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1Password vs. LastPass (2021): Security, Features + Price [Full Comparison]

Bjorn Johansson Bjorn Johansson
Updated on: October 1, 2021
1Password vs. LastPass (2021): Security, Features + Price [Full Comparison]

1Password vs. LastPass (2021): Security, Features + Price [Full Comparison]

1Password and LastPass are both very easy to use, offer advanced security protections, and come with more extras than most other password managers. And both brands provide packages that are a really good value — 1Password’s family plan is one of the best on the market, and LastPass provides a decent free plan alongside very affordable premium plans.

Honestly, you can’t really go wrong with either 1Password or LastPass, especially if you’re looking for top password management features like:

  • Password generation, auto-save, and auto-fill.
  • Various 2FA options.
  • Vault auditing tools.
  • Password breach monitoring.
  • Easy-to-use password sharing.

But 1Password and LastPass have some notable differences. LastPass is a bit easier to use and its auto-save and auto-fill are a bit better than 1Password’s. And 1Password has a couple more extra features than LastPass (like local storage), and 1Password’s customer support is a bit more responsive. And even though LastPass’s free plan isn’t as good as it used to be, 1Password doesn’t even offer a free plan (one of the only LastPass alternatives to not offer a free version).

I compared the two in a head-to-head matchup in the following categories — security, basic features, extra features, plans and pricing, ease of use, and customer support. But even after weeks of testing and comparing both brands, I was unable to select a clear winner for this comparison. 1Password is my top choice for security, extra features, and customer support, and LastPass wins in basic features, pricing, and ease of use.

So it’s a tie, but both password managers will appeal to different kinds of users.

Short on time? Here’s the final verdict:

  • 🥇 1Password — Winner in Security, Extra Features, and Customer Support. 1Password is very secure, offers an excellent set of additional features, has a great family plan, and provides good customer support.
  • 🥇 LastPass — Winner in Basic Features, Pricing, and Ease of Use. LastPass is good for beginners, provides great security features, and has a decent free plan alongside affordable individual and family plans.

1Password vs. LastPass: Security

Password managers need to provide several layers of protection to ensure that your password vault is as secure as possible. That’s why both 1Password and LastPass provide security features like:

  • End-to-end AES 256-bit encryption — Both use this unbreakable encryption algorithm to protect all of the data in your vault.
  • Zero-knowledge architecture — Both are physically incapable of reading your stored data or accessing your password vault.
  • Two-factor authentication — Both use temporary one-time passwords (TOTP), biometric scans, and USB tokens to enhance your master password’s security.  

1Password: Security

1Password vs. LastPass: Security

In addition to using a master password to encrypt and decrypt your data, 1Password also generates a unique 34-digit Secret Key which is only stored on your devices. 1Password encrypts your data using this Secret Key through a process called “hashing” — it basically means that the standard 256-bit AES encryption algorithm is multiplied by the Secret Key, so the only devices which could ever decrypt your information are the devices with your 1Password license installed on them.

All of this complex encryption is necessary because user data is stored on 1Password’s servers by default. However, 1Password also gives users the option for local data storage — while most users will want to store their data on 1Password’s servers, security-oriented individuals will appreciate being able to maintain a local copy of their vault and sync it across devices over a local Wi-Fi network (instead of 1Password’s cloud).

1Password also offers 2FA compatibility with TOTP authenticator apps like Authy and Microsoft Authenticator, as well as USB tokens like YubiKey and Titan. Even if hackers steal your master password, they can’t access your vault without the TOTP authenticator app on your phone or the physical USB token plugged into your computer. 1Password also includes a built-in TOTP generator to improve login security for all of your online accounts with 2FA compatibility.

In addition, 1Password offers biometric logins using face and fingerprint scanning for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS — this is a lot simpler and easier than using a master password and 2FA to log in, and most experts agree that biometric scanners are only getting more and more secure.

Try 1Password Now (Free Trial)

LastPass: Security

1Password vs. LastPass: Security

Like 1Password, LastPass also encrypts user data at the device level, and it also uses a secure key — but while 1Password encrypts your information behind the 34-character Secret Key, LastPass “hashes” your information using your email and master password. The end result is fairly similar — an encrypted set of data which is only accessible to you. That said, 1Password’s Secret Key is slightly more secure.

LastPass provides a huge range of 2FA options — it works with 2FA apps like Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, and Duo, as well as USB tokens like YubiKey and RSA SecurID. LastPass is also compatible with card readers and biometric scanners. And like 1Password, LastPass also has its own TOTP generator.

Unfortunately, LastPass has made the news a couple of times in the last few years for bad security practices. In 2019, a white-hat security researcher discovered a massive hole in LastPass’s auto-fill settings that could allow hackers to steal user data. The other (more serious) issue occurred in 2015, when a number of user logins were compromised in a hacking event. Because of LastPass’s zero-knowledge architecture, no master passwords were breached, but this was still a worrying event, especially for a password manager with no local data storage option. However, this data breach occurred several years ago, and LastPass has made strenuous efforts to make sure no security breaches would ever occur again (and none have).

Try LastPass Now (Free Download)

Winner (Security): 1Password

1Password and LastPass have virtually identical vault security infrastructures, including 256-bit AES encryption, data hashing with proprietary information, and cloud-based data storage. However, 1Password’s Secret Key is 34 digits long and completely secret, while LastPass makes use of a user’s email and master password — and the email address is publicly available. 1Password also offers local data storage and has never been breached. Overall, 1Password and LastPass are both extremely secure apps, but 1Password takes the edge in this category.

Try 1Password Now (Free Trial)

1Password vs. LastPass: Basic Features

1Password and LastPass are both very good at basic password management functions. They provide apps and extensions for all of the most popular operating systems and browsers, and they include all of the essential features I expect from any premium password manager, such as:

  • Secure password storage.
  • Multi-device synchronization.
  • One-click auto-saving and auto-filling.
  • Password generator.
  • Credit card storage.
  • Personal information storage.
  • Secure notes.

1Password: Basic Features

1Password vs. LastPass: Basic Features

1Password’s desktop app is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS, and it has mobile apps for Android and iOS. Its browser extensions can be added to Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, and Safari. And 1Password also has a web vault.

1Password provides unlimited password storage on multiple devices for a single user with its paid plan for individuals. But unlike LastPass, 1Password doesn’t offer a free plan.

1Password offers a desktop app that contains the user’s password vault, credit cards, notes, and “Identity” (things like address, email, birthday, phone numbers, and more). However, once you set up your information in the desktop app, you’ll mostly be accessing 1Password’s browser extension for daily tasks.

During my tests, 1Password’s browser extension was able to easily identify my saved sites. 1Password accurately auto-filled logins, credit cards, address information, and even things like vehicle registration information and passport information. 1Password was pretty good at auto-saving new logins, too, although this functionality didn’t always work as promised.

1Password’s password generator is pretty good — it automatically uses a “Smart Password” setting which detects a site’s password requirements and generates a random 20-digit password. You can also customize an 8-50 character long random password with toggles for numbers and symbols, or generate secure passphrases like “correct-horse-battery-staple”. 1Password also has a convenient “Generator History” feature which offers searchable password recall as far back as 6 months — really helpful if you accidentally forget to add a new login to your vault.

Try 1Password Now (Free Trial)

LastPass: Basic Features

1Password vs. LastPass: Basic Features

LastPass offers apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, as well as extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, and Safari. LastPass also provides a very convenient online dashboard.

LastPass Free provides unlimited password storage, but unfortunately you have to pick whether you want to sync your passwords across mobile devices or desktop devices — but not both. Upgrading to LastPass Premium unlocks data sync across all devices, as well as some other features I’ll discuss in the “Extra Features” section of this comparison.

Once your password vault is set up, LastPass provides convenient one-click auto-filling for saved logins, credit cards, and personal information.During my testing, LastPass detected every single new login that I created, saving and auto-filling information more accurately than 1Password.

LastPass’s password generator can generate random passwords between up to 99 characters, with options to include numbers, letters, and symbols. LastPass can also generate passwords that are “Easy to Read” (excludes ambiguous characters like l, l, 0, and O)  or “Easy to Say” (excludes numbers and symbols). However, LastPass’s password generator doesn’t offer the option to generate passphrases like “food-paper-cable-house” — which honestly isn’t that bad, because those types of passphrases are very easy to generate with your own brain.

Try LastPass Now (Free Download)

Winner (Basic Features): LastPass

1Password and LastPass both provide seamless auto-saving, auto-filling, and password generation with easy-to-use web vaults, browser extensions, and mobile apps. But LastPass is slightly better at auto-saving and auto-filling logins, and it also provides a pretty feature-rich free plan.

Try LastPass Now (Free Download)

1Password vs. LastPass: Extra Features

LastPass and 1Password both offer a ton of additional features to enhance user security and expand the functionality of each app. Both apps provide features like:

  • Password sharing.
  • Family vault management.
  • Password vault auditing.
  • Encrypted storage.

However, both of these password managers also have unique features that make them different from one another. 1Password provides a “Travel Mode”, local data storage, and virtual payment cards for US users, while LastPass offers tons of account recovery options and an automatic password changer.

1Password: Extra Features

1Password vs. LastPass: Extra Features

1Password provides a number of extra features, including:

  • Vault auditing (Watchtower).
  • Virtual payment cards (US only).
  • Travel Mode (hidden vaults).
  • Basic account recovery.
  • Password sharing & family dashboard.
  • 1 GB encrypted storage.

Vault Auditing + Dark Web Monitoring

1Password’s provides a variety of security auditing features with its “Watchtower” feature. It flags reused or weak passwords in your vault, checks whether logins have been leaked in a data breach, and even notifies you if any of your logins are 2FA-compatible. Since 1Password also includes a TOTP generator, it’s very easy to set up 2FA for those sites.

Virtual Payment Cards

1Password allows US users to create virtual payment cards. A virtual payment card replaces your real credit card information with a virtual proxy card that is generated for a single use. For example, I assigned a virtual payment card to my Disney+ subscription — so Disney could no longer store my real credit card information on its servers. And you can put a spending limit on your virtual cards, so subscriptions will automatically expire after a specified amount of money has been charged. It may sound complicated, but I found it really easy to use.

Travel Mode

Travel Mode is a unique feature, which is especially useful for users who travel in unsafe areas and need to protect their privacy. With Travel Mode on, specified logins are completely removed from your password vault. Because Travel Mode is triggered from 1Password’s online dashboard, there’s no way to turn it off from the 1Password mobile or desktop app. This can prevent border agents from accessing your social media or other sensitive accounts, or even prevent thieves or criminals from getting into your financial accounts.

Account Recovery

1Password’s account recovery feature isn’t very good. It’s just a printable PDF file with your Secret Key and a space to write down your master password. On the other hand, 1Password Families includes convenient account recovery options for family members under the same account.

Family Sharing

For users that need to securely share their logins, 1Password Families provides a few different vault sharing options. For example, I made a shared vault with my Netflix, Disney+, and Steam logins so that my wife, our kids, and I could all access those passwords whenever we wanted — but my wife had edit access, while my kids were only allowed viewing access.

1Password Families also includes 5 guest invites, which allows you to share a single vault with another user — this vault could contain anywhere from 1 to 100 logins. With the 5 users on each Families plan, plus the guest vaults, it’s possible to share a large number of passwords with up to 10 users.

Encrypted Storage

1Password also offers 1 GB of encrypted storage. You can save and share images, PDFs, or any other important files through the cloud using 1Password’s secure servers.

You can read more about 1Password’s features in our full review >

Try 1Password Now (Free Trial)

LastPass: Extra Features

1Password vs. LastPass: Extra Features

LastPass provides some really useful extra features, including:

  • Password and vault sharing.
  • Dark web monitoring.
  • Credit monitoring.
  • Vault auditing.
  • Emergency access/account recovery.
  • Automatic password changer.
  • 1 GB encrypted storage.

Password Sharing

LastPass’s password and vault sharing tools are both really helpful and easy to use. All LastPass users can share passwords via email with just a click on the “Share Password” option in the password vault. LastPass Families allows users to create shared folders that can sync passwords and allow for edit permission to be given or revoked depending on the user.

Credit + Dark Web Monitoring

LastPass’s dark web monitoring and credit monitoring features are also really good. You can get up-to-the-minute notifications if your email addresses pop up in dark web forums and breach databases, or if there are any unusual changes to your credit score.

Like 1Password’s Watchtower, LastPass’s Security Dashboard flags weak or reused passwords, and it also notifies you if any of your saved passwords are 2FA-compatible — and LastPass also includes a TOTP generator that can auto-fill one-time codes for your 2FA-compatible logins.

Emergency Access + Account Recovery

LastPass provides the best emergency access and account recovery tools on the market. For emergency access, you can designate a trusted contact who can gain access to your account after a pre-set waiting period (up to 30 days). It’s a pretty standard emergency access feature, but LastPass does it well. LastPass also has several options for account recovery, including SMS recovery and mobile account recovery with biometric logins.

Automatic Password Changer

LastPass’s automatic password changer can change passwords with a single click. It’s one click in your vault instead of dealing with password reset processes for every single weak password. But it’s only compatible with around 70 websites (whereas Dashlane’s one-click password changer is compatible with over 300 websites).

Encrypted Storage

And like 1Password, LastPass also provides 1 GB encrypted storage for its paid users.

You can read more about LastPass’s features in our full review >

Try LastPass Now (Free Download)

Winner (Extra Features): 1Password

1Password and LastPass both provide standard extras like password security auditing and a family dashboard, but 1Password also provides unique extras like virtual payment cards and a Travel Mode, which no other password manager offers. However, I like LastPass’s emergency access and account recovery options a lot more than 1Password’s — and LastPass also has an automatic password changer (but it’s currently not very useful, as it only supports around 70 sites). Once again, it was an extremely close matchup, but 1Password takes the lead with its unique extras.

Try 1Password Now (Free Trial)

1Password vs. LastPass: Plans & Pricing

1Password and LastPass both offer paid plans for individuals and families — but unlike LastPass, 1Password doesn’t have a free plan. 1Password’s and LastPass’s paid plans have a similar price, but LastPass provides coverage for up to 6 users with its family plan, while 1Password only covers 5 users. However, 1Password users can add additional users for a small extra fee, while LastPass limits its family plan to 6 users.

1Password: Plans & Pricing

1Password offers two pricing plans for non-business users:

  1. 1Password Individual
  2. 1Password Families

1Password’s plan for individuals offers all of 1Password’s key features, including:

  • Unlimited password storage on unlimited devices.
  • 2FA compatibility (including TOTP generator).
  • Password vault auditing.
  • Travel mode.
  • 1 GB secure storage.

1Password is very affordable, especially for the amount of features it offers, but 1Password Families is probably my favorite family plan on the market. It includes all of 1Password’s features for up to 5 users, and it adds family sharing vaults and account recovery tools between users.

1Password Families users can add additional users for a small additional fee each month, so users with big families don’t need to purchase costly enterprise subscriptions. 1Password is the only password manager to offer this flexible pricing option for families, and it currently ranks at the top of the list for best family password managers in 2021.

There’s a 14-day free trial on both 1Password Individual and 1Password Families.

Try 1Password Now (Free Trial)

LastPass: Plans & Pricing

LastPass offers three different pricing plans for non-business users:

LastPass Free used to offer unlimited password storage across unlimited devices, but all of that changed in early 2021. Now, LastPass’s free users have to choose whether their free LastPass vault will be mobile-only or desktop-only — you’re only allowed to sync across unlimited mobile devices or unlimited desktop devices.

LastPass Free is still a great program though, with features like:

  • TOTP 2FA compatibility.
  • Built-in TOTP generator.
  • One-to-one password sharing.

However, users that want to be able to access their passwords on both desktop and mobile devices will need to upgrade to LastPass Premium, which offers:

  • Unlimited storage on unlimited devices.
  • One-to-many password sharing.
  • Password vault auditing tools.
  • Dark web monitoring.
  • Advanced 2FA options
  • Emergency access.
  • 1 GB cloud storage.

Users that upgrade to LastPass Families get access to up to 6 separate LastPass accounts, plus LastPass’s convenient family dashboard. However, families that want to add one or two more accounts can’t add them for a small additional fee, like they can with 1Password.

Try LastPass Now (Free Download)

Winner (Plans & Pricing): LastPass

LastPass offers a free plan, whereas 1Password doesn’t (although it does offer a 14-day free trial). And LastPass Families is slightly cheaper than 1Password Families, and it includes an extra user. I wish LastPass was still offering its wide-open free plan, but it still takes the edge over 1Password in terms of price and flexibility. However, families looking for coverage for 6 or more users will appreciate how easy it is to add additional users to 1Password’s family plan.

Try LastPass Now (Free Download)

1Password vs. LastPass: Ease of Use

Password managers need to be able to import new logins, sync data across devices, and easily give access to all of their features. 1Password’s vault importing process is really good, and LastPass provides excellent auto-saving and auto-filling.

1Password: Ease of Use

1Password vs. LastPass: Ease of Use

After I downloaded 1Password’s desktop app, I got a notification that I had 1 secure note in my password vault. The note — labeled “Startup Guide” — gave me some instructions for how to get started with 1Password as well as a list of links to 1Password’s support pages and forum. The “Startup Guide” is pretty good, but I wish 1Password provided a better tutorial, like LastPass does.

After downloading the 1Password desktop app, users are given the option to import passwords from their previous password manager — this process is super simple if you’re importing from another password manager like Dashlane or LastPass, or built-in password systems from Chrome, Firefox, or iCloud Keychain.

For my testing, I imported a CSV file with my passwords from a less popular password manager, which is usually a major headache. However, 1Password offered me an intuitive menu with adjustable labels to ensure that I was importing my CSV file properly.

One issue that I had with 1Password is that its desktop app and online dashboard are not well-aligned. You can still access all of the same functions, like the Watchtower vault auditing tools, family dashboard, and all of your saved notes and information on both. However, the vaults are set up just differently enough that I was slightly confused every time I switched between the two interfaces — why not just make the online dashboard have the exact same layout as the desktop app?

However, once I had been using the desktop app for a few minutes, I found it easy to navigate and edit all of my vault entries. Once you have 1Password up and running, it’s extremely easy to use — 1Password’s logo pops up in any blank login field and offers a suggestion to auto-fill with one click. For new logins, 1Password also automatically suggests secure passwords. I only had a few experiences with 1Password failing to detect or fill a saved login.

When it comes to advanced features like setting up the Travel Mode, password vault sharing, or creating virtual payment cards, 1Password has a pretty steep learning curve. Because there aren’t any built-in instructions in the app, I found myself bouncing back and forth between the 1Password website and the app when I first got started. However, once I figured out how each feature worked, I was able to quickly and easily access all of 1Password’s advanced features in a matter of seconds.

Try 1Password Now (Free Trial)

LastPass: Ease of Use

1Password vs. LastPass: Ease of Use

LastPass offers a simple interface that’s super easy to use across all platforms. Simply log into the My LastPass dashboard, install the browser extension into your browser (LastPass is compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Opera), install the app to your mobile device, and LastPass will conveniently sync your data across all of your devices.

In my testing, LastPass was incredibly easy to use. I especially appreciated the in-app tutorials offered by LastPass — while 1Password offers a single note with a little bit of text and links to other resources, LastPass offers clear, instructive drop-down menus at every step of the process to ensure that new users can find their way around the app.

LastPass was able to quickly and easily identify new logins, offering to generate new passwords and save them to my vault every time I created a new account. LastPass offers a simple one-click auto-fill, as well — just click on the LastPass icon in any login field, and LastPass accurately enters the correct information. It was 100% accurate and super convenient in my testing.

Accessing and using LastPass’s advanced features is also really easy. During my tests, I found it very simple to use the Security Dashboard, dark web monitoring, credit monitoring, and 2FA. Plus, LastPass provides the same helpful drop-down tutorials for all of these features.

I only had one issue with LastPass — after installing the extension into Chrome, I tried to drag and drop a CSV file from my old password vault into LastPass. Most of my passwords didn’t correctly save into LastPass, and I had to spend a lot of time manually editing each login. If you’re importing passwords from Chrome, Firefox, or iCloud Keychain, LastPass is able to easily integrate all of this data automatically — but I was frustrated that it was difficult to import my CSV file into LastPass.

Try LastPass Now (Free Download)

Winner (Ease of Use): LastPass

I had a lot of trouble selecting a winner for this round. On one hand, 1Password’s password importing tool is much better. And on the other hand, LastPass offers excellent tutorials for new users that are much clearer than 1Password’s crowded tutorial note. I like both programs’ interfaces, but I found the little differences between 1Password’s desktop app and web dashboard a little annoying. Ultimately, LastPass won this round by providing superior instructions for new users and a simpler online dashboard.

Try LastPass Now (Free Download)

1Password vs. LastPass: Customer Support

1Password and LastPass provide the same customer support options, but I found 1Password’s knowledge base and forum a bit better and easier to use.

1Password: Customer Support

1Password vs. LastPass: Customer Support1Password provides email support in English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, and Japanese, and it also has an extensive knowledge base.

I contacted 1Password’s email support and I got a reply to my email inquiry in about 24 hours, which isn’t very good. However, the 1Password agent that I corresponded with was friendly, helpful, and professional, which is better than I can say for most tech support staff.

1Password’s online knowledge base is excellent — there are dozens of useful articles on its website, and they’re actually informative and helpful. 1Password’s user forum was fairly active in my testing, with a searchable database of thousands of inquiries and helpful replies. I actually had a hard time finding answers to some of my questions because there were so many active forum threads on related subjects!

Try 1Password Now (Free Trial)

LastPass: Customer Support

1Password vs. LastPass: Customer Support

LastPass provides priority email support for Premium and Families users, with support offered in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Japanese, and Korean.

Like with 1Password, I received an email reply to my support question from LastPass within 24 hours of sending it. The reply was pretty helpful, but a lot of the text was simply copied from the LastPass website.

LastPass also provides a pretty good online knowledge base with dozens of informative articles about basic password manager setup, 2FA, LastPass Authenticator, vault auditing tools, and tons of information for enterprise users.

LastPass also provides a fairly active support forum, but it’s not as easily searchable or well-organized as 1Password’s, so I had a hard time finding up-to-date information through the user forums.

Try LastPass Now (Free Download)

Winner (Customer Support): 1Password

Both 1Password and LastPass only offer email support to supplement their online knowledge bases, and both email support teams took around a day to get back to me. However, 1Password’s support agent gave me a longer and more detailed response, and 1Password’s online knowledge base is more robust than LastPass’s — especially with its user forum. However, LastPass does provide Korean and Mandarin email support, which 1Password doesn’t.

Try 1Password Now (Free Trial)

1Password vs. LastPass: Overall Winner

It’s a tie! I would recommend both 1Password and LastPass to anybody — they’re both very secure, work really well, make it easy to share and audit passwords, and they’re also both pretty cheap.

However, there are a few important differences between the programs that could make them more attractive for different users.

For US users, 1Password’s built-in privacy integration is a really cool feature — being able to keep your credit card information private from online merchants, set spending limits for specific subscriptions and sites, and easily track your online purchases is especially useful for users that do a lot of online shopping. 1Password Families also contains one of the best family sharing dashboards with super easy password sharing between users, as well as the ability to quickly change permissions for each user.

However, LastPass provides a free version, and 1Password doesn’t. LastPass recently made its free version a little less useful, but it’s still convenient for users that are only looking for password management on their desktop or mobile devices. LastPass also has the most user-friendly tutorials of any password manager — there are big, clear explanations for every step of the process from saving passwords, to auto-filling, to password vault management and advanced 2FA settings.

Here’s the verdict:

  • If you need something really easy to use, highly functional, and slightly cheaper (with a decent free plan), LastPass is better.
  • If you need something intuitive, full of high-quality features, and with a good family plan (with a free trial), 1Password is better.

But really, you can’t go wrong with either.

1Password vs. LastPass — Overall Winner: It’s a tie!  

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About the Author

Bjorn Johansson
Bjorn Johansson
Cybersecurity researcher and digital rights advocate
Updated on: October 1, 2021

About the Author

Bjorn is a cybersecurity researcher and digital rights advocate. Originally from Sweden, he now lives on the Maine coast with his wife and their two kids. When he’s not helping keep the internet safe for everyday people, he enjoys boating with his family and woodworking.