Probably the password manager with the best free plan, LastPass offers a decent experience overall. However, for those wanting to get the most out of their password manager, the LastPass paid plan disappoints when compared to others. Read our full LastPass review for the details.
Free plan available
LastPass ranks among our best password managers for its ease of use and security. Even the most tech-deficient can harness the power of the interface with a unique auto-fill system and quick access to your password vault.
Even so, LastPass misses out with a dismal support system. In this LastPass review, we’re going to cover all the highs and lows of the service and compare it to our favorite password managers.
Simply having a password manager doesn’t mean your online accounts are protected, though. There’s a lot you can do in the way of generating a strong password that makes a difference. Check out our own password generator as well as our guide on how to setup a strong password.
- Easy to use
- Free plan
- Security challenge
- Two-factor authentication
- Lackluster support
- Data breaches on record
- No universal password changer
LastPass has quite a few features, but only if you’re paying. A free plan is available, one that excels in ease of use, but without the extra meat on the proverbial bone, an upgrade to Premium or higher makes far more sense.
Free plans still come with the suite of LastPass applications, which are available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android as is the standard fare for password managers. However, free plans simply get the browser extension, there is no desktop client available.
This is where it gets a little confusing. You can download LastPass directly to your machine, but it’s just an installer for the browser extensions, not an actual interface. Opening the LastPass app from your desktop will open a browser.
The Premium plan is cheap, which we’ll discuss in the next section. With it comes folder sharing options and LastPass for applications. This additional tool allows you to log into apps on your mobile device or desktop without copying your password from the vault.
As with most password managers, this one comes with a generator, and it’s customizable. It’ll spit out a random bundle of keystrokes or you can set it so the password is easy to say or read as a reminder.
In the case of a single user, this doesn’t have much application, but we could see its usefulness in a business setting in which employees often forget passwords.
Along with passwords, LastPass allows you to save credit card and form information, so you can auto-fill those as well.
The features aren’t bad at LastPass, but the overall lineup is missing some sort of batch password feature. We would like to see a universal password changer like Dashlane offers, for instance.
LastPass Features Overview
LastPass has some of the better rates we’ve seen, with the Premium plan being the standout of the lot. Family and Enterprise plans show a lot of value, but the confusing pricing model means you’ll have to spend more time figuring out which is best for you.
Lastpass Free vs Premium
A free plan is nice to see, one that many password managers oddly omit. It’s not as featured as Dashlane’s free plan (read our Dashlane review) but still gives you full access to the LastPass vault.
Free plans do not have item sharing or emergency access. Neither are too disappointing if you’re going solo, but some sort of emergency access would’ve been nice in the event something happens to you and a loved one needs access to your information.
All of these features as well as priority support come with a Premium plan and, at only $24 per year, the cost is worth it. It’s one of the cheapest password managers on the market, coming in $12 per year than a similar plan at 1Password (read out 1Password review).
Likewise, the Family plan is $1 cheaper per month than 1Password. It’s essentially six Premium licenses for the cost of two, along with a family dashboard manager. For the price, it’s one of the most well-rounded family plans on the market.
Team and Enterprise plans come with additional user management options, basic reporting and additional multi-factor measures. The Team plan supports 5-50 users and Enterprise works with five or more.
The Enterprise plan gets expensive when adding a large team, but LastPass justifies the cost. You get a dedicated line to customer support and the ability to group employees to speed up management of passwords.
We like LastPass’ low-to-ground pricing model that undercuts most of the competition. While we would like to see emergency access on free plans, it’s easy to look past with how cheap a Premium license is.
For small to mid-size businesses, there can be some confusion about appropriate plans. If you have a small staff (under six employees), then a Family plan will be cheaper and better suited for your needs, even though it doesn’t wear the “Teams” moniker.
LastPass is easy to use, sitting on par or slightly below Dashlane, our benchmark manager. That’s in practice, however, as setting up all of your passwords can be an arduous chore.
If you want to import passwords, there are two options: from an existing password manager or through a CSV file. If you have a password manager already, then the process is fairly simple. Outside of that, you’ll need to either set your passwords manually or add them as you log into websites.
You can import passwords from other browsers as well, but only if you install LastPass for your operating system which, in turn, installs the browser extension. It’s confusing, and we imagine most people will skip over browser import by simply installing the extension without a second thought.
The setup takes a while, but LastPass is a liberating experience to use. The browser extension on Chrome (where we tested) is responsive, asking you to update passwords as you change them. If you generate a password with the browser, it will automatically add or update the site in your vault once you’ve set it.
It doesn’t seem like much, but this small detail is huge as far as password managers go. Nothing’s worse than generating a strong password, entering it on the site you want and then clearing your clipboard. LastPass adds a failsafe in there.
You can access your LastPass vault from the browser extension. In there, you’ll see all of your passwords laid out in a tile form. One area we like quite a bit is the ability to add folders to your vault.
This organization is found in one form or another at most password managers (usually with tags) but we like LastPass’ implementation far more. Folders just make more sense with how operating systems work, and the ability to throw passwords into a folder and collapse it means your vault will stay tidy, even with a lot of entries.
When you land on a site, LastPass will display a small, transparent logo in the entries of any form. Clicking there will bring up your entries for that URL and you simply click on the one you want for auto-fill.
Likewise, you can always click on the entry directly inside your vault to launch the website and log in.
LastPass uses industry standard 256-bit AES encryption that would take billions upon billions of years to crack, even if every computer on the globe was working on it 24×7. Your information is encrypted at-rest with AES-256 and transferred to LastPass over SSL.
It uses a zero-knowledge model on your master password meaning you, and only you, could possibly know the code to unlock your vault. LastPass never stores and will never ask for it, even if you’re locked out of your account.
The basic model works like this: After you enter your master password, it goes through 5,000 rounds of PBKDF2 hashing to generate an encryption key. That key (at AES-256) is sent to LastPass which unlocks and decrypts your data. The hashing stands out here as it goes a long way against brute force attacks by slowing down guesses.
You can also add a round of two-factor authentication to increase your protection even more. LastPass has its own authenticator that sends a unique key to your phone each time you log in and supports others such as Google Authenticator and Transakt.
Every plan, even the free one, has access to these 2FA tools, but the Premium plan also allows you to authenticate with a hardware key such as the YubiKey.
Inside your LastPass vault, you can also find the security challenge. It will show you all old, reused and weak passwords and give you an overall score from the LastPass community. It will also rank your master password so you know if it needs to be stronger.
The challenge is a welcome security feature, but with no way to batch change passwords, it’s often just a disappointing report that means you’re going to have to go back and change your passwords individually.
Support is a big weak point for LastPass. While typical of password managers, we’re still disappointed to see email-only support available. Premium users get a higher spot in the queue, but, on a free plan, we received a response in a little over two days.
LastPass has 24×7 ticket support, but we think that’s a pretty generous assessment. Email support is not 24×7, even if agents are available around the clock. When we think 24×7 support, we think instant answers, with a help line through phone or live chat, both of which LastPass lacks.
If you want instant answers, you’ll need to use the knowledgebase. This is more an FAQ area, with answered questions in nearly every area of the service. It’s a nightmare to navigate, though, with the only real means of finding an answer being through the search bar.
There is a community-to-community forum that’s pretty active for questions, requests and tips on the service. It’s a bit outdated, but gets the job done. We would’ve liked to see more support reps on the forums to provide a real form of 24×7 support, though.
Support is on the level of most password managers. That is to say, it’s not very good. The forums are a nice inclusion over the typical fare, but it doesn’t provide much in the way of a dedicated support team for answering your questions.
We like LastPass for its interface. Your vault is neatly organized with the inclusion of folders and a block layout, and it’s easily accessible through your browser extension. Similarly, the button on forms makes logging in easy.
If you want ease of use and a low price tag to boot, LastPass is a good choice. We don’t mind recommending the free plan, even though a Premium license is cheap, as it comes with full multi-device sync and access to the LastPass vault.
Even so, you’re making quite a few compromises. While security is top-notch, support is severely lacking. This is something we’ve seen with a lot of password managers, but that doesn’t make our evaluation of LastPass any different.
Out of our password manager reviews, LastPass ranks high, but we recommend Dashlane for a more well-rounded manager with a free plan and low-cost premium option.
What do you think of LastPass? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.