LastPass is one of the largest password managers in the market with over 20 million users globally. They operate on a freemium model, the idea being the business/pro users who pay for the service cover the ongoing feature development of the product. Beyond passwords, LastPass also offers encrypted storage for things like credit card information, bank accounts, and other notes.
In March, they made a big change to their free tier that substantially limits the usefulness of their free product. Free users will only able to use the product on one “device type,” either computers or mobile devices. Here is LastPass’s explanation of how this will work:
Jamie is a Free user with Computers as their active device type. They can use LastPass on her laptop, desktop and their dad’s laptop (anyone’s computer!), but they can’t use LastPass on their phone, tablet, or smart watch unless they upgrade to LastPass Premium, which has unlimited device type access.
Alex is a Free user with Mobile Devices as their active device type. They can use LastPass on his iPhone, Android work phone, tablet, and smart watch, but they can’t use LastPass on their desktop or laptop unless they upgrade to LastPass Premium, which has unlimited device type access.
As expected, free users were not happy with this change, and I can understand why. LastPass has spent over a decade building trust with consumers to show they can rely on LastPass to be there for them and trust them with their security. It doesn’t get much more vulnerable than trusting them with all of your passwords. So such a drastic change so quickly (they only gave a 1–2 month notice) really undermines that trust. It is pretty common for companies with freemium products to change the features in their free tier, but a change as substantial as this is worth questioning if LastPass has customer’s best interests at heart.
They positioned this change as necessary to “keep up with the constantly evolving digital world.” At this time though, they haven’t said they’re adding anything to the platform, only taking this feature away. In a survey by Android Authority, out of 7,500 respondents, 85% said they would move to a competitor or no longer use a password management service.
How to Get Around LastPass Device Type Limit
The good news is, at least for the moment, there is a workaround to LastPass’s device limit for mobile devices. I’ve only verified this workaround on an iPhone, but I imagine it’s doable on Android devices as well.
I had the best results in the Opera browser, but any browser should work. For Safari, the instructions are as follows:
Step 1: First, make sure your LastPass is set to “Computer” as the device type.
Step 2: Once your account is set to “Computer” as the device type, log in through your browser on your phone.
Step 3: In the upper left-hand corner on Safari, you will want to tap the “ᴀA” to show the adjustment panel and select “Request Desktop Website.”
Step 4: Finally, enter your credentials and log in!
It’s not pretty, but it doesn’t count against your device type limit. You have easy access to the search bar, to help navigate to what you’re looking for. All browsers on iPhones are based on Safari, so they should all have some form of the Request Desktop Website feature.
I had the best results in Opera, which zoomed out the page to show the full desktop site.
Enjoy this little workaround to get unlimited device types on LastPass’s free plan while it lasts.
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