The best password manager for you will depend a great deal on your specific needs as a user—whether it’s for personal, family or business use in particular—and how their feature set and pricing aligns with those needs. That said, there are certain ways to cut through the confusion of the many different bells and whistles offered on today’s market and focus on the truly important traits common to all effective modern password managers. We compared RememBear to LastPass on these five most significant common features.
Not every password manager will necessarily have all of these key features, but the better-quality offerings will be well-represented in at least the majority of these traits.
1. Security and Encryption
2. App Compatibility
The days when most people accessed their online accounts through a single computer are long gone for most users. That makes it important for a password manager to be able to operate and sync data smoothly across all your different devices and for it to work with popular browsers. The ability to import data from browsers and from other password managers is also an important part of this picture.
3. Usability & Ease of Use
A password manager is at its most effective when it doesn’t require special training to use it and when it’s accessible to users who aren’t necessarily IT experts. A clean and easy-to-read user interface, simplicity of download and setup, easy access to key features and convenience-oriented functions like biometric logins are all part of usability.
4. Password Sharing
For some users, especially families or businesses, it may sometimes be necessary for users to share accounts and passwords. A password manager that can implement password sharing in a secure fashion will be more attractive for these use cases.
Value for money is important when you’re evaluating any kind of software. The number of passwords a manager can generate and store and the overall feature set it provides in comparison to monthly and annual costs will determine whether the pricing of its plans is attractive.
We spent over 10 hours researching the comparative offerings of RememBear and LastPass. Below, we break down how each of them measures up with regards to the five key features we identified above.
LastPass is reputed as one of the most secure password managers on the market, using a Master Password and industry-standard AES-256 encryption to secure your password vault and employing a wide variety of multifactor authentication options. These include third-party MFA apps like Duo Security, Google Authenticator and YubiKey, all of which can create unique one-time codes that combine with your Master Password, requiring both to log in to your vault. It also includes LastPass’ own MFA tools like security verification emails and one-time passwords (OTPs) that can be used to add a further layer of security whenever logging into your account in a potentially risky security situation (such as using a public Wi-Fi connection).
The company employs a zero-knowledge protocol, meaning it doesn’t track, store or sell any of the data stored in your vault. ITs security features are accompanied by a whole suite of account recovery features including a mobile account recovery tool, password hints, one-time recovery passwords, SMS numeric recovery codes and the ability to restore a previous Master Password within 30 days if you lose your current one. This brings further peace of mind to the password management process. Even if you lose your current Master Password, you have plenty of recourse before you have to resort to drastic measures like deleting your account and rebuilding from scratch.
RememBear also takes care to provide high-quality security at every stage of the password management process. It matches LastPass with end-to-end AES-256 encryption. It also supports a key management system that provides a further layer of security even in the event of RememBear’s servers being breached and transport layer security to protect against HTTP attacks. The software generates 16-character new device keys (NDKs) to provide an added layer of authentication whenever you log in from a new device.
RememBear provides two-factor authentication by generating unique one-time passwords. It also offers a single, simple option for account recovery called the Backup Kit, which makes use of your NDK to recover your vault if you ever forget your Master Password. This is its only recovery option, so users have to make sure they don’t lose access to both their Master Password and NDKs. In terms of the fundamentals of security, the two password managers are pretty evenly matched, but for those seeking extra and advanced features, LastPass has a definite edge.
LastPass is compatible with all major browsers and platforms along with some lesser-known options and makes it easy to import data from dozens of other password managers (sadly, RememBear isn’t presently among them). It also allows users to log in to their accounts online using a browser without the need for having the software or a browser extension locally installed — though downloading the browser extension does provide extra functionality. The functionality of mobile versions of LastPass doesn’t exactly match the broader range of tools available on the desktop app, but the discrepancy is relatively minor.
RememBear’s cross-platform and cross-browser compatibility is more limited. Unlike LastPass, it isn’t possible to access your RememBear account online without specifically having installed the app or a browser extension. This is a philosophical difference rather than necessarily an inherent disadvantage in itself, as RememBear’s design team believes requiring access through the app bolsters security. However, RememBear’s browser app is only presently compatible with Chrome, Firefox and Safari, and it’s not yet compatible with Linux platforms. If you want the fullest benefits of cross-device and cross-platform compatibility, LastPass has a clear edge here.
|Internet Explorer||Yes *||No|
|Other||Dolphin (Android browser), Windows Phone, Windows RT||No|
* Note that Internet Explorer’s Microsoft support expires as of November 2020.
Both LastPass and RememBear are known for having user-friendly interfaces and being easy to install and work with. Both make password generation a simple process, both have effective and accessible auto-fill and login recognition features and both offer the convenience of biometric identification to provide added security for mobile devices.
LastPass’ UI is clean and straightforward, and its mobile apps offer their own integrated browser. LastPass also makes it easy to identify and remediate weak passwords with the Security Challenge display, which lays out in clear and comprehensible terms the security “scores” of your password data and makes quick changes easy to implement.
RememBear goes out of its way, meanwhile, to be easy and fun to interact with, with a UI featuring a host of animated bears who are used to deliver gamification features that motivate users to go through the steps needed to fully set up their account. The adorable concept of RememBear’s interface aside, it does not have reporting features or breach monitoring. We have to give those kinds of features, and especially their easy-to-read and user-friendly implementation by LastPass, priority over animated bears and hand the edge to LastPass in this category.
LastPass features sophisticated password sharing tools that allow passwords to be shared with a chosen party. The process is as simple as sending an email invitation. Shares can be done with one or multiple users depending on whether your account is Premium, and you can share the password without actually revealing it. From a single Sharing Center, you can also share folders and items in your vault with multiple users, though these will need to be reshared if they change, as the sharing functions don’t sync.
In no other category of our evaluation is it clearer that RememBear’s target market is the personal user rather than the business or family user than password sharing. RememBear simply doesn’t have it, and so far as we can discern, it has no discernible plans to implement it. We can’t call this a fault in itself, as once again this seems to reflect a design decision to focus on a certain kind of customer, but it certainly means that LastPass will have significantly more appeal for family or business use.
RememBear is available in a free version with unlimited password storage, but because free users can only access it on a single device and don’t get access to the NDK needed to make the Backup Kit function work, it’s not an especially attractive prospect. RememBear Premium is the way to go, offering a full feature set and unlimited password storage for unlimited devices on reasonably priced one, two- or three-year plans. If you need a password manager for personal use, would prefer that the design team is laser-focused on delivering a core of simple features in reliable fashion or like a fun and user-friendly UI, RememBear Premium represents solid value for money.
Neither version of RememBear, however, is designed for groups of users at either the family, small business or enterprise scales. If this is what you need, LastPass offers a range of pricing plans with feature lists customized for the Premium personal user, Family users and three different levels of business usage. These plans all offer good value, particularly given the high quality and flexibility the software delivers, and LastPass also offers one of the best free password managers on the market.
Each of these password managers is a solid choice for the segments of the market that it targets. But, of course, the key to getting the most out of a password manager is to have a clear understanding of how it functions and how those design decisions affect you as a potential user. Below, we breakdown how RememBear and LastPass approach some of the commonplace tasks of password management.
|Setting up your vault||Import old passwords with .csv files; accounts added as you log in||Import feature from browsers and other password managers; accounts added as you log in|
|Logging in to your accounts||Login information auto-filled on page load; password vault searchable by keywords||Login information filled in on page load; select account from a list|
|Creating new passwords||Password generator customizable and accessible when creating passwords||Password generator accessible when creating passwords|
|Changing your passwords||No automated password changer||Use password generator when on change password screen; “Auto Change Password” automation feature|
|Sharing logins with others||N/A||All plans can share with individual users outside your team; family, team and enterprise have robust shared folder features|
|Data storage and protection||Cloud storage with advanced end-to-end encryption||Encrypted vault stored on LastPass servers|
|Recovering your account||Backup Kit secured by a New Device Key (NDK)||Password hint, SMS codes (can be disabled), one-time passwords (tied to machine and browser)|
|Advanced security features||Two-factor authentication||Two-factor authentication, security check, emergency access, restrict to countries|