1Password vs. LastPass (2020): Which Password Manager Is Best?

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1Password vs. LastPass – Whats’ the best password manager?

Logging into and out of websites, services, and apps is a pain that’s often complicated by hacks and data security issues. It’s not good practice to use simplified passwords or a single password for these sites and services either, unless you want to get hacked.

Enter a password manager.

This is a type of software designed to track of all your logins and passwords and to manage your accounts. A good password manager will help create strong new passwords resistant to hacking and boost your online security.

Both 1Password and LastPass are popular examples that many freelancers and small business owners rely on.

So which manager is up to the task of taking care of your passwords? Does 1Password win out, or is the LastPass app a better choice for creating and managing your passwords?

Let’s take a look at 1Password vs. LastPass so you can decide what to use.

Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links, meaning I earn a small commission if you purchase the products I recommend.

Are Password Managers Safe?

A password manager isn’t much good if it can’t help protect your passwords! Fortunately, both 1Password and LastPass are excellent on this front.

Both have 256-bit AES encryption, a best-practice form of encryption for protecting data from online crime. They also ensure privacy by keeping your private data entirely off-limits at all times. No one at the companies can access that info even if they wanted to.

Both apps also claim to perform audits and tests that ensure reliable security. LastPass, in particular, has focused on its security a 2015 breach (no encrypted data was accessed). 1Password, on the other hand, has never been breached.

These password managers offer two-factor authentication –– a newer form of account security that requires users to verify their accounts on two different devices or accounts. This is a particularly important feature for modern security, as most of today’s breaches and hacking attempts can be thwarted with two-factor authentication. Both offer this, which speaks to their commitment to security.

However, only LastPass offers MFA, or multi-factor authentication. This security feature is for businesses who want to add additional measures like supports for physical passkeys, face or finger print recognition and a VPN. MFA also verifies who you are based on geolocation and IP address.

1Password customers could consider pair their Vault with a Yubico security key. This third-party device enables two-factor hardware authentication and finger-print recognition. It’s kind of like a physical Google Authenticator. These devices start at approximately $20.

What are the Benefits of Password Managers?

Like most people, I dislike creating, remembering and then having to change a password. It doesn’t help when a site gets hacked, and I have to change a password across multiple sites because I’ve reused it. To complicate password management, sites and services regularly prompt users to change a password because it’s good practice.

Thankfully, software like LastPass and 1Password simplify all of this.

A password manager collects your account passwords for all your online activity and remembers them for you, so you need only one master password. This master password helps you log into the password managers. They, in turn, manage the dozens, or even hundreds, of logins for your sites and services. Ideally, this step will ensure your security and save time.

You can use these solutions as a browser extension for logging in and out of sites at the click of a button and via their mobile apps.

Plus, these password managers suggesting new, rigorous passwords for better protection and let you know when to change a password. For example, 1Password users store sensitive login information in a secure digital vault.

This vault lets me know when a password for a particular site has been compromised due to a hack or data security issue. I can also access my vault remotely.

1Password vs. LastPass: Similarities and Differences

Password Creation and Storage

Both apps allow you to generate passwords for any account –– and suggest it. They generate long, strong passwords that are difficult to hack. You can decide how many characters and special characters like ! or ? a password should contain.

Those passwords aren’t something you have to remember either.

Instead, you’ll use a master password, which neither app tracks. This helps you log in and change any of your passwords at will (including keeping your old passwords if you prefer).

In addition, both apps save other vital information securely, including credit card numbers, address information, bank account numbers and even sensitive files or digital documents.

They can also rate your passwords.

In 1Password, this feature is called Watchtower, which reviews all your passwords and tells you if they’re weak or you are using them for multiple accounts and should change them as soon as you can. It won’t update anything automatically, but it will give you good advice and even warn you about recent breaches in the platforms you use.

LastPass offers more or less the same thing with Security Challenge, which scans your passwords and warns if they are too weak, old or common. It also offers a feature for changing an auto-generated login with one click.

Winner: LastPass

Interface

A lot rests on the interface when learning how to use a password manager, and it’s here we see quite a bit of difference between the two apps.

The LastPass interface features a minimalist menu, large icons and a basic structure that’s easy to scroll through to find specific accounts. It’s a little dated, but you can tell where you are at a glance and easily find a specific account just by looking through the logos.

1Password takes a different approach. It avoids extra-large icons and focuses instead on a file-like system with different sections for categories and tags. You can create favorites to keep track of specific accounts more easily and add different categories. It’s a familiar system for those who use computer or social media filing systems.

1Password’s tagging system is a stand-out organizational feature. I use it to arrange the accounts and information in my vault using tags for social media, financial data, websites and so on. You can create and apply as many tags as you want.

Winner: 1Password

Compatibility and Platforms

When you choose a password manager, it’s important that it works on all your devices, including your phone, tablets you use, and so on. Otherwise, having an app remember your passwords only on specific devices isn’t much good since you have to remember them yourself for other platforms.

1Password offers apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and ChromeOS. You can also access it via extensions (add-ons for your browser like Grammarly and similar software) on Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Brave. To set up these apps and connect them to your password vault, you’ll need to generate a secret key for your password manager.

LastPass offers apps for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. Its browser support is more impressive, with extensions available for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari and Opera, that work on all major operating systems including Linux.

Winner: Draw

Storage Options

Both apps offer storage on their servers for the generated passwords. Remember, no one can access your passwords. They’re encrypted and stored for syncing so that when you switch to a different device, the app can still bring up all the same passwords on demand.

1Password also offers a local storage option, while LastPass has no local storage option.

Winner: 1Password

Failsafe and Account Recovery

Sure, you have only one password to remember now, but what happens if you forget it or lose whatever key you were depending on? What if a disaster hits your business or computer room?

Remember, neither of these apps keeps your master password on file. However, they provide ways to help you recover an account if the worst happens.

The 1Password app gives you what it calls an Emergency Kit when you sign up, which basically is a form you complete with your email address and other information, including your master password. The Emergency Kit is designed for you to print and keep in a safe, encrypted USB key or something similar.

Otherwise, you can only hope to export your vault of passwords from a 1Password app that’s not logged off.

LastPass is much more forgiving. You set up an authentication system via text message codes or email passwords that allow you to unlock your password manager just once. Then you must immediately create a new master password.

You can also enable emergency access so someone else can get to your accounts if something happens to you. It’s not quite as secure, but it is handier if you tend to forget passwords.

Winner: LastPass

Support and Help

What happens if you need help with a particular tool or have a question about what looks like a bug in the software?

Both apps provide good built-in instructions for finding your way around and understanding how everything works, although you do have to pay attention. If you have a particular question, both apps also provide email support.

Unfortunately, neither app offers phone or chat support. The best option is available through premium pricing (more on this below). LastPass offers priority tech support for your business.

Winner: Draw

Family Plans

Both apps offer family plans for managing passwords throughout a family, but the way they approach password sharing differs.

1Password provides a family plan for $4.99 per month (billed annually). You can share this plan with 5 family members and invite 5 additional guests with limited access.

These plans allow you to share passwords and account numbers via a shared vault. Members will need to create their own master password to access shared information.

As the account owner, you can recover family accounts if a person gets locked out.

Unlike 1Password, Lastpass users on the free plan can share passwords securely with others. With LastPass, family pricing includes 6 premium licenses for approximately $4 per month. You can group or share items individually or via folders. LastPass family users can also request emergency access if something happens to the account holder (you).

Winner: LastPass

Teams and Work Sharing

If your business employs a few people, it makes more sense to share a vault for each employee or long-term contractor via 1Password.

If you want to share with more people or gain more control over access rights, you’ll need a business 1Password account. That costs $7.99 per user, per month.

LastPass users can can add team members to a business account for approximately $4.50 per user per month.

If you’re working for yourself without any employees, it’s probably easier to share a single password via Lastpass rather than setting up new vaults for short-term contractors.

LastPass developed a few more business tiers to choose from, including Teams, Enterprise, MFA and Identify, all for different purposes. LastPass has excellent SSO app integration for most of these tiers, plus a central admin dashboard, in-depth reporting and other integration options.

1Password and LastPass offers Teams, Business and Enterprise levels of service.

Winner: 1Password

Pricing Tiers

You can take advantage of a 30-day free trial of 1Password. After that, it costs $3 per month for a basic subscription that includes all its primary services. This increases to $5 per month if you want the family tier.

The Team tier starts at $4 per month, while business is $8. Beyond that, you must get a specific quote. The Teams and Businesses plan is suitable if you want to create usage reports, add guest accounts and store up to 5GB of documents. It also works with additional business security tools like Okta. Multi-factor authentication is available on the business plans.

LastPass, on the other hand, offers a free basic option for single users. The Premium tier adds more support and storage for $3 per month, which increases to $4 for the family plan. Multi-factor authentication is available on the Premium plan.

The Teams plan with LastPass also costs $4 per month. Enterprise costs $6 monthly, and extra capabilities like MFA or Identify cost extra. You’ll need to sign up to the premium plan if you want to securely share password folders with other team members. 

In other words, LastPass is a more affordable than 1Password and offers multi-factor authentication on a budget.

Winner: LastPass

Is 1Password Better Than LastPass?

Both apps, 1Password and LastPass, are trustworthy password managers that will save you time and take the headache out of password management.

Those on a budget should consider LastPass, as it’s the cheaper of the two. Subscribers can also share logins securely with others.

The better choice for freelancers and small business owners is 1Password, especially if you intend to use the app to keep track of other information like bank account numbers. The mobile app works particularly well with Apple Face ID and fingerprint on an iPhone or tablet for signing in and out of websites.

Can 1Password Be Trusted?

As I mentioned above, LastPass had a security breach in 2015. While hackers didn’t access any sensitive information, 1Password hasn’t had any breaches.

Also, 1Password treats service, security, and diagnostic data differently. Learn more about the process at their privacy page, which also explains how they keep information safe. 

The Verdict: 1Password vs. LastPass

The LastPass interface isn’t quite as good at multi-account management as 1Password. It hasn’t been updated in quite a while, and its age is starting to show, especially when exploring the limits of the app. 

Meanwhile, 1Password, can scale easily, no matter what private information you want to manage. The interface is intuitive and can help you quickly manage accounts and passwords for personal or business purposes.

Most social media users will also value its folder and tagging system and the vault for ease of use. This makes 1Password the better option. Due to the ease of use and great flexibility that 1Password provides, I recommend it for keeping your passwords safe and password sharing. I use the Mac app, mobile app and browser extension regularly. That said, many people use LastPass happily due to how it balances a lower price with key security features.

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1Password vs. LastPass (2020): Which Password Manager Is Best?
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