LastPass is making a big bet that it can finally change your bad password habits

LogMeIn is spinning LastPass into its own company, but not lowering prices anytime soon.

LastPass logo

LastPass boasts more than 30 million users and 85,000 businesses.

Image: LastPass

Despite our many attempts to organize unique and memorable passwords, many of us are still using the same thinly-veiled dictionary words for all of our accounts. You’re welcome, hackers. Who knew a little string of letters and numbers could be so hard to manage? In 2020, nearly half of all Americans said they would not use a password manager. Reducing our reliance on homegrown passwords is going to require a lot of work. LogMeIn decided spinning off LastPass, its freemium password manager, into its own company is the best way to do this. And the best way to earn more users.

“The password problem has actually gotten worse through the pandemic because more people are online than ever,” LogMeIn CEO Bill Wagner told Protocol. “We need to make investments that increase the pace of innovation.”

LogMeIn, a SaaS tools company, has too many products to list. Creating a dedicated, standalone LastPass company will help drive focus, Wagner said. LogMeIn announced the news Tuesday, and plans to begin the separation process in earnest in January. It hopes to announce a new CEO in the first quarter and build out the workforce throughout the year. Wagner can’t talk specifics for competitive reasons, but promised “noticeable new features.” Some focus areas include stronger customer service, more integrations for businesses and better tech all around (it plans to double the number of engineers next year).

Launched in 2008, LastPass is popular, frequently at the top of “best password manager” lists. The tool boasts more than 30 million individual users and 85,000 businesses. But the company has received flack for limiting its free users to one device in March, and for hiking the premium plan’s price with little warning two years in a row. The complaints were reminiscent of those leveled at LogMeIn back in 2015 after its $125 million acquisition of LastPass. Wagner said separating LastPass has nothing to do with this initial backlash. “I would not say it was designed to separate from the LogMeIn name,” he said. “I think it was more about giving LastPass the chance to focus and be an independent market leader.”

Referencing the February frustrations, Wagner said LastPass’ customers aren’t afraid to relay their feedback, and that customer reviews have since improved. “Some of the features that our free users wanted are our premium features, or they wanted features that we didn’t yet offer and needed to invest in to deliver,” Wagner said. “Our feedback was that they were willing to pay for it.” LastPass premium features include dark web monitoring, emergency account access options and a security dashboard monitoring weak passwords.

Wagner acknowledged that some free users left the service, though millions remain. The number of people who converted to premium surpassed the company’s expectations. “Those customers were telling us they want more functionality; we want to make more investments to give them functionality,” he said.

There are no plans to change pricing as of now. Wagner said he doesn’t see pricing as a “real leverage” as the password manager market is competitive enough to keep services around the same price point. Most password managers hover around $3 per month for a personal plan and $5 per month for a family plan, according to Investopedia.

LastPass has a double-barrel focus on the enterprise and consumers. Most of its users are individuals, but most of its revenue comes from large companies. “If you don't have a great user experience, then those users don't bring you into the company,” Wagner said. He hopes pivoting LastPass into its own company will allow a greater focus on each.

As for eliminating the password? Wagner said people still confess to him that they use the same password for everything (tip: Don’t tell people that, folks). The number one priority is getting people and companies to break their habits, even if they hate LastPass with a passion. “LastPass is great, I believe in it, I love it,” Wagner said. “But the most important thing is to use a password manager.”


Why foundation models in AI need to be released responsibly

Foundation models like GPT-3 and DALL-E are changing AI forever. We urgently need to develop community norms that guarantee research access and help guide the future of AI responsibly.

Releasing new foundation models doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition.

Illustration: sorbetto/DigitalVision Vectors

Percy Liang is director of the Center for Research on Foundation Models, a faculty affiliate at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI and an associate professor of Computer Science at Stanford University.

Humans are not very good at forecasting the future, especially when it comes to technology.

Keep Reading Show less
Percy Liang
Percy Liang is Director of the Center for Research on Foundation Models, a Faculty Affiliate at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI, and an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University.

Every day, millions of us press the “order” button on our favorite coffee store's mobile application: Our chosen brew will be on the counter when we arrive. It’s a personalized, seamless experience that we have all come to expect. What we don’t know is what’s happening behind the scenes. The mobile application is sourcing data from a database that stores information about each customer and what their favorite coffee drinks are. It is also leveraging event-streaming data in real time to ensure the ingredients for your personal coffee are in supply at your local store.

Applications like this power our daily lives, and if they can’t access massive amounts of data stored in a database as well as stream data “in motion” instantaneously, you — and millions of customers — won’t have these in-the-moment experiences.

Keep Reading Show less
Jennifer Goforth Gregory
Jennifer Goforth Gregory has worked in the B2B technology industry for over 20 years. As a freelance writer she writes for top technology brands, including IBM, HPE, Adobe, AT&T, Verizon, Epson, Oracle, Intel and Square. She specializes in a wide range of technology, such as AI, IoT, cloud, cybersecurity, and CX. Jennifer also wrote a bestselling book The Freelance Content Marketing Writer to help other writers launch a high earning freelance business.

The West’s drought could bring about a data center reckoning

When it comes to water use, data centers are the tech industry’s secret water hogs — and they could soon come under increased scrutiny.

Lake Mead, North America's largest artificial reservoir, has dropped to about 1,052 feet above sea level, the lowest it's been since being filled in 1937.

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The West is parched, and getting more so by the day. Lake Mead — the country’s largest reservoir — is nearing “dead pool” levels, meaning it may soon be too low to flow downstream. The entirety of the Four Corners plus California is mired in megadrought.

Amid this desiccation, hundreds of the country’s data centers use vast amounts of water to hum along. Dozens cluster around major metro centers, including those with mandatory or voluntary water restrictions in place to curtail residential and agricultural use.

Keep Reading Show less
Lisa Martine Jenkins

Lisa Martine Jenkins is a senior reporter at Protocol covering climate. Lisa previously wrote for Morning Consult, Chemical Watch and the Associated Press. Lisa is currently based in Brooklyn, and is originally from the Bay Area. Find her on Twitter ( @l_m_j_) or reach out via email (


Indeed is hiring 4,000 workers despite industry layoffs

Indeed’s new CPO, Priscilla Koranteng, spoke to Protocol about her first 100 days in the role and the changing nature of HR.

"[Y]ou are serving the people. And everything that's happening around us in the world is … impacting their professional lives."

Image: Protocol

Priscilla Koranteng's plans are ambitious. Koranteng, who was appointed chief people officer of Indeed in June, has already enhanced the company’s abortion travel policies and reinforced its goal to hire 4,000 people in 2022.

She’s joined the HR tech company in a time when many other tech companies are enacting layoffs and cutbacks, but said she sees this precarious time as an opportunity for growth companies to really get ahead. Koranteng, who comes from an HR and diversity VP role at Kellogg, is working on embedding her hybrid set of expertise in her new role at Indeed.

Keep Reading Show less
Amber Burton

Amber Burton (@amberbburton) is a reporter at Protocol. Previously, she covered personal finance and diversity in business at The Wall Street Journal. She earned an M.S. in Strategic Communications from Columbia University and B.A. in English and Journalism from Wake Forest University. She lives in North Carolina.


New Jersey could become an ocean energy hub

A first-in-the-nation bill would support wave and tidal energy as a way to meet the Garden State's climate goals.

Technological challenges mean wave and tidal power remain generally more expensive than their other renewable counterparts. But government support could help spur more innovation that brings down cost.

Photo: Jeremy Bishop via Unsplash

Move over, solar and wind. There’s a new kid on the renewable energy block: waves and tides.

Harnessing the ocean’s power is still in its early stages, but the industry is poised for a big legislative boost, with the potential for real investment down the line.

Keep Reading Show less
Lisa Martine Jenkins

Lisa Martine Jenkins is a senior reporter at Protocol covering climate. Lisa previously wrote for Morning Consult, Chemical Watch and the Associated Press. Lisa is currently based in Brooklyn, and is originally from the Bay Area. Find her on Twitter ( @l_m_j_) or reach out via email (

Latest Stories