If you struggle to remember your passwords, then you’ve come to the right place as I’ve got the perfect solution for you, called LastPass.
The biggest name in password management, LastPass, is easy to set up, secure, and flexible. This popular password manager strikes an excellent balance of providing many features without overwhelming the user with options, and the software works smoothly across numerous supported platforms.
Today, I’ll take a close look at this password manager; what is it, what’s good about it, what’s not good about and so forth. So read on if you want to know more about LastPass.
What Is LastPass?
Let’s admit, it’s not easy to remember more than 2 or 3 passwords, hence why most users opt for the easy route, which is to pick one password and then re-use it repeatedly. This is very risky since if someone gets their hands on login data for even one of your accounts, he’ll have the key to all the others who share that password.
Also, too many users rely on simple, easily guessable passwords such as ‘123456′, ‘password’, ‘qwerty’, and variations of pets’ names or the names of family members.
With LastPass, you can set a single master password (make sure it’s both secure and memorable), behind which all your other passwords reside. LastPass is designed to auto-generate secure passwords (a unique, unguessable one for each of your online accounts), then auto-fill them into online forms on the fly. Thus making your life easier by helping you deal with all the issues mentioned above.
What’s Good About It?
This password manager is affordable, reliable, secure, and easy to use, making it an excellent choice for people who struggle to remember their passwords. The service has some great features to help along the way:
The LastPass Vault
The core of LastPass, is where your passwords are stored. Without your master password, your vault is encrypted – it’s just a bunch of garbled data that won’t make much sense, even if hacked. However, if someone manages to steal your master password, then your entire vault is at risk.
Passwords and usernames are stored in the vault, along with the site URL used for logging in to each account. If you visit a site with one of your stored logins, this password manager will either automatically fill in your password and username or make them available upon request. Also, it lets you organize your login information into different folders such as office, home, etc.
It also enables you to adjust features, such as allowing auto-login, disabling auto-fill, or requiring you to re-enter your master password for access to, particularly sensitive logins. The last element is instrumental if you use a shared computer; that way, no one can log in to key accounts (such as your bank) without knowing the master password – even if you’re already logged into LastPass on the shared PC.
Extra Storage Options
It also supports form filling to fill out web forms automatically. It can store other confidential pieces of information such as secure notes, which you can use to keep product licenses for paid software, Wi-Fi passwords, or backup codes for two-factor authentication logins.
LastPass Browser Extension
The computer users can download the browser extension with a single click. It supports all popular modern browsers, including IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera. In everyday use, it performs several functions:
- it will auto-fill your saved usernames and passwords when you need them
- it saves new logins as you create them
- it generates new complex, randomized passwords when necessary
- it can also tell you when you’re using the same password with multiple accounts and offers to change them.
The mobile application is available for iOS, Android, Blackberry, and the Windows App Store and operates similarly as the browser extension. For devices that support it, fingerprint verification can be set up so that when you need to enter a password from your Smartphone or tablet, you can use your finger to authenticate your master password.
LastPass Password Generator
As mentioned above, the browser extension or mobile app will create a secure password string that will be nearly impossible to guess or hack with a single click. You can use the password generator for every new site you visit, and each string gets automatically added to your private vault. Similarly, its online username generator can be used to create a secure, random username instantly. There’s also an automated password-changing tool. This can easily change the passwords you use on major websites.
LastPass Emergency Access
Of course, putting all your password eggs in one basket (no matter how secure) is not an intelligent move & can feel daunting. To keep your mind at ease and help you deal with the issue, this password manager has a helpful feature called Emergency Access. This allows nominated trusted LastPass users to get access to your Vault (including all of your passwords, Secure Notes, Form Fill data, and other information), if needed.
This is a great feature in case you forget your Master Password.
LastPass locally encrypts your password with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit encryption and secures them online in the cloud using a secure connection. Your master password stays on your local machine and cannot be accessed by hackers who may be intercepting your web traffic. Also, LastPass offers several two-party authentication factors, including Google Authenticator, Toopher, Duo security, Transakt, and Grid for the free versions.
What Is Not So Good?
Overall, it’s a great password management system, but there are also a few drawbacks. Re-entering your master password for added security won’t feel ideal for everyone. It can be tedious to do it each time you land on a site, compared to auto-filled logins.
A way to deal with this issue is to only use this advanced security measure for those accounts where you feel the added hassle is worth it.
Also, the tool to automatically change passwords for the user is not as robust as other services, since it doesn’t allow you to change multiple passwords simultaneously like Dashlane (another password manager).
In practice, this isn’t a drawback that you’re likely to encounter throughout the lifespan of your LastPass usage – this process will be a bit annoying when first setting up, putting more onus on you to do a bit of manual setup.
This password manager has options for both personal and professional use. Let’s look at both!
LastPass Personal Plans
LastPass has a free edition (only for one user and includes a free 30-day trial), a premium edition, and an edition for up to six family members. The regular Premium package costs only $3 per user for a month, incredibly affordable, while access for up to 6 family members only costs 4/month.
One thing I don’t like here is that they only charge you annually, so you’ll pay thirty-six dollars a year for your account and forty-eight dollars for your family account. But you are considering that the free version offers unlimited passwords, a password generator, secure note storage, one-to-one sharing, and so forth. For many users, LastPass Free will be enough.
LastPass Business Plans
If you want to use LastPass professionally, you can purchase a package for teams of up to fifty members or Enterprise, MFA, or Identity for businesses of all sizes. You’ll get some features not available for the personal plans, like:
- Basic Reporting vs. Advanced Reporting: With basic reporting, the administrator will see when the employee logged in, along with user activity reports and security reports. Advanced reporting provides more detailed data, audit logs, and historical access for compliance.
- Advanced Multi-Factor Options vs. Additional Multi-Factor Options: While advanced multi-factor options include Yubikey, Sesame, and fingerprint authentication, additional options are available for Symantec, VIP, RSA, SecurID and Salesforce.
- API Access: API access allows Enterprise users to customize their API integration so they can easily scale the password manager to their needs.
- SAML Single Sign-On: SAML, which stands for Security Assertion Markup Language, allows users to share passwords across a network in the most secure way possible.
- Cloud App Provisioning: Finally, cloud app provisioning lets administrators automate employee dashboards so they can easily access their favorite apps.
As mentioned at the start of the article, LastPass is the biggest name in password management, and why it shouldn’t be, it comes with a robust free version and relatively inexpensive premium upgrade. The app ticks all the right boxes; the core functionality works flawlessly, and extras such as form filling, secure file storage and the much needed extra security in the form of multi-factor authentication are all among the best in class.
Although, as mentioned above it does have a few cons too, but the pros certainly outweigh them and I’d readily recommend using LastPass rather than trying to remember all your passwords yourself.