LastPass has been a popular password manager across multiple platforms for ages, but that may be about to come to an end. An upcoming change – clearly aimed at moving users to LastPass’ paid offering – will significantly reduce the functionality of the product, and is likely to simply drive people away to better, cheaper (or free) offerings elsewhere.
Starting from 16 March (i.e. in a month’s time), free users will only be able to use their LastPass account on their mobile device or their PC, but not both. Once the change is implemented, LastPass will check what device a user is logging in with:
- If you log in with a Computer (which includes Windows tablets), your account access can only occur in future using a Computer device.
- If you log in with a Mobile Device (such as Android and iOS phones or tablets) you’ll only be able to log in in future using a Mobile Device.
Free users will be able to change between Mobile and Computer access just three times, before their option is forever locked in.
Unsurprisingly, this significant change is pushing users away from LastPass which will become significantly less useful. With 25 million users, LastPass will undoubtedly convert a few free users to paid, but it will probably shed more of them as they search for a better (and probably free) alternative.
While there is some good news – users who simply use LastPass to access passwords between different computers will still be able to do so for free – the cross platform aspect is a big value point, and that’s now going away, along with email support for free customers.
What’s a good alternative?
Bitwarden seems to be gaining traction as a good replacement; for starters it’s open source and comes with a free plan that offers everything most users will want – unlimited vault items, cross platform / device sync, a secure password generator and the option to self-host (without any cloud dependency).
Bitwarden does offer paid plans, which add further features such as MFA, YubiKeys, emergency access and more, from just $1 a month, or $3.33 a month for family accounts (allowing you to share premium access with up to 6 users).
What password manager are you using, and if you’re a LastPass user, will you still be after March 16?