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Guide: LastPass vs Bitwarden: Comparison and Review
Choosing a password manager can be a headache. You will use it to store your passwords, notes and the like. That’s why you want it to be safe and reliable. LastPass is one of the most popular password managers, but it has some shortcomings. It has been in the news for being hacked more than once and is owned by LogMeIn.
I found an alternative in Bitwarden, an open-source password manager that is quickly gaining momentum.
Bitwarden has managed to avoid controversies and hacks so far. It’s an open source password manager that offers the most features free.
Feeling the competition upLastPass has also recently launched several of its own features free and again tries to gain the user’s trust.
Let’s see if Bitwarden fares better, or LastPass is still the better alternative.back to menu ↑
1. User interface
Both LastPass and Bitwarden have a similar layout with a list of passwords in the middle. There is a sidebar on the left where you can jump between different options such as notes, passwords, settings and so on.
LastPass offers a menu to change the view from compact to list or grid view. A trifle in the grand scheme of things, I think.
Mobile apps follow suite with a user-friendly UI, displaying all your passwords, search bar and sidebar menu to browse between notes and other options.
Bitwarden does not allow screenshots mobile apps but has a similar layout. However, there is a bottom bar with Vault, Settings and Generator.
Overall, both password managers offer a polished user interface with everything easily accessible.back to menu ↑
2. Manage vault
Both LastPass and Bitwarden can autofill forms and passwords, whether you’re using a browser (with extensions) or a mobile app. That makes it easy to log in without having to remember and type everything every time.
You can create folders on both folders to manage passwords. That will give your UI more common sense. Imagine otherwise having to scroll through hundreds of items. There is also a search bar if you know what you are looking for.
You can manually add a new password using the large ‘+’ icon on the desktop /mobileAlternatively, the app will recommend that you remember the credentials the next time you log in manually. For desktop you need browser extensions.
Autofill works for passwords, names and addresses. Aside from the usual, you can create and add custom fields in Bitwarden, which is a plus for advanced users.back to menu ↑
This is probably the most important part when comparing password managers. Bitwarden is open-source, which means that the code is available for security audits. Bitwarden uses AES-256 encryption to protect your data. It is end-to-end encrypted meaning that even they cannot read your data. Moreover, they use salted hashing and PBKDF2 SHA-256 hashing function to protect your data.
LastPass follows this example and applies the same security standards we talked about above. The data is encrypted and decrypted on your device so that no one can read or access it once it leaves the device. Both LastPass and Bitwarden offer 2FA support such as email, authenticator apps, FIDO U2F security keys and Yubico. There is also support for biometric authentication for it mobile apps in LastPass and Bitwarden.
LastPass, in particular, has its 2FA app for Android and iOS users. While it’s okay, I don’t think it’s very wise to put all your eggs in one basket just in case. LastPass also supports smart card readers for business users.
LastPass scans your passwords to create a security vulnerability report. This will tell you what your password health score is and where to change it. I don’t think I’m doing that well.
Bitwarden fares better with multiple reports, such as weak passwords, inactive 2FA when available, passwords you have reused, and even data breach reports. Relief. Just reading the list makes me feel safe.back to menu ↑
4. Emergency access
LastPass has a unique feature called Emergency Access. You can use that to provide secure access to one of your trusted contacts. In case something unfortunate happens to you, this trusted contact can only access your vault once, including all passwords and notes.
When the designated person tries to log in, there is a wait time set by you informing you that he / she is trying to access the safe. You can then choose to allow or deny remote access.back to menu ↑
5. Platform and prices
Both LastPass and Bitwarden support popular platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS. Both also support browser extensions for Firefox, Chrome, Edge and Opera. Bitwarden also includes some lesser known browsers such as Vivaldi, Brave and TOR for a list of supported browsers.
LastPass has a free plan, which is good. For $ 3 / month you get 1 GB of encrypted file storage, secure sharing, Yubikey and Sesame 2FA support, and an ad-free vault. Yes, without ads. LastPass says these ads are for premium LastPass features nothing but. They also have a business plan where prices start at $ 4 per user per month.
Bitwarden also has a free plan, but with one extra featureThe ability to host it on your server yourself. For $ 10 a year, you get 1 GB of encrypted file storage, two-user sharing, 2FA support for Yubikey, and advanced reports. The five-user team plan starts at $ 5 per month and the enterprise plan starts at $ 3 per month per user.back to menu ↑
Pass on the Word
I would go here with Bitwarden and for good reason. LastPass’ reputation works against this. Bitwarden is open-source, offers more compatibility, more features in the free plan and offers plans that are cheaper than LastPass.
The next up Looking for more options? Here’s an in-depth one guide on Dashlane and KeePass to keep you busy.back to menu ↑
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