1Password's subs doubled when LastPass nerfed its free tier and that's weird

LastPass on web
LastPass on web (Image credit: iMore)

When LastPass nerfed its free tier last month there was plenty of wincing among its users. The removal of features from the free LastPass offering meant that some could no longer is the way they previously had. And, it seems, people upped sticks and went elsewhere.

The removal of email support and the limiting of devices for LastPass users who didn't pay meant that they needed to switch to either LastPass Premium or LastPass Families. The changes begin to kick in next week.

We're making changes to how Free users access LastPass across device types. LastPass offers access across two device types – computers (including all browsers running on desktops and laptops) or mobile devices (including mobile phones, smart watches, and tablets). Starting March 16th, 2021, LastPass Free will only include access on unlimited devices of one type.

The announcement was made on February 16. What happened afterward? According to the folks at 1Password, people jumped ship, At least, the numbers suggest that they did. CEO Jeff Shiner says the company saw its paid family account signups double after the LastPass news broke.

We've seen increased customer interest, with signups for 1Password paid family accounts doubling when LastPass restricted their free tier.It never made sense for 1Password to deliver industry-leading security that works across desktop and mobile for no cost. Our customers have always appreciated that we're up front with our billing and stick to it. That trust has been essential to continue delivering new and innovative features to keep our customers safe online.

1Password on Mac

1Password on Mac (Image credit: iMore)

What's particularly interesting about that is the fact LastPass Families has never been free. It's priced at $4 per month when billed annually. 1Password Families runs $4.99 per month. So why did people move to 1Password?

Or, in fact, did they move at all? It's possible that 1Password has data on the number of people who imported password data from LastPass to back this up, but that isn't what Shiner's statement says. But assuming there is a link, I'd be very curious to know why people moved to 1Password when they could have just upgraded a free account without dealing with the hassle of moving apps and syncing services.

Did people simply want to stick it to LastPass for the perceived slight of losing free access to their password manager? That wouldn't be a huge surprise based on the vitriol LastPass suffered when it made its announcement last month. But whatever the reason, 1Password won't care. Picking up new customers without having to spend a cent on acquisition is the kind of thing business dreams are made of.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.