I have finally migrated from LastPass to Bitwarden, and I am happy about the switch. I am going to share why I switched to Bitwarden and how can you migrate all your data from LastPass to Bitwarden easily.
I am not going to review any of these password managers in detail, although I can do that since I have used both of them. I may do that but in a separate post.
Nobody likes to change password managers often because it is not a simple process. Moreover, if you have been using a software for many years, switching to new one is definitely uncomfortable for many.
I was in a similar situation when I had to switch from LastPass to Bitwarden and during this migration I also learned few things which I am going to share it with you through this post.
Before you read further, I would like to clarify a few things. I’m not being benefited by any means by writing this article. It’s not a sponsored article. I am writing this article to share my experience about the password manager that I had used so far and what made me switch from LastPass to Bitwarden. So don’t take it as a suggestion to ditch your favorite password manager and switch to a new one. If you are a LastPass user and love the tool, no offense, you can continue using it. For people who are looking to switch from LastPass to something better, this post is for you.
My Experience with LastPass
I have used LastPass for over 4 years and I absolutely loved the software. When you have many accounts, and you cannot remember those complex passwords, password managers come into help.
Although your browsers can also remember passwords, but I like to use Password Managers over the browser as I feel they are more secure than browsers. I also used the LastPass browser extension which worked well for me.
So, after few days of using the Free version of LastPass, I was impressed with this software. The premium plan was too expensive considering you had to pay every year for this software. I kept using the LastPass Free version as it had all the features that I wanted.
While at work, I also used LastPass because the organization that I worked for also preferred LastPass, and we had enterprise subscription. I used the LastPass both on my desktop and android mobile. It worked well but the auto-fill feature on mobile didn’t work for me always. Sometimes I had to manually launch the LastPass application and copy the credentials.
Why did I Migrate from LastPass to Bitwarden?
With so many good features that LastPass offered, I had to migrate to Bitwarden because of the change in the pricing plans. I felt like LastPass made a blunder by forcing users to move to Premium plans and did not even think of retaining old users.
I understand that a lot of effort, time and money goes in developing a software. Maintaining a software by fixing bugs, releasing updates involves a team, and you need to pay to get work done. What disappointed me was the way they made changes to their Free plan.
They made changes to their Free plan by limiting users to use the password manager on only a single device type (either desktops or mobile devices). I am not sure why they did that but many people were unhappy with this change.
This is what they had to say in their official announcement “We love being a part of the security routines of more than 20 million users across the world. As our community of users continues to grow, we need to adapt our offerings to keep up with the constantly evolving digital world. With that, we have some changes to our LastPass Free offering.”
Restricting users to use the software on just one device is too bad practice. In today’s world, every working professional owns a mobile and a laptop/computer, and I believe restricting to at least two devices would have been a better option.
But again they made this move without knowing the consequences and since then, not just me, but lots of people have switched from LastPass to Bitwarden. I am not assuming this, you can visit Reddit, popular forums, and you will notice how frustrated people are with this new change. Most people migrated from switched from LastPass to Bitwarden on the day the announcement was made.
In addition to the above announcement, LastPass also made the following changes to free offering.
- Email support was made available to only Premium and Family users.
- Free users will be limited to looking for help in the support center and the community forum.
After this announcement from LastPass, I decided to migrate from LastPass. I own multiple devices and I couldn’t have used the Free version anymore. Now the big challenge was if I had to do a switch, what would be the best password manager.
I started to research some of the best alternatives to LastPass and I found many good password managers. However, I had to first list down my requirements and compare it with the features that password managers offered. Let me tell you this is not an easy thing, but I had to invest some time over the weekend for this.
Features a Password Manager Should Have
Some of the features that I expect from a good Password Manager are as follows.
- Support for two-factor authentication.
- Autofill feature that should work fine on Desktop and Mobile.
- Working Browser extension for popular browsers.
- A free plan offering basic features for users.
- End-to-end AES-256 bit encryption, salted hashing, and PBKDF2 SHA-256.
- Authentication using PIN or Biometric.
- Password Generator that suggests strong passwords.
- Monitor weak password and show exposed passwords.
- Allow login on multiple devices.
You may say that most of the above features are common in every password manager, but I found is Bitwarden password manager as the best one.
I also read several reviews of users who ditched LastPass and most of them recommended Bitwarden as their choice. So, finally, I decided to migrate from LastPass to Bitwarden.
If you are in the same situation as me, I would recommend listing down your requirements from password manager and check which one fits your purpose. Don’t just switch to another password manager without knowing what it offers. Most password managers offer similar features, but ultimately, you have to pick one and use it.
Exporting Passwords from LastPass
The first step in migrating from LastPass to Bitwarden involved exporting the passwords, notes, card details and other data from LastPass. Luckily, LastPass does provide an option to export the data to a .csv file.
You can export your passwords and data from LastPass by clicking Advanced Options > Manage Your Vault > Export. When you click export, you see a notification – Success! Look for an email from LastPass to finish the export process.
The export passwords option in LastPass is a two-step process. You first need to initiate the export from the tool and an email is sent to the registered account. Sign in your email account and confirm the export.
Now you must log in back to LastPass and again initiate the export which opens a new browser window to export your vault data. Copy all the sensitive data and save it to a file with .csv extension. You can also just copy the data and directly import it in Bitwarden.
Bitwarden – Create Account
After I exported all my data from LastPass, I signed up for a new account with Bitwarden. You cannot use a social sign-in to create a new account. Use an email account and a strong password while signing up. The master password is the one that you need to access the Bitwarden vault.
Importing Data From LastPass to Bitwarden
After I created an account, my next step was to import the data from LastPass to Bitwarden. To import the data, log in to Bitwarden web vault and go Tools > Import data.
You can import data in two ways.
- Select the format of the import file and select the exported file and import it.
- Directly paste the exported data from LastPass and import it in Bitwarden.
I went with the second method, I simply pasted the exported data from LastPass and imported all my data into Bitwarden. The process is quick, and you shouldn’t encounter any errors. In case the second method doesn’t work, you can always upload the file and import the data.
Important – After you import the data from LastPass to Bitwarden, delete the exported .csv file because it contains all the details in plain text.
Install Bitwarden Password Extension
Once I imported the data from LastPass to Bitwarden, I first uninstalled the LastPass extension from my browser and installed the Bitwarden password extension. The extension is available for all the known browsers, and you can even download it on your Windows 10 computer.
Upon installing the Bitwarden extension, you need to sign in with your account and master password. The first thing that I noticed was all my passwords, card details, notes were migrated successfully.
My next task was to enable the Autofill feature. To enable the Autofill, go to Settings > Options > Autofill and check enable Auto-fill on page load. Whenever you browse a site and if you have saved the credentials for that site, the Bitwarden shows up a badge with number.
When you install Bitwarden on your mobile, the autofill behavior is different. As soon as you launch an application and tap on the username or password field, the Bitwarden shows up. So, it works fine both on desktops and mobile devices.
There are many other things that you can configure using the Bitwarden extension. For example, you can change the theme, enable two-step login, edit the credentials from the extension etc. You can match domains, servers, exact URIs, regex or even add multiple URIs to a single credential.
After a month of migrating from LastPass to Bitwarden, I was so comfortable with Bitwarden and I never encountered any issues.
Bitwarden Premium Account – Very Affordable
And using Bitwarden free account for over a month, I decided to buy the premium account and to my surprise, when I saw the pricing, and I was so happy. The premium account was just $1/month and if you buy it for a year, it’s only $10.
Whereas the LastPass pricing is $3/month or $36 for a year. Simple Math – $26 saved. Regardless of pricing, you get almost all the features of LastPass premium with Bitwarden premium account. Moreover, Bitwarden premium is affordable, and you can also add extra credits to your account and use it to renew the account later.
Buying Premium account is your personal choice but believe me it is worth buying it. With Premium account, you get the access to following features.
- Bitwarden Authenticator (TOTP)
- Emergency Access
- Encrypted File Attachments (1GB)
- One-to-One Text and File Sharing
- Two-step Login with YubiKey, U2F, Duo
- Vault Health Reports
If you are not going to require any of those premium features, you can still be with a basic free account.
Deleting LastPass Account
After I migrated from LastPass to Bitwarden, my LastPass account was still existing and all my data was with LastPass. So, I decided to delete my LastPass account and never return to LastPass again.
Before you delete the LastPass account, I would recommend testing your new password manager thoroughly. If it doesn’t work, you can always switch back to LastPass. You will know the right time to switch once you are familiar with your new password manager and only then delete the account.
For example, it took me over a month to get used to Bitwarden. I was satisfied, and I did not encounter any issues with Bitwarden. Hence, I decided to delete my LastPass account. Anyway here is how you can delete your LastPass account.
Caution: Deleting the account is permanent and irreversible. Deleting your LastPass account deletes all of your data, including sites, Secure Notes, and Form Fills. Everything you had in LastPass will be gone.
Go to LastPass account deletion page and under Delete your account, click Delete. Click Yes when promoted. To delete the LastPass account, you must know your master password which I assume you will.
On the final screen of LastPass account deletion, you can export data. Since we have already exported the data out of LastPass to Bitwarden, enter the master password. You may select a reason for account deletion which is optional. Click Delete. You will get two prompts asking, do you want to delete your LastPass account? Click Yes for both.
After you delete your LastPass account, you will see a confirmation message. Your LastPass account has been permanently deleted and all of your data has been purged from our systems. That’s it, and you don’t need to worry about LastPass anymore.
Bitwarden Password Generator
Another useful tool that I can recommend is Password Generator. Bitwarden has a built-in password generator that can generate complex passwords for you. Using simple password is not secure and hackers can easily gain access to your accounts. So, always use complex passwords and to generate complex passwords, use the Generator.
You can generate complex passwords using the Bitwarden browser extension and from Web vault. You can set the password length, minimum numbers, minimum special char.
I could have covered other features that Bitwarden offers, but this post is about LastPass to Bitwarden migration. So, I will restrict my post to that. I hope I have given enough information about why I migrated from LastPass to Bitwarden. I hope this post helps.