It’s official: I’m a 1Password user

By , Oct 21, 2016

1Password Header Image

For the last several years, I’ve battled with a password problem. It seemed like every new service I used wanted me to create an account, which involved making a new username and a strong password. Making matters worse, some services want you to make difficult passwords you can’t even remember, containing capital letters, numbers, and special characters.

The problem reveals itself the most whenever I get a new phone, like the iPhone 7 Plus I recently purchased. When I go to set it up, I download all the apps I typically use on my device. Afterwards comes the hard part: trying to remember the credentials to log into all of them.

Literally every single time I have to try and remember all my logins, I end up having to reset at least five of my passwords because I can’t remember them. It goes without saying that I get annoyed by this easily. To help combat the problem with memory, I did what everyone said not to do for years; I used the same passwords for multiple things, and that was a bad idea.

Making a U-turn in security

Eventually, my anxiety got the best of me. After hearing about the recent Yahoo! hack, I wanted to do something about the security of my online accounts. Multiple recommendations later from my colleague Sebastien, I finally caved in and became a 1Password user.

Is it a new app? Heck no; not at all. It’s actually a pretty old app. Nevertheless, I never used it until last month and now I can’t imagine an online life without it.

1Password is a password manager made by AgileBits, and it has a solid reputation for keeping all your personal information safe in one secure vault. All you have to do is set up a master password and keep your security key safe, which gives you access to all your account logins, secure notes, bank information, and anything else you want to store.

Over the years, it has implemented all kinds of new security features, and nowadays, its secure encryption is stronger than ever.

The service is universal. You can download it on your Mac and you can download it on your iOS devices. Your master password is used across all of your devices to access your stored data, but if you have a Touch ID-enabled iPhone or iPad, you can use that instead to authenticate yourself.

1Password iOS

The app is capable of auto-filling your login data for saved websites on your Mac with just a click, and some third-party iOS apps even support the 1Password login extension, but finding these are few and far in between.

On the Mac, you can download the plugin for the web browser you’re using. This adds an icon for 1Password in the toolbar so you can access your logins. When you visit a page you want to log into, just click on the icon, then click on the account that appears in the drop-down list, and this will automatically fill your login information for you:

1Password Firefox Login Extension

The app also puts an icon in your Menu Bar, which lets you view your stored information and generate new passwords for your services:

1Password Password Generator

The password generator is probably one of my favorite features because you can generate complete gibberish passwords out of symbols, numbers, letters, and more. You won’t be able to remember them, but thanks to 1Password, you won’t have to. The kinds of passwords you can generate with this can be incredibly strong and difficult for hackers to crack.

What’s more is every time you update a password on a saved website, the browser plugin is smart enough to notice and will ask if you want to update the login information for future use. This feature makes it really easy to change your password for any website on the fly and immediately start using your new password across your synced devices.

So what?

Now this is hardly a review, but I’m just hoping I can persuade more of you to consider using a password manager for your security needs. It took me forever to liken to an app like this because I never trusted any services with my personal data, but after trying it, I see now that there are secure options involved to keep your data out of others’ reach.

In all honesty, this isn’t a sponsored post; it’s just becoming more dangerous out there and I would like to see more of my readers safer rather than sorry later on. I feel that this is an effective way to help defend your private information.

As hacking becomes more prevalent in the modern digital age, having the strongest passwords possible is the most effective way to protect your online accounts from being compromised. Your most sensitive information is protected by just one password, and it’s the only one you’ll ever need to remember.

1Password is a great choice, but it’s worth noting there are several other password manager alternatives out there. 1Password isn’t the cheapest, but it’s definitely one of the best you can choose from, and since an app like this deals directly with your passwords, I didn’t see a reason to cheap out when I made my choice.

A 30-day free trial is available for 1Password so you can see if it’s for you before you buy it, but if you’re serious about your security, I think you’ll probably warm up to the idea if you haven’t already. You can subscribe to 1Password for as little as $3 per month or you can get the app from the Mac App Store for a one time fee of $64.99.

If you choose the subscription service, which I’d recommend because this way it works across all your platforms at no additional cost, it’ll let you download the Mac app accordingly and then you can download the app on your iPhone or iPad for free from the App Store.

Do you use a password manager to keep your online information secure? Share in the comments!

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  • Stetch

    Been using 1Password for a few years now. Love it! That with a combination of 16-23 digit passwords. Each different for every site. But makes so much sense for me that I cant forget them even if I wanted :p

  • Jack Wong

    Safari still has a smarter and better password suggestion, like some website doesn’t allow special character or character length limited, 1Password can’t come up a password that can match those limitations, but Safari could do that.

    By the way, I have been using 1Password for years, I have around 400 logins saved across my Apple devices with iCloud.

    • Charles

      1password can’t create those passwords? The options are right there on the main screen that generates the password. Special characters, length, all there. You don’t even have to switch to another tab or bring up options. There is no way you’ve been using it for years.

      • Jack Wong

        For 1Password, you have to change those settings manually.

        But Safari could read those limitations without you changing the settings.

        Moreover, yes I have been using 1Password and still using 1Password, but for the password generation, I will leave that to Safari because different website has different limitations and Safari could read those limitations automatically.

    • Have you owned 1Password for years or used it for years? Because the second you click generate password you get all sorts of options.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e90c586f82583ef9d1662f0c07d16fbd24a3c89099c5630155c8ebc30973b045.png

      length. special characters, numbers… it’s all there. You can even have it use words with lots of other configurations. Which is awesome because where else would you get a password like this?

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2192c089f5b3aaedd850e3c3f2d1ec458c08ebee0ea29b8427780db928298c3b.png

      • Jack Wong

        I have been using it and still using it.

        There is some website has less than 8-10 characters limitation, Safari could read and avoid those limitations since few months ago.

        For 1Password, you have to change the password generator setting manually.

      • Fair enough. I had issues with Safari getting the wrong username and password on sites like gmail where I have multiple logins so I guess it’s just a matter of which problem you notice more often 🙂

        Also, in the off chance my computer is stolen I feel like the safari passwords are a bit more insecure since they automatically fill themselves in and it’s not difficult to reveal what those passwords are.

      • Jack Wong

        You can also see my screenshots for Charles, so you get a better idea of what I am saying.

        Safar – 2 clicks

        1Password, yes it works but I prefer 2 clicks.

      • Jack Wong

        It seems like my screenshot links from lightshot is not getting approve… -.-;

  • Fredl

    I don’t know why I should use a third party app, when apple has iCloud Keychain build into any device.

    • therealjjohnson

      Yep. And this will mostly be useful on either your iPhone or MacBook/iMac which has safari anyway.

    • techfreak23

      iCloud Keychain actually works pretty nicely. I’ve been using it since they came out with the feature.

      • Andrieux Querido

        I use both. 5 stars

    • Patrick Kormann

      But it isn’t as handy if you have to login to sites using different accounts. Also it often shows the wrong credentials for a certain site.

    • Casey H.

      The best thing about 1Password is how many things you can store and retrieve at a moments notice. I have my credit cards stored, server credentials, wifi networks I’ve set up, and secure notes, etc. It’s a lot more than just a password manager. It can also audit your passwords to show you which sites have had a vulnerability or which sites you have too simple of a password or repeat uses.
      The list goes on, but there is no comparison between 1P and iCloud Keychain, they’re just too different.

    • I use to use this software, but after they announced subscription nonsense I gave up. It’s easier to just put passwords in notes and password protect that with one password.. does the same thing.. little copy and pasting into fields on websites and iCloud Keychain takes over. There’s zero reason for this software anymore for me.

      • :D

        You don’t have to pay for a subscription if you prefer to buy the apps on their own
        They still do standalone purchases

      • Until they change that, won’t be much longer.. there’s just zero reason to use their product now.

      • PopperlinRosebud

        So what do you use now? Or what will you use?

      • I use notes and just password protect it. Easy to just copy and paste, after the first time doing that the iCloud Keychain remembers everything. But then at least all my login and password info can be accessed on any of my apple products.

    • Jamessmooth

      Agreed. However, I got myself into a bit of a situation with 1Password. Once my grandparents and parents (old people) found out I had it, I am now officially the gatekeeper for all their passwords! I get calls and texts… “do you know what my such and such password is?” ugh yes grandma…

      • Casey H.

        Believe me I feel your pain. Same situation for me lol.

    • Depends on what you’re looking for. If you only use Apple products and don’t need passwords to sync to PCs and stuff, iCloud Keychain works great. If you sometimes let others on your computer to quickly look something up on the internet and don’t want your passwords to all auto fill for them, 1Password is great. If you want additional features and storage for more types of passwords and secure data, 1Password has a lot of great extras.

      TL;DR If you are the sole user of a couple Apple only products who doesn’t need any extra features Keychain works very well. Step out of that narrow world and 1Password becomes more desirable.

      • Fredl

        Thanks, perfect explanation why someone is in need of 1Password. Never understood that.

  • Hobster

    I think that the subscription model is not appropriate for this type of software. What happens if you miss payment for whatever reason?. $3 per month for a utility cannot be preceded by “only”, and the $65 price for the Mac app is steep as well (not including iPhone app).
    I have been using mSecure for many years now and although it doesn’t have the plugin capability it has been a very solid option.

    • Agneev Mukherjee

      Yeah, anything these tech guys can afford…

    • Kubaton

      Normally, I feel the same about subscription models. In the case of 1Password, it’s optional. It does come with some perks, such as family sharing. Sometimes, you can catch good deals on 1Password. I got the Mac/Windows bundle for $33.59 last October. Their support is great as well.

    • Jeff Laing

      The subscription option gets you all the apps, on all platforms, for free.
      I happily signed up for the Family subscription, *despite* having previously paid for the individual apps, because the cloud storage, plus the web interface onto it all, is worth it when you need to provide backup for the two sets of grandparents who are also putting their details into it.

  • malhal

    welcome to the club, been using it for years, along with drop box sync for multi device and for family passwords. 712 logins, 917 items!

  • Carl

    I’ve tried to get used to 1Password several times in the past and never fully implemented in my daily workflow.
    Only recently I had to use an older Mac that only supported Lion and therefor not the iCloud Keychain. I started to use 1Password on a regular basis and it’s now a necessity on every machine I use.

    The one time purchase shouldn’t be recommended any longer.
    Agile Bits announced that the subscription model mill be the future of 1Password and it’s questionable how long the MacApp Store Version will be maintained.

  • Ian Weir

    What took you. I’ve been using it since it first came out. I guess some people are just slow learners.

  • mahe

    I’m using librain as password manager

  • Cones1r

    I never got the hang of it. I was under the impression that I could log in to all my apps on my phone with it but it never seemed to work. Maybe I misunderstood and I never knew there was a Mac app.

    • ex2bot

      On an iPhone or iPad in Safari,
      1) Load up the sign-in section of whatever site.
      2) Tap the share button. That’s the square with arrow pointing up out of it.
      [3) The first time you’ll have to swipe through all the black and white icons on the bottom row of the “share sheet” that pops up to the last item: “More.” Tap “More” and turn on 1Password. Tap “Done.”]
      4) Swipe through that bottom row again until you find the 1Password icon. Looks like a keyhole. Tap it.
      5) If you set up the site correctly in 1Password, you will see the name of the site on the sheet that pops up. Tap it. NOTE: Make sure you put the web address if the site into the 1Password entry.

      • Cones1r

        I’ll try that. Thanks for the description of the share button. I would’ve never knew what that was. Sorry for the sarcasm but truly thanks for the info.

      • ex2bot

        Sorry about that. I figured someone else reading these comments may have had the same question *and* didn’t know what the share button was. I figured you were a lot more knowledgeable than that, and I usually put a note in that says, “I’m not trying to insult your intelligence, etc. etc.” But I forgot this time.

      • Cones1r

        No worries man, I got it figured out this time thanks to you! Cheers

      • ex2bot

        Great!

  • Andrieux Querido

    I Love it. its a great app.
    I use it for years. I got mine on an iBlog raffle 🙂

  • Rodney Coleman

    Meh… I use notes with password lock. Humans are getting to lazy…. need to strengthen their minds.

    • stylesbeyond

      same i use notes, lock, done

  • ready1take1

    welcome to the club. I use it for more than just passwords. It’s great for storing all sorts of info.

  • macsmister

    Why would anyone want to get 1Pawssord over LastPass is beyond me… But to all its own I guess.

    • For something designed to keep my security secure… I chose 1Password over LastPass because it has a MUCH better track record of not getting hacked (LastPass has been hacked 3x in the last year), it has more features that I want, works with more devices, and has a much nicer and more streamlined interface.

      • macsmister

        LastPass stores all your data fully hashed. User’s data hashes have never been hacked in existence, and you don’t need to fully rely on the cloud. You can use a Ubikey and multi-factor authentication for maximum security. I’ve been a happy LastPass customer since 2008. As for compatibility, LastPass is available on ANY platform, it has to be the most ubiquitous password vault out there, and it does not require a client (web plugins FTW!).

      • ex2bot

        Using 1Password doesn’t require a client either. It also has a plugin. Comes with the client.

      • I’m aware of their security, I’m also aware of what was stolen from them (email addresses, server salts, and password hashes). If you have the salt cracking a password is still difficult, but significantly easier. We also don’t know what they were after either, most likely it would result in them parsing data to find a select few users they considered worth devoting time to and to attempt decrypting the hashes from them only before those users changed their passwords.

        Point is, you can’t make a claim that it’s never been done because we don’t know if it was successful or not. I’m sure 99% of the people pulled in that hack were never targeted. Also, wether or not the passwords were hacked, millions of validated emails were pulled that are likely associated with online accounts and a list like that is worth money.

        Anyways, I’m not trying to say last pass is terrible or anything (I’ve used it and had no issues with it), but the model is inherently less secure than a local storage method. Maybe it will never be fully hacked, maybe it will be, but it still wears a target on its back that the other doesn’t have.

        Also, when I was referring to the device compatibility I was thinking of Apple Watch which I don’t believe Last Pass is available for.

        Anyways, not arguing for or against last pass. You asked why someone would go with 1Password and I answered. It’s personal preference but I prefer to know that I can’t possibly have my data breeched (even theoretically), that I can have it on my watch and I enjoy some of the other features as well. Not to mention the easy to use interface.

  • Alex Wilson

    I’ve used it for years. Frankly though anyone that pays full price is crazy. It goes on sale often, or part of a bundle. I love it but find it to be way over priced. But the ability to sync between two iDevices and two Macs makes it deal for my needs. I don’t play games with lame passwords, and 1Password helps me keep them strong. The Watchtower feature keeps you updated on passwords you need to update due to known hacks.

  • Mut

    I remember when LastPass got hacked so what makes this any different to make my passwords safer?

    • What makes this different is someone can hack 1Password all they want, but since your data is encrypted with AES-256, if they don’t have your AES key, they can’t make sense of anything they get ahold of.

      AES is very strong encryption. Good luck getting through that.

      • Mut

        So LastPass didn’t have AES encryption?

      • I don’t know what LastPass has, but 1Password has very strong AES encryption. So I don’t have to worry much if someone hacks 1Password.

      • Kappamello

        LastPass was hacked, but since it is encrypted as well no user content was ever stolen (or rather, it can’t be cracked).

    • Well one big difference is that LastPass is a treasure trove of billions of passwords all in one place online. A hackers dream if ever there was one.

      1Password is run locally on your machine making it a far less appealing target first of all, but second requiring direct access to your devices to even attempt a compromise.

      So without even going into what security they have or anything else, how they work makes one an obvious target and leaves the other untouched.

  • Jamessmooth

    I LOVE 1Password! Nice write up, and its very true folks should do more to protect themselves. An IT guy at work was recently hacked and he tracked it back to Ukraine (so he says). Esp if you live in the US and ESPECIALLY because of what’s going on now with elections, now is the best time to secure up!

  • Y2J: Keeper of the List

    I just started using it yesterday and I love it!

  • Kubaton

    There’s some pretty cool things you can do with 1Password. One thing I didn’t know about for a while is that you can drag a bookmark out of 1Password to your browser. When you click on that bookmark from your browser and it will automatically fill in your login info. Of course, if your vault is locked you’ll have to enter your master password.

  • puggsly

    Except for the lack of a windows access, keychain is better integrated into more things on iOS and Mac OS. It would be nice if they gave access to it via iCloud.com but security would be a concern, in the way it is with other password managers.

    • :D

      How so? 1Password seems to integrate really well with iOS.

  • David Crum

    I’ve used it for a few years and I have to say, I LOVE IT!!!!!! Having it on my PC, Iphone and Ipad, having them all up to date is one of the many features that I love about this password manager. Do I recommend it?? Oh yea!!!!

  • Tiggara

    What about keychain? I find that other password mangers get in the way.

  • I put a lot of stuff into 1Password as it’s more secure than storing FTP and Server credentials and what not than in most other places.

    As far as my comment about Safari Keychain seeming less secure; if a Mac is stolen it takes all of 5 minutes to remove admin passwords off of all the accounts. From that point, now that you have access to the data if you start visiting common sites in the browser it will auto fill them in for you to be helpful. But if you want to see the passwords you can easily do this too right in the browser. It’s not hard to tell Safari (or any browser for that matter) to show you the contents of the password field. But again, with the auto fill in feature of Keychain, direct access and a little luck could easily get someone access to all of the things they would need to reset an iCloud password and gain direct access to the keychain as well if they wanted.

    I understand that remote wiping it and other options exist to lock down a computer, but overall… I’m happier knowing that the key to my passwords is separate from the OS and isn’t subject to the same sort of methods available when gaining access to the computer accounts should someone get ahold of my physical device.

    • Jack Wong

      Agree with the point about 1Password has another layer of password protection.

      Now i would like to know how to remove the Mac OS admin password in 5mins?

      • I think my immediate question would be why you want to know that? I actually specifically left that info vague so that people wouldn’t have something to try, but suffice it to say it works because Darwin and MacOS are essentially two operating systems one on top of the other. Exploiting that relationship is fairly trivial and I have used this technique several times when people have brought us a mac that they forgot a password to and locked themselves out of it as a result. And trust me when I say it takes 5 min max (if you have an older machine).

        Good news is, that it only works with physical access to the computer.

      • Jack Wong

        Other than Windows xp, I don’t see it is easy to find a software that can remove the admin password “easy”.

        When a user come to me without a admin password, I would tell them to go to Apple store, so far, none of the Mac users in my office are like that stupid, I am glad.

      • The important thing to remember is that every OS looses it’s ability to retain it’s standards of security once you have direct access to the hardware. It comes as no surprise then that both Windows and MacOS have exploits that allow someone to easily remove passwords within minutes (if they know what they are doing).

        Removing the password on the mac requires no extra software at all (unlike Windows which often requires you to boot into Linux or something to manipulate the files on the computer). Like I said before, it simply requires a knowledge of how to use UNIX (which is already available on every mac) and some specific knowledge of how MacOS works on a deeper level. In each case (Windows and MacOS) it turns out that once you have access to the filesystem giving yourself the tools necessary to remove admin passwords is shockingly easy.

        Fortunately I don’t know many people who are prone to forgetting passwords (or I’d probably charge them a lot more money to remove them), but in the last case it was an old Mac that hadn’t been used in about 4 years, but their “new” one was in being serviced and no one could remember what the old one’s password was after getting it out of storage.

      • Storm

        “I have used this technique several times when people have brought us a mac that they forgot a password to”

        I know the technique you are referring to, but this won’t work if a firmware password has been set, right?

      • It’s very rare that a Mac user even knows how to set up a firmware password so it’s not likely something you’ll ever encounter. But anyone who would know how to set one up is also probably not the type of person that is going to just up and forget it either.

        Also, if anyone brought me something with a firmware password on it (even if it was an older mac) I’d probably insist that they have Apple remove it as the likelihood it was stolen goes up dramatically.

        It used to be very easy to reset firmware style passwords on older macs and it still is for the most part on PCs, but newer Macs have made this almost impossible (especially on laptops) due to the need to un-solder parts and replace them with your own custom ones. The hardware requirements and knowledge required to pull it off makes it non-feasible for most so it is a very effective way to lock down newer macs. However it’s still not 100% as there are still services out there that will do this no questions asked for a fee, but it’s about as good as you can get for protection should your laptop be stolen.

      • Storm

        Cheers, John.

  • Jack

    What about Intel’s TrueKey? I use it daily and love it. Fingerprint capability in iOS too.

  • Baseballguy2001

    Maybe a commenter can answer my question: Does 1Password save your login locally or do you login to a website and create an account where your logins are stored?

    • :D

      Locally

  • Alexander S

    That’s a lazy talk. But to each their own. The article mentions apps, not all of them have website logins. 1Password is more universal even with an extra 200 millisecond click to uncheck special characters a few times in your life.

    • Jack Wong

      I am just saying I would prefer the password generator from Safari and 1Password to store my login information.

      Moreover, if Safari could do it, I don’t see why 1Password can’t make it happen.

  • Alexander S

    This comment section is a great place for hackers to find out who uses what and in what order, making it easier to know what security measures ppl take. Good article and a must have app!

  • 1Password is the best!!!