PROS / LastPass Premium has convenient cross-browser and cross-platform support.
CONS / The only way to contact customer service is through email.
VERDICT / LastPass Premium competes as one of the best online password managers. It has every critical feature and supports all popular operating systems, browsers and mobile devices.
LastPass Premium, our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award winner, is an excellent online password manager that competes at the head of the class in terms of usability, feature set and support for all popular browsers, mobile devices and operating systems. In comparison with manual methods, any of the password managers in our review would be an improvement. LastPass Premium, however, is an improvement on most of the competitors in our best password manager lineup.
LastPass can move you toward better online safety. At its core, LastPass makes it easy to store usernames and passwords, implemented as a browser extension. All online password managers do that much. What distinguishes LastPass Premium is the concentration of features that go beyond the basics and the careful attention to usability. When you download LastPass, for example, it examines your computer environment and recommends the best plugin package for your operating system and browsers. During the installation process, LastPass takes inventory of any insecure passwords in your system.
It includes a password generator that proposes strong replacement passwords for the weak ones. For example if your password was “system,” you could replace it with something involves uppercase and lowercase letters, numerals, special characters and no words you can find in a dictionary. Even though the best passwords are almost impossible to remember and difficult to type, LastPass makes it easy to implement stronger passwords because it automates the process.
The LastPass plugin saves sites that need logins so it can automatically log you in on your next visit. Or it can display the details when you return to a site it has saved, so you can log in manually. You never have to manually enter all of the sites you visit and their passwords into LastPass because it imports the logins and passwords that your browser has captured. In the course of your online activity, LastPass queries whether it should save passwords and logins as they occur. As you collect lists of passwords, you can organize your lists according to identities. For example, you could create a personal identity and a work identity.
There are a few more convenient features worth noting. You can create a form-fill profile that contains credit card numbers so you can apply them when you buy something online. Most password managers support form filling. Less common is the ability to share logins with others without revealing any passwords. With LastPass, you can allow someone you trust to visit a website that needs your credentials. Sharing is also useful in work situations where you want to share company logins.
LastPass supports additional security options to promote safety such as localized security. You can choose what LastPass does between internet sessions. You can decide whether it logs off whenever you close the browser. You can also make it log off after the computer is idle for a certain period of time. Clipboard contents are another potential vulnerability when you copy and paste usernames and passwords. Therefore, LastPass lets you determine how quickly to clear the clipboard.
LastPass has more security options at the global level. For example, when you change the email address or master password for your LastPass account, you will receive an email in case someone tried to take control. You can also limit the length of time that any of your sessions stay active on the LastPass server. A related option is the ability to end other sessions when you log into your LastPass account. If you close your browser at work, for example, and don't choose the option to log off whenever you close a browser, you can log in from home but when you get back to work you will need to re-enter the master password.
LastPass has even more security options. For example, to prevent keyloggers from capturing your keyboard entries (especially while on unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots), a virtual on-screen keyboard accepts your inputs via mouse clicks without pressing actual keys. The majority of LastPass competitors do not include a virtual keyboard. Another protection from keyloggers is the ability to create one-time passwords.
LastPass provides another protection from keyloggers: multifactor authentication. It involves an email or a text with a one-time-use code that you type into your online account in addition to the password. LastPass Premium supports several multifactor authentication methods: Google Authenticator, Grid Multifactor Authentication, Sesame Multifactor Authentication, YubiKey Multifactor Authentication, Fingerprint Authentication and Smart Card Authentication.
LastPass Premium has more features than competing products. Furthermore, it supports more browsers and platforms. It attaches as an extension to popular browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Dolphin. It works with Windows, Mac OS and Linux. In addition to supporting iOS, Android and Microsoft Surface RT, LastPass supports Blackberry, Windows Phone and Windows Mobile, Symbian S60 and HP WebOS.
Help & Support
LastPass users can contact the publisher via email for support, a method that is the norm for the online password manager industry. The LastPass support site contains the user manual, a startup guide, useful answers to frequently asked questions and access to user forums. The quality of the helpful resources online at LastPass is excellent.
Without online password managers such as LastPass Premium, you would need to work harder to reach a comparable level of security. Even if you had the sincere intention to generate strong passwords, store them safely and retrieve them without too much trouble, it is hard to imagine manual methods that would duplicate the ease with which LastPass manages passwords from a PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, Blackberry or Windows Phone.