LastPass Restricts Functionality of its Free Password Manager

LastPass, one of the most popular free-to-use password manager solutions, has announced it will be restricting access to its services for free users of the solution. LastPass offers paid and free version of its password manager, with the paid service offering a more comprehensive range of features, but the free version was a solid choice, offering users most of the features of the paid version. That is now about to change.

From March 20, 2021, users of the free version of LastPass will be faced with a choice. If they continue using the password manager under the free tier, they will only be able to do so for either desktop computers and laptops or mobile devices. Previously, the free version could be used across all device types, but now they face a desktop or mobile choice. Accompanying this change will be the end of access to customer support via email for free users of the solution. Support will continue until August 23, 2021, after which it will only be provided for Premium and Families accounts.

While LastPass remains a great choice in terms of the quality of the password manager, the change will undoubtedly be enough to make many users look for an alternative solution. Not having the password manager available for all devices will certainly be a major down point, and while popular, LastPass is far from the only free password manager solution.

Many of the LastPass alternatives offer equivalent features but have less restrictive free tiers. For example, Dashlane has a good free version with multi-device support, although it is limited to 50 passwords. For low-level Internet users this may be sufficient, but since the average Internet user has 90 passwords, it is far from ideal.

A better choice for users with large numbers of passwords is Bitwarden. Bitwarden’s free tier rivals LastPass for features and similarly has an easy-to-use interface. While the features are restricted on the free version, for most users they will be more than sufficient. The free version of the solution gives users access to all the core features, including one-to-one text sharing, unlimited vault items, password sync across all devices, a secure password generator, and even a self-host option. There is a free organization version as well, albeit for only two users.

Security is also first rate with end-to-end encryption and, importantly, open-source code. That means it is available for anyone to review and audit, plus the company has completed a third party security audit and cryptographic analysis, as well as an independent review that confirmed the solution to be fully compliant with HIPAA Security Rule standards.

Author: Steve Alder has many years of experience as a journalist, and comes from a background in market research. He is a specialist on legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA. Steve holds a B.Sc. from the University of Liverpool.