LastPass Family to BitWarden Family just not workable

I know this has been posted a bunch of times in various ways, but I also wanted to add my voice to the discussion as a long term LastPass Families user who would love an alternative. I tried the product for about 2 weeks. So you can stop thinking about roasting someone that just registered. j/k

Lately I’ve tried 1Password and BitWarden both each (including their premium offers) to see if I can move out of LastPass. I won’t discuss 1Password here, as that’s not relevant, but needless to say I found their overall offering kinda a mess as they have too many features that only work in one place or the other. In no case was I shopping on price, as frankly they are all about the same and I have no issue paying for the products I use as long as the prices are reasonble ($50 and under I find to be reasonble in my case).

So I used BitWarden for myself for a week with my entire vault imported and overall it was generally okay. I don’t mind the interface for the most part and found everything to work fairly speedily and there is a LOT to like. My biggest single user ‘complaints’ are:

  • the super aggressive log out. I’m at home, on computers I use, and LastPass gives the option to not as again for up to 30 days. Sure I can set it for some varying lengths, but it goes from on browser restart to never. Seems like their might be a more in between (and hide never or make it hard to get to ;))
  • If they aren’t folders, then don’t call them folders. If they act like Tags, then call them that. People understand the difference, and BW folders don’t SEEM to be folders nor act like ones. But I didn’t realize this until I couldn’t get Families/Organizations to work easily for me (more below).
  • I miss some of the ‘types’ in other password managers, though some of them are combined together in one area (like passport is on your Identity card for instance), but that also severely limits storing ‘all my important stuff’ in one place. Sure my DL and Passport are things on my profile, but in reality they are also distinct document with specific forms and functions ‘related’ to me. The other managers seems to be a little better in this area.
  • super surpriesed that there is not a backup key, etc. that’s made a account creation to print, store someplace else, etc. in case you forget your password.

But then I got to Families, and this is where things really hit a wall.

I support a mixed family in ages and IT tech. I WORK in the IT industry, so I consider myself pretty savvy, my wife is tech literate but sometimes get confused by complicated things, my 14YO born digital daugther, and my 75 YO father who I convinced to at least get his passwords into LastPass so he can get to them from his phone and loose the paper he was carrying around. Trying to explain autofill to him is just beyond comprehension.

I’m going to use LastPass as the point of comparision here, as other have, as it’s not perfect but even to me it makes more logical sense.

  • While the online documentation and videos for the basic addon on are FANTASTIC, there are NONE tailored to Families. You get lumped in the organizational one and that area is lacking in comparison. - - Especially for ‘non’ technical users looking for a ‘step up’ model to share some stuff. It shouldn’t act as different as it does, but it’s a pretty steep learning curve, especially when collection stuff starts getting ‘copied back’ into my own vault but it shows.
  • So why have folders and collections? Why can’t they just be the same thing that for a family the folder can be ‘shared’ and it can be ‘shared’ with either all or other specific users?
  • LastPass exports EVERYTHING in my vault, including shared credentials in shared folders. Getting those into collections either requires manually creating a collection for each folder, then manually sharing each of the items from my folder to the collection (thank god that part has a select all and share). Or I can go through and delete all the shared ones, import the whole file again into the organization (which automatically creates the folders as individual collections), and then I have to delete all the ones only I care about from the organization. All that’s tedious.
  • Then comes the major UI confusion… copies of everything are there ‘twice’ because they are still seen as ‘folders’ (i.e. tags) and they are also seen as ‘collections’…
  • If I want to create a new login for the new online hotness there is also friction in the UI because of this duality of folders and collections. I have to realize/remember I want to create it shared, I have to change the ‘ownership’??, and when I select my organization THEN I can add it to a collection. That’s too complicated. Should just be able to say where I want it in one UI place. Click, fill, select ‘folder’, boom, done.

My wife nor my father would NEVER understand any of this honestly. They just wouldn’t, and I think it’s needlessly complicated for something billed to moms and dads as a family plan. There is no family specific UI, no family specific training materials, and the whole folder vs collection and the intersection of the 2 is frankly just too complicated for most households.

I’d suggest that there needs to be an inbetween step where if you are a family user, than the tags in the UI change and the structures become somewhat more streamlined and fixed. It can still be the ‘enterprise’ setup in the background, but as it is it’s just too complicated.

For the moment, I’m sticking with LastPass Families.

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I hav no experience or any intention to change it with the Family options. I just say that folders in Bitwarden are folders and in no way like tags. An item can only reside in one folder at the same time. Which is the case with Bitwarden.