Password Manager Review: LastPass
LastPass’s name gives a pretty clear idea as to what the password manager wants to achieve, namely, to be the last password tool you’ll ever need. The service definitely stands out thanks to its feature-laden free version and reasonably priced premium offers. At the same time, the application’s design and support leave a bit to be desired. To find out whether LastPass has the last word in terms of password managers, check out our review below!
What Is LastPass?
LastPass is a freemium password manager that saves passwords in a secure location, protecting them with a single, securely encrypted master password. LastPass is available as a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, Safari, and Internet Explorer, as a mobile application for Android and iOS devices, and as a desktop app for macOS.
Pros and Cons
Comes with a broad array of features
Clearly focuses on the essentials
Easy and intuitive to use
Nifty security test for all of your saved passwords
Provides multi-factor authentication compatible with many authenticator apps
Reasonably-priced premium version
Standalone desktop app only available for macOS
Occasionally lags while loading
Visually unappealing browser extensions
Registering for and configuring LastPass is a walk in the park. If it's your first time using a password manager, don't worry, the program will guide you in getting started. In order to start importing your passwords, you'll need to create a master password that meets the service's minimum requirements (at least 12 characters, 1 number, 1 upper case, and 1 lower case letter; can’t be your e-mail address). Once you've settled on an appropriate password, write it down, because this will be the last password you’ll ever need to remember.
Other password managers such as Dashlane revolve around their desktop applications, however, LastPass is browser extension-based – at least for Windows and Linux users. A separate desktop app is available for macOS, however, its functionally is nothing to write him about.
When installing, LastPass will create a desktop shortcut that leads to the service's website, where you can access your password ‘vault’. You'll also be given the option to easily import saved passwords. Should you not want to install the application, you can add the browser extension on its own.
Installing LastPass is easy and straightforward. Some Windows users might be confused as to why there’s no desktop app after installing the app using the installation file, but that's just one of the service's quirks.
Score: 4.7 / 5
User Interface & Ease of Use
With LastPass, your password hub is comprised of two components in the software's user interface. Within the browser extension, you’ll find your passwords, secure notes, payment methods as well as other features such as the password generator. In your vault, which is accessible via a link in the extension, you'll be able to configure more advanced settings.
The less said about the design of LastPass's browser extension, the better. Extensions offered by other services are visually much more appealing, and as a result, slightly easier to navigate.
Ignoring the appearance of the extension for a moment, it should be said that all necessary functions are present, and thanks to the developer's emphasis on simplicity, you won't have to worry about clutter or being unable to find what you're looking for.
Via the ‘Open my Vault’ submenu, you can access the second LastPass component, namely, your vault.
Here, you’ll find more detailed account settings as well as other features, such as the security test, which you can use to probe your passwords for vulnerabilities.
The vault's interface is nicely arranged and intuitive to use. We were also pleasantly surprised to see that there weren't any 'lures', or features that a user might start to use, before a paywall pops up. The only feature in the vault that is reserved for premium users is ‘Emergency Access’, which we'll discuss in great detail below in the Features section.
Under account settings, you can fine-tune the software to your liking, set rules and exceptions for URLs, and add multi-factor authentication.
Overall, LastPass's user interface and experience weren't all that bad. Our biggest issue was the poorly designed browser extension, but as the old saying goes, 'don't judge a book by its cover'.
Score: 4 / 5
While some password managers attempt to cram as many features and add-ons into their dashboards as possible, LastPass focuses on the basics, offering pretty much everything to free and paying users alike.
The browser extension's password generator creates passwords in accordance with your length, character, and complexity preferences. Whenever logging into a new website, simply copy the correct password into the form, save your entry, and you'll never need to manually enter that password again!
LastPass's security test vets the general security of your passwords, also informing you how many of them are in danger of being compromised, and which should be changed immediately. After you've seen where you're exposed, you can swap out compromised passwords. For some websites, like Facebook or Reddit, these can be altered with a single click and without closing LastPass.
For other websites, you'll need to manually change passwords on the website in question. Dashlane's password changer is a bit more user-friendly in this aspect, however, the extra steps are only really required the first time you have to change a password.
This premium feature enables you to set an emergency contact for your account and give a person you trust access to your vault in case you’re not able to. Many people worry about what happens to their digital profiles following their death. To address this, LastPass provides premium users with the option of creating a digital will. Your digital legacy entails every important piece of data and your passwords. Thanks to these features, you can rest assured that your information remains safe but accessible in the event of an emergency.
In our opinion, LastPass's emphasis on basic features has paid dividends. The service doesn’t distract users with gimmicks or put up too many paywalls (just one in our experience), instead impressing with its easy-to-use tools. The free version should be more than enough for individual users. However, if you’re used to the broader array of features provided by other programs such as Dashlane, you might miss a feature or two.
Score: 4.3 / 5
LastPass saves passwords using AES 256-bit encryption, which, as of the time of writing, is considered to be the most secure standard of encryption publicly available. Like many of its competitors, the app’s security model is based on the Zero Knowledge Principle: Your master password is neither saved nor transferred. If LastPass doesn’t know the password and therefore has no access to your data, neither does a hacker. Your data is encrypted/decrypted on the device level before being synchronized and securely saved with LastPass.
The option to enable multi-factor authentication provides an additional layer of security.
Resetting passwords poses the biggest security vulnerability we could ascertain. Should you have lost or forgotten your master password, LastPass gives users the option to access their accounts using previously created single-use passwords. Someone with access to your computer (or wherever you've stored these single-use passwords) could take advantage of this, however, if you've lost access to your computer or laptop, you likely have bigger issues.
Overall, LastPass is very secure.
Score: 4.7 / 5
The LastPass app is available for iOS and Android devices. After setting up your account and signing in for the first time, you’ll need to unlock your device via email and confirm your location. After that, you’re good to go. The ability to synchronize multiple devices is reserved for premium subscribers.
The app menu is very similar to that of the browser extension, meaning that you won't need long to feel your way around it. The mobile app also comes with its own browser.
To avoid constantly having to input your master password, you can, if desired, unlock the app using your fingerprint.
Score: 4.7 / 5
Should you have a question for LastPass’s support team, you’re going to need to be patient. The service doesn't have a live chat, and so your only option for getting in touch is through filing a ticket in the support center. Even then, you'll have to wait a few hours, or a few days, depending on how busy the support staff is. Premium users are given priority in terms of support, however, we weren't able to assess the specifics of this.
LastPass’s support is pretty spartan when stacked against what its competitors offer, however, when considering the price (free), we can't really complain too much.
Score: 3 / 5
In addition to the free version, LastPass offers two additional packages to individual users: LastPass Premium is intended for a single user and costs $3.00 per month. LastPass Family, which can be used by up to six users, costs slightly more, at $4.00 per month.
Business plans are scaled to the size of the organization. The Teams package is suitable for groups of up to 50 people, at a monthly cost of $4.00 per user. Larger companies can take advantage of LastPass Enterprise, at a monthly fee of $6.00 per user.
LastPass is one of the cost-effective solutions on the market, especially for individual users, considering that it doesn't limit how many passwords can be saved.
|Price per Month||$0.00||$3.00||$4.00|
|Price per User||$0.00||$0.00||$0.00|
|Contract Period (month)||0||12||12|
|Number of Users||1||1||6|
|Number of Passwords||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited|
|Number of Devices||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited|
|Sync Multiple Devices|
|Only Local Storage|
|Two Factor Auth|
Cloud / SaaS
Cloud / SaaS
Cloud / SaaS
LastPass certainly hasn't reinvented the wheel as far as password managers are concerned. At the same time though, it's also refreshing to see a service that doesn't rely on marketing gimmicks or flashy features to drive its subscriptions. Instead, LastPass emphasizes simplicity, providing both paying and non-paying users with fairly comparable levels of protection. For the former, the service is reasonably priced, while for the latter, the functionality on offer is definitely above average.
Unfortunately, LastPass doesn't have the last word in terms of support or aesthetics, as we were left unimpressed with both. At the end of the day though, limited support options or the dated-looking browser extensions have no impact on the service's functionality. If you can live with these blemishes, you'll have a solid password manager at your fingertips.
LastPass enjoys a very good reputation among its users, as can be seen in the predominantly positive customer ratings.
LastPass is a very affordable solution for easily managing your passwords that will appeal to individuals as well as owners of small businesses or organizations. Should you be on the hunt for more features, a number of alternatives are available, some of which can be seen below:
How We Test
LastPass's browser extensions were tested in Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, while the mobile application was assessed on an Android device (version 8.1.0).