At first glance, LastPass and Bitwarden are quite similar. They are both robust, server-based password managers with strong security. But they take different approaches when it comes to pricing, cross-device support, and transparency. The question is, which one is right for you?
Bitwarden is more secure
When it comes to the basics, both LastPass and Bitwarden have covered the ground. They both offer AES-256 encryption, two-factor authentication, multi-factor authentication, and a zero-knowledge policy.
All data is also encrypted in transit, protecting you from man-in-the-middle attacks. Neither company can actually see your passwords. This means that even if their servers are hacked (like what happened to LastPass in 2015), hackers won’t be able to access your passwords.
What gives Bitwarden a small advantage is the fact that the product is open-source. The code that the system executes is available online. This means it can be checked online by experts to make sure there are no major security vulnerabilities. Bitwarden has undergone a successful external audit with the help of cybersecurity company Cure53.
And because the code is open-source, community members can create additional tools that work with Bitwarden data. Even if Bitwarden shuts down in the future, the products can still be developed by the open source community.
LastPass is easier to use
Bitwarden was developed as a tool for businesses, and it shows. On the other hand, LastPass was built as a free product for the masses.
Overall, LastPass is easier to use. Whether it’s the design of the web client, or how seamlessly the autocomplete feature works with browser extensions.
Bitwarden leans towards the utilitarian side, with features designed for power users. The browser autofill feature is a good example. If you want to log in to a website with Bitwarden, you must first go to the extension and then select the login.
If you are signing up for a new account, you must first add the details to the Bitwarden extension and then use it on the web page.
Instead, LastPass shows you the auto-completed information directly in the fields. Just click and go.
On the other hand, Bitwarden is filled with powerful user features. One of the experimental features at the time of writing will automatically populate the credentials once the login page opens. This is even faster than using LastPass.
When it comes to mobile apps, LastPass and Bitwarden both offer similar auto-fill experiences on iPhone and Android. Both can be integrated into the platform’s password autofill system.
For beginners, LastPass wins the usability point. It is easier to use the autofill and share features.
Bitwarden’s free and paid plans are better
What Bitwarden loses in the user experience it more than makes up for with its features and pricing.
Starting March 16, 2021, LastPass will only support one device type with its free plan. This means you have to pay for the $ 3 / month Premium plan if you want to use LastPass on your desktop along with your smartphone.
Bitwarden offers a generous free plan. It includes support for various devices and unlimited free sign-up. Even Bitwarden’s premium accounts are cheaper compared to LastPass.
For an individual, Bitwarden Premium costs $ 10 / year. It includes support for two-factor authentication and includes 1 GB of secure storage. LastPass Premium, on the other hand, costs $ 3 / month (but it comes with a one-month free trial).
It’s the same story with family and business plans (where the feature set is fairly similar for both products). You can get a six-member Bitwarden Family account for $ 40 / year, while LastPass costs $ 48 / year.
Bitwarden also wins with business plans. It offers a free business plan with two shared users. Bitwarden’s team plan starts at $ 3 / month for each user, while LastPass charges $ 4 / month for each user.
If you want to switch from LastPass to Bitwarden, you can easily transfer your passwords with a CSV file.
RELATED: How to Transfer Your LastPass Passwords to Bitwarden
Overall, Bitwarden is better for most users
If you’re looking for a secure and free password manager with cross-device support, we recommend checking out Bitwarden. For most users, the free plan is sufficient. You can pay the $ 10 / year fee to add features such as two-factor authentication and encrypted storage, while helping the company continue to develop new features.
Unfortunately, as we explained above, choosing Bitwarden means you have to take a little hit when it comes to usability, but it’s worth the price.
On the other hand, if you find Bitwarden a bit too complicated, and you only want to use the password manager on one device, try LastPass’s free plan. If you need cross-device support, you can upgrade to the $ 3 / month Premium plan, or you can get the $ 4 / month Family plan and share the costs with your family members.
While Bitwarden is the closest competitor to LastPass’s free plan, it’s not the only alternative. You can also try 1Password or KeePass.
RELATED: Password Managers Compared: LastPass vs KeePass vs Dashlane vs 1Password