Download of the Week: LastPass

By on December 17, 2009, 6:30 PM
Password managers are a common tool among many Internet users. With so many different online services now part of our digital lives, including quite a few that deal with sensitive financial and personal data, it's important to use strong and ideally more than just one password to stay on the safe side. Some time ago I recommended RoboForm as an alternative to memorizing overly complicated codes and filling lengthy forms.

For all its merits the problem with RoboForm is that youíll either have to shell out $30 for the Pro edition or get by with the measly 10-password limit on the free version. LastPass is different in at least a couple of respects. First and foremost, while a $12-a-year Premium subscription is also on offer, the free version will give you the same password saving and form filling functionality as RoboForm without any of the limitations.


This includes multiple identities, putting an unlimited number of individual passwords behind one master password, automatically fill in saved logins and forms with the click of a button, storing text notes securely in your vault, protection against key loggers and phishing attacks, a secure password generator and a lot more.


Another fundamental difference is that LastPass stores everything in the cloud. This means seamless synchronization across all major platforms and browsers via a plug-in that works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. While some of you will naturally hesitate to store passwords and other sensitive data on a third-party server, it should be noted that LastPass is a Host-proof hosting solution and as such all data is first encrypted locally with 256-bit AES and then saved remotely so only you can access it anywhere, anytime.

You can also import password databases from almost every other similar service so making the switch is utterly painless. Iíve been using it for a few months now and have never looked back. If you are in need of a way to securely store multiple passwords, and have them accessible at all times as you move between workplaces, look no further than LastPass -- it will truly be the last password youíll have to remember, and it's free!




User Comments: 20

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Puiu Puiu said:

The one in firefox is enough for me. I don't need any special program for my passwords.

jurrasstoil said:

what makes this better than Secure Login (Firefox plugin)?

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Does secure login store passwords locally or remotely? If you reinstall your Pc do you have to make a backup of the passwords or does it automatically get them back from the internet?

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Fingerprint reader with bundled HP software works great for me :-)

kimsland, Ex-TechSpotter, said:

it's important to use strong and ideally more than just one password to stay on the safe side.

Look from servicing customer's computers for many years. And even on my own computer and stacks of login accounts all over the place. No one uses a password like: alBG65uveXChPi1 or anything like that (except when they are automatically assigned a new password.

We all use things we remember, and usually we use that on other sites too

OMG big outcry of support members saying you can't do that Well that's what everyone does ;) And me included. Imagine using a so called "strong" password as per most guidelines out there, don't be silly, no one does that. How would you remember such a thing, oh you then need to "securely store the passwords in another program. What? are you mad? :D That sounds too insecure to me ;)

Most users just write them down, in the private sector (ie 99% of all members here)

Staff
Jos Jos said:

No one uses a password like: alBG65uveXChPi1 or anything like that.

I do For really important stuff I use a random combination of upper and lower case alphabetic characters plus numbers.

and usually we use that on other sites too, OMG big outcry of support members saying you can't do that

Yes, I agree. I don't have a different password for EVERY service I sign up to.

Imagine using a so called "strong" password as per most guidelines out there, don't be silly, no one does that.

Of course I know few people will use a cryptic combination of characters like the one you mentioned above, but they don't have to. A strong password could be the name of a city followed by an unrelated number that means something to you, for example. Something that's not impossible to remember but not obvious either.

How would you remember such a thing

Even if you use a cryptic password you don't have to remember it... that's the whole point of using a password manager like RoboForm or LastPass. How did you miss that??

oh you then need to "securely store the passwords in another program. What? are you mad? That sounds too insecure to me Most users just write them down, in the private sector (ie 99% of all members here)

While I don't have any numbers to back it up I doubt that 99% of our readers just write down their passwords. Anyway, I don't want to extend this post any more than I already have, but if you are worried about security take a few minutes to understand the technology first - http://lastpass.com/whylastpass_technology.php

Cheers

Staff
Jos Jos said:

what makes this better than Secure Login (Firefox plugin)?

I'm not familiar with Secure Login but taking a quick look at its features the most obvious difference is that passwords are stored locally and not remotely like with LastPass. For some, that will be more than enough and perhaps a preferred solution.

Vicenarian said:

Well, there is a program called KeyPass that you can carry on your thumb drive and it works pretty well too.

Tedc said:

I like using random letters and numbers for passwords as well, especially for things like online banking. But I dont like auto-filling functions as they seem to me a security risk.

I created an online utility to remember my passwords for me, and I can store any other data there as well, in a secure format just like LastPass - 256-AES encrypted.

Guest said:

But that's exactly the point of LastPass - many, even most of my passwords are complex and long upper and lower case passwords and I have no idea what they are! AND I'm not writing them down either!

Took me a while to trust LastPass with these tasks but it seems solid and pretty well entirely reliable, the reservation comes with user error at the time of creating the username/password combination where you must remember to implement the "save' function.

kimsland, Ex-TechSpotter, said:

you'll either have to shell out $30 for the Pro edition or get by with the measly 10-password limit on the free version

Oh a "measly" 10-password limit. WELL in that case I'm not interested

How dare they be measly. I'm better off writing down my passwords (as most of us do) or just using that city name + number idea above

Thanks Guest, that made my mind up I say NO Way (and you need to subscribe every single year for more money on top. Huh, what a joke)

while a $12-a-year Premium subscription is also on offer

I only like quality free products, or nothing at all. Thank-you very much. The cheek of them being measly!

Basher said:

@kimsland - I think you misread. RoboForm has the 10 password limit, or $30 for the Pro version which allows unlimited. On the free version of LastPass there is no limit and does a good handfull of the stuff RoboForm does. The Premium version really only adds mobile support, which personally I don't need.

On a side note, I use multiple computers throughout my day and LastPass automatically have every new or updated password there is VERY convenient. Even if I'm away from my personal computers and need the password I can just login to my LastPass "Vault" and retrieve whichever one I need...

Guest said:

$30 for RoboForm is a steal. I spent the $30 about 7 years ago and have used it on every PC since. $12 YEARLY for LastPass premium? Well, seems I'd be spending alot more with this suggestion.

RoboForm has more functionality, is easier to use, and is now supported on Chrome 4.0. Oh, and you can store passwords in the cloud or on disk with RoboForm.

I am in no way affiliated with RF.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Look from servicing customer's computers for many years. And even on my own computer and stacks of login accounts all over the place. No one uses a password like: alBG65uveXChPi1 or anything like that (except when they are automatically assigned a new password.

We all use things we remember, and usually we use that on other sites too

OMG big outcry of support members saying you can't do that Well that's what everyone does And me included. Imagine using a so called "strong" password as per most guidelines out there, don't be silly, no one does that. How would you remember such a thing, oh you then need to "securely store the passwords in another program. What? are you mad? That sounds too insecure to me

Most users just write them down, in the private sector (ie 99% of all members here)

I find it rather frightening when I catch myself agreeing with kimsland. But really boys and girls, it strikes me as a mildly retarded behavior to generate passwords, then upload them into the "cloud", (where we're absolutely certain they're secure ) and actually pay money to do this.

What's going to be next week's "download of the week"? Maybe an online "IQ" test, where you have to enter all your personal information to get the results.

Just apply some "reverse psychology" to the answer. If they say "genius", you'll know that means, "we scored another suckers info". There really is "one born every minute".

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Hah, who needs it....my universal password is..."password" !!! no one will ever think of that!

Sign me up for the I.Q. test...I was going to try one but went with the "You are the lucky 126,561,960,325,778th visitor, click here to collect your prize" because I need the cash- my special needs teacher said that iMac's are reeeeeaaaaallly expensive.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

For Sale: Lovely Beach Front Property in Arizona.....

Sign me up for the I.Q. test...I was going to try one but went with the "You are the lucky 126,561,960,325,778th visitor, click here to collect your prize" because I need the cash- my special needs teacher said that iMac's are reeeeeaaaaallly expensive.

Not to mention that overall, buying an iMac is at least twice as stupid as paying a hundred dollars more for a TV because it's got a $29.95 DVD player built it. You just buy it, after all, a special ed teacher, Steve Jobs, and Rasputin can't all be wrong can they?

"Password" !!! huh. Is that with or without the quotes and exclamation points...?

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

"Password" !!! huh. Is that with or without the quotes and exclamation points...?

Of course it's everything within the quotation marks!

Hereby demonstrating the ease at which my strategy can defeat even the most tech savvy.

/rubs hands gleefully

//prints off forum topic

///double checks time and venue of Mr Jobs latest seminar "Form over Function for Dummies"

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Of course it's everything within the quotation marks!

Hereby demonstrating the ease at which my strategy can defeat even the most tech savvy

That's freaking, "8rii!!i@nT" !!!!

Guest said:

KeePass is great at first...but last year, when I was in the full swing of using it, my Keepass database corrupted itself while doing a sync between my blackberry and my PC...which made the database inaccessible to either. Doh! I ended up "losing"/being locked out of those passwords held in that database.

One of the best strengths of LastPass, is that I can access it from anywhere I've got an internet connection, cellular or otherwise. That's good enough for me.

GSteve said:

I purchased Roboform Pro several years ago and have regularly applied free updates (as was promised at the time of original purchase) and have used the program without insurmountable problems. But Roboform recently released Version 7, and the upgrade to version 7 is no longer covered by the original purchase price. Version 6 is still usable, but Roboform is attempting to 'persuade' users to purchase the upgrade to version 7 by 'freezing' version 6 and not updating it to work with the latest version of Firefox (Firefox 4). Perhaps I am being unreasonable, but I take offense to that approach and will find a different password manager - even if I have to use pen and paper - just on general principles......

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