The granddaddy of password managers provides reliability for a good price, but changes to the free plan turn off some.
TLDR: LastPass offers easy-to-use access and a huge number of security features. Families and businesses, especially, get great bang for the buck, but recent changes in customer support make it hard to recommend the company for individual users.
LastPass Pros and Cons
❌ Checkered security history
✅ Families plan is a great deal.
❌ Dwindling customer service
✅ Lots of excellent features
❌ Reported bugs
✅ Solid browser and device support
LastPass is by far the most popular password manager in the world, and in a day and age when our passwords seem to multiply every day, password managers like LastPass are increasingly necessary.
LastPass stores your passwords in an encrypted vault, which you can access with your master password. LastPass combines its password generator, autofill feature and automatic sync to provide enhanced security for your accounts with an easy login across your devices, making shopping, social media, banking and even email much easier — and more secure.
LastPass password manager was created in 2008 and later acquired by LogMeIn, a Boston-based company that also owns GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar. LastPass is based in Boston, Massachusetts, and reports that it serves 25.6 million users and 70,000 businesses.
LastPass offers three pricing plans for individual users and two business plans. All subscription bills are charged on an annual basis, so we’ve ignored LastPass’s $3-$6 per month subscription claims and only included the amount you’d pay at sign-up.
$48/year per user
$72/year per user
One device type, one license
Unlimited devices, one license
Unlimited devices, six premium licenses
Unlimited devices per user, one license each
(up to 50 users)
Unlimited devices per user, one license each
- Save and autofill unlimited passwords (one device type)
- Access to secure password vault
- One-to-one password sharing
- Secure file encryption
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
Signing up for a free plan is easy and it comes with a password generator, multi-factor authentication and a 30-day trial for the Premium plan. That way, you can test out the Premium plan without a subscription. If you want to keep using LastPass at no charge, you’ll have to remember to cancel the 30-day trial before you are charged the full amount for the Premium plan.
What we don’t like: LastPass’ free plan saves and automatically fills an unlimited number of passwords and stores them in a secure password vault, but you can only use this for one device type. That means you can choose to use LastPass across all your desktops and internet browsers, or you can use LastPass across all your mobile devices, including tablets and smart watches. You can’t, however, use it for desktops and mobile devices. Once you choose which device type you want to set up, you’ll be able to access your passwords online or offline anytime through the app or online.
What we do like: The free password generator creates stronger passwords that are much tougher to hack, virtually impossible to guess and unique from every other password. All these optimum-strength passwords get stored in an encrypted vault, and the key for that vault never leaves your device.
You can also securely store sensitive information in your vault, such as passports, driver’s license information, credit cards, Social Security numbers and more. LastPass remembers these numbers for you and can be shared with one other person on the free plan. You can also upload photos of documents so that all of your important information is backed up in one place.
One warning about multi-factor authentication: You won’t have support for biometric authentication, such as fingerprint scanners and facial recognition, with the free plan.
LastPass Premium Plan ($36/year)
- Same features as free plan, but allows unlimited devices
- One-to-many password sharing
- Emergency access
- Advanced MFA, including biometric authentication
- Priority customer support
- 1 GB of encrypted file storage
- Security dashboard
- Dark web monitoring
- Email customer support
In addition to all the features available with the free plan, LastPass’ Premium pricing option allows you to use unlimited devices and types. That’s a big deal if you want to keep your passwords stored and accessible across your phone, tablet and desktop.
What else we like: Premium also allows one-to-many sharing for all your passwords. Unlike the free plan, which only allows you to share once per password, you can share each password with multiple people. One of the most important features Premium offers is emergency access for key individuals who would need your password information in case anything happens to you.
Premium members will also be able to use LastPass with authenticator apps like YubiKey, Sesame and your fingerprint and FaceID scanners for extra layers of security. The LastPass app for Windows also comes with a unique advantage: You’ll be able to save passwords and enable autofill for applications native to your Windows computer.
Finally, the Premium plan comes with an easy-to-use security dashboard that evaluates your passwords and shows you a score that is based on how strong and unique your passwords are. The dashboard acts as a command center that actively monitors your passwords for data breaches, including dark web monitoring. If your password is ever detected on the dark web, you’ll receive an alert informing you that you should immediately change your password.
LastPass Families Plan ($48/year)
If you have multiple people in your house who need LastPass protection, the Families plan is a phenomenal deal. The Families plan includes six separate licenses of LastPass Premium for just $1 more per month than the individual Premium plan. You’ll also gain the ability to organize folders for family members and receive alerts when any of your family’s passwords have been compromised.
Setup per Families member is easy. Once you sign up with LastPass, you’ll have access to an intuitive Families manager dashboard where you can invite members to join by email. Each user will have his or her own vault that will contain passwords. While the individual passwords will be kept private, you can also create unlimited shared folders for easy password sharing. This is helpful if your family members constantly ask for information like the Netflix password.
LastPass Business Plans
LastPass has made a lot of headway in password protection for businesses. Many companies now turn to LastPass to keep passwords secure and shareable across departments. LastPass offers two business plan options: Teams and Business.
Both plans come stocked with features, although the Business plan is most impressive due to its access to more than 100 customizable security policies.
The Teams plan is $48 per user per year and limits you to 50 users. The business plan is $72 per user per year and allows unlimited users.
If your company has less than 50 employees, we recommend staying with the Teams plan, unless you’re extremely interested in custom features or you regularly work with sensitive information.
Which LastPass Pricing Plan Is Right for You?
We think it’s great that LastPass lets anyone use its password protection for free. If you’re not going to be sharing many passwords and you just need a simple way to remember all your login credentials, the free version is the way to go. Keep in mind that customer service is limited — you’ll only have access to an online resource library and LastPass community forum boards
If you like the additional features in the Premium plan, such as unlimited device types, security score, dark web monitoring and the advanced MFA, then $36 a year is a good deal and on par with other top password managers. You’ll also get 1 GB of encrypted file storage for secure documents, priority tech requests and the ability to email the LastPass customer support team
Obviously, if you need more users to have more access to LastPass, the Families plan will be the best option.
How to Set Up LastPass
LastPass is intuitive and easy from the beginning. You’ll get started by downloading the app onto your device or adding the extension to your browser.
Step 1: Load Your Passwords
You can load your passwords into the LastPass vault by logging into a website once. That is when LastPass captures the username and password information and locks it behind your LastPass master password.
Creating new passwords is even easier. LastPass’ password generator makes it easy to have unique, random passwords per account, and LastPass remembers each one so you don’t have to. You can even generate an additional random password for security questions to tighten your security even more.
Step 2: Sign in with Autofill
After your passwords are loaded, use autofill to sign in to your apps and websites. Your passwords easily sync among all your devices and internet browsers. If you ever change a password in your vault, that password automatically changes across every device where you’ve used it. The same is true if you change your financial information in your LastPass digital wallet. The changes automatically updates on each of your devices.
In our tests, LastPass was consistently easy to use across devices and internet browsers. We tested a LastPass Business plan on the iOS app, Mac using the native app and Safari and Windows using Firefox and Chrome. Installing and sign-in was a snap, even across devices. Once LastPass has your passwords and autofill is enabled, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without it.
LastPass Security Features
- Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)-256 encryption
- Password-Based Key Deviation Function 2 – Secure Hash Algorithm 256-bit hashing (PBKDF2-SHA256)
- Local-only “Zero-Knowledge” security model
- Password generator
- Consistent audits and reports
- Bug bounty program
- Service Organization Controls Type 2 compliance
We’ve established that LastPass can make your life easier thanks to a single, master password that unlocks all of your other passwords. However, the question remains: Can it keep all your passwords safe in its online vault?
LastPass uses AES-256 encryption then goes the extra mile with the PBKDF2-SHA256 hashing system, which helps prevent brute-force attacks when hackers try to guess your password manually. Most importantly, your passwords are encrypted at your local devices level. That means the encryption key enabling you to access your passwords never leaves your device, which also means that LastPass never has your master password and theoretically could never access your data. We think this is important since LastPass is based in the U.S., which has strict laws on data tracking. If LastPass were to ever be subpoenaed by the U.S. government, the company wouldn’t be able to hand over your master password, encryption key or access to your passwords because it doesn’t have access to them. That also means your passwords won’t be vulnerable to a data breach if LastPass’ servers are hacked.
Security for Business Users
For business users, you have a lot of control around who can share your company’s passwords with people outside your organization. Also, LastPass’ dark web monitoring ensures your passwords will be monitored even on the parts of the web you can’t search. Finally, LastPass offers a native mobile authenticator to protect against phishing and malware attacks through 6-digit generated passcodes, SMS codes and push notifications.
LastPass can sync across a wide range of platforms and browsers. You can get native LastPass apps on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac and Linux. You can also download browser extensions for the following:
- Chrome (full version)
- Firefox (i386 and x64 on Linux)
- Microsoft Edge
- Microsoft Edge Legacy
LastPass Customer Service
LastPass offers an extensive online library that explains how to get started, features you can use, administrator tools available and more. Plus, community boards are moderated by LastPass specialists and the forum remains fairly active.
LastPass offers different levels of customer service depending on your plan. We’re not huge fans of LastPass discontinuing its email support for all users on the free version effective Aug. 23, 2021. This means that if you want to contact a support person directly, you’ll need to pay for a Premium or Families plan.
At the time of this publication, however, the Twitter page for @LastPassStatus went nearly 10 months between support problems. That means connection issues are extremely rare, and the biggest problems you might run into with LastPass are bugs or password resets.
LastPass does go the extra mile for businesses by offering 24/7 phone support to anyone using Teams or Business plans.
In recent years, LastPass has become the top name brand for password managers, especially for businesses, even as its relationship with individual users has soured.
The company recently announced changes to its free plan including the single device type restriction in February 2021 email support removal in August 2021. It’s hard to see these changes as anything but choices meant to push free users into upgrading to the Premium or Families plans.
Unsurprisingly, LastPass users’ response to this change has not been favorable. Trustpilot reviews show a current rating of just 1.5 out of 5 stars. Reviewers complain about LastPass’ customer support experience, saying it doesn’t respond to open cases, even when accounts have been corrupted or bugs have been encountered.
Privacy, Security Concerns
LastPass uses certain trackers in order to ensure top performance, according to the company. Any personal data — not your passwords — that LastPass keeps on you may be tracked by LastPass and LogMeIn. The company says it doesn’t sell data but it may keep a record of what websites you visit.
The most serious violation of consumer trust happened in 2015, when LastPass was hacked and user emails were compromised, as well as authentication hashes and user salts (randomly-generated data per password) on the servers. LastPass was forthcoming about the breach and instituted what’s known as a bug bounty problem to prevent future problems. No encrypted data or passwords were accessed in the breach.
LastPass Review: Is It Worth It?
LastPass is a premium password manager that comes packed with solid features for a good price. We think the Families plan is a steal because it offers six Premium memberships for close to the price of one membership.
What worries us is LastPass’ recent turn from individual customer support and security to business-focused support. Restricting device types and cutting out email support for free users in the same year feels like a lot. But if you’re a casual tech user and just need a simple password manager to help remember your logins, LastPass is a good choice.
At the same time, if you’re a business owner, LastPass is a great option — for close to the same price as individual plans, you get the widest range of customer support, including support by phone, which isn’t available to Premium or Families members.