fingerprint or facial recognition on your iOS or Android device, a password hint or reminder, SMS account recovery, and a One Time Password recovery option from a web browser with the LastPass extension installed.
How many people use LastPass?
At the time of writing, over 25.6 million users and 70,000 businesses trust LastPass with their online security. It is one of the most widely used password managers with 29,300 reviews and a 4.5-star rating on the Chrome store.Back to top