Want to avoid LastPass price rise? Dropbox makes its password manager free …with a catch


For those who missed the news, LastPass has made a significant change to its free tier that makes the popular password manager much less useful …unless you’re willing to cough up for a monthly paid plan. Starting March 16, LastPass forced all users on the free plan to choose between accessing their saved passwords on mobile devices on desktops. Only paid plans can access both. In other words, if you’ve generated unique über-strong passwords with LastPass, you can no longer autofill them and login on your smartphone and PC …you’re going to have to manually type out every number, symbol and letter on one of these devices. 

LastPass users have reacted pretty badly to the news, which also removes the ability for free subscribers to contact customer support over email. And now it seems Dropbox wants to take advantage of the fallout to promote its own password manager. For the first time, the cloud-storage option is making a free version of its password manager available to users from next month.

“In early April we’re rolling out Dropbox Passwords to all Dropbox users. Now, with a free Dropbox Basic plan, you can try a limited version of Passwords,” the company announced in a blog post.

If you’re wondering just how “limited” these free accounts will be …well, congratulations – you’ve spotted the catch! Those who don’t subscribe to one of Dropbox’s paid monthly plans will be limited to storing 50 username-password combinations within the app. However, these will be wirelessly synced between three devices of your choice. So, if you change a password on your smartphone, that will be reflected immediately on your PC or tablet.

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Keen to not make the same misstep as LastPass, Dropbox even goes out of its way to say users will be able to “access” the password list from “anywhere”.

Password managers are designed to create unique, randomly generated passwords for each of your online accounts. You only need to remember a single password to login to your vault of passwords, with the application doing all the rest of the work – including filling in your login credentials on websites and within apps. Many password managers allow users to login using biometric sensors, like fingerprint and facial scanners, too, which means there is even less to remember.

Some password managers will proactively lookout for breaches to websites you use – so you’re alerted to change your login as quickly as possible. And since you use a unique password for every account, even if your login details are leaked online there’s no risk to your other online accounts.

For those who want to store more than 50 account details within Dropbox, you’ll need to pay £7.99 a month for Dropbox Plus. As well as unlimited passwords, this also includes 2TB of cloud storage for your smartphone and laptop back-ups, file transfers of up to 2TB, as well as the ability to remotely wipe lost or stolen devices – while ensuring everything remains backed-up in the cloud via Dropbox.

For comparison, LastPass Premium costs £2.60 a month for access across all devices, 1GB of cloud storage for files, dark web monitoring for stolen passwords, as well as the ability to share a password with friends and family from the app.

Other popular password managers include Bitwarden, which is available across multiple device platforms and is completely free. Apple offers its iCloud Keychain for free to iPhone, iPad and Mac users, however, there is no ability to monitor the dark web for hacked details or share logins temporarily with friends or family.

Another great option is 1Password, which doesn’t offer a free plan, but is one of the most reliable when it comes to filling-in logins on macOS, iOS, Chrome OS and other platforms hassle-free.

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