1Password is a product of AgileBits, Inc., and has been on the market for well over a decade. Over that span of time, it has developed a reputation as a reliable and scalable password manager, supported by an experienced team. In this review, we analyze the key features offered by its most current version, evaluate its pros and cons and provide an overview of how competitive this solution is in terms of app compatibility, ease of use, and pricing. Read on to get a clear picture of whether 1Password is the right password management for your needs.
Pros & Cons of 1Password
|Easy setup and user-friendly password imports||Doesn’t provide a free plan|
|Categories are an excellent organization tool||Presently lacks the ability to share secure notes with, or invite, non-users|
|Good multi-device sync and password sharing|
|Multilayered security features provide peace of mind|
Key Features of 1Password
The most important features of a password manager are security and encryption, app compatibility, ease of setup and use, password sharing, and pricing and customer support. 1Password advertises a considerable range of resources in each of these areas. We evaluated the software’s performance and reliability across the board and have provided a breakdown below.
Security and Encryption
1Password employs a “zero-knowledge” policy: They don’t store, track, or sell your data. It’s also known for an extremely secure platform that provides defense in depth for data in transit. Data breaches have become distressingly common even at some of the largest tech companies, but 1Password is notable for having operated for a long period of time and never having been compromised by a data breach.
Even in the event that this should change, 1Password’s wealth of other defenses for your data make it unlikely that your passwords could be compromised. It provides two-factor authentication, but that’s just the beginning. The software offers end-to-end, 256-bit encryption that makes the interception of data in transit close to impossible. PBKDF2 key strengthening makes your master password resistant to brute force attempts at decipherment, and 128-bit secret keys employed for each of your devices and in your emergency kit add a further layer of security. 1Password also offers auto-lock and phishing protection and further augments password strength with the powerful Watchtower tool, which alerts you to weak passwords and offers dark web monitoring to ensure that any passwords you employ or generate haven’t previously been compromised elsewhere.
1Password provides unlimited multi-device syncing and is compatible with a wide range of popular browsers and operating systems. It runs well in desktop versions for Mac and PC, which can be extended to provide in-browser functionality, and works equally well in mobile versions for iOS and Android. As 1Password X, it provides full functionality as a browser extension for Chrome and other popular browsers.
Advanced syncing options are available through third-party platforms. Users who have one standalone vault and use Apple devices can sync them through iCloud. Multiple standalone vaults can be synced on Mac, Windows, Android and iOS through Dropbox. A WLAN server can be used to sync Mac data on a local network with iOS and Android devices.
1Password App Compatibility
|Linux||Yes (command line)|
|Other||Dropbox, iCloud, WLAN Server|
Ease of Setup and Use
1Password provides easy and intuitive log in and setup, clearly indicating what you should be doing at any point in the process. Importing passwords and other data from web browsers, other password managers and other 1Password accounts is straightforward. It also makes data management simple and convenient by providing multiple, separate and easy-to-access vaults, making it easy to group certain types of passwords and logins — work-related, family documents, travel details and so on — together.
It’s easy to understand and read 1Password’s user interface and spot the significant information offered by the Watchtower tool’s dark web monitoring, and it’s simple to engage a travel mode that hides company encryption keys, social media logins, and other sensitive vaults while you’re crossing borders. Further features like timed clipboard wiping are user-friendly in their implementation. Updating passwords is a bit unwieldy, a task that has to be done one password at a time — which somewhat detracts from the usefulness of the Watchtower tool if, say, it should detect multiple dozens of vulnerable passwords — but this is a minor drawback in a highly functional package.
1Password offers convenient biometric logins for mobile use, and its mobile app provides its own integrated browser and a clean, clear user interface. The mobile app is slightly less flexible than the desktop version — for example, it offers only one set clipboard clearing time instead of the range of possible times offered by the desktop app — but the restrictions are mostly minor.
Depending on your plan, 1Password offers highly robust and secure password sharing. Certain levels of service offer default access to private and shared vaults, making it easy to specify what you’re sharing with other specific members of your network. Shared vaults come with fine-grained permission controls that make it easy to further delineate who can view, edit, and manage the data in a vault.
When sharing a vault with another user, 1Password ties a unique access key to their email address, providing a further layer of authentication on top of the multilayered protection it already offers. Family plans allow sharing between up to five users, and Team and Business plans provide for up to 20 users. Scaling upward from there requires access to a customized Enterprise plan, which brings us to the question of 1Password’s pricing.
Pricing & Customer Support
Given its extensive list of features and highly secure reputation, it may be no surprise that 1Password is on the more expensive side of the pricing spectrum as password managers go. One of its drawbacks is that it doesn’t provide a free version (save a very limited trial version) and provides only very restricted options for syncing data without access to a 1Password membership.
Individual services run to $2.99 per month for 1Password Personal and $4.99 per month for 1Password Family, which allows sharing between up to five users. The Teams and Business plans cost $3.99 and $7.99, respectively, as a monthly per-user price billed annually, and provide for guest accounts for five and 20 users respectively. Companies working at a larger scale and who are in need of custom training and onboarding programs will need to get a custom quote for Enterprise service.
1Password enjoys a strong reputation for customer support, which it provides through email, Twitter and a highly active support forum. The company does not provide phone or chat support, but that isn’t uncommon for password managers, and the engagement it offers through the existing channels is prompt, detailed and helpful. This helpful support infrastructure makes 1Password’s relatively high prices an easier sell.
1Password Plans & Pricing
|Individual||$2.99/month (billed annually)|
|Family||$4.99/month (billed annually); up to 5 users|
|Teams||$3.99/user/month (billed annually)|
|Business||$7.99/user/month (billed annually)|
How 1Password Works
|Functionality||How It Works|
|Setting up the vault||Accounts added on login, and import feature from other password managers and browsers|
|Logging into accounts||Click browser extension to autofill login information|
|Creating passwords||User browser extension to generate passwords|
|Changing passwords||Use password generator when on change password screen|
|Sharing logins||Robust shared folders for family, team, business, and enterprise plans|
|Recovering account||Emergency Kit and password hints|
|Advanced security features||Two-factor authentication, Watchtower, travel mode|
What Customers Are Saying
1Password gets high marks from customers for its simplicity and reliability, as one client states: “1Password makes password [management] comfortable, but also remains very secure at the same time.” The company also earns praise for the quality of its customer service, with another reviewer saying, “I couldn’t say enough great things, between the courteous demeanor and getting every step correctly identified. I know I made the right choice going from LastPass to 1Password.”
1Password’s reputation for excellent security and user-friendliness is well-deserved, and it’s a particularly strong choice of password manager for families and small teams. Its multilayered security and encryption features and the ability to organize data into multiple discrete vaults are particular standouts of its feature set. The limitations on sharing secure notes and otherwise interacting with non-users are probably its biggest drawback at present, but even so, 1Password is an extremely strong product that should recommend itself to a wide range of users.