LastPass is a veteran in the password management industry. It’s dependable and easy to use. But LastPass’s free plan doesn’t support cross-device sync. If you’re looking for a free LastPass alternative, Bitwarden might be the best option. Here’s why.
Compared to LastPass, Bitwarden is the new kid on the block. While LastPass is flashy, Bitwarden is understated and utilitarian. That said, Bitwarden gets a lot of things right, from its feature-rich Free plan to its reasonably priced Premium and Family plans, all while offering best-in-class security.
Bitwarden’s Free Plan Offers Cross-Device Support
Starting on March 16, 2021, LastPass changed how its free plan works. LastPass Free plan users will no longer have access to the cross-device sync support. This means that passwords will only be available on a single device and won’t sync between your desktop and mobile clients. To get access to the cross-sync feature, users will need to upgrade to the $3/month LastPass Premium plan.
On the other hand, Bitwarden offers cross-device sync support and unlimited password storage in the Free plan. In fact, it has almost everything that a user needs, including strong password generation, secure card storage, notes, and more.
Bitwarden Is Available on All Platforms Natively
LastPass is a web-first service, and it shows when you look at its downloads page. You’ll find extensions for all popular web browsers, but you won’t see a native desktop app (only Android, iPhone, and iPad).
Security-wise, there’s a case to be made for keeping your usernames and passwords away from your browser (which might be used by other members of your family). With Bitwarden, you get access to native apps for Windows 10, Mac, and Linux. The Mac app even supports Touch ID. There’s also a command-line client for advanced users.
Bitwarden Has a Super-Fast Auto-Login Feature
LastPass is designed to be easy to use. You’ll see that when you browse the web client (which features big images and buttons) and when you try to auto-fill passwords using browser extensions. When available, LastPass will present saved logins right next to the password fields. This is super convenient for beginners.
Bitwarden, on the other hand, takes a more utilitarian approach. It’s designed for businesses and power users. If you want to log in to a website with saved passwords, you’ll have to click the Bitwarden extension and then select the login from the drop-down.
But, at the time of writing, Bitwarden also has an advanced feature that automatically fills in saved login data the second you load up the login page. This is an experimental feature that you can enable from Settings > Options > Enable Auto-Fill on Page Load.
Once it’s enabled, this little feature leaves LastPass’s auto-fill feature behind.
Bitwarden Is Open-Source
Both services do not carry key identifiers. This means that if you lose your master password, there is no way to access your vault. On the flip side, it also means that there is no way for LastPass or Bitwarden to access your data (even if the service gets hacked, as LastPass did in 2015).
But Bitwarden has a huge advantage here because the product itself is open-source. This benefits the users in two ways. First, it means that third-party security firms can audit the code and make sure that Bitwarden isn’t vulnerable to a hack or attack. Bitwarden got a clean bill of health from security firm Cure53 in 2018.
Secondly, Bitwarden’s open-source code helps third-parties and communities build additional tools and clients. It also means that if Bitwarden ever shuts down, community members can create apps or tools that can still use the Bitwarden database.
Bitwarden’s Premium Plan Is Quite Cheap
For most users, Bitwarden’s free plan is enough. But if you like using two-factor authentication from your password manager app (instead of using a standalone utility like Google Authenticator), you can generate two-factor authentication codes right from Bitwarden using its $10/year plan.
Bitwarden Premium also gives you access to 1GB of encrypted storage space. You can add more storage by paying $4/month for each additional gigabyte.
This is in stark contrast to LastPass Premium, which costs $36/year. It’s the same story if you consider family or business plans. Bitwarden’s family account costs $40/year with access to six user profiles. LastPass charges $48/year for its family account.
On the business side, Bitwarden offers a free account for two users, and additional users can be added for $3/month for each new user. LastPass charges $4/month for each user and doesn’t offer a free plan for businesses.
Making the Switch to Bitwarden Is Quite Easy
For most users who are looking for a free alternative to LastPass, Bitwarden makes the most sense. It provides the same functionality at a cheaper price. Plus, moving from LastPass to Bitwarden couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is export a CSV file from LastPass and import it into Bitwarden.
Done with LastPass? Make sure to delete your LastPass account.
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