Is a password manager worth your money?

There’s been a lot of talk this past week about LassPass and their changes to their free tier of services, specifically to limitations they’re placing on what you can access where for free. As usual we’ve seen the normal backlash of the press, “Free alternatives to…” and “XYZ company leaves free users behind…” etc. I’ve been consistent on my stance around free service offers from companies, what they are truly for, and what our expectations should be as users so I won’t revisit that thinking but I will stress one key point.

If there is any service or application you are going to pay for to ensure it survives, thrives, and is stable and secure, your password manager should be it. I’m not specifically saying LastPass, even though that’s the one I use, but whatever your choice is a free password manager with no method of supporting it’s continuing existence seems too risky to me. At that point you should just keep a paper notebook hidden with your passwords.

I can appreciate the frustration of users who have gotten comfortable with a free set of services only to have them pulled away behind a paywall. Companies need to be careful of this process because while it may generate revenue it can generate as much ill will and negative perception.

Until passwords go the way of the dodo you need to keep them protected, safe, and accessible. Whether you use a paid, free, or homegrown password manager, use something to keep these most valuable keys protected. Personally I feel paying a small amount to a company gives me the right to demand better services and improvements, something being a free user does not.

What do you think?

Should You Pay for a Password Manager?