LastPass is making big changes to LastPass Free, the no-cost version of its password manager, and they’re likely to go down badly among those who have been relying on the security tool. The big difference is that LastPass Free users will have to choose between mobile or computers for their unlimited device access, rather than getting the system on both.
Until now, LastPass Free users have – like the company’s paid subscribers – been able to access the service across both computers and mobile devices. The former, LastPass defines as browsers running on desktops and laptops; the latter includes anything mobile, such as smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches.
With the change, however, users will have to pick one or the other category. For instance, if you opt to have LastPass Free for mobile, you’ll only be able to use those mobile devices to access your passwords, notes, files, and payment cards. Conversely, if you opt for LastPass Free for computer, you won’t be able to access all that from your phone.
It’s not the only modification. LastPass Free users are also losing access to email support, which will be reserved for subscribers to the company’s Premium and Families plans. If you need assistance, you’ll need to either hope it’s covered in the support documentation, or head to the company’s forum.
The computer/mobile change will take place from March 16, 2021. When you log into LastPass Free on that date or afterwards, you’ll basically be choosing which version you want: the first device you log in with will automatically become your active device type. LastPass will allow up to three changes, after which it’ll be set permanently.
As for the email support change, that’s arriving a little later, from May 17, 2021.
Unsurprisingly, LastPass is hoping that this will encourage more subscriptions to its paid plans. LastPass Premium is normally $3 per month – billed annually, at $36 for the year – and includes both support across mobile and computer devices, plus email support. Existing Free plan users can switch to Premium for $2.25 per month – billed annually, at $27 for the year – in a limited-time discount.
All the same, even with a price cut, these changes are unlikely to be well received by users. The headaches involved in exporting your password management into another platform, however, may leave some LastPass Free users effectively locked into the manager, and facing an unexpected bill. There’s more information on the device type changes in the company’s support document.