LastPass vs Keychain: a reader asks…
I have a MacBook, an iPad and an iPhone. I use Apple’s Keychain to remember my passwords, and it works across all the devices. Is there any reason I should need to use LastPass?
The fact that all the devices you use are Apple means that the Apple Keychain password manager can do almost as good a job as a true password manager like LastPass. The upside is that when you use Safari or iCloud-connected services, your keychain will deal with the password. Keychain’s downside is when you use apps on your iOS devices, which can’t tie into the keychain (per Apple’s rules). So for apps that require a login, you’ll still have to do a lookup and either manually type in a password or copy and paste. To access your Apple keychain’s list of passwords and remembered credit cards:
On your Mac:
- Open Finder to Applications > Utilities > Keychain Access.
- use the search box to find the entry for the webstie you want, and click to open it
- Click the checkbox to show the password. You can then copy it and paste it into a password field in your web browser or other app.
- Tap Settings > Safari > Passwords and either use your fingerprint or passcode
- Use the search bar to find the entry for the website you want and tap on it
- Read the password listed. You can tap-and-hold on it to copy it, then go to Safari, tap-and-hold in the password field and tap Paste to put the password into the field.
Keychain is great for remembering those passwords and credit cards, but not so great for other types of information you want remembered for you. LastPass has secure notes with a bunch of different templates for different information types, and you can even create a custom information type if you don’t find one that fits.
I’d say if your needs are limited to website passwords (used in Safari) and credit cards (also used in Safari), then the Apple Keychain is perfectly acceptable to use instead of LastPass. It’s also debatable how complicated it is to look up and copy a password for either, I think LastPass has the edge in iOS for non-browser apps, just run the app (it’s fingerprint-enabled for login), tap a few letters of the website URL or account you want, tap on the entry and tap Copy password. Then paste that into the field of an app. For Safari logins, keychain has the edge since it will fill in the password for you without any action other than visiting the URL. On your desktop it’s nearly the same.