LastPass fans, sit down. We have something to tell you: LogMeIn has purchased LastPass. The former gets you into your computer from remote connections. The latter helps generate and store secure passwords for easy logins at your favorite sites and services.
The deal went down for more than $115 million, and people aren’t happy about it. The horde of comments on the LastPass blog post about the deal seem to be unanimous in one conclusion: this has too much potential to turn sour.
Most of the complaints come from those who have observed LogMeIn’s licensing practices in the past. The company notoriously switched to a subscription-based model, and effectively hiked the price of their service up by a large amount in the process.
LogMeIn Central — the remote management and access solution for small businesses — was the biggest recipient of such a hike. The entry-level plan for that service received an increase from $250 to $500 annually in the past year alone, and the customers on higher tiers got it even worse. Some saw their bills go from $500 to more than $1,500. The sad thing is there were several price hikes which took place before then, as well.
The consumer-focused version of their product — LogMeIn Pro — has been a little more reasonable at $99 per year, but the company did eventually get rid of a limited free version to force folks to pay up.
LastPass isn’t above premium subscriptions themselves, though theirs are much easier to swallow in comparison (particularly because the service itself is smaller in scope). You can get a full year for $12, and a 10-year subscription costs just $120.
With those insane deals, we understand why folks are worried about the influence LogMeIn might have on LastPass. LastPass swears their business model won’t change, with the company’s CEO chiming in with an update to quiet the riots:
Thank you for all the support we have received in response to our exciting news today. To address the concerns that some in our community have raised, I want to personally assure you that this is good news for our users. First of all, we (LogMeIn/LastPass) have no plans to change our existing business model.
Secondly, this acquisition provides us with access to resources that will enable us to innovate faster, as we continue to strive to deliver an even better product than the one you have come to know and love. It is also important to note that the current LastPass team is staying in place and remains committed to deliver on the promise of privacy, security and convenience that has been our mission since day one. I appreciate and am proud of the passion of our community, and we will continue to work hard to maintain your deep loyalty.
But we all know intentions and promises mean little when it comes to business. LogMeIn still has their history, and they still have a controlling say in LastPass’s future.
So where to go from here? For many, it might be fine to stay on board in the here and now. Nothing has changed yet, and if something does eventually change it shouldn’t be too hard to take whatever action you feel. But for those who feel like they need to leave now, we hear 1Password is a fine alternative, so be sure to check that out if you’re looking for a new home for your passwords.