Migrate your loved ones from LastPass to Bitwarden before it is too late

Let’s face it: if you are reading this blog, you are probably so deep into technology that paying 36 dollars per year for a password manager is a good deal compared to the value of your logins. This is certainly true for me, which is why I’m a 1Password premium subscriber (because I think it is the best password manager on the market).

However, I’ve had countless conversations with friends and family members who are not so deep into technology and convinced them to use password managers instead of reusing passwords or writing them down. For them, the act of using a password manager itself introduces some kind of friction into their workflows; after all, it is much easier to enter the same password for each login than to set up a password manager on all devices, remember their shortcuts or GUI icons and remember when to click “save login” and when to avoid duplicates. Furthermore, the value of their logins is usually lower than for “technology nerds”.

Convincing friends and family to use password managers is therefore not an easy task; they have relatively little to gain and much to “pay” (in the form of added friction to their workflows). But this task becomes even more difficult if the password manager I want them to use is not free.

Today on Feb 16, LastPass announced significant changes to their free plan. Basically, they restrict their free users to one device type (phone or computers) and require a premium subscription if they want to use LastPass on all their devices. In my opinion, this restricted free plan is no longer suitable for anyone: if you decide to use it only on the phone, you need to type every password on the computer while reading it from the smartphone; if you use it on the computer, you cannot access any services while traveling.

This is why in this article, I want to (1) argue why Bitwarden is the better (free) alternative for casual users and (2) show how to migrate your friends and family from LastPass to Bitwarden.

Why Bitwarden is the Best Password Manager for Casual Users

To make it simple: Bitwarden is open source, has a nice looking and easy UI that looks almost identical on the phone and on the desktop, allows storing as many passwords as you like, syncs between an unlimited number of devices, and – most importantly – it is free. But don’t only take my word for it – the New York Times agrees with me.

Sure, it does not have advanced features such as 1Password’s breach reports or password checkups, but it is a solid choice and gets all the basics right.

You can even upgrade to the Premium level for 10$ / year and get advanced features such as encrypted file storage, YubiKey login, or emergency access (which is still much cheaper than the 36$ / year LastPass is charging).

Migrating from LastPass to Bitwarden

There is an excellent article from Bitwarden on how to migrate coming from LastPass. Summed up, you need to:

  • Login to LastPass
  • Export vault in LastPass as CSV
  • Login to Bitwarden Web Vault
  • Select Tools > Import Data > LastPass (csv)

Yes, it really is that simple. Now just install the necessary apps and browser addons on all devices and you are good to go.

Password security is especially important and one of the easiest ways to avoid costly incidents. Do not let LastPass’s move threaten the security of your loved ones and proactively engage with them before they go back to reusing passwords – people’s brains are very bad password managers.

Bernhard Knasmüller on Software Development