What is LastPass?
LastPass is a Password Manager tool that allows you to only remember one (though purposefully hard-to-remember) password for everything you do online and actually in some cases even for things done offline. LastPass is much more than just a manager though because it also provides tools for Automatic Password Generation, Auto-Fill, Auto-Login, One-Time Passwords, Easy Password Search, Importing Passwords from almost every option imaginable (including 10 I've never heard of) and much MUCH more!
My Quicky Verdict: for people who don't have the patience to read the whole article...
GET IT NOW! LastPass is Amazing, Incredibly Useful, FREE* and something I will never be without! (* - there is a paid version for $12 per YEAR and well worth it!)
Below is a 1-Minute video that explains What LastPass is and Why you should use it. Watch the video and after that I'll go into a bit more detail as to why I think that LastPass is a MUST HAVE for anyone and everyone.
Why you should use a Password Manager:
The typical problem with passwords is we all use so many different websites and so many different things that require some kind of password that remembering impossible to crack passwords is also an impossible task. So we typically create a handful of different passwords that we can remember and are hopefully strong enough to not be cracked. However, passwords should actually be completely different on EVERY website. The reason you should use a unique password per site is because for example your Bank's website will be very VERY secure (by law) but what if you use that same password on "ReallyCutePuppyPhotos.com" and who knows how secure that site is. If ReallyCutePuppyPhotos.com gets hacked and they steal your password then it doesn't matter how secure your Bank is, the evil people now have access to your Bank account and all your money.
Now having different passwords for every website is ridiculous and impossible to keep up with but with a Password Manager you don't have to keep up with anything. There are MANY different options when it comes to password managers but below are my reasons for why LastPass is the absolute best choice!
Why you should use LastPass:
The video should have already convinced you but if it didn't here are some more reasons as to why you should stop reading this review and just go get it. LastPass is Easy, Secure & FREE! Are you still reading? Ok, then I'll continue. LastPass is an incredibly complex system that is incredibly simple to use so no matter what computer skill level you have, LastPass will most certainly be easy for you to utilize and enjoy.
Give some company all of my passwords, are you crazy?
I understand this kind of concern because honestly at first I was rather skeptical myself but after researching the service and trying it out myself I found out just how AWESOME this service truly is. The biggest reason why even people who are overly paranoid can rest assured that their data IS SAFE, is because the LastPass team themselves are overly paranoid. They spent a lot of time and money trying to figure out every possible scenario where your passwords could be compromised and then created a solution for it. LastPass NEVER sees any of your passwords so even if someone got access to your account by hacking them or anything else, all they would find is a jumbled mass of random garbled data. Worried about your data being handed over to the police or the government? Not a problem with LastPass because they'll never have the information to even considering handing it over.
Just how Secure is LastPass?
First let me explain what a "Hash" is. A Hash is basically when you take two strings of data (in this case your Email & LastPass Password) run them through a complex algorithm resulting in random bits of code that are impossible to be reversed, without the password of course.
Now LastPass does this process and then takes it even farther! LastPass creates that Hash with your Email & Password but then creates another hash from the 1st Hash combined with your LP Password. They keep going even more by taking the 2nd Hash and creating another hash by combining the 2nd Hash with automatic generated user identifier that is customized & unique to you making a 3rd Level Hash. LastPass encrypts the data in your vault with the previously encrypted hashes to create an impossible to break secured file. You could print out the data after all of the encryption, personally hand it to a hacker and they will NEVER decrypt it!
Auto-Generating Passwords with LastPass:
One of the most useful features of LastPass is the Password Auto-Generate tool which will create the "jibberish" passwords like "g^8Y4Ygu" (8 characters) which you of course won't ever have to remember as they will then simply save to your vault. In my case, I use 12 character length...8-10 is plenty but I choose to use 12. By using 12 characters, requiring 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 2 digits and 1 special character there are 5.09043249 × 1027 different combinations. For those of you who aren't massive math nerds (almost everyone lol) that number equates to 5.09043249 OCTILLIONS and in the orders of magnitude it goes Million > Billion > Trillion > Quadrillion > Quintillion > Sextillion > Septillion > Octillion.
For some perspective of exactly how incredibly large that number is
- There are 5.87849981 × 1012 miles in a Light Year.
- The world's fastest SuperComputer is the IBM Sequoia which can compute at a speed of 16.325 x 1015 per second, which means it would take the world's fastest supercomputer over 988 years to go through all the possible combinations.
So using LastPass, lets say someone does hack ReallyCutePuppyPhotos.com and you are using an Auto-Generated password it will be impossible for them to use that data to find your data anywhere else. There is a phrase, "Nothing is Impossible with Enough Time" and sure that is true, even here, but 9 Generations of that hacker would have been born and died before they could compute through that many combinations.
Is LastPass truly FREE?
Yes and No. LastPass is 100% Free to use on your desktop or laptop computers. If you want to use LastPass on your mobile smartphones like Android, iPhone, Blackberry, etc then there is a fee of $12 per YEAR! ($1 per month) This is such an incredible value that EVERYONE using LastPass should be a LastPass Premium user. LastPass is such an awesome service and useful tool that I would be happy to pay $12 per month BUT they only ask for $12 per YEAR! (If anyone from LastPass is reading this, feel free to keep it at per Year...hopefully that statement doesn't mean I shot myself in the foot)
Auto-Fill & Auto-Login:
If the above reasons weren't enough to use LastPass then Auto-Fill & Auto-Login absolutely are! You know the awesome feature of most websites that allow your computer to remember you then next time you go to that site? Imagine that option on EVERY website you've EVER been to even if they don't allow that kind of feature themselves. That is what Auto-Fill & Auto-Login will provide.