Everyone I know has a password system that allows them to remember passwords easily, but I have yet to see a system that also allows a person’s passwords to be easy to remember and hard to hack.
I am just as bad as anyone when it comes to my password selection and that is why I switched to LastPass to not only handle all my passwords, but also to make them harder to hack.
There is a reason that LastPass landed at the top of my list of best password managers and that is the best combination of features and price of any manager out there. With great authentication and easy to use password sharing LastPass will make your password worries a thing of the past.
This LastPass review will show you all the ins and outs and give you a full understanding of why this particular password management software is at the top.
How LastPass Works
LastPass is a web-based password management service that allows you to store your passwords in the cloud and use them seamlessly from all of your devices. It works on computers by adding a browser plugin to your favorite browsers.
The plugin will sync with your online vault and accesses all your passwords.
If you are installing LastPass for the first time it will pull all of the passwords that are stored inside your browser and add them to your vault. From then on you only need your one password to unlock LastPass on any website.
Once you have LastPass installed on any device it will access your online vault to find the password. No matter which device you are using, if you add a new password on any device it is saved to your vault and immediately available on all other devices.
Key Features of LastPass
LastPass covers all the features that we value in a password manager. When we started our LastPass review and purchased the software it was a pleasant surprise to see the wide variety of features that are included for such a low price.
There are some basic features that a password manager MUST have in order for us to consider recommending them to. The good news is that LastPass has all their bases covered. The basic features are:
- Synchronize across platforms
- Autosave passwords
- Autofill forms
- Password import from browsers
- Password encryption
- Password generator
- Export Data
These key features make LastPass a very solid password manager, but what sets them apart is the non-standard features you get.
On the feature front what separates LastPass is the advanced nature and versatility of the platform.
The Vault – It is not that the vault is a unique idea, it is that the LastPass vault is so versatile. Many password managers have a vault or locker that you can download all your usernames and passwords. The Vault for LastPass will not only store your passwords, it also store anything you set the program to remember.
The next great thing about the vault features are that it is completely encrypted, even from LastPass employees. So when you contact customer service they have no way of knowing any of your passwords.
This means that your data is super safe. How safe? Well less than a year ago LastPass got hacked. The intruder was not able to get to any passwords and all users were told to update their master password. That was it, no incidents no damage, just a hacker stopped cold.
Security Check – This is just a really cool idea. Instead of letting you sit around with unsecure passwords in a very secure location, the LastPass security check will check any passwords that it has imported and give you a recommendation.
That is just the first step though. The security checks your online security progress, gives you areas where you can improve, and walks you through where to make the changes. This is just a really nice feature.
Multifactor Authentication – When you add the LastPass app or download the program to a new computer you cannot just type in your master password and have access to your vault. Instead, you have to do a 2-factor authentication.
This means that you can have an extra code sent to your cell phone. If you are still living in 1999 and do not have text messaging you can also add an authentication program to your device. It will generate a code every 30 seconds or so and make sure the characters are never the same.
The idea is that if anyone were to steal your mater password they would not be able to install the software and have access to your vault and all your information. They would not receive the extra step of authentication, and thus, the master password would be useless to them.
Password Generation – Most tools have a secure password generator. The idea is that by having your software generate long complicated passwords it makes them much harder to hack.
LastPass brings another level to their password generator by allowing some customizeable options. You can select length of the password, which characters you want and do not want, and you can even make it so you can pronounce the passwords.
Once a password is generated it goes directly into your vault for safe keeping.
LastPass supports more platforms than any other password manager. The operating systems it supports are:
- Mac OS
- Windows Phone
- Microsoft Surface RT
- HP Web OS
- Symbian S60
So basically any device you purchase you can sync with LastPass Premium service and take all your passwords with you.
There are three pricing levels for a LastPass account. Each one has its merits.
Free – The free version of LastPass has all the features you could want for a single machine and that machine has to be a full out computer. What it does not have is password sharing across devices or for mobile. So if you want to have LastPass on a smartphone you have to go for the premium version. Don’t worry it isn’t expensive
Premium – At $24 per year the Premium version of LastPass for an individual is well worth it.
Not only can you sync all your passwords from the vault across all your devices, you can also share them with other LastPass users. This helps you give access to the right properties whenever you want, without having to give out the actual password.
Need your mom to transfer some money for you because you are stuck in another country with only a land line phone? Giver her account access to your bank before you go.
You can also secure a family account for only $48 per year. This includes premium access for up to six users.
LastPass for Businesses
LastPass has a business platform that they named their Enterprise Pricing. It has a few more features and control for the business owner. The biggest one being that you can give access to specific groups and not have to worry about anyone actually knowing the passwords. The admin can also set password requirements and track system activity to see who is using the passwords when (think of all the auditing you could do!). Enterprise pricing is based off of number of users and on an annual basis. The pricing goes as follows:
- 1-100 users – $24 per user
- 101-1,000 users – $20 per user
- 1,001-10,000 users – $18 per user
- Greater than 10,000 users – contact LastPass for pricing
Now you may be thinking, “Why is it so much more expensive than the individual plans?” And the answer to that would be control. You get a lot more control over all the accounts and you are getting a very premium product for less than what you would pay for a consumer plan on similar platforms (look at our Dashlane review if you want to see how much more expensive).
No honest review is complete without pointing out the flaws in any company. As far as I can tell there is only one flaw in the LastPass Password manager and it has nothing to do with the software side. Customer service is the one area that LastPass falls behind. There is no way to call in or even chat with a customer service rep.
This does not mean there is no way to get service but you have to go through their help center. If you cannot find the solution inside the help center then you can contact customer service through a support ticket (e-mail).
This is the one major flaw in how LastPass does business. They would be much better off if they at least offered a chat feature where you could reach a person with the questions and, of course, a phone number would be even better.
That being said I haven’t had any problems with the program, syncing, or anything and the help center is full of information. Once again the only knock that we have in our LastPass review is that, if you have a problem that is not easy to fix, then you are going to have to be patient while your ticket gets answered.
LastPass Review Bottom Line
There is not a password manager on the list that is absolutely perfect, but LastPass combines the best of what we really look for in a password management software.
While their customer service could be streamlined and a little more responsive, the combination of top level features and price makes LastPass our top recommendation for securing your passwords and making them easier to access from anywhere.
If you are looking for the best bang for your buck, Lastpass is going to be a very pleasant experience.