There are a lot of password managers on the market, making it hard to find the right product. We cut through the noise to examine LastPass and Dashlane based on the most important features so that you can make the best choice for you. Be aware that the features you prioritize may not align with your friends and family, so make sure you’re making a decision based on your unique reasons for using a password manager.
Password managers have one primary function: to protect and manage passwords. However, there are different factors that can distinguish one product from another. These five features are among the most important elements in choosing a password manager: security, compatibility, usability, sharing capabilities and price.
1. Security & Encryption
A password manager stores passwords for all of your accounts, including passwords for sensitive sites like financial institutions. As such, the best possible security is extremely important. A good password manager makes use of industry best practices, including strong encryption methods, complex ciphers and multifactor authentication. Many password managers also utilize zero-knowledge models that encrypt data on company servers so that, if hacked, password information isn’t identifiable.
2. App Compatibility
Few people use a single browser or device to access the web. This means that password managers need to be accessible in more than one area. Most of the leading managers on the market are compatible with major operating systems and browsers, but few work everywhere. When choosing a password manager, be sure the products you are considering work with all of your devices, including computers, mobile phones, and tablets.
3. Usability & Ease of Use
Password managers need to come with plenty of features and functions to maximize organization and management abilities, but above all else, they should be easy to use. A password manager that is too complicated can result in inefficiency, making it much more difficult to access information when necessary. A good password manager should make getting started easy, use intuitive measures to store and access information, and make logging in simple. For example, some password managers use biometric logins for the sake of convenience.
4. Password Sharing
Many password manager users have accounts they share with others, like streaming sites or banking profiles. This is also true for business users that have universal logins for shared resources. Accordingly, the ability to share passwords easily and securely can be an important function.
For single users or those who do not share accounts with everyone, password sharing may not be a point of consideration.
Password managers are available at a number of different price points. Some are relatively affordable, while others can be very expensive. Free plans are available, but these usually have limited functions, like a cap on the number of accounts permissible. Access to premium features, like use across multiple devices or unlimited storage, generally requires a paid membership. When comparing products, it’s important to take both your personal budget and necessary features into consideration.
Both Dashlane and LastPass take security very seriously. Dashlane in particular is one of the best-known products for a secure experience. The company takes an advanced approach to security on all fronts, providing the safety that is virtually unparalleled. Dashlane employs PBKDF2 SHA-256 and AES-256 algorithms to encrypt customer data — measures that are considered industry best practices. A zero-knowledge model is also in use; this means that any password information stored on company servers is completely inaccessible, even to employees of the company. Dashlane also uses a unique device key system in addition to a master password that adds an extra layer of security. Customers can take advantage of multifactor identification at log-in.
LastPass uses many of the same techniques as Dashlane, including encryption algorithms and a zero-knowledge model to protect product users against breaches. Their methods work, too: LastPass was hacked in 2015, but the hackers were not able to access confidential customer data. LastPass also offers multifactor authentication. While a device key strategy isn’t a measure LastPass employs, there is otherwise little difference in the overall security between the two companies.
App compatibility is a priority for many password manager users, especially those with multiple devices. Luckily, both LastPass and Dashlane offer plenty of options for users who utilize different browsers, computers and mobile phones.
Dashlane uses a browser extension for extended compatibility in addition to mobile-specific tools, allowing users to access Dashlane on most devices. It is compatible with all major platforms, like Chrome and Firefox, as well as Mac, PC, iOS and Android devices. While Linux and Chromebooks are not directly supported, the browser extension can be used for access. Users of Blackberry, Windows Phone and Windows RT may want to consider alternatives as these products aren’t supported.
LastPass’s availability is a little more widespread, with more compatible devices and browsers than Dashlane. LastPass can be used across almost all browsers and operating systems, including Windows Phone and Windows RT. Like Dashlane, Blackberry is not supported by LastPass.
The standard user with a PC or Mac computer and a standard iOS or Android mobile device likely won’t have issues with either product.
Dashlane is relatively quick to set up, allowing users to get started within minutes of downloading. For those with an existing password manager, even one through a browser, it is possible to import current account information into Dashlane. Once accounts are in Dashlane, users can easily edit details and add further information, like bank or routing numbers and PINs.
Users can choose which fields they would like login details to populate and easily toggle between options when multiple accounts on one site are in use. When customers need new passwords, Dashlane can suggest secure passwords as well as automatically change passwords on certain member sites. In addition to these basic features, Dashlane also offers a unique dark web monitoring service that will notify users if their information is found on suspect websites.
LastPass works in a similar manner to Dashlane as many of the functions are the same. Registration is fast and easy, and import from prior password managers is possible. Users can also add notes and build out more complex profiles when necessary. However, unlike Dashlane, LastPass can function as a desktop app or in-browser interface rather than as a browser extension, providing more robust access.
Password sharing is a robust function for both Dashlane and LastPass, making it simple for personal and business users to share passwords with all kinds of people. Dashlane boasts a Sharing Center that is accessible on the home screen menu. Within the Sharing Center, users can create individual vaults that can be shared with others. Vaults can be customized as needed, containing one password or dozens, and shared with as many users as desired. The free version restricts sharing to just five passwords, but the premium products support unlimited password sharing.
LastPass uses a similar system to Dashlane but with folders rather than vaults within the Sharing Center. Paid LastPass plans allow users to share passwords with as many people as required. However, the free version lets users share passwords with a single user, significantly limiting the functionality for those with significant sharing needs.
Pricing can be a major point of consideration for those considering password managers. Free programs do exist, but they tend to be limited in comparison to paid plans, and this is true for Dashlane and LastPass as well. Both plans put caps on how much can be stored and shared with the free version, making unpaid plans ideal only for those on a strict budget or who have few online accounts. However, Dashlane and LastPass both offer several tiers of paid accounts with affordable pricing.
Dashlane’s paid plans let users make unlimited entries, use VPNs and allow premium access to customer service. The higher tier plans even provide identity theft protection insurance.
LastPass has a better free option than Dashlane does, offering unlimited entries and multi-device syncing to users. However, users who want better access to support and features like application autofill and unlimited sharing may choose to consider a paid plan instead.
|Individual||Free basic or $3 per month premium (billed annually)||Free basic plan for $4.99 per month (billed annually) or $9.99 per month (billed annually)|
|Family||$4 per month for up to 6 users (billed annually)||$7.49 per month (billed annually) or $14.99 per month (billed annually)|
|Teams||$4 per user per month (billed annually) for 5-50 users||$4 per user per month (billed annually) for 5-50 users|
|Business||“Enterprise” plan starts at $6/user/month (billed annually)||$4 per user per month (billed annually) for 5-50 users|
|Enterprise||Custom pricing for specific needs, or $4/user/month otherwise||$4 per user per month (billed annually) for 5-50 users|
There’s a lot to love about both LastPass and Dashlane. From excellent security strategies to numerous pricing tiers for affordable access, these platforms are among the best on the market. However, the ways in which features function does differ between the two. The comparison table below outlines the ways in which primary functions work for both LastPass and Dashlane.
|Setting up the vault||Users can import data from other password managers, including browsers.||Dashlane users can import data from both browsers and other brands of password managers.|
|Logging into accounts||For paid models, login information automatically populates on page load. If users have more than one account on a site, they can select an alternative from a drop-down list.||Dashlane provides more flexibility in logging on, as users can choose which, if any, fields they would like to populate. Toggling between accounts is simple by using a dropdown feature.|
|Creating new passwords||Users can let the password generator function create new and secure passwords or choose their own passwords.||Passwords can be created using the password generator function, ensuring a unique password for each account. Users can also choose their own passwords.|
|Changing passwords||Users can use the password generator to change their passwords or create their own.||Users can use the password generator to change their passwords or create their own. Dashlane also uses an auto-update feature that allows for automatic password refreshes on more than 250 member sites.|
|Sharing logins||All plans, including the free plan, allow for some form of sharing. Paid plans provide more robust sharing features without limitations.||All plans have password sharing options, with limitations on the free version of Dashlane. Paid options allow sharing without restriction.|
|Recovering your account||Recovering an account can be done with SMS codes, password hints, and one-time device-specific passwords.||Users can take advantage of password hits and, in the case of mobile devices, biometric identification. However, if this doesn’t work, a full account reset may be necessary.|
|Advanced security features||LastPass employs sophisticated encryption, multifactor authentication, and security checks to protect user data.||Dashlane uses two-factor identification, biometrics on mobile devices, and dark web monitoring.|