Password managers are becoming more indispensable today as websites, applications and platforms require increasingly complex passwords that are certainly impossible to remember. LastPass wants to stand above the gaggle of these applications with a latest update that now allows its free version users to access passwords from multiple devices.
The update began rolling out last Nov. 2, which should please the security-minded crowd who are rightly concerned that even a tech titan like Mark Zuckerberg could still get his social media password hacked.
"We want to empower our users to take back control of their online security, and no longer feel powerless against the next wave of breaches," Joe Siegrist, LastPass founder, said in an official statement. "We want our users to bring LastPass with them everywhere — including the workplace because accessing the sites, apps, and services you use every day doesn't end because you checked in at the office."
Before the update, the LastPass free service only limits access to one device. Users will have to shell $1 per month for multiple device support, and to top it all, that amount is not a one-time fee but a mere monthly subscription payment.
Those who were forced to use the $1 premium service should not feel shortchanged. The plan is still in effect, and subscribers enjoy key benefits such as the absence of advertisements, tech support and LastPass passwords for apps. The premium service also includes desktop fingerprint identification feature and family sharing of up to five users.
Still there is a risk that premium subscribers will take a long hard look at their $12 annual subscription rate and find that the free features could be all that they will ever need.
Aside from the unlimited device sync, the free LastPass service also includes security challenge and randomized password generation. However, unlike the Premium service, which offers YubiKey and Sesame options, it only offers a single two-factor authentication. This could be a deal-breaker for those who are obsessed with security.
Overall, some observers see a trend in the recent LastPass policy change. Last year, the company unlocked mobile support since it only offered free password services to PC users. After the rollout of free mobile support, the company has lifted the single-device restriction.
There is an expectation that LastPass will be offering more premium features for free next year, potentially leaving the paid service with nothing in the long-run if the company is not able to develop new features, but given the emergence of new computing platforms such as cloud and virtual reality, paid LastPass service could still very well persist over the long haul.