Got passwords? Of course you do. Usernames and passwords are part of how the world works these days. It’s difficult to have an online life without a password. If you have many passwords you need more than Stickies.
Yes, I admit to using Stickies for awhile, but that was years ago, back when I first started using a Mac and when I didn’t have many sites or apps which required a username and password. These days I have dozens; from Facebook and Twitter to Apple ID and Google and many more. How can they be managed?
Free & Subscription
Subscription apps are all the rage these days. By subscription, I mean you pay by the month or year to use an application. Stop paying and the app stops working or goes back to a set of default features. Like it or don’t, subscription apps are here to stay. You see it with Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite of apps, including Photoshop and Lightroom. $10 a month for the duo. Forever.
Likewise, Microsoft has a subscription plan for Office; pay by the month forever. One of my favorite Mac password managers, one I’ve used for years, one that’s loaded with useful features, and syncs up and plays nice-nice with my iPhone and iPad, has a new subscription plan for individual and families (up to five members). But it’s pay by the month. Forever.
Alright, fair enough. App developers need to make a living and if the app is good enough, paying the piper is the only fair thing to do, right? Or, look around for alternatives. I found one. It’s free. The app is called LastPass and it runs almost everywhere. Mac, iPhone, iPad, Watch, Windows, Linux, Android, and works well with all the major browsers to make logging into a site much easier.
What you get for free is unlimited password storage, but not just storage for passwords. Use it for membership info, insurance cards, bank information, and anything else that needs to be stored securely but available instantly. Setup a new username and password for an account, and the data is synced up from Mac to iPhone to iPad and elsewhere.
LastPass is so modern it comes with a password generator when you need it, save notes securely, but lets you share passwords and notes to those you trust. It fills in username and password automatically, features a tough security challenge, and hand two-factor authentication for more security. All good. Still free.
How does an app developer make any money? Free is on the Personal version and that might be good enough for most Mac users. If you have a family and want to share data, the Premium version is a subscription plan at $1 a month. That also includes using LastPass within applications (which could be handy). And there are a couple of LastPass versions for teams and the enterprise, but there is plenty of utility and security in the free version for the rest of us.
As with any password manager you’ll need to set up an account and use a strong password to keep prying eyes from opening LastPass but it opens fine with Touch ID on iPhone and iPad. Yes, it’s a subscription if you want more than the basic features, but otherwise LastPass is free to try, free to use, and even the subscription price for more features is reasonable.