With the free version of LastPass now limiting where you can sync your passwords, here are a few other options.
LastPass has typically gotten kudos as an effective password manager. Like similar programs, LastPass offers both a free and paid version. But the free version has just imposed a restriction that could turn off some users.
Starting March 16, users of the free flavor will be able to use the tool on either their computers or their mobile devices but not both. People who still want to sync their passwords everywhere will have to pony up $3 a month for the Premium version or $4 a month for the Families edition. Further, LastPass will be cutting off email support for free users, which means such people will have to turn to self-help resources in the event of technical trouble.
In light of these new restrictions and the importance of password management, LastPass free users may be curious about alternative programs. If so, here are a few free tools worth considering.
SEE: Password Management Policy (TechRepublic)
Built-in browser tools
First, if you use only Google Chrome or Firefox or Microsoft Edge, you can take advantage of the built-in password management tools for each one. By signing into your account for each browser, you can sync your credentials across the same browser on your various computers and mobile devices.
For Chrome users, the Google Password Manager can suggest strong passwords, save usernames and passwords and autofill your credentials at each corresponding site.
Firefox offers its own password manager that can create secure passwords, save your logins, and then autofill your credentials.
And for Edge users, Microsoft provides a couple of tricks. The Chromium flavor of Edge can save and autofill your login information. Plus, the latest version of the mobile Microsoft Authenticator app now can autofill your saved passwords at each site. There's even a Microsoft Autofill extension for Chrome, so you can share the same login credentials between Edge and Chrome.
For iPhone, iPad and Mac users, Apple offers the built-in iCloud Keychain option, which can also save and autofill your passwords.
One limitation with these built-in tools is that they won't work across all browsers. So if you use Chrome and Firefox and Edge, you still need a third-party password manager to cover all the bases.
Available for Windows, macOS and Linux across all the major browsers and on computers and mobile devices, Bitwarden is an open source password manager. The free version allows for unlimited password management among two people. The program can generate a secure password for each site and then store and autofill your login credentials when necessary. To protect your passwords, you create a strong master password, which you can supplement with and facial recognition.
Another free and open source program, KeePass is aimed at Windows. But you'll find versions for macOS, Linux, iOS, iPadOS, Android and other platforms. You can even install KeePass as a portable app on a USB drive to access your stored logins on any computer. At its core, KeePass works like other password managers. It will generate and store strong and secure passwords for your online accounts and then autofill them at the appropriate websites. The program offers a few options to protect your saved passwords, always a critical capability. Beyond devising a master password, you can use key files stored on a USB stick or other portable device. You can even combine both methods. Further, you can lock the database of your passwords to your Windows account so that no one else can access it.
Nordpass is a versatile password manager with support for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS/iPadOS and Android. Extensions are available for Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Opera. The free version lets you sync an unlimited number of stored logins across all your devices. However, it allows for only one active session, meaning you can't work with the program on two different devices at the same time. Beyond creating and saving complex passwords, Nordpass can securely store confidential notes and credit card information if you wish. The mobile version also supports biometric authentication so you can lock and unlock your passwords via facial or fingerprint recognition.
Myki Password Manager
The free Myki Password Manager offers a different spin on password storage, especially if you're concerned about storing your passwords, albeit encrypted, in the cloud. Instead of saving your login credentials on its own servers, Myki stores them and securely syncs them across your own devices. The program supports Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS and Android, and provides extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge and Opera. To add passwords, you can use the app or one of the browser extensions. Myki will then autofill your login information at each appropriate website.
If you do use LastPass (or another password manager) and want to jump ship to a different program, you can typically export and import your passwords, so there's no need to start from scratch.
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