LastPass, one of the best password managers out there, has now gotten even better. Beginning today (Nov. 2), LastPass users can sync all of their passwords among all their devices for free.
Until now, users of LastPass Free could sync passwords only among devices of the same type — computers to computers, mobile devices to mobile devices — although the number of stored passwords was unlimited. To be able to sync among computers and mobile devices, a user would have had to upgrade to LastPass Premium, which costs $12 per year.
The company is still holding back several features for paying customers, including: family sharing, in which up to five users can share passwords; support for physical security dongles such as a YubiKey; desktop fingerprint logins; priority tech support; and last but not least, no ads.
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But if you don't plan to share your passwords with anyone else, don't have a laptop with a fingerprint reader and don't use a security dongle, LastPass Free may be the way to go. The service is our Editor's Choice among password managers, and offers seamless password syncing across all major platforms (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android) and several minor ones (Linux, Windows Mobile and even Firefox OS).
Unlike most password managers, LastPass doesn't have a desktop application. All of its desktop activity is browser-based, and users make changes to their accounts on the LastPass website. That makes it fairly easy to manage your account when you're away from your main computer.
It also means that all your passwords are stored on LastPass' own servers instead of your own machines. The downside is that you've got to trust that LastPass will keep your passwords secure. The upside is that unless you're a security whiz, LastPass' servers will be safer place to store them than your own computers or smartphones.
That's not to say LastPass hasn't had security scares. Like Windows, it's a big target, and it's the password manager that everyone tries to hack first. But LastPass has patched its own flaws quickly, and it hasn't lost any user passwords yet.
We generally recommend that readers use password managers, as the services make it easy and convenient to generate and use strong, unique passwords. Different kinds of password managers work in different ways, and prices vary a lot among the top brands, so you'll want to shop around. But LastPass' expansion of its free edition to sync across all devices should make that comparison process a lot simpler.