Many companies offer password managers with a variety of features and benefits. With so many options available, it can be difficult to figure out which one is right for you. To make it easier to choose, we compared these two companies based on what’s most important. Keep in mind that the best choice depends on whether you plan to use a password manager for business or personal/family use.
1. Security & Encryption
The main goal of using a password manager is to protect your data against unauthorized access. We looked for password managers that have strong security features, including the most up-to-date encryption methods and the ability to enable two-factor authentication. We also tested each password manager to determine how good it is at helping you create secure passwords. Some companies allow you to create passwords with just letters in them while others require strong master passwords made up of letters, numbers and symbols. The stronger your master password is, the better the password manager will be at protecting your data.
2. App Compatibility
Gone are the days of using a single computer to browse the internet, stream audio and video, and log in to online accounts. Many people now have multiple computers and mobile devices, making it important for a password manager to work with multiple browsers and operating systems. We tested each tool to determine if it’s compatible with browsers like Firefox and Chrome and operating systems like Windows, macOS and Linux.
3. Usability & Ease of Use
We tested each password manager to make sure it’s easy to use, even if you don’t have a lot of technical expertise. For example, we checked to see if each tool has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to use its built-in features. We also looked for password managers that allow you to use biometric authentication, which eliminates the need to type in your master password every time you want to log in to a website. Biometric authentication uses fingerprints or other unique identifiers in place of a password or PIN.
4. Password Sharing
You may want to share some of your accounts with family members or colleagues without giving them your login credentials. We looked for tools that allow you to do this with a feature known as password sharing. This feature makes it possible to share accounts without sharing your personal information, enhancing your security.
A password manager should be affordable, so we looked for tools that offer many useful features at an affordable price. We assessed each tool based on its pricing tiers and the number of users included in each plan.
We spent more than 10 hours comparing 1Password vs Bitwarden. The results are broken down below for your convenience.
Bitwarden offers similar security features, such as the use of AES-256 encryption to protect your accounts against unauthorized access. This password manager also uses salting and hashing to make it more difficult for hackers to guess your master password. Another helpful security feature is the ability to turn on two-factor authentication, which enhances security by requiring you to prove your identity by providing two pieces of information. The first piece is your master password, and the second piece may be a temporary code sent to you via text message or email. Requiring two pieces of information instead of one makes it more difficult for hackers to impersonate you and gain access to your accounts.
1Password and Bitwarden are compatible with many of the same browsers and operating systems. For users who plan to do most of their browsing on desktop or laptop computers, 1Password works with Chrome, Opera, Safari, Firefox and Edge. It also has a slight edge over Bitwarden because it still works with Internet Explorer while Bitwarden doesn’t. In addition to working with Windows PC and macOS, 1Password is also compatible with the Linux command line shell. For mobile users, 1Password is compatible with both iOS and Android, making it easy to manage passwords on the go.
For users who prefer non-traditional browsers, Bitwarden is the better bet. In addition to working with Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari and Edge, Bitwarden is compatible with Brave, Tor and Vivaldi, making it easier to manage passwords when using open-source systems. Unlike 1Password, Bitwarden isn’t compatible with Internet Explorer, however. In terms of traditional operating systems, Bitwarden works with Windows PC, Linux and macOS. Bitwarden is also compatible with the iOS and Android mobile operating systems, making it possible to manage passwords effectively on smartphones and tablets.
|Chrome, Chrome OS||Yes||Yes|
|Linux||Yes (command line)||Yes|
* Only 1Password 4 for Windows is compatible with Internet Explorer.
1Password takes just a few minutes to set up for the first time. When you create your account, you’ll be prompted to create a master password that’s difficult for others to guess. Once your master password is in place, you can download the browser extension or start using the tool on your mobile devices. Although 1Password and Bitwarden have many similar features, 1Password has a slight edge over Bitwarden in the ease of use category. When you create your account, you’ll receive an emergency kit with a secret key and a way to contact 1Password if you need technical support. The emergency kit makes it possible to recover your account even if you forget your master password.
Like 1Password, Bitwarden is easy to use. If you want to get started on a laptop or desktop computer, simply visit the Bitwarden website and download the version that’s compatible with your operating system or browser. Mobile users with iOS devices should download Bitwarden from the App Store, and mobile users with Android devices should download it from Google Play. No matter which option you choose, Bitwarden walks you through the installation process and even asks you to create a stronger master password if your first choice is too weak. One advantage of Bitwarden is that it has an intuitive interface, which eliminates the need to search through menu after menu to find the features you need.
When it comes to password sharing, 1Password has an advantage over Bitwarden. To share your password, you just need to move the information from your private vault to your shared vault. If you decide to stop sharing, all you have to do is move it back to your private vault. This is an easy way to control access to your online accounts. If you use 1Password for business, password sharing also makes it easier to give certain employees access to expense trackers, bookkeeping systems and other shared apps without having to give them the account credentials. If an employee leaves your organization, you can immediately revoke their access, keeping your accounts secure.
If you want to share passwords with Bitwarden, you’ll have to create an organization account and invite other people to access it. Once they accept your invitation, you’ll be able to share your passwords. This isn’t difficult, but it is an extra step you have to take if you want family members or colleagues to have access to any of your online accounts. Sharing passwords with Bitwarden has the same advantages as sharing them with 1Password — you’ll be able to give trusted contacts the ability to access accounts designed for streaming music and video, keeping track of financial transactions and planning special events.
1Password offers accounts for individuals, families, teams, businesses and large enterprises. Pricing for some of the plans depends on whether you prefer to pay a monthly fee or pay up front for one year of service. If you’re willing to pay ahead of time, the individual plan costs just $2.99 per month; the price increases to $3.99 per month for the monthly billing option. The family plan costs $4.99 per month with annual billing or $6.99 per month with monthly billing. Although 1Password costs more for businesses, it’s still an affordable choice. Team accounts are available for $3.99 per user per month, and full business accounts cost $7.99 per month (billed annually). Large organizations with many users should contact 1Password for a price quote.
When compared to 1Password, Bitwarden is the less expensive option. For individual users, Bitwarden costs nothing for a basic plan and $10 per year for an individual plan with premium features. The family plan costs $1 per month up for up to five users, making it about 80% less expensive than 1Password. Bitwarden also offers a free team plan for two users or a team plan that costs $5 per month for up to five users. The main difference between 1Password’s and Bitwarden’s pricing tiers is that Bitwarden doesn’t separate its business plans into tiers for small and large organizations. The company only offers an enterprise plan for $3 per user per month.
|Individual||$2.99 per month (annual billing); $3.99 per month (monthly billing)||$0 for basic features; $10 per year for premium features|
|Family||$4.99 per month (annual billing); $6.99 per month (monthly billing); accommodates up to 5 users||$1 per month for up to 5 users|
|Teams||$3.99 per user per month (billed monthly)||$0 for two users; $5 per month for up to 5 users (billed annually)|
|Business||$7.99 per user per month (billed annually)||N/A|
|Enterprise||Contact for price quote||$3 per user per month (billed annually)|
Both of these password managers are good choices, but as with any mobile app or online tool, you need to understand how to use all the features to get the most for your money. The comparison table below lists some of the most important features and explains how they work for each company.
|Setting up the vault||From the homepage, click New Vault. Enter a description to help keep track of your credentials.||Create an account by visiting vault.Bitwarden.com. You must create a user to add your first set of credentials to your account.|
|Logging in to accounts||Click the 1Password Mini icon after opening the app of your choice. Choose a set of credentials and drag them into the app. If you’re using a browser, open the target website and click the 1Password icon to automatically fill in the form fields with your username and password.||When you open an app, a pop-up appears below the login form. Choose the credentials that correspond to the target website. In your browser, click the Bitwarden icon and click one of the form fields. The password manager automatically fills in your username and password.|
|Creating passwords||Click the 1Password toolbar in your browser. Then click Generate Password.||You’ll create a master password when you set up your Bitwarden account. If you need to create a new account password once Bitwarden is up and running, you’ll have to create a new password on the target website.|
|Changing passwords||Log in to the target website and click the 1Password button. You may be prompted to enter your existing password before you can create a new one.||Click Change Master Password, which is located under My Account. You’ll have to enter your current master password before you create a new one.|
|Sharing logins||From your private vault, click Move/Copy to transfer the information to a shared vault.||Create an organization account and invite at least one other person to join.|
|Recovering account||If you have a family account, you may be able to recover access with the aid of one of your family members. You may also be able to access your account with facial recognition or Touch ID.||If you forget your master password, there’s no way to recover your account.|
|Advanced security features||1Password uses AES-256 encryption and has a zero-information policy to protect your data.||Bitwarden uses AES-256 encryption, along with salting and hashing, to prevent unauthorized access to your data.|