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What is Bitwarden?

Bitwarden is an open source password manager for personal, business and team use that stores credentials in a secure vault. People using it can also store other types of sensitive information and securely transmit it to others.
What is LastPass?

LastPass is a password manager that aims to remove the obstacles that make people feel frustrated when trying to log in to services or encourage them to ignore best practices for password usage. Tools from LastPass can also autofill credentials, helping people gain access faster.

SEE: Password breach: Why pop culture and passwords don’t mix (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Bitwarden vs. LastPass: Feature comparison

FeaturesBitwardenLastPass
Open sourceYesNo
Self-hosted deployment optionYesNo
Cross-platform password managementYesYes
Account recovery option for lost master passwordsNoYes
Automatic dark web monitoringNoYes

Head-to-head comparison: Bitwarden vs. LastPass

Password storage and usage

Bitwarden helps people generate, store and secure their passwords from any location or device. If a user has a business account, they can specify which teams or people have certain passwords, letting productivity happen without unnecessary obstacles. Bitwarden also supports several two-step login methods. These make it harder for hackers to get and use passwords. The company uses end-to-end encryption, and even its employees can’t see stored content.

Security experts note that humans are often the weakest links in a security strategy. LastPass has a built-in password generator to make it easier for people to set passwords hackers won’t crack. It also offers single sign-on and multifactor authentication options. The company also recently announced a passwordless login feature, showing it’s moving towards the password-free future many people envision. Users also have the ability to share their passwords with a trusted person.

Vault management

In addition to storing passwords, people can put identity and payment details as well as freeform text notes into the Bitwarden vault. There’s also a search field and filter to facilitate finding a particular piece of stored information faster. The Vault Health and Data Breach reports let people see if their vaults or the content contain any vulnerabilities that could help cybercriminals wreak havoc. The star icon next to vault entries allows favoriting information to make it more accessible later.

The LastPass vault works similarly to Bitwarden’s in that it can store other sensitive content besides passwords and people can favorite the items they want to access more quickly later. LastPass vault users can also launch websites directly from within its interface. Alternatively,  they can use the LastPass browser extension to automatically capture new passwords they create and put them into the vault. The LastPass vault has an unlimited capacity. However, LastPass indicates people should expect performance decreases when maintaining more than 2,000 items there.

User-friendliness

People consistently report that Bitwarden is easy to use and install, whether on your phone or a computer. When creating new passwords, there’s the option to add brief notes about them or move them to a subfolder, both of which could assist with improved organization. The Bitwarden Send feature provides a secure and simple method of giving information to someone else. It works even if the recipient does not also use Bitwarden.

LastPass makes things easy for people who start using it after first trying competing products. It can import details from dozens of other password managers. People who subscribe to a LastPass family plan can put their passwords into shareable folders, making them accessible to those who need them while maintaining protection.

Choosing Bitwarden vs. LastPass

Most people who use these two products find them simple to learn and employ regularly, even without extensive tech knowledge. If you do run into an issue, there are comprehensive support sections available on the companies’ websites, and there’s the option to get personalized help when needed.

SEE: Mobile device security policy (TechRepublic Premium)

If pricing is a concern, both companies are very transparent about costs. Bitwarden and LastPass both have free versions, although they’re limited in features. If you’re open to a premium plan, Bitwarden’s personal options range from $10-40/month when billed annually. The business plans get billed at a per-user rate ranging from $3-6, depending on your billing cycle.

Premium versions of LastPass for personal use cost either $3 or $4/month on an annual billing cycle, depending on whether you just get it for yourself or opt for a family plan. For businesses, the price is either $4 or $6/month per user.

Compromised and weak passwords are two major security issues in today’s internet-focused world. These products can help you set strong passwords and keep them secure, all without making you wrack your brain every time you need to log into a service. Since they have similar features, consider taking the time to learn about some of the minor differences before committing to one. Alternatively, use the free versions of both for long enough to see which you prefer.

Leading Password Manager Solutions

1 Dashlane

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Dashlane Password Manager provides companies with everything they need to onboard new employees, manage permissions and monitor security issues all from one place. It also includes advanced features such as SAML-based single sign-on (SSO) and the company's security architecture has never been hacked. Try Dashlane Business for free for 14 days

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2 1Password

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1Password offers true two-factor authentication and impressive encryption capabilities. It creates a secret key that is the only method for decrypting passwords. Not only does it alert you if a password is weak or duplicated across other accounts, but it also integrates with Have I Been Pwned to monitor the internet for data breaches involving your information. 1Password will let you know if your credentials have been compromised, so you can maintain good password hygiene.

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3 Bitwarden

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Bitwarden is free, open-source software. This option is best suited for experienced IT professionals and programmers who want to make use of the benefits of an open-source platform, such as inspecting code, seeking out flaws and developing their own fixes. This password manager tool is also a good option for users who may use multiple logins for the same applications or websites. It offers full autofill capabilities, but also offers semi-automated password fill-ins.

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4 Keeper

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Keeper Password Manager & Digital Vault's user interface makes it easy to access all of Keeper’s features with just a few clicks. Keeper uses military-grade encryption that can stand up to cyberattacks. It also uses the zero-knowledge approach, encrypting data on your device and not on the company’s server. KeeperDNA is a proprietary two-factor authentication tool but it also supports SMS, Google and Microsoft authenticator, RSA SecurID, Duo Security, and YubiKey U2F.

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5 NordPass

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NordPass uses a zero-knowledge setup that encrypts all password data on a device before it ever reaches NordVPN’s servers. This means not even the company can access your data. It also offers a personal information storage feature that secures and encrypts a variety of personal information, such as addresses, phone numbers, credit card information and more, which can be easily accessed when filling out forms.

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