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6 things you need to know before using LastPass, scroll down a bit further..
LastPass ranks as one of the best for password protection and ease of use. The combination of the zero-knowledge security model, multi-factor authentication, and user-friendly interface makes LastPass ideal for personal, family and business use. It is available as a free version, however, a paid version is also on offer for those who want extra layers of security to enhance the protection of sensitive data.
- Operates a zero-knowledge security model
- Supports multi-factor authentication
- Synchronises passwords on devices with different operating systems
- Storage of up to 13 different types of data, ranging from passwords to credit card information
- Occasional server hiccups experienced, which can result in users not being able to upload encrypted passwords to the LastPass server. It must be stressed that this does not happen often and that it is usually resolved speedily.
- The old format still in use on Internet Explorer and Opera and this format is less fluent than the format used on newer browsers.
17.8+ million users trust LastPass
61,000+ businesses use LastPass
6 Things You Need to Know Before You Use LastPass.
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LastPass has been designed to ensure that sensitive data is encrypted exclusively at the device level before syncing to the LastPass remote servers for safe storage.
A master password is required to decrypt your data and because LastPass does not send or store the master password, digital thieves cannot lay their hands on your sensitive data, even if they manage to hack the LastPass remote server. This model utilizes the same encryption type as banks and the military to protect sensitive data.
As a result, we consider LastPass’s security model to be one of the best on the market.
Since LastPass makes use of a local-only encryption model all your sensitive data is encrypted on your computer using the advanced 256-bit AES encryption standard.
The encrypted passwords are then sent to the remote LastPass server for safe storage in an encrypted format. When you need to use your passwords, the same process is repeated in reverse and passwords are sent back to your device for decryption. This means that when you send or receive your data from LastPass it is not visible to any third-party, including LastPass.
256-bit AES encryption is also used by banks and other institutions which work with sensitive data, which goes to show how effective the encryption standard is.
The LastPass security module effectively combines safety with the convenience of password management.
Transport Layer Security (TLS)
The use of Transport Layer Security, or TLS for short, is used to protect against what is known as man-in-the-middle attacks before syncing with LastPass.
TLS ensures very strong data protection over computer networks and prevents hackers from stealing your data as it is being sent between servers.
When you are about to send or receive information to the LastPass servers, your information is wrapped in a security cocoon to shield it from any attacks which makes it pretty much impossible for hackers to intercept your encrypted data.
TLS is an extra layer of security that can be compared to wrapping your luggage before you check-in for a flight, it protects the data during its journey from your device to the LastPass server.
LastPass conducts regular audits and an annual pen test by 3rd party security firms to ensure the continued security of their customer’s information.
In the digital world, passwords have become the key to unlocking your accounts, be it at home, work, or on social media.
Remembering these passwords and keeping them safe can become quite challenging, which is why LastPass is so effective.
LastPass’s ability to safely store usernames, passwords, and even credit card information, alongside the convenience of automatically filling online forms (on saved sites), allows you to navigate the web whilst ensuring the security of your sensitive data.
LastPass provides all the basic requirements you need to effectively protect, organize and use your sensitive data online.
A password vault can be viewed as an online safe where the password manager securely stores all your online passwords and other important information – just like a safety deposit box at a brick and mortar bank where you store your valuables.
You can use your LastPass vault to safely store passwords, credit card information, secure notes, and much more.
Not only did we find the vault easy to use, but when you visit a new website for the first time, LastPass can automatically capture login details so that you can log in with one-click when you visit the website again.
From our experience, the main advantage of the password vault is that you can not only store unlimited passwords and other sensitive data but also easily share and edit them too.
As the world becomes ever more digital, the number of accounts we have online grows and we are forced to remember more and more passwords until we eventually re-use the same password across multiple accounts.
According to Google, the average person has 27 online accounts that require passwords, and 66% of Americans say they reuse the same passwords for their online banking, email, and social media networks.
History has shown us that using weak or similar passwords increases our risk of becoming a victim of digital attacks like hacking and phishing.
To counter the threat, the best precaution is to use unique passwords with strong security values for each account. The only problem is that human nature prevents us in many instances to remember all these different passwords, and as a result, we often forgot them.
Fortunately, LastPass’ password manager is designed to remember all your unique passwords and saves you valuable time.
You can think of the Password Manager as the platform that stores and protects your sensitive information, whereas the Password Vault is the user-interface that allows you to control what information the Password Manager should store.
From our experience testing a range of password managers, autofill is the most convenient and widely-used feature that all password managers provide. As a result, it is vitally important that it is easy to use. So, we put LastPass to the test.
Using autofill was effortless. It automatically populated online forms with login credentials, credit card information, billing addresses and much more.
Beyond passwords, autofill was extremely convenient while shopping online, especially at the at checkout page. It lets you shop securely and not have to worry about finding your wallet, getting your card out and manually entering your credit card information.
It is important to note that LastPass will only autofill your information on saved sites in your password vault.
You can either add your sensitive data into your vault manually or let LastPass autosave your details when you enter them on new sites.
Statistics show that the passwords people are using are becoming more of a security risk and that they constitute the greatest threat to the safeguarding personal information. 81% of data breaches can be attributed to the use of weak and illegally obtained passwords.
We all find it difficult to create strong, safe, and unique passwords which will help keep our personal information and assets safe. Many of us use our pet’s names, birthdays, and other easy-to-crack passwords. It is here that the LastPass Password Generator offers an easy to use solution to create strong passwords.
With its ability to generate passwords that can arguably be viewed as virtually impossible-to-crack, your online accounts are safer than ever.
Passwords generated by the password generator are complex and made up of multiple types of characters, symbols, numbers, and letters.
All in all, this is a great feature to have at your fingertips, but it doesn’t set LastPass apart from the crowd – many password generators can create passwords just as strong. The benefit here is that the generator is easily accessible to users of LastPass.
Passwords are not the only credential that hackers are targeting, our usernames are at risk as well.
Usernames are valuable pieces of information for hackers since most of us use the same username or email address for several online accounts, including those that we would prefer to keep extra safe such as online banking and shopping accounts.
The LastPass username generator can be used to create secure usernames which helps to protect your online information. The production of a randomly generated username can be compared to having two passwords as protection and it is approximately 250 times harder to accurately guess a randomly generated username when trying to hack into an account.
When creating new accounts, we found the username generator to be extremely useful. It is easy to not give much thought to username security and to focus solely on the strength of your password. Having the option to create a randomly generated username where you can choose the length, case (upper and lower), numbers, and symbols, adds an extra security layer.
You can even choose how memorable you want your username to be. There are three options:
- Easy to Say – allows you to create usernames that avoid numbers and special characters.
- Easy to Read – allows you to create usernames that avoid ambiguous characters like l, 1, O, and 0.
- All Characters – enables all character combinations like !, 7, h, K, and l1.
Why is this useful? Although LastPass will store all of your username information, removing the need for you to remember multiple usernames, those of you who want the benefit of the extra security but also want to be able to easily remember your credentials can select either the “Easy to Say” or “Easy to Read” options. For those of you who want maximum security, opt for “All Characters”.
The LastPass Authenticator app offers a unique one-tap password verification experience that no other authenticator app delivers. It brings multi-factor authentication to the the next level by creating a random passcode which is sent to your mobile device when you login in any website. The app then sends an automated push notification allowing you to approve or deny access to a website.
The app’s multifactor authentication foils malware and phishing attacks, as well as ensuring secure user-friendly verification and one-tap login.
3) Ease of Use
LastPass is extremely easy to use, making it ideal for non-techies. From downloading the browser extension and app to activating your account to populating your Password Vault, the process is effortless.
It is available for desktop use on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems and can be installed on Firefox, Opera, Edge, and Chrome. For mobile use, there are iOS and Android apps available for download.
Using LastPass on Desktop
LastPass is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems and can be installed using the universal installers available on the LastPass website. The application can be downloaded for use with Firefox, Opera, Edge, and Chrome.
It is important to note that it can be added to all your browsers at once, depending on the version you select – making it incredible easy to get started.
After you have downloaded the LastPass browser extension onto your desktop, the second step will be to activate your account with the creation of a strong, unique master password. You can use the LastPass Password Generator for this.
The third step is to log into your LastPass account where you can start filling your password vault. Here you can add sites, use the password generator to create passwords, keep safe digital records of all your important documents, create your profiles for online shopping, share your passwords securely, and audit your passwords. Or if you would rather let LastPass do all the work for you, you can click on the “Add to LastPass” prompt that appears when you log into a new website. This lets you build your LastPass account up over a period of time with almost no effort.
Using LastPass on Mobile
Downloading the app can be initiated from the LastPass website. Simply click on the “On my Device” tab, scroll down and click on either the App Store or Google Play/Windows Phone options.
After installing the app you can log in with the same account you used to set up LastPass on your browser and your data will be automatically synced. We were very impressed with how easy this was which is why we recommend LastPass as one of the easiest to use password managers, even for non-techies.
Another great future of the mobile app is that it can not only automatically populate your login details without you needing to type lengthy usernames and passwords on a small mobile keyboard, but it also supports fingerprint authentication, adding a layer of biometric security unique to you.
Help and support is a factor that you should strongly consider when choosing a password manager.
We have been impressed with the level of customer service and wealth of self-service resources.
In brief, we found email to be one of the most effective channels with answers to questions being provided quickly. You also have the option of numerous Twitter accounts to get in touch.
Additionally, the 24/7/365 chatbot, Support Hub and YouTube tutorials all deliver exceptional customer support.
Getting in touch
LastPass offers a variety of ways for users to get in touch with them, which makes it easy to get the necessary help and support when you need it. Let’s take a look at the ways to get in contact with their customer support and our experiences in doing so:
We found email to be one of the most effective channels to communicate with LastPass, especially as they make use of AI technology to provide answers to questions quickly.
LastPass don’t actively promote their customer service email address but since testing the password manager, we have figured out the quickest way to email them, which we will share with you below:
Step 1 – Visit the LastPass Support Hub.
Step 2 – Type your question and a drop-down menu from the search bar will offer suggested guides for you to open. (You may be able to find an answer to your question here, but if not, proceed to step 3).
Step 3 – Scroll down to the bottom right-hand corner where you will find the ‘Contact Support” email button. Click on the button and a form will open where you can write your email and attach files if necessary. This method ensures that any email sent to LastPass reaches the appropriate team so that they can deal with your question quickly.
LastPass makes use of Twitter to communicate extensively with their users across three accounts.
You will find the following accounts very helpful when you need support and assistance with your LastPass account:
- LastPass – is their general corporate account with news covering different topics and updates with the business.
- LastPass Support – where real-time support is available. This account is an excellent starting point when you need support from LastPass and their team.
- LastPass Status – this is the first port of call when you need information about the status of LastPass’s services.
LastPass takes their security model very seriously and they respond very quickly to any potential issues.
They follow a very innovative way of ensuring a high level of security for their users by utilizing security researchers in the community to challenge the different aspects of their technology.
If any researcher believes they have found a vulnerability or security bug they are requested to submit a security report. After submission LastPass investigates the reports and determines the extent of the problem and any necessary fixes.
LastPass provides a range of resources that gives you multiple options to find questions to your answers and self-serve.
The forum isn’t only a great place for you to get general support and troubleshooting help, but also provide feedback, request features, and get access to testing new builds and betas.
Thousands of users post their questions on different topics in the LastPass forum but our suggestion would be to use the chatbot, support hub, and YouTube tutorials to get answers quickly.
We found Ruben, the Chatbot, at LastPass to be very helpful. The LastPass chatbot is very adept at answering questions in a simple to understand, straightforward manner.
It is important to note that this is not live chat, meaning there isn’t a customer service representative sitting on the other side of the screen, but rather, it is an automated chatbot that will respond to the keywords you enter and options you select in the pre-formatted multiple-choice questions.
The benefit of the automated chatbot is that you can ask it any question at any time. A great feature that functions well and is available 24/7/365.
LastPass’s Support Hub has a variety of helpful tutorials and guides that can be easily accessed.
It is extremely simple to use. Type your question and a drop-down menu from the search bar will offer suggested guides for you to open.
We have tested the Support Hub several times and have been happy with the suggested guides the amount of information available. Alternatively, if you can’t find what you are looking for, you can always contact the support team using the method mentioned in the “email” section.
LastPass uses YouTube extensively to provide tutorials and explanations to ensure that users fully understand the password manager and the different plans on offer.
The videos are easy to find and help to understand and unlock the full potential of LastPass.
Service Status Updates
If you would like to stay informed on potential service interruptions that may affect your plan, you can subscribe to the service status email or regularly view the status page which tracks all reported and known issues.
Free Live Training
LastPass offers free product training for the administrators and end-users on LastPass Enterprise. The training is exclusively for use by administrators and users who have access to LastPass accounts from their employer and not for individuals interested in the training.
We were not able to test the free training but after some in-depth research, here is what we found was included:
- Administrators will receive training on admin tools and user management.
- End-user training will be aimed at helping employees to understand the key features of LastPass Enterprise and how to use it. The training will also have live Q&A sessions.
- There are currently no live training offerings for individuals who use LastPass but there are lots of free resources available to help you get all the necessary information to use the product with ease (such as the forum, Support Hub, and chatbot).
LastPass offers different plans for individuals, families, and businesses. The plans cater to the differences in usage to keep information safe and secure.
The price structure ensures the affordability of LastPass for everybody with almost all plans costing less than a cup of coffee per month.
There is a Free plan for individual use, however, we recommend opting for the Premium plan ($3 per user per month) for the extra layers of security to enhance the protection of sensitive data.
The Family plan is $4/month for 6 user licenses and Business plans start at $4/month per user.
Personal & Family Plans
LastPass is available in three different plans with different pricing to cater to individuals and families.
This is available for use by only one user.
The user will get the basic features of LastPass at no charge, this includes – a personal vault, automatic saving and filling of passwords, password generator function, multi-factor authentication and the LastPass Authenticator app.
All of the above can be used across multiple devices meaning no matter where you need your passwords, the items you add on one device show up automatically on another as long as you are logged in to LastPass. This is unique to LastPass. It’s closest competitor, Dashlane, only gives you the option of using their Free plan on one device.
In addition to the basic security features, the Free plan includes a 30-day free trial of the Personal Premium plan which gives you the opportunity to try all password manager features available at no extra cost. We highly recommend that you make use of the trial to experience the full set of security features.
If you decide to continue using the free version following the 30-day free trial, all your data will be safely retained, you will only lose access to the features which form part of the premium paid-for version.
The Premium Personal plan offers all the features of the Free plan has but also has numerous added benefits to enhance the security of your online activity, including:
- Ability to do one-to-many sharing – share any item in your vault with multiple people at once
- Emergency access – allows you to choose someone other than yourself to have access to your most important information in times of emergency or crisis.
- Advanced multi-factor – adds extra layers of security through YubiKey (two-factor authentication), Sesame (a physical USB drive to further ensure that your account will remain safe because both your Master Password and your USB drive are required to log in), and fingerprint authentication (biometric security unique to you).
- Priority technical support – ensures your inquiries go to the top of the queue
- LastPass for applications – lets you enable autofill for applications on Windows machines
- Encrypted 1GB file storage facility – gives you more space for digital backups of critical documents
The premium plan offers a good balance between features and cost and as a result, is a very affordable way to keep your passwords safe from hackers.
Our recommendation is to opt for the Premium plan over the Free basic plan. It only costs $3 per user per month which is less than a cup of coffee and adds extra layers of security that enhance the protection of your sensitive data.
The ideal plan for a family who wants to shares passwords whilst ensuring their sensitive data is securely stored, and accessible to family members.
The Family plan caters for up to six users with a monthly cost of $4, payable annually as an amount of $48.
The Family plan offers all the features available in the Premium plan with some added benefits unique to families use. The added benefits of the Family plan include:
- 6 Premium LastPass licenses – allows each family member to have their own vault, as well as the ability to create shared folders with their family.
- Family manager dashboard – used for inviting new users to the family plan, and removing them.
- An unlimited number of shared folders – lets groups or individuals share as many items as they need in designated folders. This ensures access to certain information is appropriate and safe.
Members from the youngest to the oldest will find the LastPass Family plan easy to use and beneficial.
The conundrum that businesses across the globe face is how to use IT technology in such a manner that keeps business information secure.
The challenges brought on with the increase in applications, regulations, different devices, technologies, and ever-evolving online security threats to businesses make it necessary for strong security solutions that are simple to use and manage. LastPass succeeds with its range of business plans to provide strong security.
LastPass business plans have been designed to keep business data secure and give granular control from a centralized admin dashboard.
Over 61,000 organizations use LastPass including some of the foremost universities, Fortune 500 companies, and leading tech enterprises.
LastPass has four different business plans:
The Team plan is recommended for businesses with 50 or fewer members.
It offers the opportunity to manage passwords simply and safely at an affordable price.
The LastPass Team plan has a cost of $4 per user per month, payable annually as an amount of $48.
The plan offers a secure vault for all users, shared folders, basic reporting capabilities to give admins the data needed to track employees for compliance, standard security policies to set controls and restrictions in accordance with employee needs, and the use of a zero-knowledge security model.
Team users and their productivity will benefit from being able to be added or removed quickly from shared folders, the ability to create their own password vaults, and safely share credentials.
The Team plan offers a strong security solution without interrupting workflow.
To understand more about what is included in the Team plan, visit the pricing page, scroll down to the feature comparison section and select the “Business” tab. Here, you can click on tooltip alongside each feature to get even more insight to understand how the plan can benefit your business.
LastPass states that the Enterprise plan protects every access point through an all-in-one single sign-on and password manager solution.
This plan essentially provides seamless access without employees having to worry about entering passwords for business-critical tools or accounts.
Employees simply need to be signed on to the Enterprise plan where there are over 1,200 pre-integrated apps to provide access without passwords. In brief, it makes it simple for IT departments to make critical business tools accessible to employees in one convenient portal.
The Enterprise plan costs $6 per user per month, payable annually as an amount of $72.
In addition to single sign-on, another key benefit you’ll be able to take advantage of is access to efficient admin controls that not only provide a dashboard for a unified view of authentication across the business, but also the ability to centralize management of users, policies, and detailed reporting to track employee and admin access for compliance.
MFA is the acronym used to describe Multi-factor authentication which refers to a security system where more than one authentication method is used to verify the identity of a user while logging in to a website. LastPass describes it as “intelligent authentication without complexity.”
The MFA plan offers businesses the advantage of using biometric (fingerprint) and contextual factors (the user’s location, IP address, device, and the time they are logging in) to protect businesses credentials while offering employees a password-less user experience that ensures only the rightful users access critical data.
The LastPass MFA plan costs $3 per user per month, payable annually as an amount of $36.
LastPass Identity is the most expensive plan available and can be viewed as a combination of Enterprise and MFA rolled into one.
It provides granular control and grants users frictionless access to sensitive business login information.
Granular control determines who can have what access and what are they allowed to do with that access.
The Identity plan costs $8 per user per month, payable annually as an amount of $96.
Choosing the right password manager is a very important decision, especially as each is unique in its offering. For this reason, we put LastPass to the test and compared it to its closest competitors, Dashlane and 1Password.
LastPass has plans catering to all needs, ranging from individual, family and business use, which stands in its favour against the likes of Dashlane who don’t offer a family plan and have a one-size fits all business plan. 1Password and LastPass are on an equal footing here.
Where LastPass really comes into its own is its Free plan. This plan allows for the storage of unlimited passwords across multiple devices, whereas Dashlane’s Free plan only lets you store up to 50 passwords on one device, and 1Password doesn’t even offer a free version.
However, in terms of premium plans, Dashlane and 1Password both offer all the features of LastPass and more.
As previously mentioned, LastPass comes out on top of Dashlane when it comes to the Free Plan. However, this is not the case with their Premium plans.
Dashlane is slightly more expensive than LastPass but the value for money outweighs that of LastPass premium.
In addition to all security features offered by LastPass Premium, Dashlane gives you access to their Virtual Private Network (VPN) to ensure you stay safe online when making use of unsecured public Wifi services like those found at cafés, and Dark Web Monitoring which continually scans the dark web for your credentials that may be compromised as a result of data breaches on websites which you have accounts with.
The main differences to be aware of between 1Password and LastPass are:
- 1Password uses vaults to organize your data, not folders – LastPass gives you one vault within which you can create folders to organize password information, whereas 1Password gives you the ability to create several vaults but doesn’t support folders. Choosing which is better is down to personal preference.
- Travel mode – 1Password lets you easily remove sensitive data from your devices when you cross borders and re-add it whenever you need it again. LastPass doesn’t have an equivalent feature.
- 365-day item history – 1Password secure stores old passwords letting you revert previous versions or restore deleted passwords. LastPass only store deleted items for 30 days before permanently deleting them.
The zero-knowledge model and the encryption used by LastPass makes it very difficult to hack user information. If anyone succeeds in hacking into the LastPass servers, they will only find encrypted information.
The onus rests on the user to keep their master password safe to prevent any unauthorized access to their sensitive data. Unauthorized entrance was gained into the LastPass servers during July 2015 and no user information could be hacked because LastPass doesn’t have access to the user’s master passwords.
Users can store an unlimited number of passwords in their LastPass vault. If you have downloaded the browser extension, all your login details at well-visited sites can be added to the LastPass Vault in just one click.
Research conducted found that the average employee can have as many as 190 passwords, making LastPass a more than ideal solution for password storage and management.
The user encrypts passwords with their email and master password and then the encrypted data is sent to LastPass for storage in their vaults.
You authenticate yourself with your master password when requesting information from the LastPass server and if you are successfully authenticated the passwords are sent back to you in their encrypted format. The passwords are then decrypted on your device allowing you to easily log in to your chosen website or application.
LastPass does not know the user’s confidential information and cannot reset master passwords if they are lost or forgotten.
Users can regain access to their accounts using mobile account recovery, using a one-time recovery password, a password hint, SMS recovery or reverting to using an old password.
LastPass free version is exactly that, it is completely free without any time limits or restrictions.
You can use it on any of your devices and anything saved to LastPass on any of your devices is available on any other device used by you. It also offers you the ability to migrate to LastPass Premium or trial it for 30-days.
LastPass Free users get the ability to share passwords one-to-one (passwords can be shared with one other user but not with multiple users). Sharing with multiple persons is not available on the free version but it is included in the premium version.
LastPass Premium has all the features which are available in the free version plus the benefit of having advanced security features including the ability to do one-to-many sharing, emergency access, advanced multi-factor authentication, priority technical support, LastPass for applications, and an encrypted 1GB file storage facility.
We recommend taking the 30-day free trial option of the Premium plan to get a good feel of the difference between the two versions.
LastPass ranks as one of the best for password protection and ease of use.
It uses a combination of a zero-knowledge security model, multi-factor authentication, and user-friendly interface to make password management effortless.
However, we recommend Dashlane as the best password manager since it delivers above and beyond the features of LastPass making it a superior password manager.