In the past, we’ve relied upon notebooks, scraps of paper, and even old receipts to store our passwords. Nowadays, these unreliable methods have been replaced by feature-rich apps that automatically save our credentials and create complex passwords that are impossible to predict.
iCloud Keychain and LastPass are two of them. The former is an iOS system built-in tool and highly convenient for Apple users. The latter is a third-party password manager that automatically categorizes apps and websites, keeping credentials organized and accessible. Both are safe and can be used for free, but each has unique characteristics that are worth considering when deciding which to use.
|Device Support||macOS, iOS, Windows (limited)||Browser, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux|
First and foremost, iCloud Keychain’s main attraction is that it doesn’t require you to download a separate app. After being activated in the settings of an Apple device, it saves website and app login credentials, Wi-Fi passwords, personal information, and credit card details.
When users register any kind of new account, iCloud Keychain suggests complex passwords and autofills them whenever required, saving both your time and energy. The icing on the cake is that it instantly syncs these credentials across all devices, so if you change or create a password on your iPhone, you can automatically access it from your iPad or MacBook.
As well as convenience, iCloud Keychain also prioritizes security, as it protects users’ data with end-to-end encryption. It also alerts them when passwords have appeared in data leaks and need to be changed.
For a free service, it offers a considerable amount, but it is limited to Apple users. However, it can be used on Windows devices from a dedicated app or as an extension for Chrome and Edge browsers. This is a restricted version of the software, as only website login information is stored, but it’s still a useful alternative for people who have both Windows and Apple products and don’t want to install a separate password manager.
Like iCloud Keychain, LastPass suggests strong passwords, stores them (along with all sorts of other data and credentials), and autofills them. However, LastPass’s vault is more focused on keeping credentials organized, as it automatically divides them according to which category they belong to, such as social media, streaming, shopping, and others. Users can also look for information using the search box or the alphabetically organized list.
Additionally, it has a sharing center through which users can securely send passwords and notes to trusted people. On top of all this, LastPass supports 12 different two-factor authentication options, including its own dedicated authenticator app for mobile devices.
Moreover, this third-party password manager instantly syncs information across all devices, regardless of their operating system. However, with the free version, users can only access it on one device type, meaning they must choose between using it on desktop or mobile devices.
Regarding security, all data stored in LastPass is protected with military-grade AES-256 encryption. Like iCloud Keychain, it monitors passwords to warn users of possible data breaches, but its password evaluation tool also offers an extra resource that shows password strength and duplicates.
As mentioned previously, iCloud Keychain and LastPass are equally reliable and secure. Even so, some details about them may be crucial for users to decide which one suits their needs. Both perform well in creating complex passwords, autofilling them, and monitoring them for data leaks.
For its ease of use and convenience, those invested in Apple’s ecosystem may get everything they need from iCloud Keychain. On the other hand, with its vault organized in categories and the advantage of password sharing, LastPass is a satisfying alternative for those who use Windows, Android, and other operating systems. Whichever you choose, you’ll never have to use an old (and unsafe) notebook to store your passwords again.
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