1Password Review

1Password is a password manager developed and supported by the AgileBits team.  The company is located in Toronto, Canada.  They focus on creating software to safely store users passwords and an encrypted vault app called Knox.  Their software is available across a wide range of devices but they are best known for their Mac and iOS apps.  Today we will be covering their 1password password manager.  In the weeks to come we’ll follow up with a review of Knox.


1Password Pricing and Special Offers

Licenses for 1Password are sold based on the device you plan to use the app on.  During our review we found that AgileBits has separate pricing for 1Password on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.  You can save $30 by purchasing a Mac + Windows bundle.  Otherwise each app is sold as a stand-alone license.  This can make 1Password quite a bit more expensive than some of their competitors.

1Password pricing

As you can see, a single license for 1Password costs $49.99 for Windows or Mac.  If you plan to use the app on both platforms I would suggest their bundle which costs $69.99.  They also offer an iOS app (iPhone, iPad, iWatch) for $9.99 and an Android app for the same price.  If you want to protect your family on a wide range of devices the cost could get expansive pretty quick.  They offer business pricing for multiple licenses.  We priced out the Windows + Mac bundle for 4 users and the cost would have been $252.  Adding iOS licenses would have been another $40.  A family of 4 could spend nearly $300 for 1Password.

Risk-Free Trial Period

The team at AgileBits knows that you’ll want some time to review their 1Password app before making a purchase.  The first time you download their software or mobile app you will be able to use it for the first 30 days without a license.  The 30 day free trial will give you plenty of time to test out the features and ensure their password manager has everything you need.  If you decide to go ahead and purchase 1Password they also cover all new license purchases with a 30 day money back guarantee.  They will refund your credit card or PayPal for purchases made through their store.  They can’t refund you through the Apple App Store directly so you would need to contact their support for other refund options.

Password Manager Features

The features offered with 1Password will help you generate strong passwords and securely store them for future use.  You can create vaults to securely share information with family or other team members.  The WatchTower feature will keep an eye on your passwords and inform you when a password may need changed.  Gain a better understanding of the quality and uniqueness of your current passwords so that you can improve them using 1Password.  Let’s take a closer look at the software.

1Password 5 for Mac

I would call the Mac client their flagship software.  It is well designed and gives Mac users an easy interface to manage passwords.  As you can see in the screenshot below, 1Password is integrated into Safari.  You can click on the logo and have the app log you into popular website like Facebook.  The software will help you generate strong passwords.  I highly recommend you use it to recreate your existing passwords and ensure that each site uses a unique password.

1Password Mac - Safari

1Password 5 for Mac was released in October 2014 which shows the team at AgileBits is committed to keeping their software up to date.  The app requires Mac OS X 10.10 or higher.  We read several positive reviews in the Mac App Store.  Customers seem quite happy with the latest release.  There are some additional benefits of using the Mac app.  For starters you can easily sync it with your iOS devices via wi-fi or iCloud.  You can also use Dropbox to sync between a wide range of devices.

1Password 6 for iOS

Mac users will likely want to sync their passwords with iOS.  The AgileBits team makes it easy for iOS users to store passwords on iPhone, iPad, and even iWatch.  As wearables continue to grow in popularity I think you’ll see a lot more people relying on apps like 1Password to keep up with and secure all their accounts.  I’m impressed that they support the iWatch.  You should check out the app.  Even if you don’t have an iWatch yet it gives you an idea of how you can utilize it in the future.

1Password for iOS

1Password version 6 requires iOS 9.0 or later.  The app is compatible with iPhone and iPad.  It supports Touch ID for added security.  The app incorporates some of the latest iOS 9 features.  You can use spotlight search to find 1password account info without even launching the app.  They even include a new 1Browser which let’s you open a site and login with a single tap.  I strongly suggest you download the app and try it for yourself.  You can upgrade to the Pro version anytime for $9.99.

1Password 4 for Android

You can easily create strong, unique passwords on your Android phone or tablet with the 1Password app.  Choose whether you want alphabetic (letters), number, and symbols.  Then set the password length and the app will display a unique value.  You can use 1Password to create strong passwords for very website and store them.  That way your accounts will be more secure and safe from a single site exposing a password you use around the web.

1Password for Android

1Password version 4.5.2 requires Android 4.0 or higher.  You can use the app free of charge and upgrade to the pro version anytime for $9.99.  The mobile app will store all your passwords, credit cards, and even acts as a secure wallet.  Remember with 1Password you can sync the data between the desktop software and mobile apps.  While there is some expense involved in purchasing licenses for each device, the threat of having your passwords compromised is much greater than the cost of protection.

1Password 4 for Windows

We can’t forget about the Windows app.  1Password for Windows will generate strong passwords and securely store them for future use.  I suggest that Windows users install the 1Password browser extension.  It let’s you sign into any site with a single click.  It will also help you by creating strong, unique passwords for every website.  Since 1Password auto-fills your account info you won’t have to worry about forgetting your password anymore.  Let the app do all the work.

1Password for Windows

I would also like to mention an advanced feature of 1Password called Watchtower.  The service will analyze your account logins and let you know which sites you might want to create new passwords for moving forward.  From there you can use the password generator to better secure your accounts.  This is a nice feature and will help protect your logins.  Let’s face it now a days we have way too many accounts to keep track of so any help can go a long way in making life easier.

1Password Security

Time for the technical section of our review.  You can tell the security team at AgileBits put some thought into their approach.  They rely on AES 256-bit encryption with SHA256 key encryption.  They further secure your master password by pairing SHA-512 with PBKDF2.  You don’t have to understand the underlying technology.  Just know that they took additional steps to secure your master password from brute force attacks.

One big difference between 1Password and other popular services like Dashlane and LastPass is that AgileBits does not store your data in the cloud.  Instead you can sync devices locally using wi-fi or through third-party iCloud and Dropbox services.  Since 1Password encrypts your data you don’t have to worry about whether or not to trust either of those services either.  I like this approach as it leaves you less open to having your data exposed.  Something that has happened multiple times to some password managers that offer cloud features.

Customer Support

The support page for 1Password is one of the best we’ve seen.  They have a knowledgebase and very nice user guides for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.  I highly recommend using the guides as you get started with the software.  They are well written and very thorough.  They have a support forum for questions.  The forum is divided into sections based on the device you are using.  We checked the forum on a Saturday to see whether or not to expect answers on the weekend.  Their stats showed that over 100 questions had been answered.

1Password Review : Conclusion

AgileBits continues to develop and add new features to their 1Password app.  At the time of our review they had just released a new version of the 1Password iOS app with full support for new iOS features.  That shows their dedication to keeping up with Apple.  I think the software is best suited for Mac and iOS users.  Some other password managers I’ve used seemed less cumbersone but 1Password gets the job done none the less.  You can use it to create strong, unique password for every website and securely store them.  No more writing down password or using the same one across multiple sites.

What I liked most about the software:

  • Easy to use and very nice interface for Mac users
  • Their latest iOS app integrates iOS 9 features
  • Support for iWatch and Touch ID for added security
  • Method of syncing without saving data to the cloud
  • Higher encryption level used to secure master password

Ideas to improve the software:

  • Reconsider the pricing structure
  • Add live chat support for paid customers

I’m torn on what to think of 1Password.  Their Windows software has an older feel than other password managers we’ve tested and the software is expensive.  Yet their Mac and iOS apps are very nice and I like their approach of syncing devices without relying on a cloud service that could put your data at risk.  It’s really a toss up for me.  I suggest you give the software a try and compare it to other leading password managers.  If you use Mac and iOS most the time then I think you’ll like 1Password.

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