1Password – Problem Solved?
I have a problem, and that is to keep all my personal and work related passwords handy and at the same time safe. A few weeks ago, a colleague of mine recommended 1Password. 1Password is the Keychain Access Apple never made. I bought it at once and I think it might be the best choice if you’re living in a Apple-centric world. It works great on OS X and iOS, but there are also clients for Windows and Android. But if you want access from your Windows Phone or from a Linux computer, or if you want a version that runs from a USB key, look some where else.
You can back up and synchronize all your login credentials through Dropbox (the 2GB free version should be enough space for password data). And yes, it is safe to Dropbox for this, as all data are encrypted and decrypted only on the devices. Configuring 1Password to work with Dropbox is easy: you simply move your 1Password database to your local Dropbox folder. Technically you can also view your password data directly on the Dropbox website using a browser, but it’s not an obvious process.
The desktop versions of 1Password are standalone applications that manage your data and includes browser extensions that provides access to your passwords by way of either an embedded “1P” button on the navigation tool bar or controls on a 1Password toolbar. I ended up disabling the browser extensions quite fast and use 1Password only as a database that I can look in to when having problems remembering a password.
The vault itself has a really intuitive interface. Logins for websites are displayed by default in a shelf-like fashion where users can see a list of their sites in one column and details for a selected site in another. Moreover, finding sites within login list is really simple because of the fact that it shows the site “favicon” in the thumbnail and shows a full preview of the website in the description.
The details pannel also makes it easy to quickly copy details onto your clipboard with just the click of a button so that you can enter them in applications and websites with ease.
The only other password manager I have tested on a Mac is the built in Keychain Access. I find that 1Password has an easier and prettier user interface to use. The Windows version provides the same basic functions, although the pop-up user interface for Windows browsers (Firefox or Internet Explorer only) has a different look and feel. The versions for the iPhone and iPad include an integrated browser. Both automatically fill in credentials but don’t automatically submit them to the site. You can also copy and paste credentials into a Safari window.
1Password even makes it simple to generate secure passwords when signing up for websites or services, or when creating new accounts. I find the convenience of having a password generator at my fingertips – all within the application – a really nice feature.
I have way to often seen people storing sensitive personal information on Stickies. I guess simply cause they don’t know of the capabilities of Keychain Access or find it a pain to use. Guess what, 1Password can also keep track of personal information in a dead-simple way.
Agile Software licenses 1Password by the user rather than the device, but you do need a license for each platform. The desktop license is set to $49.99. If you only have one iOS device the license is $9.99, but a Pro version ($14.99) lets you install 1Password on all your iOS devices.