Just as LastPass nerfs the free tier of its popular password manager, Dropbox has swooped in with a free version of its own password app—but there’s a bit of a catch.
Dropbox today announced that Passwords will soon be free to all of its users, whether they’re on its free basic plan or one of its premium individual or business tiers. Beginning in early April, any Dropbox user will be able to access a limited version of Passwords that will securely store up to 50 credentials. The catch here, of course, is that most people likely have more than 50 passwords to various accounts, and a password manager should ideally be used for all of them.
The deal with passwords is that if the complex ones that are harder to remember—which is where the password manager comes in handy—aren’t used across all of your accounts, users might be inclined to reuse or create slight variations of easily remembered passwords that make it easier for bad actors to access more than one of their accounts. So while any free password management is certainly an attractive offer, Dropbox’s may not be the best option for someone concerned about practicing good security hygiene across all of their accounts.
Dropbox launched Passwords last year, but it was at the time limited to Dropbox Plus and Dropbox Professional as well as the service’s business tiers. Dropbox Plus costs $12 per month, which includes 2 TB of cloud storage as well as the standard version of Passwords. The Professional plan jumps up to $20 per month but has additional storage and advanced support for file recovery, among other features.
LastPass, meanwhile, announced last month some changes to its free tier that will drastically change the way people are able to use the product. Beginning today, the LastPass free plan will only support unlimited access on computers or mobile devices—not both. Existing users will have to choose an active device type moving forward, though they will have three chances to change their preferred device.
The company is also yanking email support for free accounts, which will now only be offered on Premium and Families plans. Those plans cost $3 and $4 per month, respectively (and billed annually), but the company is offering discounted rates of $2.25 and $3 to existing free users for a limited time. In other words, it’s effectively forcing them to upgrade if they want to continue using the service as they had been before.
To be clear, there are plenty of free password manager apps out there. Apple, Google, and others offer their own password management tools for their browsers, for example. Dropbox is an option now, too, if an extremely limited one.