LastPass and Dashlane are two of the most recognizable password managers on the market. Both have excellent free versions, both are available on a wide range of devices, and both are ranked very highly by many tech reviewers. You might be left wondering which one you should pick for your particular needs.
In this comparison, I’ll take a closer look at both services, explain the differences between them, and give some insights, why you would lean towards one or the other. Without further ado, let’s find out which of these password managers should be tasked with protecting your most sensitive data.
LastPass vs. Dashlane – an overview
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome, iOS, Android||Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome, iOS, Android|
|Browser extensions:||Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari||Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Brave (standalone mode only)|
|Trial:||Free version and a 30-day trial of Premium||Free version and a 30-day trial of Premium|
|Price:||starts from $3.0/month||starts from $4.99/month|
Dashlane or LastPass: which one is more secure?
In the Dashlane vs. LastPass matchup, the former is a more secure choice. Both services use military-grade encryption measures, both offer multifactor authentication, both enable you to store data files. However, Dashlane emerges as a winner because of the lack of privacy scandals that would tarnish any security company’s reputation.
Both Dashlane and LastPass are closed source, commercial password managers. When you’re relying on a service for your security, reputation is essential. Which is why Dashlane is victorious in this battle.
If you’re using Dashlane to store your sensitive data, it will be encrypted with the AES-256 cipher combined with a key derived from your master password. Dashlane stores neither the password nor the key on their servers in a plaintext (unencrypted) form, so you should be calm about the safety of your data.
LastPass also uses AES-256 encryption in tandem with PBKDF2 SHA-256 for password hashing. Their data handling is very similar: sensitive data is encrypted and decrypted only at the device level. What reaches the servers is only the encrypted blobs of your locally stored data.
In short, neither Dashlane nor LastPass has direct access to your data. The bits that they receive are already encrypted. These encrypted blobs would be useless to the attackers even if they managed to obtain them. This is a very safe approach towards handling data, especially when the data in question is so sensitive. Both providers are equal and very secure from an encryption standpoint.
Multi-factor security adds additional barriers, protecting you even if your master password gets exposed. It means that after entering your username and password, you’ll need further confirmation of your identity via something you know or something you own. Dashlane allows two-factor authentication (2FA) via email, an authentication app, and verification via PIN or fingerprint sensor.
LastPass also supports 2FA via their authenticator app or a variety of 3rd party authenticators, smart cards, USB tokens, Windows Fingerprint, and more. It’s even possible to set up several layers of multi-factor authentication options by combining these authentication measures.
Although it seems excessive, these measures do help should your master password ever leak online. Even knowing your master password, it would still be rather tricky to take over your account. Such layered protection establishes several security barriers, and it’s great to see that both providers take this approach.
In the end, LastPass takes the edge with their option for combining various multifactor authentication methods.
Did you know that most password managers can also double for safe cloud storage for sensitive data files? With Dashlane, you do get 1 GB of encrypted storage for attachments and a limit of 50 passwords if you’re a free user. If you’re thinking about storing videos – don’t. Individual files are limited to 50 MB, which would be enough for most PDF documents and contact lists, but not large files. It’s not intended as a full-fledged cloud-based storage suite.
As a free user of LastPass, you get 50 MB of encrypted files, and it only goes up to 1 GB if you decide to subscribe for a premium plan. It’s nice that the password number has no cap. However, each attachment cannot exceed 10 MB in size. It could pose some problems with some higher-resolution PDF files, also considering that the maximum amount of storage is 50 MB.
With either provider, there’s a trade-off – either in terms of the maximum number of passwords or in the amount of data for additional storage.
There’s also the question of how the data is stored. Dashlane is purposely very obscure about it, while LastPass is very transparent about how it’s all done. By default, when you create a new account, your data will be stored either in the United States or Europe. However, you can always request your data to be transferred to Singapore or Australia. Such transfers probably make little sense because they only store encrypted blobs. However, the choice is welcome and deserves a compliment.
Dashlane does collect some user data. For example, Dashlane are using analytics and are monitoring usage data. There’s even a separate page dedicated to requests for data not to be sold.
Here’s a shortlist of data that Dashlane collects:
- Registration data
- Billing data
- Master password
- Secured data
- Support and correspondence
- Device and browser data
- Usage data
- Aggregated data
- Data obtained from third parties
Any service that capitalizes on your data while claiming to sell secure ways to store your sensitive information is trying to play both sides. Note such discrepancies and be a cautious customer.
If you think that LastPass shines in this regard, you will be unpleasantly surprised. In many respects, LastPass is even worse in terms of privacy than Dashlane. Here’s what they collect:
- First and last name
- Billing data
- Email address
- Data that you or others voluntarily enter
- Duration of sessions
- Connections made
- Hardware equipment
- Devices used
- IP addresses
- Language settings
- Operating system used
- Unique device identifiers
- Other diagnostic data
Should enforcement agencies ever show an interest in your online dealings, LastPass will be obliged to share everything they have on you. The upside is that it’s possible to ask LastPass to show you what they have.
Having a free version isn’t always an indication that your data is a product. However, with both of these services, their privacy policies leave much to be desired. With that said, LastPass is worse in this regard.
Third-party security audits
I couldn’t find any third-party audit results for Dashlane.
In 2018, LogMeIn services, including LastPass, went through a third-party audit by Tevora Business Solutions. It examined whether the organization meets Trust Service Principles defined by the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants). This audit meant to show how the security and privacy controls used at LogMeIn comply with these regulations.
Their report states: “effective throughout the period September 1, 2017, to August 31, 2018, to provide reasonable assurance that LogMeIn IAM’s service commitments and system requirements were achieved based on the applicable trust services criteria is fairly stated, in all material respects”.
The reason why you shouldn’t get too excited about this is that this is far from the type of audit that was conducted on Bitwarden password manager (which included source code inspection, penetration testing, and even cryptographic analysis).
However, such an audit is better than nothing, leaving Dashlane in the dust.
LastPass used to be a highly reputable password manager. Their winning streak ended in 2019 when Google Project Zero researcher Tavis Ormandy found that there was a client-side LastPass browser extension vulnerability, which could be used to steal user data. This vulnerability was significant enough that more than 16 million users could have gotten their credentials exposed.
LastPass developers reacted quickly, forcing updates to their user base. However, after a while, the same researcher found another exploit that affects LastPass’s binary component running on Chrome, Safari, and Opera. You can read the full report, including the post-mortem, here. Even though the developer did their best to mend the situation, the vulnerabilities certainly don’t help LastPass with their reputation.
As of writing this article, Dashlane didn’t appear in the center of any similar controversies. This fact alone makes this service a more secure alternative to LastPass.
When comparing features, there’s a no more significant mistake than to look at the sheer number of them. Context and the way the elements are implemented matters too. Ultimately, Dashlane and LastPass offer almost identical products. From a usage perspective, you could use them interchangeably (password importing implementation is an example of that). However, it seems that Dashlane is significantly better thought-out in terms of a complete security suite, which might be what you need out of your password manager.
LastPass is more forgiving should you forget your password, and more restrictive when it comes to password sharing between the accounts. Dashlane’s route makes much more sense by adding restrictions for a password reset and adds more flexibility with sharing. Overall, Dashlane looks like a better though-out service, which is more than enough to crown them as winners.
Both services aim to ease you into their products by adding password importing. Not only does this save you plenty of manual copy-pasting, but it also makes it easier to switch from another password manager if you’re already using one.
LastPass is incredibly generous in this regard, allowing imports from your browser, other password managers, and other source exports. You can even import using an Excel CSV file, assuming it matches their template. If you’re using a password manager that doesn’t support exports, you can use a passive import function. It’s done by running both password managers simultaneously, with the LastPass immediately making a copy of whenever data is filled. On a desktop, LastPass can make backups of Wi-Fi passwords stored on devices. However, only the Windows desktop app supports Wi-Fi password exports as secure notes.
Dashlane isn’t much worse off when it comes to the ease of password imports. Generally, it will mean importing through CSV files. They also leave an option to use special export files from LastPass, PasswordWallet, and RoboForm. All your imported passwords will instantly appear in your vault.
In short, both services aren’t at all restrictive when it comes to password imports. LastPass offers more flexibility and therefore wins in this area.
Account and password recovery
Should you experience sudden memory loss and forget your master password, you can set up several recovery methods with LastPass. You can choose between mobile account recovery, a password hint, a one-time recovery passcode, SMS recovery, or you can revert to your previous master password.
Do keep in mind that you have to log in to a web browser extension at least once to use any of the mentioned recovery options. Since the LastPass staff has no access to your password in any shape or form, they can’t reset it. If any of the mentioned methods don’t work, you’ll need to create a new account and start from scratch, even if you’ve already paid.
Dashlane is more restrictive than LastPass when it comes to account recovery options. One of them is that Dashlane allows you to register someone as your emergency contact. After you confirm this via a confirmation request, the select person will be able to retrieve the data located in your vault. However, this will work only with a business account. For everyone else, you can reset your master password on iOS and Android with biometric data if you enabled it. If you didn’t enable it, this is the end. There’s no way to reset your master password.
I don’t see Dashlane’s lack of recovery options as a necessarily bad thing. It adds to the security because each recovery option could potentially open doors to exploits. However, if your goal is to recover a password, there’s no denying LastPass makes it simpler.
Most password managers offer a way to generate secure passwords. The LastPass password generator lets users create good, unique passwords and is freely available for everyone via their website.
Dashlane also has a password generator online. As with LastPass, you can control length and complexity, adding digits, letters, and symbols. By default, it uses a 12-character password, but you can make it longer or shorter, according to your needs.
LastPass offers the feature of password sharing. You can use it to share credentials between many users, effortlessly adding a barrier of security. However, there are some restrictions on password sharing. If you’re a Free or Premium user, you won’t be able to share your password with other users. If you’re a Family user, you’ll be able to share your password among six users. All business plans (MFA, Enterprise, Identity) have an unlimited number of users except for Teams, which has user count capped at 50.
Dashlane is a lot less restrictive when we look into password sharing possibilities, but limitations still exist. For example, with Dashlane, you can only share five items with other users. So you can share 1 item among five users, which depletes your five items cap. If these other users are also free, the cap counts against their cap as well, so each of these four people will have one less password to share. The only way to bypass this limit is to opt-in for Premium, which has unlimited sharing.
Although Dashlane uses an odd system for free password sharing, it allows for more flexibility than LastPass. Dashlane is just an objectively less restrictive service when compared to LastPass.
The Autofill feature is something that you’re likely to find in many web browsers. However, in most cases, these passwords are stored in plaintext format, which doesn’t scream safety. LastPass adds a layer of security, plus it’s not limited to passwords. You can use Autofill to add bank card numbers. It saves your time and adds a safer third-party alternative.
Dashlane also has this feature, and it extends to name, email address, phone number, company, which can make your registration almost instant. Dashlane is pretty smart when detecting webforms, so you should be able to breeze through your registrations when using this tool. What is particular to Dashlane is that the payment information is stored under a separate keychain.
Dashlane comes out on top with a reliable autofill option and customizations, enabling you to add visual cues when choosing a payment option. LastPass doesn’t have any dealbreakers at this point, but I found Dashlane to just be more flexible in this regard.
LastPass or Dashlane: which one offers better value for money?
Both password managers offer a very similar set of features. That is not to say that both offerings are equal. It’s one thing to compare their free versions and their features and entirely another when it comes to the paid option.
If you want a clear answer: LastPass is a better free service, while Dashlane is a better paid one. LastPass free features undercut its paid offering by locking non-essentials features that most ordinary users wouldn’t miss. Dashlane plays a smarter game by locking intriguing additions like a VPN behind a paywall. You get a better value with it for your money.
Dashlane or LastPass: Free vs. Premium plans
LastPass and Dashlane both have free versions that are generous in terms of features. When you take a closer look at their paid offerings, LastPass Premium costs $3/month, Families costs $4/month. For business users, it goes up to $3/user/month for MFA plan, $4/user/month for Teams, $6/user/month for Enterprise, and $8/user/month for Identity plan.
If you’re thinking about Premium, the question is whether paying $3 a month is worth it for features like password shared folders, advanced multi-factor authentication options, emergency access, priority tech support, autofill for applications (Windows-only), and 1 GB storage for files. It seems that their free edition undercuts their premium features, I can’t think of a scenario in which I’d use the premium version over the free one.
Dashlane paid plan starts from $4.99/month for Premium and $9.99/month for Premium Plus. Their family suite consists of two plans $7.49/month for Premium Family and $14.99/month for Premium Plus Family. Business users also can choose between $5/user/month and $8/user/month.
The main features that you unlock by paying for Dashlane include unlimited passwords, unlimited devices, dark web monitoring, and a VPN. Arguably, that’s a lot more initiative to become a paying user and only $1 higher than what LastPass was priced at.
Dashlane vs. LastPass: ease of use and set-up
As a rule of thumb, password managers are one of the least demanding cybersecurity products hardware-wise. In most cases, you could probably use them on a Smart Fridge, provided that it has a web browser included.
Ultimately, for the password manager to win in this category, it should have something either very exceptional or broken. However, LastPass and Dashlane are excellent services in this regard. In reality, you do get their different takes on their web client, but no matter which option you pick, it will work as it should.
To set up LastPass on your desktop, you’ll only need to go to their website and click the big red button that says Get LastPass. Install it, and that’s pretty much the whole deal. The apps are available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
The functionality and appearance are very similar to their web browser versions. It’s strange to see that LastPass locks out certain features on their app and reserves more functionalities for their web client. Such decisions give little initiative to install the app, apart from the ability to use it to log into applications. That aside, there aren’t many selling points. However, this feature is only available on the Windows version and won’t work on macOS or Linux.
Dashlane’s set-up couldn’t be any easier. Just go to their website and click “Download Dashlane.” You’ll be able to select an app according to your device: Windows, macOS, or Linux. The Dashlane app integrates biometric data like a fingerprint reader that can be used when authenticating your entry into the app.
Setting up LastPass on mobile is as easy as downloading the app from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. You can expect all the features of their browser client. There are a couple of excellent additions, such as the ability to use autofill in apps on iOS 12+ and Android devices. Also, it’s possible to access your password vault via Apple Watch if you’re logged in on your iPhone. Plus, on iPad Mini 4, iPad Air 2, and iPad Pro, you can use their built-in split-screen feature to conveniently paste log in data to or from your vault.
Dashlane doesn’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to their mobile apps, either. All the features that you could need are there, including autofill, a VPN, and secure notes.
The mobile version has a different spin on the desktop version’s design. Once you log in, you’ll be able to do everything you could potentially need from a password manager.
If you prefer convenience and browser extension vulnerabilities don’t phase you, LastPass offers an extension for plenty of browsers. It is somewhat broader than the typical suite – you can find the classics, like Chrome, Firefox, but there are also more unusual picks like Opera, Edge, and even Safari. Once again, there’s nothing too complicated with these installations, just download the extension and add it to your browser.
Once again, Dashlane isn’t too different from LastPass. It also offers an extension for a wide range of browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, and Safari. This will be handy in cases when installing an app is just not an option. It’s also possible to use the extension in standalone mode on the Brave browser. Standalone mode is more of a replacement to your browser keychain in the sense that it doesn’t connect to your vault and keeps only local copies of your passwords. In this sense, Dashlane offers much more versatility than LastPass.
Dashlane vs. LastPass: customer support
If you run into some problem while using LastPass, Customer Support options include the FAQ section on their website and support tickets. These are called Premium Support ticket and, sadly, they’re only available only to Premium subscribers. If you’re using LastPass as a free user, you’re out of luck, and you can only use the FAQ to solve your problems. Free users that need help are pressed to buy Premium. That isn’t the way things should work.
Dashlane stands out with live chat customer support. Besides, there is the FAQ section, email support, and an automated bot. Premium users only get priority support without cutting the access off for free users. That’s the better way to go about it. I much prefer Dashlane’s approach towards customer support. Even as a premium service, LastPass leaves much to be desired.
Neither of the two offers phone support that some users still prefer over other means of communication. If you’re one of them, consider using Zoho Vault password manager.
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Linux Android, iOS||Windows, macOS, Linux Android, iOS|
LastPass and Dashlane are direct competitors, offering a very similar set of features. However, if you look closely, Dashlane is the stronger choice, particularly when it comes to the paid version. Their edges include great customer support, a VPN feature, and more. But perhaps the main thing that separates Dashlane from LastPass is a clean track record. The vulnerabilities suffered by LastPass are significant and will be difficult to forget.
With that said, LastPass is probably the most generous free password manager out there. So if that’s what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to give it a shot! We also have an extensive LastPass review that should answer all of your questions.
If you want to learn more about the best password managers, do not hesitate and visit our best password managers top list.
Is LastPass better than Dashlane?
Both password managers are great cybersecurity products. Dashlane offers a more fleshed out paid version with more features, although it’s a bit more expensive. LastPass is a more generous free version, and their paid version is cheaper, but it has fewer features. If you haven’t decided yet, make sure to check feature comparison.
Which is better for business: Dashlane or LastPass?
LastPass offers more options for business customers than Dashlane. The latter only has a single plan, same as Premium, but with an admin console and 50 users. LastPass has Enterprise and Teams plans. The latter is for more than five users, so it’s great for small businesses, and the former is up to 50 users. LastPass also has a feature that Dashlane lacks – single sign-on capabilities.
Can Dashlane import from LastPass?
Yes. You can export the credentials you store in LastPass to Dashlane including passwords, notes, bank cards, and other data. The same applies to Dashlane, as you can export your files to import them to LastPass later. It means that you can move your data back and forth around the password managers to find the one that’s more convenient to use.
Where do Lastpass and Dashlane store my passwords?
Your LastPass vault data is stored locally on your device encrypted with AES-256 bit cipher. The servers hold a copy only of the encrypted blob. When you log in from another device, only the encrypted blog is downloaded and decrypted locally with your master password. Dashlane works identically.
Are password managers safe?
Password managers are a safer alternative to credential reusing. Plus, they usually provide autofill function, eliminating the need to type out the password, saving you time, and providing easy sharing of passwords between devices.