LastPass is a highly competent password management service that allows users to store their login credentials and other sensitive information in a secure, digital vault. It safeguards your personal data with end-to-end encryption while also making sure that there exists a unique password for every account you possess through its built-in, password generator tool.
Often regarded as one of the most versatile password managers of all time, LastPass works on a Freemium acquisition model wherein free-tier users gain access to the most basic yet essential functionalities with the additional option of upgrading to premium-tier for an extended feature set. Furthermore, the service has received support across a wide range of platforms – as browser extensions on Windows, Mac, and Linux along with dedicated applications for Android and iOS devices.
In early 2021, LastPass users witnessed a significant shift to its two-tiered subscription model. The development team decided to strip off a couple of key features from the free version in an attempt to maintain the exclusivity of its premium offering. At the time of writing this article, the free edition of LastPass is severely limited in terms of multi-device synchronization and personal support which brings us to the question: “Is LastPass Premium worth the upgrade?”
To answer all your queries, the following sections of this article will provide an in-depth overview of all the inherent and exclusive features of LastPass Premium over the free version and why you should consider LastPass as your preferred password management service.
LastPass Free vs Premium: Basic Features
Over the last few years, LastPass Free has had several iterations that focused on improvements to its feature set and accessibility options. Not only was it positioned as one of the most trustworthy password managers that users get access to without paying a hefty premium, but was also praised for being more feature-rich than any of its contenders. (Google Password Manager, 1Password, Bitwarden etc.)
However, the free version of LastPass saw a massive decline in popularity owing to a sudden business decision that altered some of its core functionalities. Since March 2021, the non-paid subscription model restricted users from managing their saved passwords and account credentials on multiple devices by making this feature a premium-only option. Although frustrating, such a transformation was expected as it made the LastPass Premium service much more appealing.
Before moving on to the exclusive features of LastPass Premium, it is important to point out all the inherent features that both of these versions have in common.
1. Security and Encryption Standards
Both LastPass Free and Premium offer military-grade, 256-bit AES Encryption with salted secure hashing algorithms. All encryption and decryption procedures are performed at the device level which prevents data leakage from your digital vault. Moreover, the zero-knowledge policy implementation ensures that only you get to access your personal account information by means of a master password, without any kind of interference.
Alongside these security protocols, LastPass also incorporates multi-factor authentication that adds an extra layer of protection to keep your account safe and secure. Even though LastPass requires e-mail verification the first time you sign up for an account, the multi-factor authenticator enhances this functionality by relying upon one-time verification every time you log into your account.
2. Accessibility and Adaptability
Being an extremely feature-rich password manager, most of the basic features of LastPass Free are in tandem with its premium version. These include the ability to store an unlimited number of passwords and sensitive information in your digital vault while also benefitting from the autofill feature and an instant password generator tool whenever you create a new account or change old passwords on certain websites.
One of the major advantages of using LastPass over other services is its clean, minimalistic, well-articulated User Interface that hosts a ton of customization options. Right from the start, free and premium-tier users get the privilege of establishing a comprehensive profile that can store as well as import personal information from alternative applications like their social security numbers, credit card details, addresses, routing numbers and many more. Not only does this make LastPass a user-friendly password manager but also raises the bar in terms of overall adaptability.
3. Compatibility and Technical Support
As mentioned earlier, both versions of LastPass function flawlessly on different categories of devices, operating systems, and web browsers. Users have the option of using this password management service either through browser extensions on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and Opera or through native applications on Android and iOS devices. Besides an extensive list of all the major operating systems, LastPass, quite surprisingly, is also supported on legacy smartphones running a deprecated version of Windows RT.
On the other hand, LastPass integrates a Support Center that can be accessed through its applications and browser extensions. It acts as a knowledge base that provides useful information on several topics, ranging from blog posts that describe the purpose of their features to video tutorials that show how to set up an account in a matter of minutes. Additionally, LastPass users also have the opportunity to contact a 24×7 Support Team that can help them resolve persistent issues quickly and efficiently.
LastPass Premium: Exclusive Features
While the free version of LastPass provides an adequate number of resources that will help safeguard your digital privacy, LastPass Premium takes it up a notch by offering complete digital protection of all your sensitive information through intense security measures and accessibility options. The premium edition has been specifically targeted at those users who want to get the most out of their LastPass experience.
Let us take a look at the features that are exclusive to LastPass Premium:
(Note: Creating a new account on LastPass allows you to use a trial version of the Premium package for 30 days)
- Security Dashboard and Score: For Premium users, LastPass has a cybersecurity command center that evaluates password security and monitors your account for any kind of data breach. Users can also view a security score that helps them determine the strength of their passwords and if there are any necessary changes to be made.
- Dark Web Monitoring: With this feature, LastPass initiates a process that will search and track your personal information and if any of them have been compromised on the Dark Web.
- Emergency Access: In case of an emergency or unavoidable circumstances, LastPass Premium offers remote access to your information by any of your trusted connections.
- Advanced MFA Options: Although the free version of LastPass supports multi-factor authentication that provides an additional layer of protection to your account, LastPass Premium takes it to the next level through biometric authentication. (YubiKey and Fingerprint authentication)
- One to Many Sharing: If you are willing to share your login credentials, passwords, and other information with known contacts, you can do so with the help of LastPass’ multiple file-sharing features.
- 1GB File Storage: The premium version of LastPass increases the possibility of a digital backup plan of all your important documents and files by offering an additional gigabyte of cloud storage.
- Unlimited Device Type Access: One of the most desirable features that were removed from the free version of LastPass, it allows seamless synchronization of your passwords and account information on desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and smartwatches.
- Personal Support: To gain instant access to the LastPass Customer Care Team, you can use the Personal Support option and notify them about your issues through e-mails.
LastPass Premium Subscription Plans
The paid subscription plans of LastPass start off at $3 a month for individual users and $4 per month for families (up to 6 members). Since LastPass bills all the subscription plans on a yearly basis, you need to pay $36 in advance for a personal account and $48 for the family’s account, excluding taxes.
For business and enterprise customers, the Teams plan by LastPass is priced at $4 per month ($48 annually) that supports a maximum of 50 users while the Business plan priced at $6 a month ($72 annually) includes all the basic features of Teams with an unlimited number of users.
On a general note, make sure to check out for frequent offers and discounts on the official website of LastPass before making any purchase decisions.
Should You Upgrade to LastPass Premium?
Based on the aforementioned parameters, the free version of LastPass is a viable option for those users who intend to use this password management service on a single device. However, if you’re concerned with multi-platform support then Premium is the way to go. LastPass Premium not only offers seamless synchronization across multiple devices but also caters to an extra level of support that justifies its value proposition.
Therefore, it is recommended that you stick to the free edition of LastPass unless there arrives a compelling set of reasons that encourages you to take an upgrade path.
Hope you found this article helpful. For more of such comparative analyses on your favorite services, leave a comment down below.