August 12, 2022

KeePass vs LastPass

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Key takeaways

  • Password managers like KeePass and LastPass can remove a lot of the stress from the process of securing your sensitive information.
  • While KeePass is an excellent option for its high level of security, it doesn’t provide the ease of use that LastPass does, especially for users who value fast and easy password sharing.
  • If budget is your main concern, it’s hard to beat a free, open-source tool, like KeePass.

KeePass and LastPass are two popular password managers that provide many key beneficial features for their users. While both offer unlimited passwords, strong password generation, and mobile apps, these solutions approach security features with different methods. Read on to compare KeePass vs. LastPass and discover which product offers the best functionalities for your data password protection. 

Why you need a password manager

Let’s face it, there are only so many variations of your childhood pet’s name followed by “123” that you can use as your password. We’re all human, and when so many different sites and apps require us to create passwords, it’s easy for us to get sloppy and use old passwords, easy-to-remember passwords, generic passwords—ultimately, weak passwords.

But when you don’t take your passwords seriously, you’re not taking your security seriously. Online services that use passwords like bank accounts, social media, and email can be hacked and are far more susceptible to attacks if they have weak passwords. So how can you create strong, unique passwords to secure your privacy while keeping track of each one? Password managers can help you with your password security needs.

ALSO READ: Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) vs. Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC): What’s the Difference?

Data encryption

KeePass is an open-source password manager that uses encryption methods to secure its database. It allows users to choose between two different security versions, with distinct encryption algorithms—AES encryption (256-bit key) or Twofish encryption security (256-bit key + 128-bit blocks). These encryption methods are available for both public and professional use, and users can decide which level of protection is right for them.

LastPass approaches its data security with 256-bit AES encryption and rounds of PBKDF2-SHA256 with one-way salted hashes to block brute force attacks. Simply put, its encryption makes its data extremely secure and grants users safety from data interception during syncing. Furthermore, LastPass can’t even access its users’ passwords since it is encrypted by users through JavaScript and the application. 

Secure storage locations

When it comes to secure storage locations, KeePass has the advantage. As an open-source password manager, KeePass does not have servers to store user data. Therefore, the KeePass password safe is designed to store users’ data locally on their desktop or mobile devices. It is commonly believed that local data storage is less susceptible to attacks, as users’ information is as secure as their devices. To achieve this advantage, users must secure their devices with strong, unique passwords.

However, local data storage can make password sharing, transferring, and syncing more complicated. KeePass allows users to remotely sync passwords through FTP, but the process is not as simple as cloud-based alternatives. Businesses with common accounts among multiple users may need a better option for password sharing.

LastPass stores its passwords on its server and uses the cloud, making it simpler for users to store and transfer their saved passwords between multiple devices. However, while its password vault is easier to use, keeping its data online does make it less secure than it would be with local storage. Local storage typically has fewer entry points than cloud storage, and organizations maintain full control over the security of their local storage. While most cloud providers do a great job keeping their platforms secure, the risk may be too high for some organizations.

But if the idea of relying on the internet to access your password database scares you, it may help to know that the internet is not necessary for users to access their passwords. By enabling LastPass’s “offline mode” feature, users can access their data without an internet connection.

Secure password generation

KeePass features an exceptional technical password generator with extensive options for customization and creating complex passwords. Its unique generation method creates random passcodes based on a specific character set as requested by the user. However, users will have to access the system via the application to generate a password, as there are no web browser integrations available to make this process quicker.

Through the desktop app and online browser extension, LastPass allows users to generate strong passwords automatically. When developing passwords with varying qualifiers, users can select options with specific types and numbers of characters. Their system makes creating strong passwords simple for users and automatically stores the new password within the user’s account data.

Not sure LastPass is right for you? Find the Best LastPass Alternative for Managing & Protecting Passwords.

Multifactor authentication support

The KeePass database supports multifactor authentication (MFA). Passwords are encrypted through the platform, secured by a master password called a “Master Key.” With MFA enabled, users access their account using that master password in conjunction with a key file, a file that contains a key that users store in a separate location. That way, users will know the master password and be able to locate the key file to log into their accounts, but accessing both pieces of information would be more difficult for a hacker to achieve.

LastPass offers multifactor authentication for its regular users and even more options for users with premium accounts. Standard accounts grant users two-factor authorization support, allowing them to choose another step necessary to log in. LastPass premium accounts have several MFA options, including Google Authenticator, Microsoft, Grid, Toopher, Sesame, Yupikey, Smart Card, Transakt, and Duo Security Authentication. 

Are Biometrics the Answer to MFA’s Shortcomings? Probably Not. |

Supported platforms

Here we have another example of how KeePass’ open-source nature affects its functionality. KeePass is limited to Windows 7/8/10/11, Mono (including Linux), and Wine operating systems and cannot support all other platforms. Users with Windows phones can also access the password manager. Users can import data from other systems as long as they use TXT or CSV formats. 

LastPass supports many platforms and works well with most operating systems, including Windows 8.1 or later, Mac, Chrome OS, Linux, Android, and iOS platforms. It also works with many internet browsers, including Internet Explorer 11 or later, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera. This means that users can have more freedom to access their accounts and manage login credentials automatically from various sources. 

Through these platforms, LastPass can streamline the passcode security process and help users save time with features like automated password storage and entry and importing data from other software.

How to choose the best password manager

Password managers like KeePass and LastPass can remove a lot of the stress from the process of securing your sensitive information. When choosing the best password manager, you should consider which features and capabilities are most important to you. For example, while KeePass is an excellent option for its high level of security, it doesn’t provide the ease of use that LastPass does, especially for users who value fast and easy password sharing and imports. 

On the other hand, LastPass may be better for you if you prefer the ability to utilize its automated features across more platforms and are willing to do so through a less-secure cloud-based management software tool. But if budget is your main concern, it’s hard to beat a free, open-source tool, like KeePass.

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