LastPass Password Manager 1.70.1 - 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 295 votes

    • 5 star: 137
    • 4 star: 69
    • 3 star: 23
    • 2 star: 23
    • 1 star: 43
  • Current version:

    4.3 stars

    out of 33 votes

    • 5 star: 18
    • 4 star: 11
    • 3 star: 2
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 2
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 33

  • 5.0 stars

    "This works real well couldn't ask for anything better."

    January 16, 2011  |   By Marine1955

    Version: LastPass Password Manager 1.70.1

    Pros

    keeps my pass-words handy for me without having to write them down all the time and forgetting where I put them.

    Cons

    Nothing to say bad about it it works super well..

    Summary

    I would recommend it to anyone , Bottom line it works great..

    Updated on Jan 22, 2011

    Still like it like before so nothing has changed. It's a good product..

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (1) (1)

  • 5.0 stars

    "love it, great program"

    January 15, 2011  |   By csderesjr

    Version: LastPass Password Manager 1.70.1

    Pros

    i like everything, what a big help, can't live without it!!!!!!

    Cons

    there is not a thing i don't like!!!!!!!!

    Summary

    great, super, very easy to use, fast, helpful!!!!!!!!!

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (1)

  • 4.0 stars

    "Keeps improving"

    January 12, 2011  |   By pro10

    Version: LastPass Password Manager 1.70.1

    Pros

    It does hold your data,and cost nothing and seems to get better each month. I have tried others like this but this is #1

    Cons

    At times It does not respond as fast as I like,

    Reply to this review

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  • 5.0 stars

    "I like this better than any password manager I've tried"

    January 10, 2011  |   By lorry612

    Version: LastPass Password Manager 1.70.1

    Pros

    quick, easy, transparent, accurate -- great

    Cons

    None that I've found yet

    Summary

    bottom line is that unless I find something that I just can't tolerate, my search for a password manager is over

    Reply to this review

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Seamless manager"

    January 9, 2011  |   By DWB12

    Version: LastPass Password Manager 1.70.1

    Pros

    This program is one of the best seamless password managers. It almost seems too good to be true. After a year as a premium user, we have had no bad experiences.

    Cons

    The idea of having a password manager that is a cloud consolidator is hard to get used to.

    Summary

    With everything happening in the background, who really has access to our passwords? We reply heavily on folks from CNET to let us know if something is really happening under the hood that is a threat. But the same characteristic that troubles us is what makes this application so helpful. From mobile to home to office, the passwords are all available. Can it get more convenient? Are the Chinese collecting these passwords without our knowledge?

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  • 5.0 stars

    "PERFECT for password management"

    December 30, 2010  |   By chanqinco

    Version: LastPass Password Manager 1.70.1

    Pros

    It is free to use, easy to install and does so much more than just remember your usernames and passwords. It can generate very passwords, store confidential text data in the Vault and can also help automatically fill forms safely and accurately.

    Cons

    LastPass may not be able to work with flash-based sites or forms. Also, if you have a pre-existing password manager, importing data over to LastPass may be a little complicated.

    Summary

    The point of password management is to make it easy for users to create and use strong passwords, while the program helps them to store such information conveniently and safely. In this respect, LastPass is definitely my number one choice.

    The free version by itself is already a very powerful tool for normal personal or business use. If you choose to upgrade to the premium version, you get LastPass for your mobile devices, priority support, YubiKey support and so much more!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Bye Bye RoboForm"

    December 26, 2010  |   By Leppod

    Version: LastPass Password Manager 1.70.1

    Pros

    It's free! And the folks at LastPass have put a lot of thought into the need to organize and manage your info and make this easy to do. They are also available. You can leave feedback and they actually respond!

    Cons

    Can be a bit annoying as you learn and train the program to work as you'd like it to.

    Summary

    I was faced with the need to teach my wife and kids the necessity of creating secure passwords and the need for a password management program. I have been using RoboForm for many years but was hesitant to teach this rather unruly program to my family. I discovered LastPass and am happy to show them how easily one can manage passwords and information with it. RoboForm should be the defacto leader in this department but they have been asleep at the wheel and now want to charge annual fee for their services. LastPass is a no brainer. The interface is nicer, the integration seamless, and for the first time I've actually organized my info in a manner my wife can make sense out of. RoboForm has only recently added this functionality (an editor) and it is a buggy pain in the @$$ to work with. Sorry to crap all over RoboForm but I'm very happy to have found LastPass.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "very nice software to use different pass words"

    December 24, 2010  |   By sailor305

    Version: LastPass Password Manager 1.70.1

    Pros

    works quite fine

    Cons

    some manly banking software denies auto fill

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Excellent Password manager"

    December 24, 2010  |   By dmingust

    Version: LastPass Password Manager 1.70.1

    Pros

    Works as you'd want it too. Easy to configure.

    Cons

    No way to export bookmarks only from LastPass vault. Not as big a problem as it sounds but would have been nice after installing new OS and I forgot to save bookmark backup for Firefox/Chrome.

    Summary

    I really like this app. My wife even likes it after I installed it for her laptop.

    Reply to this review

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Pretty good password program"

    December 15, 2010  |   By MJGLORIOSO

    Version: LastPass Password Manager 1.70.1

    Pros

    I am comparing it to the Norton Security Suite Identity Suite and it does a pretty good job helping to remember your passwords for you!

    Cons

    Too many constant reminders if when SIGNED OUT.

    Summary

    Pretty good performance for a free program. Very helpful.

    Reply to this review

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Results 1-10 of 33

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