Find a place to save your password now
Password manager LastPass makes free accounts virtually useless by limiting account owners to one device and stalling millions of users. If you are looking for a new password manager today, I will implement your option.
What about LastPass?
LastPass has announced a major change to its free account. This makes it much less useful than before.
After March 16th, free account holders will no longer be able to access their passwords on their computers and mobile devices. You have to choose one or the other.
The first device logged in after March 16th will determine the active device type when LastPass calls. Therefore, when you launch LastPass on your laptop, you can access your password on any laptop or desktop computer, but not on your smartphone or tablet. The opposite is true if you first opened LastPass on your mobile device.
According to LastPass, customers have three chances to switch between active device types.
This almost ruins your LastPass free tier, as the overall point of password managers is to give you access to strong and unremembered passwords on any device. LastPass explicitly wants to direct customers to paid premium accounts starting at $ 2.25 per month by letting them choose the type of device they use. However, such bait-and-switch can leave a bad taste in the mouth of some users.
What are the best free LastPass options?
The most obvious solution here is to store the password in your web browser. Almost all web browsers offer a free password manager, but this is not the root recommended by Id.
why? Put all the eggs in one basket. If you’re using Google Chrome, like the vast majority of the world, you’re already using Google Login to protect your Gmail, Google Drive documents, and other services. If you save your password in Google Chrome, that single Google login will save even more sensitive information.
Browsers are often shared on computers as well. For example, if you store your bank password on your computer, do you really want your child to have access?
If you choose this route, turn on at least two-factor authentication. This will prevent thieves from accessing your entire account if they can get your password, for example because you need to verify your login to your new device from your smartphone.
My recommended course of action is to switch to one of LastPass’s rivals, such as Bitwarden. I’ve written about the great Bitwarden before: it’s free and open source and works on almost any device that can be named.
Bitwarden offers a premium account ($ 10 / year) that unlocks additional features, but I’ve been running it for over a year with a free account and it works perfectly without these additional features.
Is there a risk that Bitwarden will follow LastPass and eventually force free users to get a paid account? I can’t say anything about it, but given that the company announced the following tweets in response to the LastPass changes, it’s highly unlikely that it will interfere with your free account.
The GIF embedded above promises: All logins, all devices, always free. This sends a very strong signal that your free account will continue to work for the foreseeable future.
If you’re using LastPass, you can export your saved passwords and form entries to Bitwarden by following the steps provided here.
It’s worth noting the warning on that page that some users have reported a bug where special characters in passwords are replaced with HTML-encoded values. That is, for example, & can change to & and the password will be corrupted. If you find that it is happening with the exported password, use a text editor (such as Notepad on Windows) to find and replace all the changed values.
Other free password managers
There are other free password managers, but I’ll add a warning here that I haven’t thoroughly tested any of the following:
NordPass offers a free version of Password Manager that syncs both desktop and mobile. The big limitation of free accounts is that you can only log in to one device at a time. It doesn’t sound like a big barrier-you rarely need to have mobile and desktop password managers open at the same time-but it’s worth noting.
LogMeOnce also offers a free account-strangely labeled as premium in the pricing plan. The only thing to note here is that you will see ads to fund the service. Explaining this as a drawback is very hypocritical to me-I’m reading this article on a site that is partially funded by advertising-but especially for sensitive things like password information. When wrapped up, people have different levels of tolerance for advertising. (For clarity, there is no suggestion that advertisers can read passwords, which is shocking.)
Id said it avoids browser password managers, but if you’re on the road, consider Firefox Lockwise. Mozilla, the developer of Firefox, has a solid record of protecting user privacy. I trust them before many other browser makers. Vivaldi is another ID to add to my trusted list.
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