Technology

LastPass vs. 1Password: Which password manager wins?

LastPass and 1Password are two of the best password managers out there, and both are ranked highly on our list of the best password managers. The two are comparable in price, features and compatibility, especially with 1Password’s recent launch of a full-fledged Linux version. 

LastPass does have a leg up with its free tier, which has all the basic functionality you could want, although it recently limited syncing across all device types (computers, smartphones and tablets) to its premium plan. However, 1Password’s user experience on Apple devices and its plans to improve the design across platforms put it in close proximity to other competitors. 

So which should you get? Let this LastPass vs. 1Password faceoff help you decide.

LastPass vs. 1Password: Specs

LastPass 1Password
Cost $36 per year for single users, $48 per year for families (up to 6 users) $35.88 per year for single users, $59.88 per year for families (up to 5 users)
Free version Limited to one device ‘category’, limits on password sharing & 2FA None (after 30-day free trial)
Platforms Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS, Darwin, FreeBSD, OpenBSD
Browser add-ons Chrome, Edge, Firefox, IE, Safari, Opera Brave, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari
2FA Yes Yes
Form filling Yes Yes

LastPass vs. 1Password: Price

LastPass and 1Password cost essentially the same amount per year — $36 — for individuals who are looking for all the premium features each password manager has to offer. 

A family plan will set you back a little more with 1Password, which charges $59.88 per year for up to five people ($12 for each additional login after that). That’s compared to $48 per year for up to six users with LastPass.

LastPass vs. 1Password: A screen grab of the pricing page on the LastPass website.

(Image credit: LastPass/Screengrab by Tom’s Guide)

Where LastPass has a real edge, though, is with its free tier. Unfortunately, that free tier isn’t quite the deal it used to be, as customers on this plan are now limited to syncing data only among computers or only among mobile devices. 

But the value of LastPass’s free tier is still high for users looking for password management basics at no cost: It includes unlimited password storage, one-to-one sharing, a password generator, automatic password saves, automatic form filling, secure note storage, multi-factor authentication and the LastPass Authenticator mobile app.  

1Password does not have a free option, but it does have a trial period of two weeks. LastPass’ free tier lets you use the premium functions for a month.

Winner: LastPass

LastPass vs. 1Password: Platform compatibility

With the addition of 1Password’s full support for Linux on desktop, the two password managers are roughly comparable in terms of compatibility with major platforms. 

To use the LastPass browser extensions, as LastPass recommends, you must be running Windows 8.1 and above, “the two most recent major macOS versions” (currently includes 10.15 Catalina and later), Chrome OS or one of the most common distributions of Linux.

Supported browsers include Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge (both legacy and Chromium-based), Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Opera, plus Microsoft Internet Explorer 11. You can also download a Windows or Linux “universal installer” mini-app that will put the Chrome extension on every browser you have installed.

LastPass IE receives security updates and compatibility fixes only — no new features — and Microsoft recently announced that the browser will be discontinued in June 2022. 

There are two types of LastPass browser extensions. The first is the regular kind you can find in your browser’s extensions library. (Brave and Vivaldi can use this Chrome extension and SeaMonkey the Firefox one.)

(Image credit: LastPass)

The second type of extension, available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera, has a “binary component” that can log you in (and out of) LastPass on other desktop browsers and supports Windows fingerprint login. 

To get the “binary” extensions on Windows and Linux, use the universal installer. On Mac, the desktop app gives you the Safari binary extension, but there’s a separate installer for the Chrome one.

Chrome OS can use either the regular LastPass Chrome browser extension or the LastPass Android app. The “binary” Chrome browser extension is not supported in Chrome OS.

On mobile, LastPass is available for iOS 11 and up. Full support with automatic form-filling requires Android 8.0 Oreo or later, but the app will run on Android 5.0 Lollipop and later.

The LastPass desktop app works on supported versions of Windows and macOS, although LastPass would rather you stick to the browser extensions. The Windows desktop app is available only in the Microsoft Windows Store.

1Password’s options are a little less complicated, but just as robust. Its desktop app works best on the most up-to-date operating systems. It currently requires Windows 10 or Microsoft .NET 4.7.2 or later. On macOS, you will need 10.13 High Sierra or later.

(Image credit: 1Password)

In May 2021, the 1Password Linux desktop app moved out of beta; it supports most major Linux distributions. Chrome OS uses the 1Password Chrome extension.

There’s also 1Password X, aka 1Password in the Browser, a fairly new browser extension that does not require the companion desktop app. It works on Brave, Edge, Google Chrome (including Chrome OS) and Mozilla Firefox as well as Safari on Mac. 

It’s not as full-featured as the 1Password desktop apps, but just added Dark Mode and biometric-login support for Windows Hello, Touch ID on Macs and comparable Linux biometric-login systems.

There are also 1Password command-line interfaces for Windows, Linux, macOS/Darwin, FreeBSD and OpenBSD. 

The “classic” 1Password browser extensions for Brave, Chrome, Edge and Firefox that require a 1Password desktop app are also still available. On mobile, 1Password requires iOS 12.2 or later and Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Winner: Draw

LastPass vs. 1Password: Software

While both password managers offer full functionality via their websites and browser extensions (especially with the updated 1Password X), users have the option to download desktop apps as well. 

1Password’s desktop version is minimal, but in a good way — it’s unlikely to overwhelm you with options. The current app has just four main sections in the left toolbar to help you manage your account: Vault, Watchtower, Categories and Tags.

(Image credit: 1Password/Screenshot by Tom’s Guide)

The Mac version installs a dropdown menu directly into the Mac menu bar, a third way to access your 1Password vault along with the desktop app and the browser extensions. The company says a more modern design, similar to the look of the new Linux desktop app, is coming soon to Windows and Mac.

On the LastPass side, the desktop app has six primary and five secondary sections, making it a bit more like the web experience. While the macOS version is fairly robust, the Windows desktop app is no longer being developed and has some significant limitations. 

In our experience, the pairing of the LastPass browser extension with the web app is almost all you’ll ever need.

LastPass vs. 1Password: The 'all items' view in the LastPass Mac app.

(Image credit: LastPass/Screenshot by Tom’s Guide)

Importing passwords from other password managers, both stand-alone and browser-based, is a breeze in LastPass, which supports imports from nearly 30 different platforms. Meanwhile, 1Password imports passwords directly from only a few other password managers, including LastPass and Dashlane.

If LastPass or 1Password doesn’t support direct imports from a particular platform, then you have to export your password list from the other platform to a comma-separated-values (CSV) file (i.e., a spreadsheet’s data table), which 1Password or LastPass can then take in.

Winner: Draw

LastPass vs. 1Password: Form filling

Both LastPass and 1Password offer robust form-filling — including logins, addresses and credit card information — on both desktop and mobile. 

LastPass’ form-filling function on mobile devices works via a Safari browser extension for iOS 8 and above and as a built-in app feature for Android 8.0 Oreo or later. 

LastPass vs. 1Password: The autofill instructions in 1Password for iPhone.

(Image credit: 1Password/Screenshot by Tom’s Guide)

1Password users can turn on autofill for mobile browsers and apps in their iOS or Android settings. Full support for autofill requires the latest version of iOS and Android 8.0 or later. 

Winner: Draw

LastPass vs. 1Password: Cool features

LastPass previously had a handful of unique features that are no longer available, but one handy function that still exists is the ability to recover your account if you lose your master password. (With 1Password and most other password managers, you’re out of luck.) 

There are several ways to do this, but the most secure is to generate a one-time recovery password on a device on which you already have LastPass installed. 

(Image credit: LastPass)

1Password’s cool feature is Travel Mode, which is especially useful and potentially a lifesaver for frequent travelers who often face border controls. Travel Mode lets you denote Vaults as “Safe for travel” or “Remove for travel.”

Once you toggle Travel Mode on, your “Remove for travel” vaults are deleted from your device until you turn Travel Mode off. This prevents anyone with access to your device — such as a border guard — from discovering your sensitive data when the device is powered on. 

Travel Mode requires the full 1Password desktop client app for Windows, Mac or Linux. The 1Password X/1Password in the Browser stand-alone extensions haven’t gained it yet.

Winner: 1Password

LastPass vs. 1Password: Security

Most password managers, including LastPass and 1Password, use powerful 256-bit AES encryption, and both password managers’ vaults are unlocked on your device only after you’ve entered your master password. 1Password adds an extra layer of security with a 34-character Secret Key that works alongside your master password. 

LastPass paying users get to use the Security Dashboard, which analyzes all your stored passwords for weakness and whether any have been compromised in data breaches. There’s a very similar feature in 1Password called Watchtower.

(Image credit: 1Password)

Both LastPass and 1Password have built-in password generators, offer 1GB of secure online storage and let you securely share passwords with others.

Both platforms are Service Organization Controls (SOC 2) compliant, meaning they have carefully documented security policies and undergo regular audits. 

Winner: Draw

LastPass vs. 1Password: Two-factor authentication 

Both LastPass and 1Password support two-factor authentication via authenticator apps (which use time-based one-time passwords, or TOTPs) and physical security keys. Neither sends 2FA codes via text message; trust us, that’s a good thing.

LastPass’ free plan works with authenticator apps like LastPass Authenticator, Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, Duo Security or Transakt. Those with a LastPass premium subscription can also use hardware authenticators such as Yubico’s YubiKey, a fingerprint sensor or a smart-card reader. 

(Image credit: LastPass)

The platform also offers a multifactor authentication feature called Grid, a chart you can print out to generate security codes manually. 

1Password’s options are a bit more limited, perhaps because this layer of security wasn’t originally built in. Currently, its 2FA function is compatible with Authy and Microsoft Authenticator as well as physical U2F security keys like YubiKey and Google’s Titan key. 

Winner: LastPass

LastPass vs. 1Password: Bottom line

LastPass still has a slight price advantage over 1Password with its free tier, though that option’s limitations when compared to Bitwarden’s unlimited free tier makes LastPass’ value proposition a bit less attractive. 

LastPass has a leg up when it comes to importing passwords from other platforms, although few customers will use that function more than once. Meanwhile, 1Password still offers the most convenience for Mac users.

Because LastPass and 1Password now cost the same for all premium features, it’s hard to ding 1Password’s pricing. LastPass does have the edge when it comes to 2FA options, as well as the ability to recover your account if you lost your password. But it’s hard to beat 1Password’s unique Travel Mode, which could make 1Password essential for frequent international travelers.

Plus, with LastPass having lost a lot of its unique functionality and 1Password having caught up on design and compatibility, the two platforms are now much more similar than they are different. LastPass still has a slight edge, especially for Windows users, but 1Password is closing the gap quickly.

Back to top button