Password managers are the new way to fast, safe and simplified browsing. If you’re worried about your privacy on the Internet (which you should be!), it’s never too late to give these privacy tools a chance.
Since you’re here, you probably want a solid answer to this question: “Which is a better password manager – Bitwarden or LastPass?”
Here I’ll be sharing my analysis on Bitwarden vs LastPass comparison. Both password managers are secure, widely used, and protected with top-class encryption. However, there’s only one of them that pushes the envelope of cybersecurity.
- Both password managers generate, remember and audit passwords so you’re in the driver’s seat of your own security
- LastPass uses powerful ciphers, 2FA authentication and provides all-out security checks
- Bitwarden is an open-source service with unbreakable encryption. It allows multi-device synchronization for sharing data with your workmates and family
- Bitwarden is built on a zero-knowledge architecture, and neither has access to your personal vault at any point
- Overall, LastPass is the better password manager choice
Bitwarden vs LastPass Comparison
|Compatible Browsers & OS||Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox||Same as Bitwarden’s plus Chrome OS, Windows phone, Internet Explorer and Maxthon|
|Encryption & Security||Open-Source, 256-bit AES encryption, Zero-knowledge architecture 2FA, TOTP||256-bit AES encryption, 2-Factor Authentication, USB tokens, Biometric scanners, Dark Web Monitoring|
|Passwords, Cards, and IDs||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Cloud Synchronization||Yes, self-hosting is also available||Yey|
|Encrypted Storage||1 GB Cloud storage for Premium users||50 MB storage for free users and 1 GB Cloud storage for Premium users|
|Bonus Features||Reused and weak password reports, Data Breach Reports, Unsecured Websites Reports||Security Dashboard, Score, Automatic password changer, Country Restrictions, Credit Monitoring|
|Account Recovery||Recovery Code and Two-Step Logins||Emergency Access, SMS Alerts, Face ID, Touch ID|
|Premium Individual Plan||$10/year, billed annually||$36/year, billed annually|
|More information||Read my Bitwarden review||Read my LastPass review|
Bitwarden vs LastPass – Main Features
If you can’t keep up with your passwords or use the same password for everything, then you’ve found
this article at the right time. Hackers are constantly trying to hack into our personal accounts. And you could be their next target. I’m glad I found password managers like Bitwarden and LastPass when I did. They offer some pretty awesome features apart from remembering your passcodes.
Since I’ve been using Bitwarden and Lastpass over the last few weeks, I had the opportunity to do some in-depth research on both of them. Here’s what I found.
Browser and Device Compatibility
They’re both compatible with popular browsers. Even the free versions run smoothly on different smartphones and operating systems. Right now, Bitwarden isn’t available for Internet Explorer users. But you can still access this password manager from Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, MacOs, Windows PC, and Linux.
Another thing I found interesting about Bitwarden is it comes with a powerful Command-Line tool.
If you’re not a fan of Internet browsers, you can hop on Bitwarden’s self-documented CLI for password management. Anyone who’s new to CLI tools for self-hosting their password manager should find Bitwarden’s command lines fairly easy to execute.
LastPass is a closed-source password management service, so you cannot self-host your vault just yet.
But is it a dealbreaker?
No. In fact, LastPass comes with many tough security measures to make up for CLI. For a limited time, LastPass allows you to sync passwords across all your manually approved devices. This helpful feature is switching over to Premium very soon, so grab the deal on LastPass while you can!
If you want to use LastPass or Bitwarden exclusively for storing and sharing passwords, you’re in luck! They won’t cost you a single penny for this service. All you have to do is create a Lastpass or a Bitwarden account with your email.
Then why should you subscribe to Premium?
Well, here’s the deal.
You can only access LastPass’s free plan from a single device. For example, you may use it from just your laptop. It’s still accessible across all browsers (Google Chrome, Safari, Opera, Mozilla, etc.), but from your laptop only.
To simultaneously sync your LastPass or Bitwarden data, you’ll have to switch to their Premium Individual or Family plans. Anyhow, the free versions of these password managers aren’t too bad. LastPass caught my eye with its free browser extension.
Once you install the free version, Lastpass will ask permission to save passwords from your new logins unless you haven’t imported the old passwords to your LastPass My Vault.
Plus, I was really surprised when I found out that the maximum number of passwords one can save is unlimited!
Anyway, if you want to go about your life on the Internet safe and sound, both LastPass and Bitwarden are incredible choices.
This feature is particularly important if you share online resources with people you know. Personally, I split my streaming service accounts with my family. Whenever I need to share a password, I just click the Share icon from Passwords (See the drop-down on the left) and have LastPass email it to my family.
Free users of Bitwarden and Lastpass can share passwords with a single user. But if you want to take it up a notch, share files with 5 other LastPass users, you’ll have to upgrade to LastPass Families.
The Bitwarden Family plan also allows unlimited password sharing among 6 users. A close alternative to LastPass’ Sharing Center is Bitwarden Send. It’s on the right side of your screen with a blue airplane logo. Personally, I feel that Bitwarden Send surpasses the Sharing Center in terms of security.
Here are a few ways to share passwords with Bitwarden Send:
- You can set a maximum access count for each user
- Users can choose to hide the login details
- The deletion and expiration days can be customized
- You can disable a previous Bitwarden Send so nobody can access it
- Add notes for better communication
- Inactive 2FA Authentication reports to identify suspicious users
I’ll give you a detailed explanation about this in the next segment- Security & Privacy. Bitwarden Send is now accessible for all free, Premium, Family, and Business accounts. Free users can deploy the basic controls but the one-to-many sharing option is reserved for Premium users.
Coming back to LastPass, I must mention that it allows you to share passwords with a maximum of 30 users on the free plan.
I’ve set tricky passwords in the name of being “random” and successfully forgot them as soon as I finished signing up on a website. What happens next is probably something both you and I are familiar with. Otherwise, we won’t be looking for the best password managers in 2021.
In my experience with Bitwarden and LastPass, I’ve been able to set 12-digit passwords without having to remember or repeat them for my security.
Between the two, I liked the password generator on Bitwarden slightly better. Here the default password length is 14 digits. You can create 5 to 128-character-long passwords and generate totally random passphrases at the same time.
If you’re not liking the passphrases, you can randomize them again and again. Bitwarden stores the previous results in History so you can go back anytime.
LastPass’s Password Generator is super reliable, but 99-digit is where they set the bar for default codes.
I was browsing the secure storage on LastPass as a Premium Trial user, and I was so impressed that I ended up getting the paid version.
One of my friends suggested that I use LastPass for organizing my credentials, documents, and software licenses. I didn’t pay much attention at that point, but now I wish I downloaded the LastPass desktop app sooner.
Its security vault is extremely organized with 18 categories including Passwords, Secure Notes, Addresses, Payment Card, Bank Account, Driver’s License, Health Insurance, Email, Membership, and Passport.
Also, you can make extra folders and add attachments (files, photos, and texts) to each category!
🏆 Winner is – LastPass
I was pleasantly surprised to see what specs LastPass offered for free — even more so when I downloaded the Premium plan on my phone. Lastpass has a better password vault layout. Its biometric logins and password vaults are extremely reliable.
Bitwarden vs LastPass — Security & Privacy
A big part of choosing my password manager was about security and privacy. If you take cybersecurity as seriously as I do, you should pay attention to this part. Most of the time, people have a hard time trusting Bitwarden, LastPass, or free password managers in general.
I can show you 9 ways how LastPass and Bitwarden protect your data from 21st-century cyberattacks.
256-Bit AES Encryption Algorithm
All password managers use a certain encryption algorithm that conceals the user data for storage and transfer. The 256-AES encryption is the latest algorithm available for password managers.
You’ll be happy to know that LastPass and Bitwarden use it as their source code. It’s impossible to hack into this specific encryption — especially with all the security checks.
Despite being subject to multiple security threats from 2015 to 2017, no LastPass free or paid user data had been leaked.
Zero-Knowledge Security Model
Both Bitwarden and LastPass use a Zero-Knowledge architecture. Honestly, I wouldn’t have signed up at all if they didn’t feature this security model. It means your personal vaults, attachments, shared content, and Secure Notes are fully secured at all times. Even when you’re using their Cloud storage, your master password and other saved information are not being read, copied, or modified by Bitwarden/LastPass.
Self-Hosted Password Manager
Bitwarden has a Premium feature to self-host passwords if you prefer not to use their Cloud file storage. Remember our conversation about Bitwarden CLI a while ago?
Unless your work involves top-secret data handling, you can use the already secured (If not the most trusted!) Bitwarden Cloud Storage. But for those who know how to write CL scripts, the Bitwarden desktop app is preferable.
If anyone tries to log in to websites saved on your LastPass with an old master password, don’t worry. You’ll get password alerts as soon as that happens! Warning — password alerts can be disabled from Account Settings> Show Advanced Settings> Disable Password Alerts.
To improve my security, I’ve selected all the situations where I’d like LastPass to re-prompt me/user for the Master Password. Have a look:
I couldn’t help but notice that all reused and weak password reports are available only on Bitwarden Premium. You can share your encrypted files and notes (up to 100 MB) with multiple users, set an expiration date, and limit their access counts on the free plan.
Despite having a powerful encryption algorithm, LastPass and Bitwarden include two-factor authentication as a secondary security service.
You can choose which websites should show the 2FA authentication page from Settings. If you disable it for all your social media websites, LastPass will autofill the password by default. Anyone who has a hold of your device may access sensitive content with your master password at that moment.
Thanks to two-factor authentication, your social media, digital wallets, and bank accounts will never be compromised through LastPass.
Bitwarden is keeping up with one-time passwords, a TOTP authenticator, hardware authentication devices like YubiKey and U2F keys. However, biometric logins using Face ID and Touch ID are still missing in the latest Bitwarden update.
The security options of LastPass include a Security Score, an automatic password changer, and 2FA, TOTP logins. You need to log at least 50 profiles and passwords on LastPass to get a personalized Security Score.
It will rate your password hygiene out of 100 and also check for data breach history in the servers.
The LastPass Security Dashboard wraps everything up on a single screen. So, although it appears more user-friendly, I liked the individual Security concern reports on Bitwarden better.
Additionally, if there’s a new device trying to sign in to any of your accounts, both services will instantly send alerts on your phone.
🏆 Winner is — Bitwarden
I found Bitwarden’s open-source security protocols to be impressive for the price. Nontechnical users might have a hard time implementing its advanced actions. In that case, LastPass can be a better server of reliable password management.
Bitwarden vs LastPass – Ease of Use
Signing up for either password manager will make your life on the Internet easy. But if you ask me, I’ll give LastPass a solid 5 out of 5. Keep reading to find out the reason!
While using LastPass and Bitwarden, I noticed that the user interface of Lastpass is better-looking and more comprehensive for basic users.
There are a bunch of video tutorials and a step-by-step vault tour in the Help drop-down. If you’re unclear about something, say your Security Dashboard, LastPass’s instructions will be right there on the screen. If you don’t consider yourself tech-savvy, you might actually like the LastPass UI and login page better. It’s easy to understand how everything works and get them done in a few clicks.
LastPass gives you regular password checks, and its Security Dashboard is pretty intuitive.
Although Bitwarden includes unlimited password storage and logins, the free plan doesn’t come with initial storage for classified documents. It might confuse first-time users.
Premium LastPass users can make two folders that they can share and sync with another user. The latest LastPass updates also include a wide range of two-factor authentications, taking your online security to the next level.
You can unlock high-end security features such as Security Challenge and Security Score with LastPass Premium. It notifies you about password hygiene, sign-in attempts, and possible safety concerns.
But what happens when you share the passwords? Only your manually selected contacts are able to access a certain piece of information. Similarly, you can deploy and revoke this authority any time on Bitwarden, hide the password and direct them to auto-fill. Pretty cool, right?
Save & Autofill
Once you’re hooked up with a password manager and install its web extension, you should see it on all future login pages. To access a website, you have to right-click the login space, select Bitwarden and then check the autofill box. So, unfortunately, Bitwarden’s autofill feature is not as smooth as I’d anticipated, but that’s my personal opinion. Free users might not mind doing these extra two steps.
Surprisingly though, the Bitwarden web app offered prompt auto-fill services. Every time I signed up on a new website, a Bitwarden pop-up asked me if I wanted to save the login to my vault. The same goes for LastPass.
Business and Team Management
LastPass offers an incredibly safe way to share passwords among your teammates securely. Many businesses use LastPass because it lets users log in with the shared password but not see what the password really is.
If you’re the admin or the account holder, you can uncheck the box that says “Allow Recipient to View Password”.
You can also set a specific duration (usually the office time) and automatically disapprove logins outside that time frame.
Bitwarden comes with similar Business Premium features like Single Sign-On, Directory sync, API access, Audit Logs, Encrypted Exports, Multiple Logins with 2FA, and more.
Importing Passwords to Your Vault
You can import offline and online Cloud storage files to your vault. Clicking the Advanced Options button will reveal your LastPass vault management controls such as Import, Export, Add Identities, View Account History, and Deleted Items.
Sometimes you might not find a newly-saved website inside your Bitwarden password vault. It’s a minor synchronization error. All I had to do is import the password from Google Password Manager- where I was previously storing my password before activating Bitwarden. Here’s how I did it:
🏆 Winner is – LastPass
It was a close call. On one hand, you have genuine in-depth reports from Bitwarden. And on the other, you have a user-friendly LastPass web extension and mobile app. But LastPass wins this round. It’s easier to navigate and it’s all that matters to most users.
Bitwarden vs LastPass – Plans & Pricing
The latest plans and pricing information about Bitwarden and LastPass are as follows:
Free Basic Features of Bitwarden and LastPass at a Glance
- Unlimited password storage for Logins, Cards, IDs and Notes
- Encrypted text sharing on Bitwarden Send
- Secure Password Generator
- Two-factor authentication
- Cloud host and self-host options are available
- One-to-one sharing with a single user
I like Bitwarden’s paid plans. They offer one-to-many password sharing, multi-factor authentication, vault health reports, and 1 GB file storage. Although, you’ll agree that the user’s web interface and on-screen instructions could be better. Bitwarden allows unlimited users in both its free and paid options.
The LastPass Sharing Center is common for all Premium, Families and Business users. If you have been planning to get LastPass Business, you should definitely get through with it. The Security Dashboard, Centralized Control, and Cloud SSO are worth your money. And it’s only $6 per user a month!
🏆 Winner is – Bitwarden
I have to give a shout-out to LastPass here for its incredible UI and free features. But if you don’t want to shell out money on a password manager, Bitwarden is the way to go.
Bitwarden vs LastPass – Bonus Features
While using Bitwarden recently, I found that free users can now import passwords from other managers and have the Bitwarden browser extension auto-fill the passwords for them!
I had a much more interesting revelation about LastPass a while ago, and it makes all the difference!
Due to the zero-knowledge security structure, neither Bitwarden nor LastPass knows your Master password for real. In case of a sudden departure or accident, Emergency Access allows your contacts to still use the resources on your behalf.
It’s available for both Lastpass and Bitwarden and only activates after a certain amount of time has passed.
Dark Web Reports
Dark web reporting is available on Lastpass. What basically happens is — LastPass checks your email and user IDs against breached credentials.
If your email shows up on that database, it means the associated accounts are currently at risk. You’re immediately sent an alert. From there, you can generate a new password and protect your account once again.
Bitwarden has the same feature under the name Data Breach Reports.
While traveling to a different country, you or your LastPass Business Admin can freeze your access.
You can only use LastPass from the country where your account was first created. I didn’t find this security feature on Bitwarden.
However, Bitwarden’s 256-bit AES encryption algorithm is extremely powerful. It has never been compromised or subject to data breaches.
Credit Card Reports
LastPass allows you to monitor your credit cards and digital wallets. You’ll be instantly notified about transactions. This is how LastPass can protect you from identity theft, and it’s the only password manager that offers it! Plus, it doesn’t impact your credit score. Just like Restricted Country, Credit Monitoring is a LastPass exclusive!
🏆 Winner is – LastPass
Other than a few nuisances, both password management services are pretty spot-on. But LastPass wins the final round with its bonus features. And it’s shocking how most of these are absolutely free!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the LastPass free plan better than the Bitwarden free plan?
Technically, yes. Both password managers offer amazing user-friendly features in their free plans. LastPass has an edge over Bitwarden considering it offers many premium features of Bitwarden in its free version. Some people say it’s the best password manager for sharing passwords!
You immediately get 50 megabytes of encrypted password storage. You can store important text and files in this vault and share them with another user.
How can I be sure that Bitwarden isn’t using my personal information?
Bitwarden uses a zero-knowledge architecture which allows you to keep the contents in your vault entirely confidential from the system. Moreover, passwords, bank accounts, and other credentials shared with another person, family, or colleagues at work are end-to-end encrypted.
It means Bitwarden cannot access or read these data packets, so the information is safe at all entry points and while in transit.
Which password manager is better for my business – Bitwarden or LastPass?
Your team members can access Premium features such as unlimited passwords, end-to-end encrypted sharing, vault health reports, two-step logins, and directory sync.
Although LastPass is a little more expensive, it includes services like Single Sign On (SSO), Multifactor Authentication (MFA), and Security Dashboard. You also get admin security reports, customizable security protocols, and an intuitive Sharing Center for managing, monitoring, and revoking access to company files.
How can LastPass save my company from data breaches?
You can add multilevel authentication to your existing passwords on LastPass. If you’re the admin, you can see which team member accessed the shared, password-protected company tools and when. You’re also allowed to set timers and customize revisits for every user.
Is the Bitwarden Premium plan worth it?
By subscribing to Bitwarden Premium, users can have top-tier security and convenience. You get a 1 GB encrypted vault for storing important personal information, credit card information, digital wallet details, bank accounts, passports, social security numbers, and so on.
Moreover, you can store unlimited passwords, review logins, and run countless security checks on LastPass.
Does LastPass have better security than Bitwarden?
Both Bitwarden and LastPass are popular for their highly secure password-sharing feature. They use a 256-bit encryption key, which successfully resists attacks from a supercomputer and hackers, to say the least. Bitwarden users enjoy a similar zero-knowledge security model.
Additionally, Bitwarden is open-source software (OSS). Compared to commercial closed-source software like LastPass, it’s less likely to fall into security vulnerabilities because millions of people check the source code for bugs and fortify it against possible security risks.
Navigating a new service for yourself and your company can be daunting especially when it concerns your Internet security and passwords. Both Bitwarden and LastPass are favorable options for a password manager. However, I’m siding with Bitwarden for three reasons.
Number one, Bitwarden is an open-source password manager built on a strapping security model. There’s zero to one chance that cybercriminals will work their way through its solid security code.
Secondly, it will safeguard your logins across unlimited servers, devices, and websites so you can browse them faster. Premium Bitwarden users get on-time reports on exposed, reused, and weak passwords.
Two of my biggest takeaways from Bitwarden vs LastPass comparison is LastPass’ straightforward sign-up and customizable logins.
I strongly recommend LastPass for anyone who’s looking for a free password manager that they can trust. However, its Premium plan is a bit over-the-top, especially when other password managers are offering the same specs at a lower price.
I’m satisfied with LastPass and Bitwarden, considering the powerful features they bring to the table. A password manager of this quality can save you from notorious cyberattacks and data breaches. So, what are you waiting for? Get that web app before it’s too late!