If you are not using a password manager yet, well, start using it now. A password manager can make you less vulnerable online, as it generates strong random passwords and syncs these passwords securely across all your browsers and devices. It can also fill details like login forms and payment forms automatically. Besides the convenience, it also ensures the safety of your personal data. With all the threats now lurking around in the Internet, a password manager has become a necessity for individuals as well as business institutions.
Below, we are going to focus our discussion around two of the leading password manager tools, which are LastPass and 1Password. The two are enterprise-grade password manager tools that have been trusted by many users of varying groups. If you are looking for a reliable password manager, these two are your best options. So, which is the one that you should choose? Let’s see how they compare based on several factors.
What is a Password Manager?
Using one of these tools, you can generate a truly unique and hard-to-crack password for every website or application with a login form. Password managers are software applications that function to make and recall strong, unique passwords. Of course, we have been suggested to use different passwords for all websites, services, and applications that we use. However, many people – perhaps including you – simply use a single password for everything. There are reasons; usually, because having to remember multiple different passwords is difficult and inconvenient. However, using the same password on multiple websites poses a serious risk, especially if one or more of those websites don’t encrypt their user login information. Once someone breaches into the server, he gets your password. The cracker does not crack your password – he cracks the server. Even if you use lots of numbers and special characters, if you use the same password for all your other accounts, the cracker can get access to all your other accounts after he breaches the server.
A password manager can minimize the risk by automating password generation. You just need to click on a button to create and store a unique password for every login. So, you can have different passwords on all your account without having to remember them all. You only need to remember a single password, which is the master password, in order to gain access to the password manager application.
1Password is developed by AgileBits, which is a privately-held software company founded in 2005. Even though 1Password was originally created for Mac, it has been available for Windows since 2006, and then for Android and iOS. However, contrary to the recent trend of subscription-based services, 1Password still retains the traditional one-license-per-user, on-premise scheme. The price is $64.99 for one user. That may look quite expensive. On the good side, you will be allowed to install 1Password on as many devices as needed, both personal computers and mobile gadgets, both at work and at home. In addition, if you purchase the password manager directly from AgileBits, you will be given free updates until the next major release (for example, if you buy 1Password 6.0, you can get free updates for all 6.x releases; but there is an upgrade fee to move to 7.x releases). Quite recently, though, 1Password has also started subscription-based services for family (1Password Families) and business (1Password Teams). There is a 30-day free trial available for any version, allowing you to try the tool before you buy.
Many business owners prefer the robust functionality and granular control of the traditionally installed version and 1Password Teams. Available in two pricing tiers, Standard ($3.99 per month) and Pro ($11.99 per month), 1PasswordTeams offers desktop and mobile apps, unlimited password sharing, auto synchronization, and access control. The Standard tier only provides 1GB data storage and a 30-day password history. The Pro tier increases the offers with 5GB data storage, an unlimited password history, additional options for activity logging, groups, and role-based access, as well as prioritized customer support.
LastPass was founded in August 2008. It was acquired by LogMeIn in 2015, which, in turn, was acquired by Citrix in 2016. Unlike 1Password, LastPass is a cloud-based password manager. In other words, it does not require you to install anything. It provides browser extensions to make the usage more convenient, though those are not required. There are, however, mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. The one for BlackBerry is no longer supported.
LastPass is available in three versions, which are Free, Premium, and Enterprise. Yes, with the Free version, you can use LastPass without paying a penny. It lacks many advanced features, such as the ability to share passwords to other devices and users, but it can already generate and store passwords on a single device. Better than nothing, isn’t it? The Premium version is priced at $12/year for one user, enabling syncing across multiple devices, shared password folders, additional multi-factor options, and fingerprint authentication on compatible devices. Finally, the Enterprise version is available in per-user and site-based licensing, providing unlimited folder/password sharing, a centralized admin console, customizable user permissions, Single Sign On (SSO) support, and integration with LDAP and Active Directory.
LastPass vs. 1Password, The Comparison
Even though both are great apps, there are a few distinctions that can affect your final choice. The first advantage that LastPass has is the ability to perform bulk password changes. This feature can be a lifesaver when a security breach happens, or at least when some employees are separated from the company. With LastPass, you will be able to change multiple passwords automatically. 1Password can’t change multiple passwords at once. The second advantage of LastPass is the built-in integration with LDAP and Active Directory to support SSO. Well, 1Password can also be manually integrated, but doing so requires lots of time, especially if there are bulks of updates to make.
However, we should also note that LastPass’s security is only authentication-based. On the other hand, 1Password’s security is authentication-based and encryption-based. 1Password’s installed version is generally considered to be inherently stronger and safer because it makes all authentication processes to take place in your machine, and takes the master password as a cryptographic key.
|- Available in a cloud-based service||- Available in an installed version and cloud-based service|
|- Generally less expensive||- Generally more expensive|
|- Authentication-based||- Authentication-based and encryption-based|
|- Built-in integration with LDAP/Active Directory, can perform bulk password changes||- Manual integration, can’t perform bulk password changes|
If accessibility and quick control are your top priorities, LastPass makes a good choice. With the built-in integration and the ability to perform bulk password changes, LastPass can be very convenient to use. However, if, for some reason, you want to get the highest level of security, 1Password’s installed version can be your choice.