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LastPass vs. Bitwarden [2023] โ€” Is Open-Source Better?

Kate Davidson Kate Davidson
Updated on: January 1, 2023

Short on time? Here’s the final verdict:

  • 🥇LastPassWinner in Basic Features, Extra Features, Ease of Use, and Customer Support. LastPass is secure, very easy to use, and comes with extras like password auditing, multiple recovery options, emergency access, and encrypted storage.

LastPass and Bitwarden are two of the best password managers on the market — they’re both highly secure, feature-rich, and offer excellent free plans as well as low-cost premium plans for individuals and families.

The two products have a lot in common, providing all of the most essential features of a premium password manager in 2023, such as:

  • 256-bit AES encryption.
  • Advanced 2FA options.
  • Password vault auditing.
  • Secure password sharing.

But LastPass and Bitwarden are different in a lot of important ways — for example, LastPass is easier to use and comes with more unique features, including multiple account recovery options. And Bitwarden is open-source, provides both cloud and self-host data options, and is around ⅓ the cost of most competitors.

Since LastPass recently changed its free plan, a lot of our readers keep asking us about the best LastPass alternatives. So I decided to put LastPass and Bitwarden in a head-to-head matchup and see how they compare in terms of security, features, plans and pricing, ease of use, and customer support.

After weeks of testing, researching, and comparing LastPass and Bitwarden, I finally chose a winner for this comparison — but it was a close race, so I recommend reading each section and choosing the right product based on your needs.

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Comparison of LastPass & Bitwarden

Password manager LastPass Bitwarden
Starting price $3.00 / month $10.00 / year
Free version
Free trial 30 days 7 days
(Families plan only)
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Operating systems Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux
Browser extensions Chrome, Firefox, Windows Explorer, Opera, Edge, Safari Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, Safari, Vivaldi, Brave, Tor
256-bit AES encryption
Password sharing Unlimited sharing with unlimited users Unlimited individual item sharing, vault sharing with 1 other user
Standout features Account recovery options, credit monitoring (US only), country restrictions, passwordless options Send feature, emergency access, self-hosting options
Customer support Email (for premium users), knowledge base, community forum Email support, knowledge base, community forum

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LastPass vs. Bitwarden: Security

Both LastPass and Bitwarden are very secure password managers — they have a lot of similar security features, including:

  • 256-bit AES encryption — unbreakable encryption which governments and banks use to protect data.
  • Zero-knowledge architecture — neither LastPass nor Bitwarden have access to users’ passwords vaults.
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA) — uses a second form of verification to confirm user identity.

LastPass: Security

LastPass vs. Bitwarden: SecurityLastPass is an online password manager, so user data is stored on LastPass’s company servers. All LastPass user data is encrypted and decrypted locally — only encrypted data is sent to LastPass’s servers, and only the user has the encryption keys (email address used to register for a LastPass account and a master password that the user chooses upon registration).

This end-to-end encryption also means that LastPass doesn’t have access to a user’s password vault — so the company can’t restore your data if you lose your master password. However, LastPass does have several account recovery options, so it’s possible to gain access to your vault even if you forget your master password.

LastPass offers a wide range of 2FA options — including TOTP apps (Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, Toopher, Duo Security, and Grid), USB tokens (YubiKey), and biometric scanners and card readers. LastPass also has a TOTP generator. The Free plan includes TOTP app compatibility and the TOTP generator, whereas the premium plans add support for USB tokens and biometric authentication.

Unfortunately, LastPass has had some security vulnerabilities in the past — not only did the software have a major security flaw a few years ago, but its servers were actually breached, and there have been a handful of high-profile hacks associated with LastPass in the last couple years. Other high-profile companies like 1Password and Dashlane have never been publicly hacked, so these security breaches are a dark spot on LastPass’s record. That said, even though LastPass’s servers were compromised, its secure encryption has never been broken — LastPass’s server breach only yielded a series of incomprehensible, encrypted digits, and LastPass has never lost a single password.

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Bitwarden: Security

LastPass vs. Bitwarden: SecurityBecause it’s an open-source password manager, Bitwarden is considered extremely safe — thousands of security experts across the world have independently reviewed every piece of its source code.

Bitwarden uses 256-bit AES encryption to encrypt user data before it reaches Bitwarden’s servers — and it also offers users the option to self-host their own data. You can store your encrypted data on a private server instead of on Bitwarden’s servers. This means that even a security breach on Bitwarden’s servers won’t compromise your data. But keep in mind that self-hosting requires significant technical expertise to set up. It’s only suitable if you have access to your own highly secure private server. 1Password is one of the only other password managers that offers local data hosting (and 1Password’s local hosting interface is a lot simpler than Bitwarden’s).

Bitwarden also has a zero-knowledge policy, but unlike LastPass, Bitwarden doesn’t provide account recovery options — if you forget your master password, you can only reset your Bitwarden account, which will result in the loss of all of your data.

As for 2FA, Bitwarden offers similar options to LastPass — TOTP authenticators (Google Authenticator, Authy), USB tokens (Duo, YubiKey), biometric logins, email verification, and a built-in TOTP generator. Bitwarden Free includes support for TOTP authenticators, biometric logins, and email verification, whereas USB token compatibility and the TOTP generator are available for premium users only. While both LastPass and Bitwarden’s 2FA options are easy to use, I much prefer LastPass’s TOTP generator which auto-fills one-time passwords with a single click (Bitwarden’s TOTP generator requires you to copy/paste the one-time password from your vault to the login field).

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Winner (Security): Bitwarden

LastPass and Bitwarden both have excellent security. However, Bitwarden has a slight advantage because it’s open-source, offers local data storage, and has never been hacked. That said, LastPass’s past security breach didn’t leave any user data exposed (due to the company’s strict zero-knowledge policy). Plus, LastPass is compatible with more TOTP authenticator apps than Bitwarden, and its built-in authenticator is a lot more convenient than Bitwarden’s.

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LastPass vs. Bitwarden: Basic Features

LastPass and Bitwarden’s basic password management features are both pretty good. Both are compatible with the most popular operating systems and a wide range of browsers, and they both come with essential features like:

  • Unlimited password storage.
  • Multi-device synchronization.
  • Auto-save and auto-fill.
  • Password generator.
  • Digital wallet (for storing credit cards and bank accounts).
  • Identity storage (personal information for filling out web forms).
  • Secure notes.

LastPass: Basic Features

LastPass vs. Bitwarden: Basic Features

LastPass has a desktop app for Windows and Mac, a mobile app for iOS and Android, a web vault, and a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, and Safari.

It lets users import passwords from a huge range of other password managers and browsers. Importing passwords into the LastPass vault is very simple — there are even on-screen instructions that guide users through the entire process.

LastPass provides unlimited storage for passwords and other sensitive data — but free users can only access their password vaults on either mobile or desktop devices. So if you have a computer and smartphone, you’ll need to upgrade to LastPass’s paid plan (or deal with the extreme inconvenience of having your password vault inaccessible on one of your devices). Bitwarden offers syncing across multiple device types on its free plan.

During my tests, LastPass’s auto-save and auto-fill functionalities worked great. Every time I created a new account, LastPass immediately asked me whether or not I wanted to save it. And every time I navigated to a login field, LastPass auto-filled my login credentials — but users can also choose to disable auto-fill for specific sites (for additional security).

LastPass’s password generator is really good. The default password length is 12, which isn’t great, but users can create passwords that are up to 99 characters long. Passwords can contain uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. But users can also choose to generate passwords that are ‘easy to say’ or ‘easy to read’.

Apart from passwords, users can save payment cards, bank accounts, identities, and notes. LastPass’s identities template is decent — you can input your name, addresses, company, email address, phones, and notes. Users can also attach files to identity templates. And while you can’t customize fields in LastPass, you can create a fully customized template.

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Bitwarden: Basic Features

LastPass vs. Bitwarden: Basic Features

Bitwarden is available as a web vault, an app for Windows, iOS, and Linux, and as a mobile app for iOS and Android. It also has browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Vivaldi, Edge, Brave, and Tor.

Bitwarden supports importing passwords from a wide range of password managers and browsers — but I had to read through Bitwarden’s knowledge base to figure out how to actually import passwords into my Bitwarden vault. When I found out how importing works, it was fairly easy to import a .csv file with my passwords into Bitwarden. But I’d like to see Bitwarden make password importing simpler.

Bitwarden is also one of the only password managers that provides unlimited password storage and syncing across multiple devices on both its free and premium plans. Avira’s password manager also provides free multi-device password storage (it’s available as a standalone program or bundled with the excellent Avira Prime antivirus package).

In my testing, Bitwarden’s auto-save and auto-fill features didn’t work as well as I’d expected. The auto-save feature offered to save my new logins, but then I couldn’t find those newly saved logins in the password vault. And the auto-fill function is needlessly complicated — you need to click on your Bitwarden browser extension and select your login to enter your password (instead of simply clicking an icon in the login field like with most premium password managers). These may be minor nuisances, but I much prefer LastPass’s seamless auto-save and auto-fill functions. That said, Bitwarden’s mobile app made it much easier for me to auto-fill logins — while there are better password managers for iOS and Android, Bitwarden’s mobile app is pretty good for basic password management.

On the other hand, I really like Bitwarden’s password generator, which lets users create passwords that are 5–128 characters long (the default password length is 14). Users can create passwords that include numbers, letters, and symbols, and there’s also an option to generate passphrases.

Bitwarden’s password vault lets users store passwords, credit cards, identities, and notes. The identities template is very similar to LastPass’s, but Bitwarden also lets users add custom fields.

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Winner (Basic Features): LastPass

LastPass and Bitwarden offer basically the same basic password management functionalities. While Bitwarden has a better free plan, an extension for more browsers, and can generate slightly longer passwords, LastPass is much better at all of the essentials, including importing, auto-saving, and auto-filling passwords.

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LastPass vs. Bitwarden: Extra Features

To provide additional security, both LastPass and Bitwarden offer several additional features. The ones they have in common include:

  • Password sharing.
  • Password auditing.
  • Emergency access.
  • Encrypted storage.

However, both products also offer unique extras that the other one doesn’t. For instance, Bitwarden has a self-host option (you can read more about it in the Security section of this comparison), whereas LastPass doesn’t. But LastPass has multiple account recovery options, which Bitwarden doesn’t.

LastPass: Extra Features

LastPass vs. Bitwarden: Extra Features

LastPass comes with excellent extra features — for example, sharing passwords with a single user is easy. You just click on the Share button next to each login, and type in the email address of the person you want to share the password with. The recipient will then get an email to make a LastPass account in order to access the shared login. I like that LastPass also has the option to let other users use your password, but not actually see what the password is. LastPass lets you share passwords with up to 30 users.

However, passwords shared in this way don’t sync between users. Users looking to create shared folders between friends or family members will need to upgrade to LastPass Families, which includes an intuitive Sharing Center feature. With the Sharing Center, you can share and sync multiple logins with up to 5 other LastPass users. You can also adjust the permissions for shared users, granting edit access or only allowing shared users to view and auto-fill shared logins.

LastPass’s Security Dashboard is also pretty great. LastPass shows you a “Security Score” (you need to have at least 50 passwords in the vault to get this score) — it’s an overall rating of all of your passwords. In the Security Dashboard, you can view which of your passwords are old, weak, or duplicate.

LastPass also offers dark web monitoring — this automated service monitors public data breach registries to inform you the moment your information is leaked in a data breach. I like this feature, but it’s not as good as Dashlane’s dark web monitoring service, which employs live agents to monitor dark web forums and contact you in real time the moment your data starts getting shared by hackers.

I also like that LastPass has multiple account recovery options and emergency access. The account recovery options include mobile account recovery with Face or Touch ID, a recovery one-time password, SMS recovery, and a master password reminder. There’s also an option to restore a previous master password, but this is only available if the master password was changed within the last 30 days.

As for emergency access, LastPass allows you to designate a contact who can gain emergency access to your account after a pre-set waiting period (up to 30 days). It’s super easy to set up — it took me about 5 minutes to designate my brother as my emergency contact.

LastPass also includes 1 GB encrypted storage.

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

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Bitwarden: Extra Features

LastPass vs. Bitwarden: Extra Features

Bitwarden doesn’t have as many extra features as LastPass. Apart from the self-host option, the only extra features Bitwarden offers are secure password sharing, password auditing, emergency access, and secure storage.

Bitwarden’s password auditing is pretty good — it offers the option to scan your vault for breached logins, reused passwords, weak passwords, unsecured HTTP sites, and 2FA-compatible sites. However, you have to select each of these options separately.

Bitwarden’s password sharing features are similar to LastPass’s. The Send feature is available with all of its plans, allowing users to share a single piece of text or a file (500 MB limit) with an unlimited number of users. Simply enter the text or attach the file, specify the number of users that can access your Send, set a deactivation date for your Send, and Bitwarden will create a secure link that can be shared with anyone. Users can also access your Send link without having to create a Bitwarden account.

For password vault syncing, however, things get a little more complicated. Firstly, Bitwarden Premium users can only share passwords with 1 other user — whereas LastPass provides one-to-one sharing on its free plan! Premium users can make two folders, which can each be shared and synced with a single user. Users looking for vault syncing between multiple users can upgrade to the Bitwarden Families plan and get unlimited password sharing between up to 6 users. Secondly, to share a password with another user, you first have to create an “Organization”, and then invite a user to join your Organization. Like LastPass, you can adjust permissions for each shared user.

Bitwarden’s emergency access is pretty simple to set up, and it works in a similar way to LastPass’s. It was really easy to add my friend as my emergency contact and to set up his access level and the waiting period.

Bitwarden also offers 1 GB encrypted storage.

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

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Winner (Extra Features): LastPass

While both LastPass and Bitwarden have great password auditing tools and include 1 GB encrypted storage, Bitwarden’s new password sharing feature is a bit more intuitive. However, LastPass has extra features that Bitwarden doesn’t provide, including a wide range of account recovery options.

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LastPass vs. Bitwarden: Plans & Pricing

Both LastPass and Bitwarden provide more free features than many other password manager plans on the market. Their paid plans are both pretty affordable, but Bitwarden has a clear edge in terms of pricing.

LastPass: Plans & Pricing

LastPass offers 3 plans for personal use: Free, Premium, and Families.

LastPass Free is decent, but not great. It offers features like:

  • Unlimited password storage.
  • Syncing across multiple devices (either desktop or mobile).
  • One-to-one password sharing.
  • TOTP 2FA compatibility.
  • TOTP generator.

LastPass Premium and Families both provide a good amount of security features for a decent price — they’re more expensive than Bitwarden’s premium packages, but they’re also a lot easier to use. Costing only $3.00 / month, LastPass Premium has all of the features included in the free plan, plus:

  • One-to-many sharing (up to 30 users).
  • Password auditing & dark web scanning.
  • Credit report monitoring (US only).
  • 2FA with USB tokens & biometric scanners.
  • Emergency access.
  • 1 GB encrypted storage.

LastPass Families gives you all the coverage of LastPass Premium but with coverage for up to 6 users, unlimited vault sharing between users, and a helpful sharing dashboard to help sort out who has access to which passwords — and it’s only a little more expensive at $4.00 / month.

LastPass Premium and Families are both pretty affordable — they’re actually slightly cheaper than premium competitors like Dashlane and Keeper. But LastPass is still almost 4 times more expensive than Bitwarden.

You can try out LastPass Premium with a 30-day free trial.

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Bitwarden: Plans & Pricing

Bitwarden also has 3 plans — Free, Premium, and Families. Bitwarden’s free plan for personal use is one of the best on the market in 2023 — its free features include:

  • Unlimited password storage.
  • Syncing across multiple devices.
  • One-to-one password sharing.  
  • 2FA compatibility with TOTP authenticators.
  • Biometric logins.
  • Local data storage.

Bitwarden Free has a lot of good features, but Bitwarden Premium is a great value — it offers some serious improvements for only $10.00 / year. Here’s what you get with Bitwarden Premium:

  • Password vault auditing.
  • Password breach reports.
  • Built-in 2FA authenticator.
  • 2FA compatibility with USB tokens like YubiKey and Duo.
  • 1 GB encrypted storage.
  • Emergency access.

Bitwarden Families is the same as Bitwaden Premium, but it adds password sharing for up to 6 users as well as an extra 1 GB of storage for shared items, and it’s only $40.00 / year.

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Winner (Plans & Pricing): Bitwarden

LastPass and Bitwarden’s free plans are two of the best on the market — they both offer unlimited password storage, syncing across multiple devices, and even one-to-one password sharing. However, in terms of price, Bitwarden is a clear winner, charging almost one quarter of what LastPass charges for similar protection. And Bitwarden offers more features on its free plan.

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LastPass vs. Bitwarden: Ease of Use

LastPass makes it very easy to generate, save, fill, and share passwords. Bitwarden isn’t nearly as intuitive as LastPass, and some of Bitwarden’s features are needlessly complicated.

LastPass: Ease of Use

LastPass vs. Bitwarden: Ease of UseLastPass’s apps and browser extensions are very easy to use. Once you set up your account, LastPass provides a short vault tutorial that shows you how to use all of its features. But even if you skip the tutorial, all of LastPass’s functionalities are easy to find and understand — the interface is very intuitive, both for non-technical and advanced users. LastPass is also one of the best password managers for families, as even kids and older adults will be able to easily locate and use all of its features.

Users can generate and save passwords for new accounts with one click. And auto-filling saved passwords is just as easy — all you have to do is click on the LastPass logo on the right side of the login fields for any online account. Password sharing is also very user-friendly — users just need to enter the email of the person with whom they want to share the login.

Using all of LastPass’s advanced features is also very simple. I found it extremely easy to set up advanced 2FA and choose an emergency contact.

Overall, LastPass is a great choice for all users, and even users without any previous experience with password managers will find it easy to use LastPass.

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Bitwarden: Ease of Use

LastPass vs. Bitwarden: Ease of Use

Bitwarden isn’t as easy to use as LastPass. During my tests, I found it hard to locate some features or understand how some functionalities worked. I had to frequently check Bitwarden’s FAQ pages to discover how to import passwords to my Bitwarden vault and how to share passwords with other users.

Bitwarden’s auto-save and auto-fill functions aren’t great either — you have to click around the screen too much just to fill in a login, and Bitwarden’s auto-fill on page load option didn’t work for a lot of sites in my testing.

And unlike LastPass which has useful in-app tutorials, Bitwarden doesn’t provide tutorials for any of its features. I only recommend Bitwarden for users who are tech-savvy and don’t mind putting some extra time into understanding how all of its features work. Beginner and non-technical users should definitely look elsewhere (Windows users can look here and Mac users can look here).

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Winner (Ease of Use): LastPass

Bitwarden is a good password manager, but it’s a little complicated to use; on the other hand, LastPass is both good and user-friendly, offering useful in-app tutorials, easy-to-use features, and an overall intuitive interface. The choice is clear — LastPass is definitely a better option for users looking for a password manager that’s easy to set up and use.

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LastPass vs. Bitwarden: Customer Support

LastPass and Bitwarden provide similar customer support options and have similar email response times. However, LastPass’s knowledge base is much easier to understand than Bitwarden’s knowledge base.

LastPass: Customer Support

LastPass vs. Bitwarden: Customer Support

LastPass offers several customer support options — including an extensive help center with very thorough answers to the most popular questions as well as video tutorials on how to use LastPass’s features. There’s a chat bot too, but it’s not very useful — it can only provide help with the most common problems, like resetting your master password.

LastPass also has a community forum and email support. The forum is ok for talking and exchanging information with other LastPass users, and the user community is fairly active. The email support is also decent, though it’s worth noting that it’s only available for premium users. I contacted LastPass’s email support team, and I received a detailed answer to my question in about 3 hours, which is a pretty quick response time.

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Bitwarden: Customer Support

LastPass vs. Bitwarden: Customer SupportSimilar to LastPass, Bitwarden offers support via a detailed knowledge base, a support forum, and email. Bitwarden’s FAQ pages are very extensive, covering all of Bitwarden’s features. However, the answers aren’t always easy to understand for non-technical users. That said, Bitwarden’s forum has a very active and helpful user community.

As for the company’s email support, I was pleasantly surprised that Bitwarden’s email support team got back to me in less than 2 hours! The answer I received was very helpful and detailed, and the customer support representative was polite and professional.

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Winner (Customer Support): LastPass

While LastPass and Bitwarden have the same customer support options, I think that LastPass’s customer support is slightly better — Bitwarden’s knowledge base can be hard to understand for non-technical users.

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LastPass vs. Bitwarden: Overall Winner

LastPass is very secure, has all of the features of a premium password manager, and its apps and browser extensions are very intuitive and user-friendly. LastPass’s customer support options are also pretty good, with useful in-app tutorials, a detailed knowledge base, and decent email support.

Bitwarden is open-source and has local data hosting, which makes it very secure — but its features are not as easy to use as LastPass’s features. Bitwarden also lacks some features that LastPass offers, like multiple account recovery options. It has good customer support, but its knowledge base may be too difficult to understand for non-tech-savvy users.

Overall, I really like both LastPass and Bitwarden, but I think LastPass is better for most users. While Bitwarden’s paid plans are cheaper than LastPass’s plans, I think that LastPass provides a better value. LastPass’s essential features like password importing and auto-filling are very intuitive and easy to use, unlike Bitwarden’s which are pretty complicated. And LastPass has slightly better customer support, with a knowledge base that is easier to understand and also includes video tutorials.

Overall Winner: LastPass

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Is LastPass better than Bitwarden?

LastPass is better for most users than Bitwarden — it provides a more intuitive user interface, more convenient auto-filling, more password recovery options, and automatic dark web monitoring for enhanced security.

However, Bitwarden is more affordable, it’s very secure, and it provides helpful features like local data hosting and a pretty intuitive password sharing tool. Both password managers are among the very best in 2023, but I still think 1Password and Dashlane provide better security features in a cleaner interface than either of them.

Does Bitwarden have better security than LastPass?

Bitwarden and LastPass have very similar security infrastructure — both programs use 256-bit end-to-end AES encryption to secure user data on their servers, and they both provide advanced 2FA options like biometric scanning, TOTP authentication, and even USB token login.

However, LastPass has been the subject of a handful of security breaches in the last few years, while Bitwarden’s open-source design has been subject to peer review and scrutiny from thousands of hackers around the globe. For me, Bitwarden is a more secure password manager, but it’s important to note that LastPass has never leaked a single user password, even when its servers were breached in 2015 (only securely encrypted data was lost, which can’t be decrypted with modern computation).

Do Bitwarden and LastPass work on Android and iOS devices?

Yes, Bitwarden and LastPass both provide excellent apps for Android and iOS, as well as Windows and macOS (both also provide a Linux app). However, there are a lot of good password managers for Android devices, as well as for iOS devices in 2023.

Is LastPass still free?

LastPass still offers a free plan with unlimited password storage, but it forces users to access those logins on either mobile-only or desktop-only. If you want to be able to access your saved logins on both a mobile device and a computer, you now have to upgrade to LastPass Premium.

If you’re looking for a free password manager that still provides unlimited password storage across mobile and desktop devices, Bitwarden is one of the best free options on the market in 2023.

Read more about the best password managers in 2023 >

Other top LastPass comparisons:

Top 5 LastPass and Bitwarden Alternatives:

$2.00 - $8.00 / year
$2.99 - $19.95 / year
$0.99 - $33.40 / year
$3.75 - $52.49 / year
About the Author
Kate Davidson
Kate Davidson
Chief Editor
Updated on: January 1, 2023

About the Author

Kate Davidson is a Chief Editor at SafetyDetectives. She has many years of experience as a journalist and communications professional, and has worked for media organizations, government agencies, and NGOs in multiple countries. Kate has always had a deep interest in cybersecurity, which has โ€” together with her passion for crafting quality content โ€” allowed her to bring complex topics about antiviruses, password managers, and overall online security closer to our readers. In her spare time, Kate enjoys spending time with her family, cooking Italian food, and doing yoga by the sea.