It is not surprising to see that most browsers come with their own password manager to allow you to save all your login passwords. The only problem is, they are not cross-browser compatible. What you stored in your Firefox browser can’t be used in Internet Explorer or Safari. In addition, if you are out travelling and need to use an Internet cafe to check your mail (or any other sites), you won’t have access to your passwords since that is only available in your local machine. With LastPass, you won’t have to face such problems anymore.
LastPass is an online password manager that you can install as an addon in Firefox and Internet Explorer. It encrypts all your passwords with 256-bit AES encryption algorithm and synchronizes them across different browsers and devices. With LastPass, you only have to remember one master password and it will take care of the rest.
When you first run LastPass, it will prompt you to create an online account. This will be the account that they use to store all your passwords. During the registration, you will have to create a strong master password. In case you are wondering how long should your password be to considered strong, there is a password meter that shows the strength as you type in your password. Note that I have used a 42-characters long password and the password meter is still not full.
If you want to let LastPass take full control over your password management, there is also an option for you to disable the default password manager in your browser.
To enable its users to migrate their existing password account to LastPass easily, there is an Import function that you can use to import your browser password setting. It also supports Keepass, 1Password, Sxipper and many other password managers.
The way LastPass works is similar to the way Firefox’s password manager works. Whenever you login to a site, an unobstructive popup will appear to ask you if you want to save the password for this site.
If the password is already in your account, when you go to the site, the login field will be prefilled with your login credential. There is even a auto-login function that you can use to quickly login to your site.
Just like Roboform, LastPass also comes with a form filling feature that you can use to quickly fill up your form. One annoying thing I found is that it shows a autofill pop up every time it detects a fillable form, including email newsletter subscription box. Since almost every sites comes with an email newsletter subscription box, the popup appears every time you visit a new site. This can be very irritating.
Bring LastPass with you everywhere
If you have installed portable Firefox on your USB drive, you can also install LastPass on the portable Firefox so that you have access to your password even when you are away from your computer. This is useful if you are on a travelling trip and need to use an Internet cafe to go online.
Backing up your password
When you save your password in LastPass, the password is stored in an encrypted form in the LastPass server. To avoid the incident where your password is inaccessible when the server is down, you can install LastPass Pocket on your computer and have it export and back up your account setting (including passwords) to your local hard drive.
LastPass currently only supports Firefox and Internet Explorer. The Safari version is on its way while the Google Chrome version is not available till Google released the extension API. LastPass works in Windows, Mac and Linux.
What other ways do you use to sync your password across various browsers and devices?