Password Manager Review: LastPass
LastPass’s name gives you a very clear idea as to what the password manager wants to achieve: It wants to be the last password you’ll ever need. Surrounded by a plethora of applications, LastPass sticks out, mainly thanks to its feature-laden free version. LastPass’s premium version leaves a positive and lasting impression as well, but the application’s support and localization leave a bit to be desired. Nevertheless, you should still give LastPass a chance. Read our test to find out why.
What is LastPass?
LastPass is a freemium password manager that saves your passwords in a secure location using 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 Apple’s Mac.
Pros and Cons
free version comes with a broad array features
clear focus on the essentials
easy and intuitive to use
handy security test for all passwords
multi-factor authentication compatible with many authenticator apps
premium version comes at a reasonable price
standalone app only available for Mac
occasional loading that bogs down usage
browser extension won’t win any design awards
Signing up for and setting up LastPass is a quick deed. The program guides anyone who needs a little help setting up their first password. In order to import your passwords, you need to create a master password that meets the minimum requirements (at least 12 characters, 1 digit, 1 upper case and 1 lower case letter, can’t be your e-mail address). When everything’s done correctly, that password will be the last you’ll ever need to remember (it’ll be your “Last Pass”). So chose wisely!
Other password managers such as Dashlane use their desktop application as their main platform. With LastPass, everything happens through the browser extension – at least on Windows and Linux. A separate desktop app is available for Mac only, and its functionally is on the rather rudimentary end of the spectrum.
Via an installation file package the program creates a desktop shortcut that leads to LastPass’s website, on which you can find your password ‘vault’. You also have the option to easily import saved passwords. The browser extension can be added without using the installation file as well.
Installing LastPass is easy and straightforward. Some Windows users might initially be confused as to why there’s no desktop app after installing the app using the installation file.
Score: 4.7 / 5
User Interface & Ease of Use
Your password hub is made up of two components of LastPass’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 you can access via a link in the extension, you have access to more advanced settings.
During the installation process, German user will notice how bad the German localization is. Random English phrases are mixed in with German ones, and sometimes you’ll find a question to which there are multiple possible answers in multiple languages. This really interrupts the flow of reading and feels very amateurish, especially for an established software company.
Compared to other password managers, the design of the browser extension is nothing exciting and doesn’t stand out from the browser’s background. Other extension are visually a little more appealing which can help navigate the extension.
Nevertheless, you have all the important functions in view, and because of the simplicity the area is not overloaded.
The LastPass Vault
Via the ‘Open my Vault’ submenu, you can access the second LastPass component: your Vault.
There you’ll find more detailed account settings as well as other features like the security test, which you can use to test your password portfolio for weak spots.
The interface of the LastPass Vault is neatly arranged, and using it is intuitive. It’s also nice to see that there are almost no features that capture the user’s attention only to confront them with a paywall a couple of clicks later. Only the feature ‘Emergency Access’ found in the main menu is reserved for premium users.
In the account settings, you can fine-tune the software to your liking, set rules and exceptions for URLs and add multi-factor authentication.
Overall, LastPass is neatly arranged when it comes to its user interface and user experience, even though the browser extension isn’t very exciting. The localization however badly needs some taking care of if LastPass wants to create a better experience for non-english-speaking users.
Score: 4.0 / 5
While other password managers cram as many features and add-ons into their dashboards as possible, LastPass focuses on the basics and offers them so users of the free version as well.
The password generator in the browser menu creators passwords in accordance with your preferences in terms of length, characters, and complexity. Whenever you’re logging in to a website, you can just copy the right password into the form with a single click – and save it in the app.
The security test vets a password’s general security. It also tells you how many passwords are in danger of being compromised and which ones you need to change immediately. You can swap out compromised passwords in the next step – passwords for certain websites such as Facebook and Reddit can be changed with a single click and without closing LastPass.
Changing the password of other websites requires you to manually update them on the website itself. Dashlane makes things a little easier here, but usually, you’ll only have to do that extra step once when setting everything up.
This premium feature enables you to assign an emergency contact to your account and give a person you trust access to your vault in case you’re not able to. Many people think a lot about what happens to their digital profiles after their deaths. Therefore, LastPass provides you with the option to set up a digital will. Your digital legacy entails every important piece of data and your passwords. You can rest assured that your information is safe but still accessible in case of an emergency.
Focussing on basic features pays off: LastPass doesn’t distract you with useless gimmicks and impresses with its easy-to-use tools. The free version should be more than enough for private users. However, if you’re used to the broader array of features of other programs such as Dashlane, you might miss a feature or two.
Score: 4.3 / 5
LastPass saves passwords using the extremely secure AES 256-bit encryption. The app’s security model is based on the ‘Zero Knowledge Principle’: The master password is neither saved nor is it transferred. If LastPass doesn’t know the password and therefore has no access to your data, neither does a hacker. Your data is en- and decrypted on a device level before being synchronized and securely saved with LastPass.
The multi-factor authentication provides an extra layer of security which can be added using LastPass and many other compatible authenticator apps.
Resetting passwords poses the biggest risk to your security. LastPass gives you the option to gain access over your account using previously created single-use passwords if you’ve lost your master password. A thief with access to your computer could abuse this method of resetting a password, depending on your security password.
Nevertheless, LastPass is by and large 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 e-mail and confirm your location. After that you’re good to go. You can synchronize both of your LastPass devices only if you have the premium version.
The app menu is very similar to the one of the browser extension, so you should be able to quickly find the features you need. Additionally, the app comes with its own browser.
To avoid the constant typing out of passwords, you can unlock the app using your fingerprint. It’s up to you whether this conforms with your security profile.
Score: 4.7 / 5
If you have a question for LastPass’s support team, you’re going to have to be patient. A live chat feature with which you can quickly seek out help simply doesn’t exist, and the support center only lets you open a support ticket. And even then, you have to wait for a response in the form of an e-mail which will be sent to you within hours or days, depending on how busy the support team is at the moment. Premium users are given priority to.
On top of all that you’re asked to pose your question in English. Overall, LastPass’s support is light years behind the support services of its competitors.
Score: 3.0 / 5
Besides the free version, LastPass offers private users two additional packages: LastPass Premium is intended for a single user, at a monthly fee of $2.82. LastPass Family can be used by up to six users and costs $3.76 per month.
Business plans depend on the size of the business. The Teams package is suitable for teams with up to 50 members, at a monthly cost of $3.52 per user. Larger companies can take advantage of LastPass Enterprise, at a monthly fee of $5.28 per user.
LastPass is one of the cost-effective solutions on the market, especially for private users. Its free version is a sensible solution in and of itself, because, among other reasons, it doesn’t have a limit on how many passwords can be created.
|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 doesn’t reinvent the wheel and it doesn’t surprise with shiny and gimmicky extra features. Rival password managers aren’t going to go green with envy. But what LastPass does, it does very well – at a very reasonable price and with a free version that is more than enough for most users.
Unfortunately, its support service leaves a whole lot to be desired and its localization efforts makes the app look and feel like a patchwork rug of roughly and randomly stitched-together pieces of the local language and English. Those two rather major flaws might tarnish the overall impression one might have of the product, but they don’t impair its functionality. If you can live with those blemishes, you get a very solid password manager that does its job.
LastPass also enjoys a very good reputation among customers. This is reflected in the predominantly very positive customer ratings.
LastPass is a very affordable solution for easy password management that will make many home users and businesses happy. If you want more features or a more rounded overall package, there is a whole range of alternatives to choose from.
How We Test
LastPass browser extensions have been tested on Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, the mobile application on an Android device (version 8.1.0).