LastPass is one of the most popular password managers on the market thanks to its robust feature set, affordable family plan, and most of all, its standout free tier.
For users who joined based on that last advantage, today's news is going to come as a serious disappointment as LastPass has announced that starting on March 16, LastPass Free users will no longer be able to sync their passwords across all of their devices (via The Verge).
You will be limited to either syncing your passwords between computers (desktops and laptops) or mobile devices (phones, smartwatches, and tablets). This is a death blow for the free tier for most users as the ability to use a password manager everywhere is critical to its utility.
This move will come as a shock to some users, but it's far more surprising that the free tier has held on with this level of functionality as long as it has. Particularly as the company raises the price of its paid tier from $12 per year in 2017 up to its current $36 per year without any dramatic drop in features for the free tier.
I have no doubt that some free tier users will at least initially try to work around the new limitations, but most are either going to need to switch to a paid plan or seek out an alternative service.
For those looking to stick with LastPass, while the individual plan is pricey at $36 per year, the Family Plan subscription is much more affordable at just $48 per year for up to six users.
What are the best LastPass alternatives?
If you are a single user and are looking for a more affordable alternative to LastPass Premium, there are a few options worth considering.
As I said, very few 3rd-party services still offer a free tier that allows for syncing across all devices, but they do exist. Zoho Vault is one component of a larger suite of enterprise tools, but you can choose to use the password manager alone for free. It's not as feature-filled as LastPass by any means, but it does sync your passwords to its servers and is reasonably user-friendly.
KeePass is another free option with a lot of community support, but you need to be willing to do some of the work yourself. You will need to sync your password database via a cloud service or your home network if you prefer, and on mobile, you will need to use a 3rd-party app.
There are also a number of built-in password managers on the various platforms. Chrome is one of the most prevalent and, of course, will offer tight integration for Android users on mobile. Apple users can rely on iCloud Keychain if they don't stray to other platforms. Microsoft offers password management with Authenticator, but it's a definite step down from the other two.
If the goal is to just stay below $36 a year then that opens up some other options. Keeper is probably the strongest of these with an excellent user interface and expansive support across all platforms, but at $35 a year, it is just barely qualifying. You can save up to 30% off by going with multi-year plans though, so you could save more money that way.
For some actual savings while still getting a lot of the same features look to RoboForm for $24 per year. The desktop apps are probably its biggest weakness, but it's an otherwise solid service that is just a step behind the other paid options.