Review: 1Password: Pros, Plans & Cons

Unlocking Your Digital World Safely

1Password by AgileBits is among the world’s leading password managers, ideal for individuals, families, and businesses. Passwords are synced across all your devices, allowing you to access them across multiple platforms and operating systems. 1Passwords is available on Linux, iOS, Android, MAC, Darwin, Chrome OS, OpenBSD, and FreeBSD. Some of its key competitors are Keeper, Norton Password Manager, NordPass, Dashlane, and Bitwarden.

Where 1Password Excels

Main Security Features

1Password uses AES-GCM-256 authenticated encryption, similar to the data security level of government and financial institutions. This is complemented by cryptographically secure pseudorandom number generators that generate initialization vectors, nonces, and encryption keys. Furthermore, password-based Key Derivation Function 2, often called PBKDF2-HMAC-SHA256, is used for password strengthening against brute-force attacks. Besides, the security model for protecting data, the 1Password account, is based on a 128-bit Secret key. 

Accessing Account Through Master Key

When setting up, you create a master password, after which you are given a 34-character secret key to log in for the first time. This master password unlocks access to passwords and usernames stored in the 1Password database, which you can browse and edit through the app. The Master Password is protected by the Secure Remote Password (SRP) protocol. You can download it in a PDF, print it, and put it in a secure place. If you lose this Secret Key, you can retrieve it through Window Hello, which uses biometrics to access apps. If the computer(s) doesn’t support biometric authentication, you must enter the master password.

Multi-factor Authentication

Besides, 1Password supports multi-factor authentication, which you can use to generate one-time codes for two-factor authentication. These time-based one-time passcodes can be synced across devices. 1Password has autosave and auto-filling features to ease logging in to visited websites. It is important to note that 1Password’s apps do not autofill without your authorization in its apps’ settings. 

Unique Features

Travel Mode

What differentiates 1Password from other password managers is its Travel Mode since it is the only company that provides this tool. You can mark specific password vaults as ‘safe for travel.’ This removes extra-sensitive vaults when traveling by enabling you to temporarily clear data you consider to be highly sensitive. This can be useful when one fears authoritarian regimes might require them to unlock devices for inspection at border crossings. Upon returning to your home country, you can re-install the missing vaults.

Multiple Vaults

1Password uses an intuitive and user-friendly dashboard, enabling interaction with its password organization system. The interface’s ease of use is complemented by its use of plain language in giving security recommendations. You can create multiple password vaults organized into categories such as office work, financial, health records, vacation, and travel.

You can also store sensitive documents such as medical and financial records as well as security notes in these customizable vaults. These can be kept in the 1GB encrypted file storage. 1Password uses true end-to-end encryption, with data being encrypted locally on your device before being sent to the end-to-end encrypted cloud service. This is where you can synchronize your credentials across all devices, accessing them from anywhere. After partnering with privacy.com, you can also now create new virtual card numbers in which you get to determine how they can be used.

Monitoring

1Password has a Watchtower monitoring feature that can track your data across the dark web. This proprietary security checker alerts you if your passwords are breached, weak, duplicated, or vulnerable. It also reports on unsecured or compromised websites missing 2FA and notifies you in case of a data breach. In addition, Transport Layer Security (TLS) encrypts and authenticates data as it travels between your devices and 1Password servers. Other security features included in the offerings are clipboard management, phishing protection, auto-lock, and code signature validation.

Zero Knowledge Policy

1Password does not store, track, or sell your data. This includes not knowing or storing your master key. The SRP protocol prevents hackers from intercepting data sent to 1Password’s server. 1Password is also SOC 2 type 2-certified; as such, it is regularly verified by third-party independent audits.

Plans & Pricing

Individual Plan

Furthermore, 1Password has no permanent free version, but you can test their services during the initial 14-day free trial. The single-user version costs $2.99 monthly ($35.88 a year). This version allows the storage of unlimited passwords synced across unlimited devices and platforms. 1Password provides controlled sharing with users using a link to share access to a specified password, even with non-users.

Family, Teams, & Businesses Plan

A family’s edition costs $4.99 monthly, permitting up to five users. The business plan starts at $.7.99 monthly, with 5GB storage per user, reporting, custom security admin control, and VIP support included. Team Starter Pack costs $19.95 monthly and is restricted to 10 team members. It comes with selective sharing, built-in risk detection, and expert support.

Other Benefits

Furthermore, 1Password doesn’t try to upsell add-on security tools to its subscribers. In a show of support for good causes, 1Passwod does tend to give away security services at no cost to qualifying journalists and human rights activists.

Where 1Password Fall Short

One major disadvantage of 1Password is that it doesn’t have a password inheritance feature. This means, it is difficult for beneficiaries to access the account after the owner’s death. Besides, it lacks sophisticated import options, with users being required to import using CSV files, which isn’t secure. When creating a master key, you are not required to have special characters, leading to a potentially weak master password. Moreover, the need to first create a Master Key and then enter a Secret Key makes 1Password’s setup process more complicated. 

One reason 1Password is outrivaled is that its price is well above the paid tiers of its competitors, such as Keeper and Bitwarden. Furthermore, when it comes to lower-tier plans (individual and family editions), there is no phone or live chat customer support. You can only contact them for support through forums, email, and Twitter. Besides, 1Password does not have a refund policy should you be dissatisfied with their services.

Final Thoughts

In a conclusive evaluation, 1Password solidifies its position as one of the premier password managers, driven by its exceptional compatibility, intuitive user interface, and a suite of robust security features. If you’re on the lookout for an outstanding password management solution, you should strongly consider delving into the advanced security offerings that 1Password provides. This is especially true if you seek distinctive and powerful features, such as the innovative Travel Mode, the vigilant Watchtower service, and the efficient organization of multiple vault passwords. By embracing 1Password, you’ll be equipping yourself with a comprehensive and highly effective tool to safeguard your digital identity and streamline your online security.

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