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Ditching LastPass? Here are some alternatives to try

What is the best LastPass alternative? ZDNet's expert pick is Bitwarden for its multi-platform support, low price, and security features. Does LastPass' changes to the free offering got you down? Don't feel like paying $36 a year for the premium service? Here are some alternatives.
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Reviewed by Elyse Betters Picaro

Last year, LastPass has announced some big changes to its free offering, making the service much more restrictive for people who want to access their passwords across mobile devices and computers.

Now, before I go any further, I think it's worth pointing out that I have been a LastPass Premium user for many years, and I've been 100% satisfied with the service. For the $3 a month, it's pretty good.

But I can also understand why you might not be so keen to pay for something that was previously free. Also, it's hard enough sometimes to convince friends and family to use password managers in the first place, and telling them that it's going to cost money every month makes that an even harder proposition to sell.

So, let's take a look at what alternatives are on offer to you.

Bitwarden

A reader suggestion!

Bitwarden says that "everyone should have access to password security tools," and to support this, the company offers a free subscription that offers unlimited syncing across all your devices, a password generator, and even the option to self-host your data. 

It's also platform-agnostic, offering solutions for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android, and on the browser front, it covers Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and more.

For $10 a year -- yes, a year -- you can unlock advanced features such as Bitwarden Authenticator, 1GB of secure storage, two-step login with YubiKey, U2F, Duo, a vault health report, and the ability to set up emergency access.

A fantastic choice both for those looking for a free option or a paid service.

Pros

  • Great security
  • Easy to use
  • Fully-featured password manager

Cons

  • Advanced features require payment (although most users will be able to live without these)
Apple iCloud Keychain

This is a great choice for those in the Apple ecosystem. Save a password on one device, and it's available on all your Apple devices.

It works well for saving web and app log-in details, but it's not really suited to other passwords and things like PIN codes.

It's free, but the cost of entry into the Apple club can hardly be considered free.

Pros

  • Seamless across the Apple ecosystem
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • It doesn't work on non-Apple devices
  • The cost of entry into the Apple club is high
Google Chrome password storage

If you're a Google Chrome user, then you already have a cross-platform password manager that will work anywhere you have Google Chrome installed and signed in to your Google Account.

It works well for saving web and app log-in details, but it's not really suited to other passwords and things like PIN codes.

Pros

  • A great cross-platform solution for Google Chrome users
  • Passwords accessible across different devices

Cons

  • Restricted to passwords and can't store other data like PIN codes and such
  • Lacking the advanced security features of a dedicated password manager 
NordPass

The free plan allows you to store unlimited passwords, notes, and credit cards and sync them to an unlimited number of devices, but you can only have one active device (in other words, you'll be logged out of other devices).

The premium plan, which starts at $1.49 a month if you take out a two-year plan, is one of the best-value premium offering out there.

Pros

  • Ability to store passwords and other data
  • Unlimited device support
  • The premium plan is very competitive

Cons

  • Free plan restricted to one active device
LogMeOnce

Along with a paid service, LogMeOnce offers a free ad-supported service that offers unlimited passwords across unlimited devices. You can also get a password generator and the ability to store three credit cards.

Pros

  • A good set of features

Cons

  • An ad-supported password manager feels a little strange
KeePass

Not a cloud service, but a free, open source, lightweight and easy-to-use password manager for Windows. Not using Windows? There are unofficial ports for a variety of platforms (make of that what you will), including Android, macOS, iOS and iPadOS.

I've used KeePass in the past, but the absence of cloud syncing and automatic syncing across multiple devices makes it harder work to use.

Pros

  • Free and open source

Cons

  • Not cloud-based
  • Relies on unofficial ports of the Windows app for platforms such as Android, macOS, iOS, and iPadOS

What is the best LastPass alternative?

My pick for the best LastPass alternative is Bitwarden. It has both free and affordable subscription options for both individuals and companies that support single sign-on portals, syncing across unlimited devices, and advanced security features to keep your personal and professional profiles safe. Bitwarden also works across multiple web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari as well as different operating systems like Windows/Android, Mac/iOS, and Linux.

Use this LastPass alternative...

If you need...

Bitwarden

An affordable, encrypted password manager that works with multiple systems and browsers

Apple iCloud Keychain

A password manager for your Apple device network

Google Chrome password storage

A free password manager for your Chrome profiles

NordPass

A free or very affordable password manager for your PC and mobile devices

LogMeOnce

A free password manager with unlimited device support

KeePass

A free and open-source password manager

Which is the right password manager for you?

The best password manager is the one you'll use! However, depending on your needs and what operating system and devices you are currently using, there might be factors that nudge you towards one solution over another.

Choose this LastPass alternative… 

If you want or are… 

Apple iCloud Keychain

Deep in the Apple ecosystem and don't use Windows or Android

Google Chrome password storage

Use Google Chrome on all your devices

Bitwarden

An amazing free password manager

NordPass

A very competitive premium product, with a decent free option

LogMeOnce

You don't mind an ad-supported product

KeePass

Perfect for those who want an open source solution

How did we choose these password managers?

In putting together this list of the best password managers, I looked at third-party reviews and opinions from security experts. I also have hands-on experience. 

My brief descriptions are not intended to be comprehensive but rather are designed to help you decide on an alternative to LastPass. 

After you narrow down possible contenders, you really should test them yourself to ensure they meet your needs.

What is LastPass?

LastPass is a password manager that securely stores your passwords online so they can be accessed across your various devices.

Is LastPass paid or free?

LastPass is a premium product starting at $3 a month, although there is a very limited free version available.

What are the limitations of the free version of LastPass?

Passwords can only be accessed on one device type – computer or mobile. This is fine if you are using only one type of device, but if you are switching between your phone and a computer, this won't work for you.

Who owns LastPass?

LastPass is owned by GoTo, although in December 2021 the company announced plans to turn LastPass into a separate business.

How do password managers work?

Different password managers have different user experiences and different feature sets, but all offer subscribers a similar set of core features: 

  • A password generator.
  • Secure sharing of passwords with trusted contacts. 
  • Form filling, including the option to automatically enter credit card details. 
  • Secure notes.
  • A sync engine that replicates the database across devices, using a cloud service or a local host.

Want to know more about password managers?

Everyone needs a password manager. 

For a comprehensive list of the best password managers available, see ZDNet's separate guide - where we reviewed six premium password managers that offer a full set of features:

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