1Password Review: Our New Favorite Password Manager

Intuitive. Secure. A great option for families and small businesses.
Michael Michael (115)
0
4.25 - Our Rating

1Password is a password manager created by AgileBits, Inc. More than just a password manager, however, 1Password aims to be an all-in-one digital vault for things like passports, documents, email accounts, credit cards, and more.

What is a password manager?

You should only have to remember 1 password, hence the name!

As we move more of our lives into the digital sphere, the number of passwords required for various services and software applications has increased drastically. A password manager, like 1Password, maintains a secure vault of the many account logins and passwords that we use on the internet. Password managers often have built-in encryption features that help keep your information secure. They also save you the headache of having to remember the passwords you use for all of your accounts. You should only have to remember 1 password, hence the name!

Do I need a password manager?

Everyone should use a password manager.

Most people will end up using the same password for every account they have on the internet. And most of those passwords include one or two dictionary words, which makes the passwords particularly vulnerable to dictionary attacks. Both of these scenarios are highly insecure for a couple of reasons:

  1. Using the same password for every account means that if someone gets the password for one of your accounts, they can easily access every account you have on the internet.
  2. Not using a random, securely generated password means that hackers can use a variety of methods to eventually get your password.

So, unless you're willing to write down every long, random password and retype it each time you visit a website, then yes you need a password manager like 1Password.

Are they all the same?

We're going to highlight what differentiates 1Password from other password managers like LastPass, NordPass, or Dashlane.

Not at all. That's exactly why we're writing this guide. We're going to highlight what differentiates 1Password from other password managers like LastPass, NordPass, or Dashlane. There are differences in things like:

  • Price
  • Compatibility with operating systems and apps
  • Security
  • Storage
  • And a lot more.

We'll also highlight the features that help 1Password stand out from the competition—so you can make an informed choice, (It's a very important one!) And check our side-by-side comparison of 1Password vs NordPass to see how it compares.

How do we know so much about 1Password?

Howchoo on 1Password

Howchoo switched to 1Password this year. Our small team uses 1Password for both our business and personal needs. We're excited to tell you what we love and what we don't about 1Password!

1Password1Password ×1

Howchoo is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Here are the most relevant specs for 1Password.

Feature/Specification
Complete data encryption Yes
Secret Key encryption Yes
Encryption type AES 256-bit
Two-factor authentication Yes
Random password generator Yes
Multiple Accounts Yes
Country restrictions No
Support 24/7 (no phone support)
Biometric login Yes (fingerprint, face, eyes)
Operating systems macOS, iOS, Windows, Linux, Android, Command Line
Browsers Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Opera, Brave
Password retrieval Password hint, Emergency Kit
iCloud sync Yes
Dropbox sync Yes
Data Storage 1 GB
1Password Background
1Password

1Password is the best password manager for businesses, teams and families currently available. While the lack of a free version may deter some individual users, the moment you begin to sync this password manager with other people, browsers, and applications, 1Password starts to outshine the competition.

Intuitive experience across the various 1Password apps and plugins

And if security is paramount to your decision (which it probably should be), then 1Password gets the nod for its Brute-force protection with PBKDF2 and its focus on protecting their user's privacy.

Pros

  • Intuitive experience across the various 1Password apps and plugins
  • Security features that other password managers don't have
  • Ability to create private, family, and public vaults
  • Travel Mode to keep your information from border agents
  • Easy to create customizable vaults to share across team/family members

Cons

  • No free version for individual accounts; though, they do offer a free 30-day trial of 1Password
  • Found some syncing issues between the browser plugin and desktop app
  • No phone support
  • 1Password X Chrome extension can be slow at times

Best for?

While 1Password is a great manager for everyone, we do recognize that many individual users may choose to go with a free version of LastPass or Dashlane, which may serve their purposes just fine. You can't, however, use the free versions of the other managers once you add even one other member to a vault. That's where 1Password becomes the best option and the most cost-effective.

Price

It's important to note that many of those free password manager versions will quickly become unusable once you reach a certain number of passwords or want to add someone to your vault. (They have to make money too.)

With 1Password, there are no hidden price-points that you'll reach. Just the one upfront price that's lower than the price of the competitors. Note that 1Password does offer a free 30-day free trial on their plans.

Individual Family Teams Business
$2.99/mo. $4.99/mo. $3.99/mo. $7.99/mo.
1 user 5 family members 5 limited guest accounts 20 users
MasterPassword 1Password

We made a great guide that walks you through the basics of using 1Password, so be sure to check that out. We'll summarize it for you here.

You'll either sign up for a 1Password account yourself or be invited by someone using a family, team, or business plan. Once you confirm your account via email, then you'll be ready to set up 1Password.

Master Password

The first thing 1Password asks you to create is your Master Password. You'll want to create a long, random, and unique password that will give you access to every other password you use on the internet. So it might be the most important password you ever create. It definitely should not be a password you use for anything else. We recommend using 1Password's random password generator for this. Print it out. Memorize it. And keep it safe!

1Password emergency kit

Download the apps and install the plugins

Download the 1Password app and install the plugins on all your devices (phones, laptops, etc.) and browsers. Remember you'll be using 1Password to secure just about everything from here on out.

1Password in App Store

Start using

Now, as long as you are signed into 1Password, 1Password will autofill passwords you save to it and can even autofill other information like your contact information and credit cards. Each time you need to first use 1Password, you'll need to unlock it first. (You can even unlock 1Password with an Apple watch.

You'll just need to add all that information to the 1Password app. You can change over all your old passwords to more secure versions using 1Password's random password generator. And soon, you'll have all your passwords stored in one place, secured by 1Password.

Here's a nice video from 1Password that walks you through the process of getting setup:

Create vaults

Add new vault in 1password

Once you get the feel for 1Password, you'll likely want to create vaults for your various passwords. A vault is simply the storage container into which certain passwords get placed. You can set permissions on each vault if you're sharing passwords with family members or colleagues.

Different looks of 1Password
1Password

We're mentioning the interface of 1Password because we feel that this is one of its biggest strengths and one of the main things that will differentiate 1Password from other password managers. Across the various platforms and plugins, 1Password prioritizes simplicity over complexity—making it a great manager for both experienced internet carousers and novices.

The image above shows the basic look of each of the different types of apps.

The apps from left to right:

  1. macOS (desktop)
  2. Android (phone)
  3. Browser Plugin (Firefox)
  4. iOS (phone)
  5. Windows (desktop)

Here's a short GIF of what it's like to navigate inside of the Windows 1Password application:

Individual 1Password Account
1Password

Think of the individual account as the standard 1Password account. With this account, you get all the standard features and protections that 1Password offers but simply cannot add other users to the account.

Some of the 1Password standard features include:

  • Unlimited passwords
  • A secure "master" password for all of your passwords
  • Random password generator
  • Password syncing across devices and platforms
  • 1 GB of storage
  • 24/7 support
  • Access to Travel Mode (explained here)
  • Two-factor authentication (also somewhat unique among password managers)
  • Apps to use on an unlimited number of devices.
  • Digital Wallet (explained here)
  • Watchtower to check for potential breaches (explained here)

The price for an individual account is $2.99/month.

Family Account 1Password
1Password

This is where 1Password excels and rises above many of the other password managers. The features of a family account are pretty extensive and very customizable. With a family account, you can add up to 5 members (and more for an additional fee).

Family sharing

With a 1Password family account, each member of your household will receive a standard account (as described in the previous section). Passwords can be shared across the members of your family in shared vaults, which can be customized. So, for example, maybe you only want to share your Netflix password with your spouse and not your kids. You can create a "Mom & Dad" 1Password vault that holds the passwords you only want to be shared across the two of you.

Teaching your family early the importance of keeping their data and accounts safe from theft is vital.

Personal Vault

You can still, of course, maintain a personal vault of passwords that can only be accessed by you and no one else.

Teaching good internet security habits

Teaching your family early the importance of keeping their data and accounts safe from theft is vital. With a 1Password family account, you can help to establish the good habits that will protect everyone in your family.

The price for a family account is $4.99/month. If you need to add extra family members, it will cost $0.99 per additional member.

Business 1Password
1Password

Howchoo switched over to 1Password this year, and we love it. In fact, we think this is where 1Password's best value rests. One of the real plusses to a business account is that every individual in the business given 1Password also gets a free family account that they can use for their personal items. With a business account, you can have up to 20 users.

As more and more work goes remote, 1Password makes it easy to share passwords words across teams, departments, and accounts.

Business vaults

What's great is that vaults can be created in 1Password for each individual department with a business, such as a "marketing vault" for marketing-related passwords and a "sales vault" for sales-related passwords. You can then oversee the activity in each of the vaults to see how 1Password is being used by your company as well as your company's overall security level.

Remote work

As more and more work goes remote, 1Password makes it easy to share passwords words across teams, departments, and accounts. It allows a business or company to maintain a level of security, even when they have employees scattered across the country—globe.

Here's a nice, short video of how you can use shared vaults as a business:

Aditional Business features

From 1Password's Advanced Protection Dashboard, you have the ability to do things like ensuring that your users are creating strong enough passwords, view fraudulent sign-in attempts, review any data breaches and pinpoint the source, as well as other things to help keep your company secure.

Advanced Protection Dashboard 1Password

And 1Password is used by many top companies for whom security is paramount, like IBM, Slack, Dropbox, and Gitlab.

The price for a business account is $7.99/month.

1Password Security Window

1Password has everything you'd expect and want in terms of security, which most password managers will also have.

Even 1Password does not have access to your information.

Besides the standard two-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of security to your passwords stored within 1Password, there are a variety of security features, some of which set 1Password apart from other password managers.

Total encryption

Even 1Password does not have access to your information, which protects you in case there is a data breach over at 1Password. Basically, should 1Password ever get hacked, your information will not be available to the hacker.

This starts with end-to-end AES 256-bit encryption across the pathways your data takes from your computer to the 1Password servers. Best of all, it doesn't even need to send your information over the internet in order to authenticate your credentials.

Other security features

  • Secure input fields protect you from keystroke loggers.
  • Watchtower feature allows you to monitor any potential security issues or breaches.
  • Always requires human input to protect you from phishers and digital attacks.

If you're really interested in 1Password's security (we mean really), then 1Password released a comprehensive 80-page document detailing all the security features.

Syncing 1Password
1Password

1Password allows you to sync your data across all of your devices. So, for example, if you save a password on your laptop, you'll have that password saved when you go to use it from your phone. Just make sure you have the 1Password app installed on each device you own and use.

We found the process to be fairly intuitive and easy to set up. The average internet user should have no trouble syncing 1Password across devices and browsers.

Supported operating systems

  • macOS
  • Windows
  • Linux
  • ChromeOS
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Command Line

Supported browsers

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Safari
  • Brave Browser
  • Microsoft Edge

Some slight bugginess

The syncing process with 1Password is relatively painless and functional, though we did run into some issues with the browser extensions for Firefox. Sometimes, 1Password will not recognize that you already have the browser extension installed. It will make you go to the webpage with the Firefox extension download for 1Password to recognize that you already had it installed. It was a mild annoyance that hopefully will get a fix soon.

Windows and Mac Applications 1Password
1Password

The quality and intuitiveness across each of 1Password's applications (macOS, iOS, Firefox, etc.) do vary slightly.

Phone applications (iOS, Android)

(Fair)

We found the 1Password phone applications to be less user-friendly overall than the desktop counterpart. To properly set up the applications on your phone, you would need to spend extra time favoriting all of your most-used passwords for easy access.

Once you do this, then the phone applications begin to make a bit more sense. Still, we found that it's not as intuitive as we would like it to be. Some information like tags feels clunky at first use.

Desktop applications (macOS, Windows, etc.)

(Great)

It's a much more pleasing experience to navigate the 1Password desktop applications compared to the phone applications.

The 1Password applications installed on the desktop, on the other hand, feel much more user-friendly. When you first open 1Password on your computer, you are shown the list of vaults and passwords you have saved. This makes the most sense for the average user of the service.

The left toolbar includes all of your other stored information like credit cards, driver's license, passport, etc.

It's also just a much more pleasing experience to navigate the 1Password desktop applications compared to the phone applications.

Browser Plugins/Extensions (Safari, Firefox, Chrome, etc.)

(Good)

Most of the choppiness inherent in the browser extensions has to do with the security features 1Password built into them. For example, it can be mildly annoying to have to sign back into the extension each time your computer goes to sleep or you open your browser. But when you factor in the security it provides, then it's worth it.

SharedVault1Passwordd

As a team, we've shared quite a few passwords across the company with 1Password. The process is easy and we've had no issues with our team being able to access and make use of the passwords in 1Password.

Shared Vault 1Password

When you want to share a password with 1Password, you're essentially going to add the password to Shared Vault. There are two ways to share a password with 1Password:

  1. When you initially save the password in 1Password, you can select which vault to save it in. Choose a Shared Vault to share it with everyone who has access to that vault.
  2. If it's a password you've already saved to a Personal Vault, then you'll simply move it to your Shared Vault.

You can easily move things back and forth between vaults and even create numerous vaults for different sharing preferences. This becomes particularly useful when sharing in a Family Plan.

1Password

This 1Password feature is very cool and truly unique among password managers. Essentially, travel mode allows you to completely and temporarily remove entire vaults in 1Password while you're traveling.

Why does this matter?

Well, let's say your crossing an international border during travel. The border agent asks you for your bag, which contains your laptop. They take your bag into some dark back-room where they open up your laptop and start perusing your personal accounts.

If you have 1Password's travel mode active, however, then there's essentially no data there for them to see. Your information does not exist on the computer.

Can I turn it back on?

Yes. When you arrive at your destination, you'll turn off travel mode in 1Password and your data will be restored!

1Password Support Page

1Password has 24/7 support for users.

It's important that a password manager like 1Password have 24/7 support for a couple of reasons:

1. Access account at night

Let's say you really need to access an account at midnight, but there's an issue using 1Password. You can't be expected to wait until business hours to get it sorted out.

2. Having trouble while you're not at home

If you're at a store and 1Password is giving you trouble with your credit cards, then you'll want to be able to fix that situation right away.

Extras

1Password has a nice store of helpful articles and Youtube videos that aim to simplify the process of using their software.

No phone support

It's important to note that if you're looking to speak to a person on the phone about an issue, there is no findable phone number to contact 1Password. They're going the way of many companies it seems and moving all support functionality to:

  • Online forums
  • Email forms
  • And Twitter

They do note that they respond to the posts in the online forums very quickly, but we have not had the chance to test those claims.

Files for 1Password Storage
1Password

1Password provides users with 1 GB of storage (5 GB for Business accounts) that can be used for anything you want to keep safe. Think of this storage as a kind of digital safety deposit box for any kind of file you want to save and keep safe.

Things to save in 1Password storage

  • Copy of a will
  • Passports
  • Business documents that need extra security
  • Private images
  • Tax documents
  • Anything else you want to keep safe and private

You also have the ability to share the files you place into 1Password by placing them into a shared vault.

1Password Identity

You have the ability to create multiple Identities within 1Password, which you can switch to for different uses.

What is an identity?

An identity in 1Password is essentially a digital profile that you can use to do things like:

  • Auto-fill forms in browsers (name, address, phone, etc.)
  • Switch between multiple 1Password accounts (Business/Personal) and identities with different stored passwords

Are they secure and private?

1Passwords has taken extra steps to make sure that your identity information can not be used by keystroke hackers or auto-fill bots. They also never share your information with any entity for any reason.

Attention Mac users

You can simply click and drag a profile from your Apple contacts to create an identity.

1Password Digital Wallet
1Password

A nice additional feature of 1Password for Mac users is a digital wallet that stores your credit card information securely and can automatically fill it in for online purchases.

If you're an Apple user, then you might be used to this feature already with the Apple Wallet. The good news is that 1Password will seamlessly sync with your already established Apple Wallet to add an extra layer of protection to your credit card information.

1Password Watchtower
1Password

Another really cool feature of 1Password is Watchtower, which keeps track of your online security and notifies you of any potential issues. 1Pasword originally designed Watchtower as a way of protecting you against visiting websites that had issues with security—and it still retains that key feature with many upgrades.

Features

  • Watchtower keeps track of the sites you visit and notifies you if there are security issues with any particular site.
  • It's synced with Have I Been Pwned to track if passwords you use were associated with any data breaches in the past.
  • Watchtower automatically lets you know when you use the same password multiple times.
  • It tells you which websites use two-factor authentication.

We already mentioned that 1Password does not have a continuously free version of its software. It is moderately priced, and, even with a free version of LastPass, you'll likely need to upgrade once you reach your max number of passwords. (This will happen a lot faster than you think!)

We do recommend you try it. We use it and really like it.

1Password does give you 30 days to try it for free. Don't worry. If you don't like it and want to switch after the trial, you can simply import your passwords into a different password manager or go back to how you were doing passwords previously. (You're not stuck with it!)

We do recommend you try it. We use it and really like it.

Best for small teams, businesses, and families.

So what's the deciding factor when choosing a password manager?—your needs and how intuitive the software is across your devices. We personally find 1Password to edge out the competition in both of those aspects for us at Howchoo. (We're also big sticklers on internet security!)

Give it a try!

We like that it makes personal and business internet security as easy as possible, so we can focus our time and energy on the real work at hand—like bringing you these reviews for instance!

Give it a try! And be sure to share this review with anyone who you think would benefit from 1Password and password managers in general!