1Password is one of the better password managers out there thanks to its ease of use and excellent security. Its pricing plans, however, make it a better fit for families and small businesses rather than individual users. Read the details in our full 1Password review.
Free plan available
1Password ranks among our best password managers for its easy to use interface, excellent security and robust support. It gets a lot right, but the lack of a free plan may turn you towards a more cost-effective option.
In this 1Password review, we’re going to cover every high and low of this service. We’ll run through the features it offers, cost, overall user experience, level of security and support options in place.
Using a password manager isn’t the only step to securing your online accounts. While it does store your information in a vault, you’ll still need a strong password that can’t be brute-force hacked. Use our password generator for a strong one and make sure to check out our guide on how to set up a strong password.
- Excellent security
- Easy to use interface
- Inexpensive family plan
- Category support
- 24/7 support forum
- No free plan
- No live chat or phone support
(Editor’s Note: Our review has been updated to include the recently released 1Password X browser extension. The ratings have been adjusted where necessary.)
1Password has a lot of features when compared to other password managers. From the onset, you have multi-device sync, some amount of storage space and support for auto-fill on mobile devices. However, as we’ll discuss in the next section, 1Password doesn’t have a free plan so the features don’t seem quite as attractive.
One of the more practical features you get is auto-fill on mobile devices. Supported apps will automatically log you in after you’ve entered your master password. This is a feature that LastPass (read our LastPass review) doesn’t have. Unfortunately, the feature only works on iOS devices, so Android users are sorely out of luck.
Every account comes with some amount of document storage as well. Any plan Business and below gets 1GB per user. Above that, plans upgrade the storage to 5GB per user. It isn’t ideal cloud storage, but it’s a small amount to get you by.
Do note that this storage doesn’t count towards any of your passwords, notes or items. It’s a seperate folder specifically for documents.
1Password has support for quite a few items other than passwords. Notable inclusions are software licenses, rewards programs, server logins and database information.
Keeping all this protected is the 1Password Watchtower, which is a lot less daunting than it sounds. It’s simply a security dashboard to show you any vulnerabilities, compromised logins or reused passwords. It’s similar to Dashlane’s security dashboard, a feature we found useful in that service (read our Dashlane review).
1Password released 1Password X in mid-2018, a standalone browser extension. You can manage everything in your vault as long as you can install Chrome or Firefox. The extension handles auto-fill, password saving and password generation, too.
You can manage everything from the extension, but you don’t have to. If your operating system supports the desktop application, you can reserve the extension for auto-fill and easy access. It’s exciting for Linux users, though. 1Password X provides a full password manager experience in your browser.
One of our favorite features is Travel Mode. 1Password will remove all personal data on your mobile device and store it inside your vault. This is helpful in the event your device is lost or stolen while traveling. Once your arrive at your destination, you can restore your data with a single tap.
1Password Features Overview
1Password has a diverse portfolio of services. Prices aren’t too shabby, either. The basic 1Password plan comes in on par with Abine Blur (read our Blur review) when billed annually. Blur, on the other hand, costs that amount only when you sign a three year contract.
The Family plan likewise has similar pricing to the competition. A family plan at Keeper (read our Keeper review) costs the same for five users, but includes 10GB of storage compared to 1GB at 1Password. You can add additional users on 1Password for $1 more per user per month.
The Team and Business plans are expensive. LastPass charges about half the price for similar plans and, while you’re capped at 50 users for a team plan there, it’s not much of a limitation given how much money you’ll save.
The glaring oversight in this lineup is the lack of a free plan. The best password managers include some sort of free offering, even if it’s limited. Paying for service that you can get for free with Dashlane or LastPass doesn’t make much sense.
1Password does offer a 30-day free trial. While it heavily encourages you to add a credit card (there’s only a small option at the bottom of the page for skipping), it’s not required to try out the service for a month.
New subscribers get can get 50 percent off, too.
1Password shines here. Desktop and mobile apps are available as well as browser extensions for auto-fill. However, 1Password handles signing up and logging in a bit differently than other password managers.
When you sign up, 1Password will give you an emergency kit to save locally. You can print it off, encrypt it or store it using a cloud storage provider (check out some of our cloud storage reviews for recommendations).
This emergency kit has your sign-in address, email address and a 128-bit secret key. This key is used in the event you have to sign-in from an unfamiliar machine as a sort of two-factor authentication. There are other forms of 2FA available which we’ll discuss in the next section.
The emergency kit includes a QR code as well that will automatically fill in your information when signing into the desktop or mobile client.
The browser UI is a useful reference, but the desktop app has more versatility. You can add a new item to your vault by clicking on the plus sign next to the search bar from your main view. Each item has support for custom pictures and an unlimited number of fields meaning you can add as much or as little information to your items as you want.
1Password has support for categories, but you can’t change them. Categories are automatically added to the UI as you add items within them. Organizing passwords in your own way is handled by a tagging system. It’s useful, but we would’ve liked to see some sort of folder system for more easily organizing your vault.
What we really don’t like here is that 1Password won’t automatically import your passwords. Each one must be added manually or as you login to sites using the browser extension. You can do it with a CSV file, but this is rather advanced and, frankly, annoying.
Outside of setting up, you’ll spend the most time with the browser extension. It’s usable, with auto-fill for information and a password generator. However, it doesn’t automatically sign you in. You have to go up to the extension and click the saved password to log in, or use Alt+/ (Cmd+/ for Mac) to fill in your info. It’s not a major issue, but one step that isn’t required with LastPass or Dashlane.
1Password uses the industry standard 256-bit AES encryption for storing your passwords. It’s standard, but very difficult to crack. If every computer on the globe worked to crack a single key, it would take 77 septillion years (77 with 24 zeros).
Your data is encrypted locally with AES-256 and transferred over TLS/SSL so you’re well-protected no matter where your data is in the chain.
You can unlock your vault with your master password that you, and only you, know. 1Password uses a zero-knowledge model meaning your master password isn’t stored on a 1Password server or locally. It’s individual to you, so make sure you remember it. 1Password can’t help you in the event you forget.
The most interesting part of 1Password’s security model is the secret key. This 128-bit key is generated locally and never sent to 1Password. Like your master password, it’s individual to you and cannot be recovered in the event you lose it.
1Password claims it’s “better than two factor.” While you’re required to enter this key when signing in on a new device, it’s not always a sign-in step and a more practical mobile or email key would be a nice inclusion, even if optional.
There is support for separate 2FA applications like Authy or Google Authenticator. From your “my profile” section, follow “more actions > turn on two-factor authentication.” Scan the QR code with your mobile app and enter the authentication code into 1Password. Each time you sign in on a new device, you’ll need to repeat this process.
The level of support for 2FA is high, and now 1Password supports YubiKey. It ticks all of the areas we want as far as security goes.
1Password doesn’t have many forms of support, but that’s fairly typical of a password manager. The only way to make contact is through email, and, 48 hours after sending our message, we’ve yet to receive a response.
That was on a free plan, though, and we’ll update the review when we hear something back. If you want faster support, 1Password provides priority access to Business users, but we weren’t able to test how much faster it is.
Outside of that, you’ll spend most of your time in the help center and community forums. The help center isn’t very dense, but it doesn’t need to be. A password manager is a simple application and 1Password does a good job of covering the bases with detailed articles full of screenshots.
For the more visual learners out there, 1Password has an active YouTube channel for tips, tutorials and troubleshooting guides. The most recent video went up three weeks before the writing of this review.
Our favorite area of support is the forum. This is a way to get 24/7 support as 1Password has agents scouring it around the clock. This isn’t as much a community forum as an open dialogue with support staff. It’s useful that way because you can browse and find answers to common questions without having to reach out.
We would’ve liked to see live chat and phone support, but that’s true of most password managers. Comparing it to the current market, 1Password stands out with its excellent forum.
1Password is a fine choice in password manager, but particularly useful for families and businesses. The solo plan offers little incentive over a free password manager, so it doesn’t make much sense on that front.
Our biggest concern with the overall experience is that there is no easy way to import passwords like there is with Dashlane. While it is possible, it’s buried beneath a slew of other options.
There’s a lot that 1Password gets right. Security and the support forum are top-notch and the day-to-day usage is simple, so long as you become familiar with the auto-fill hotkey.
If you don’t want those compromises, make sure to read some of our other password manager reviews. It’s a good idea to keep your password redundant as well, so make sure to check out how to securely store your passwords in the cloud with our guide.
What do you think of 1Password? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.