LastPass Password Manager 1.75 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

LastPass Password Manager

CNET Editors' review

The bottom line: Effective, secure, and easy to use, LastPass offers a broad base of password-management features for free that can be expanded when upgrading to the premium version. It's an essential add-on for modern Web browsing.

Review:

Passwords have gotten so complicated that even people with ferociously sharp memories can struggle to recall the eccentric combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols. There are passwords for personal e-mail, work e-mail, bank accounts, Twitter, and Facebook, and woe to anybody who uses the same one for those two malware magnets. On top of that, it's recommended that you regularly change your passwords so they don't get compromised. Passwords are a pain, but LastPass slices through the Gordian knot of password management with a deft and effective cross-platform browser add-on.

Installation:

Installing LastPass is straightforward, except that you can choose between the universal installer or browser-specific add-ons. The easiest option is the universal installer, which will work with Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome on Windows. Mac users will have to download individual add-ons for each browser.

LastPass takes the pain out of passwords

After creating a LastPass account and master password, which is used to access your password list, LastPass will ask to suck up all your passwords into its cloud-based, AES-256-encrypted servers. This key aspect of LastPass, the cloud-based storage, is then followed by an option to remove all your locally stored passwords. This prevents them from being compromised after you've begun using LastPass, although it also means that you will be tied to LastPass from that point. You can always export your passwords later, although after using the add-on for more than a year we've had no problems.

Interface:

After installing, restart your browser and you'll see a gray or red box icon on your browser's toolbar. Red indicates you're logged in, while gray indicates you're not. Once logged in, you can visit LastPass' spreadsheet layout of your passwords with one click. This is called your "password vault," and while it's navigable, it could use some tweaking, too.

You can organize your passwords into folders and groups, you're told up front how long ago the password was last used, and there are quick links to Edit, Share, and Delete the password. A search field at the top will automatically search through URL and username. You cannot search by password.

A list of global actions such as settings, import and export, history, and manually adding sites lives on the left of the password list. To the right is a short list of options to be used when you select a password, currently limited to share, delete, and change group. At the top of the interface are tabbed options for managing your form-fill profiles, identities, shares, and applications.

Much of the add-on's heavy lifting happens in editing windows that open on top of your vault, but are not separate browser windows. This includes individual password editing and configuring, and changing LastPass' settings. The separate window is understandable for security purposes, but it detracts from the overall experience as an overlay.

Features and support:

LastPass offers a shocking number of features. The free version will be more than enough for most users, while upgrading to the premium version will get you LastPass for mobile devices and browsers, remove ads from your vault, provide priority e-mail and phone support, and give you multifactor authentication. This heightened level of security requires you to use a YubiKey or USB key in conjunction with your LastPass master password to gain access to your vault.

Basic and premium users alike will get LastPass' deep array of password-management tools. It will auto-detect username and password form fields. If it has the credentials for the page you're visiting, it will ask you to fill in the info. You can also set LastPass to automatically fill in credentials, or even automatically log in. When you visit a site that you're creating new credentials for, it will ask if you'd like it to create a password for you. Via the vault, you can change the default level of security for generated passwords. It will also detect when you've changed the password for a site that's already saved, and ask you if you'd like to change the saved version.

From within the Settings option in the vault, you can change your master password, configure the vault auto-log-off time, change the default security level to one of three presets or customize a fourth, and manage equivalent domains and URL rules for sites with more than one log-in.

While LastPass can be used solely from its Web site, and provides a virtual keyboard so you don't have to worry about a keylogger swiping your master password, some key features come only with the add-on. One of these is the on-the-fly creation of a one-time password, and there are others. The add-on menu shows you a list of recently used passwords, and allows you to copy credentials to your clipboard without revealing them first, fill forms, manage secure notes, customize hot keys, and change the LastPass icons.

It doesn't skimp on password tweaks, and that's a good thing.

Performance:

Measuring add-on performance is notoriously difficult, although Internet Explorer 9 Beta did note that LastPass only slowed down the browser's boot time by 0.16 seconds. The default threshold for warning the user about add-on performance impact in IE9 Beta is 0.2 seconds or slower. Google Chrome dev 9.0.587.0 put LastPass' memory usage at 14MB of RAM, high for an add-on. Browsing with the add-on versus without it revealed no noticeable slow-downs on a daily use computer.

Conclusion:

Password security and management have long been a deficient part of any browsing experience, and LastPass solves that problem while also making your passwords accessible anywhere. Cross-platform, cross-browser, and secure with a hefty range of options, this is the gold standard for password management.

LastPass takes the pain out of passwords:

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    3.8 stars

    out of 293 votes

    • 5 star: 136
    • 4 star: 68
    • 3 star: 23
    • 2 star: 23
    • 1 star: 43
  • Current version:

    2.4 stars

    out of 13 votes

    • 5 star: 0
    • 4 star: 4
    • 3 star: 1
    • 2 star: 4
    • 1 star: 4
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 13

  • 3.0 stars

    "Started out great."

    November 11, 2011  |   By Jim122000

    Version: LastPass Password Manager 1.75

    Pros

    Speeds you through the constant need to always be connected to some
    important and confidential web site.

    Cons

    Glitches seem to have made my installation run a little horribly. Now I am in need of finding the repair version of this program to put it right side up and making me quite concerned a repair version exists.

    Summary

    Like all good ideas, it needs tweaking and who knows perhaps it is a virus or something that I did or failed to do that has caused my problems. Either way, I would recommend to a friend.

    Reply to this review

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Buggy, but better than nothing"

    November 9, 2011  |   By jsneeringer

    Version: LastPass Password Manager 1.75

    Pros

    1. Supports multiple browsers & devices.
    2. Passwords available from public computers.
    3. Goes a long way toward meeting a need.

    Cons

    1. You never know if it will work in a given situation.
    2. Commonly used features buried in menus (e.g. it takes 3 clicks to fill a form from the default profile).
    3. Reliability seems to be getting gradually worse over time.

    ANDROID version:
    1. Confusing, unreliable, and takes many steps to fill in a password.
    2. Doesn't work at all at the moment. I guess I'll try re-installing.
    3. Doesn't fill in the password for Xmarks, another of the company's products.

    Summary

    LastPass is a typical example of a product that focuses too much on features (most of which I never use) and not enough on the basics.

    Example 1: It tries to identify sites that have forms you might want to fill in, and rarely succeeds. However, I know when I want to fill in a form. There's no need to identify those pages, but it would be enormously helpful if it were easy to access the form-filling feature.

    Example 2: There are features having to do with autofilling and autologon for sites, and also buttons labeled AutoFill and AutoLogon. I find it very difficult to figure out how these interact, and different buttons seem to appear for the same site. Furthermore, the buttons do not always do anything.

    Updated on Nov 14, 2011

    I've decided to document in more detail some areas where LastPass could improve. This is the first.
    1. CHROME: If you have more than one password for a site, then clicking AutoLogin should give a menu to select the one you want. Frequently, the menu is all white - no border, words, or anything. If you refresh the page, it usually works the next time. I wish I could add a screen capture to show this.

    Updated on Nov 19, 2011

    CHROME: Failed to fill in or offer to fill in the ID and password for one site that worked before. I went and selected it from "Recently Used," and then it successfully signed in to that site from a new tab. Then I repeated the steps, and this time it worked.

    Updated on Nov 20, 2011

    CHROME: On one site only, nothing is filled in, and there are no AutoLogin or AutoFill buttons. Had to select the site from the "Recently Used" list and open it in a new tab.

    Updated on Nov 20, 2011

    ANDROID: Steps (touches) trying to sign in to Citi.
    1. LastPass doesn't offer AutoFill.
    2. Menu (LastPass AutoFill icon is disabled)
    3. More
    4. Go to LP
    5. Log in to LP
    6. Back
    7. Menu
    8. AutoFill
    9. Confirm AutoFill (Fills in username, but not PW. Citi asks for PW again)
    10. Menu
    11. Go to LP
    12. Search for "Citi"
    13. Hold down to see account properties
    14. Touch "Copy Password"
    15. Back (to return to Citi)
    16. Try to paste in PW. (Nothing happens. AutoFill on Menu is now gone)
    17. Menu
    18. More
    19. Go to LP (Still signed in to LP)
    20. Back
    21. Menu (AutoFill still disabled)

    At this point I gave up, although I could have gone back to LP, written down my Citi password and then entered it manually.

    Note that my account omits many steps where I tried something that didn't work.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Working Well For Me"

    October 21, 2011  |   By HarryLindsay

    Version: LastPass Password Manager 1.75

    Pros

    As well as storing passwords it co-ordinates them across machines and browsers

    Cons

    Security worries mentioned in other reviews now a worry.

    Summary

    Good features but if it ain't secure...

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  • 1.0 stars

    "This one is a deal-breaker"

    October 20, 2011  |   By lllZlll

    Version: LastPass Password Manager 1.75

    Pros

    Passwords accessible online... Great for travelers and computer hoppers.

    Cons

    Internet Browser is ripe with problems, if you try surfing without logging in. The software does NOT uninstall completely, causing conflicts after-the-fact.

    Summary

    I was disappointed with this software's hijacking of my browser, requiring me to login every time I surfed, else problems abound. But, I became angry, when "after uninstalling", I find that my poker games and other software started crashing, until I manually swept my registry removing LBar.Bar and LBar.dll entries "among others". It took an hour to manually remove this software and I don't believe a non-tech would be capable of doing so. I see great potential in this app, but as of now, it's a deal-breaker. Don't even install it.

    Updated on Oct 21, 2011

    I tested this on my mini, which I use for internet research. It's a bit older with Windows XP SP3, is completely up-to-date, and has no other known probs. These problems may not relate to Windows 7 machines (almost everything has probs on Vista, so that's moot).

    Updated on Oct 22, 2011

    I recently discovered a corrupt system file that could explain the problems with LastPass. Please, disregard my negative rating. Will try to have it removed.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Just starting to use. Incredibly robust for free use!"

    October 12, 2011  |   By davenaslund

    Version: LastPass Password Manager 1.75

    Pros

    Wow. I can't believe this is free. Still working with the learning curve.

    Cons

    Some things that are supposed to be automated... are not.

    Summary

    I was using Roboform, but they changed their paid desktop software model to an online ASP one. And they want to nickel and dime you for using it with other devices, or other software to make it work better. I bought a lifetime license, but they obviously don't want to adhere to the lifetime policy of free updates... I had referred dozens of friends to this product.

    Right now I don't see any reason why someone wouldn't want to change from Roboform to LastPass.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Sucks! Waste of time."

    September 26, 2011  |   By mariettajc

    Version: LastPass Password Manager 1.75

    Pros

    Would be a time saver if it worked.

    Cons

    Each time it drops the user name I have gone and reentered it in my password vault and then try to log in. Same problem - some sites it works on, most sites it doesn't. I even started over completely and still ran into the same problem.

    Summary

    Don't waste your money on the "premium" version.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Great Convenience"

    September 19, 2011  |   By you dont say

    Version: LastPass Password Manager 1.75

    Pros

    Unlimited amount of passwords in free version

    Cons

    No free mobile version

    Summary

    Easy to set-up and use and it does exactly what it says it'll do. Pretty straightforward.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "might workk good if I ever figure it out"

    September 18, 2011  |   By skiptil

    Version: LastPass Password Manager 1.75

    Pros

    I kreally don't know

    Cons

    complicated

    Summary

    this is hgard to use for a user like myself di9d ;have a password mgr that waas easy but lost in a HD crash

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Not as good as RoboForm"

    September 6, 2011  |   By JamieJo1990

    Version: LastPass Password Manager 1.75

    Pros

    Free version is pretty decent.

    Cons

    I joined LastPass and their system was hacked! Go figure! I immediately went back to Robo and thats what I am using now. I pay for Everywhere and it's worth the money because I don't have my information stolen.

    Summary

    Use Last Pass if you want hackers to know your passwords.

    Reply to this review

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Get RoboForm Instead"

    August 26, 2011  |   By jdcohen14

    Version: LastPass Password Manager 1.75

    Pros

    It's a light application and does not take up many resources.

    Cons

    It's not very accurate and doesn't work as smoothly as other password managers I've tried. Plus they had a major security breach a few months ago which makes me nervous.

    Summary

    Try another password manager like RoboForm, Keypass, One Password, or any of the other ones on this site.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (2) (0)

Results 1-10 of 13

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LastPass Password Manager