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1Password Review [2021]: Is This a Safe Password Manager?

Eric Goldstein
Eric Goldstein
Published on: September 1, 2021

1Password Review: Quick Expert Summary

1Password is one of the best password managers on the market in 2021 — it protects your data with top-notch security features, comes with a ton of convenient extra tools, has a highly intuitive dashboard, and offers budget-friendly pricing.

I tested 1Password on my Windows 10 PC, MacBook Air, and Android and iOS smartphones, and I was impressed with how easy it was to create multiple password vaults, set up two-factor authentication (2FA), auto-save and auto-fill passwords, and navigate and use all of 1Password’s basic and extra features.

While 1Password has many great features, these are my favorite ones:

  • Customizable vaults — Allows you to create multiple vaults (for example, you can organize vaults for Personal, Financial, Travel, Work, and Family passwords and data).
  • Password monitoring — Alerts you to passwords that are weak, vulnerable, duplicate, and breached.
  • Travel Mode — Lets you hide important passwords when you travel outside of your country (1Password is the only password manager that provides this tool).

I’m a huge fan of 1Password, but there are a few areas that need improvement. For example, you can’t add or edit passwords in 1Password’s browser extension (instead, you’re redirected to the web version of 1Password), and the browser extension doesn’t include bookmarks storage. Plus, you’re not required to have special characters or numbers in your master password, allowing users to potentially create a weak master password. Finally, I wish 1Password offered more secure password import options for mobile — you have to import passwords with a CSV file, which isn’t as secure as using your browser to directly import passwords (like Dashlane offers).

That being said, 1Password is still one of my favorite password managers on the market. 1Password’s Personal plan is a very good choice for single users, and 1Password’s Families plan is one of the best family plans out there — it allows up to 5 users and it’s the only password manager that has an option to add as many users as you want for a really small additional cost. While it’s a bit disappointing that 1Password doesn’t offer a free version or a money-back guarantee, you get a no-risk 14-day free trial to help you decide if 1Password is the best password manager for you.

Overall Rank #4 out of 52 password managers
Encryption 256-bit AES
Free Plan No
Pricing Starting at /month
Money-Back Guarantee 14-day free trial
Operating Systems Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux

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1Password Full Review

1Password Full Review

1Password is an extremely user-friendly password manager that comes with a wide range of quality additional features.

In addition to top-notch security protections and a highly intuitive dashboard, 1Password also comes with helpful extras such as password auditing, data breach monitoring, Travel Mode (hidden passwords), and virtual payment cards.

1Password offers a variety of plans — including Personal, Families, and Teams — that all offer a great value.

1Password Security Features

1Password Security Features1Password protects your data with AES 256-bit encryption — which is the same encryption that banks and governments around the world use to secure their data. For extra security, 1Password provides a 34-character Secret Key that you’re required to enter the first time you log into your 1Password vault. After the first login, the Secret Key is stored in the 1Password apps and browsers on your devices.

1Password also has a zero-knowledge policy, meaning it doesn’t store, track, or sell your data. And to prevent hackers from intercepting data sent to 1Password’s server, 1Password uses an SRP (Secure Remote Password) protocol, which keeps master passwords, Secret Keys, and all other data safe.

Because 1Password doesn’t store or know your master password, 1Password has no way of helping you to retrieve it for you if you forget it. However, 1Password provides one possible option for Windows users to recover their master password — through a couple of steps using Windows Hello, which allows you to access your device using a PIN or your fingerprint. While I like that 1Password has a strict zero-knowledge policy, I wish 1Password provided more account recovery options, like Dashlane and LastPass do.

1Password includes a number of other security features, such as:

  • Two-factor authentication (2FA).
  • Password strength monitoring.
  • Browser extension.
  • Travel Mode.
  • Clipboard customization.
  • Virtual payment cards.

All of the top password managers, like Dashlane, LastPass, and Keeper, come with 2FA, password strength monitoring, and good browser extensions, but 1Password is the only password manager on the market that offers Travel Mode and virtual payment cards.

Overall, 1Password protects your passwords with high-level security features, and it offers excellent extra features — like allowing users to keep their passwords hidden while they travel, setting up multiple clipboard clearing time limits, and creating virtual payment cards that hide your debit card number when you buy products online.

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Multiple Vaults

1Password Security Features

1Password offers a convenient way to manage your data by storing it into separate vaults. This made it easy for me to separate all of my logins and data into easy-to-access vaults. I like this because I can keep my personal data (credit cards and bank accounts), work logins, family documents, and travel details all separate, instead of having to scroll through huge lists of login details to find what I’m looking for.

The Families package includes private and shared vaults by default — so you can keep your personal information separate while sharing specific login details with the rest of your family. The shared vault’s permission controls make it easy to specify who can view, manage, or edit data. For example, when I set up vault permissions, my kids could access the Netflix login and my debit cards for online purchases, but they couldn’t edit the Netflix password or card details.

When you share a vault with another user, 1Password generates an access key that is tied to the shared user’s email address. This is a convenient way to make sure that you’re only sharing passwords and logins with the right people.

Overall, 1Password makes organizing and sharing data simple for both single users and families — I really like that users can create as many vaults as they need, and that families can easily set up different permissions for different users.

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Watchtower

1Password Security Features

The Watchtower feature notifies you if your passwords are weak, have been reused, are vulnerable to cyber attacks, or have been compromised in a data breach. Many password managers check the strength of your passwords and alert you to any security breaches. So, 1Password’s Watchtower feature isn’t unique — but I still like it a lot.

After importing all my data into 1Password, I was relieved to see that Watchtower didn’t alert me to any data leaks — but it found that I had been reusing some passwords. The list of my reused passwords was accessible in one click, so I could easily view and change them.

Watchtower also monitors credit card expiration dates. I especially like this function since I do a lot of online shopping and hate it when I have to spend ages updating my payment information before completing an online purchase.

Overall, Watchtower is very convenient and easy to use — you can quickly check to see if any of your data is at risk or needs to be updated. 1Password makes it simple for users to spot and resolve any security issues.

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Travel Mode

1Password Security Features

1Password’s Travel Mode is a great feature for users who need to hide sensitive information when crossing borders — such as company encryption keys and social media logins. Border control officers can request to look through your phone to get proof of identity, and they sometimes ask you to open your apps so they can search through your personal data.

When Travel Mode is turned on in your 1Password web account, only the vaults that you’ve marked as “Safe for Travel” will be visible on your devices. This way vaults containing sensitive information will be hidden until Travel Mode is turned off. Simply turning off the Travel Mode restores access to all of your vaults.

I like that 1Password doesn’t show a change in its status to Travel Mode while Travel Mode is enabled, preventing the authorities from even realizing that you’ve hidden vaults.

1Password’s business plan, Teams, allows the admin user to control Travel Mode on employees’ accounts — perfect for business owners who don’t want sensitive work-related documents or passwords to be accessed by authorities.

No other password manager includes a similar feature to 1Password’s Travel Mode. So it’s definitely worth considering 1Password if you want to keep your data private while traveling.

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Clipboard Options

1Password can clear your clipboard after a set time period. This is important when copying passwords or other sensitive data, as hackers and malicious websites can access your clipboard contents and steal copied data.

As a general rule, you want to make sure your clipboard contents are cleared as quickly as possible. But 1Password also gives you the option to extend clipboard clearing times up to 3 minutes on Android and up to 2 minutes on the desktop apps (the only option on iOS is 90 seconds). I like the flexibility with these different clipboard clearing time options, as I sometimes need to hold clipboard contents longer when working on research papers and reports.

1Password Security Features

Competitors like LastPass also include a similar function, but LastPass’s clipboard clearing feature is way more complex to set up and only has one default clipboard clearing time.

Overall, 1Password makes clipboard clearing really easy, even for beginner users, and offers way more clipboard clearing time options than the competition.

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1Password X

1Password Security Features

1Password X is a complete version of 1Password that runs entirely in a web browser. It has a browser extension that works in conjunction with 1Password’s web version. It’s available for:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Edge
  • Brave

I really like the extension’s design. It’s more user-friendly than other password manager extensions, and it makes auto-filling and auto-saving logins really easy. However, when adding or editing data, 1Password X redirects you to the web version of 1Password.

I’d much prefer it if I could edit and add items within the extension. Also, it’s missing a bookmarks feature, which is included in both Sticky Password’s and RoboForm’s browser extensions.

When I tested the 1Password X browser extension, I was surprised that there seemed to be no one-click sign in option. Other password managers (like LastPass) have this option — meaning if I’d go to the Facebook login page, this feature would automatically fill in my login details so I’d only need to click the “Log In” button.

1Password used to have an auto-login feature, but 1Password removed it to avoid associated security risks — like having your details stolen by malicious scripts or phishing sites disguised as legitimate sites, like Facebook.

You can still use keyboard shortcuts or drop-down menu options to easily log into your accounts. But it makes sense that you need to initiate your logins by clicking “Autofill” in the 1Password X extension. This way, it’s very difficult for malicious sites to steal your login credentials.

1Password Security Features

1Password X is pretty decent. I like the design and also how you have to initiate logins, which removes security risks. 1Password X’s extension is missing some features like bookmarks storage, and I wish I could edit and add items within the extension instead of being redirected to 1Password’s web version. That said, it’s still a very capable and easy-to-use browser extension.

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Privacy Cards

1Password Security Features

1Password works with third-party app Privacy to set up Privacy Cards, which are virtual payment cards that mask your debit card information when you make online purchases — but make note that Privacy Cards are only available for US subscribers. Privacy Cards replace your actual debit card number with a different set of numbers when you make a purchase. This way, if the vendor is ever involved in a data breach, your actual card information will remain safe and secure.

After you integrate your Privacy account with your 1Password account, there’s an option to add your Privacy Card in the payment fields on the vendor website like Netflix in a drop-down menu. The only things I don’t like about the Privacy Cards is that credit cards aren’t supported and that the only debit cards that are accepted are Visa and MasterCard.

That said, Privacy Cards are very simple to use. It was very easy for me to create a Privacy Card. After I opened an account on Privacy, I first had to pick a nickname for each card so I’d remember what vendor it’s for (1Password, Netflix, Amazon, etc.). Then I was able to set a spend limit — this extra layer of security prevents untrustworthy retailers from charging more than the maximum amount set for the card. Plus, there’s also a single-use option, which eliminates the virtual card a few minutes after you use it.

Overall, Privacy Cards are a quick and easy way to increase your security while shopping online with debit cards, and they’re easy to set up and use.

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1Password Plans and Pricing

1Password is a great value. All plans include password security tools, Travel Mode protection, and 1 GB of encrypted file storage.

While 1Password’s Personal and Families plans are cheaper than competing brands like Dashlane, 1Password doesn’t have a free version of its app. However, 1Password does offer 14-day free trials for all of its plans (except the most advanced business plan, Enterprise.

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1Password Personal — Cost-Effective Choice for Single Users

This is 1Password’s plan for single users.

1Password Personal includes:

  • Support for various OS. Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, iOS, and Android.
  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). Keep 1Password account data extra secure.
  • History of deleted passwords. Restore deleted passwords for 365 days.
  • Travel Mode. Hide sensitive data stored in 1Password when traveling.
  • 1 GB storage per person. Securely store up to 1 GB of files and images.

The Personal plan doesn’t include an emergency access option, unlike Dashlane Premium. But this plan is great for single users who are looking for a really secure, cost-effective, and easy-to-use password manager. 1Password Personal is a much better value than basic password managers (like Sticky Password) that include less features for a similar price.

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1Password Families — Best for Secure Login Sharing with Family

This plan includes all features of the Personal plan, plus:

  • Coverage for up to 5 users. There’s the option to add users for a small additional cost.
  • Shared vaults. Easily share passwords and data between family members.
  • Up to 5 guest accounts. For temporary access to logins and passwords.
  • Permission controls. Assign different permissions (view, edit, or manage) to your family members.
  • Account recovery. Help other users regain access to their vault if they forget their master password.

This plan is one of the best value family plans of any password manager. I like the option to add extra users for a small fee, which makes 1Password a very affordable choice for large families — 1Password is the only password manager on the market that offers this convenient option. The account recovery option is also a bonus, as it isn’t included in 1Password Personal.

However, LastPass’s family plan offers similar features and covers up to 6 users for slightly cheaper than 1Password Families.

But if you want the freedom of adding extra users for a small fee and the option to invite guests to temporarily view data, 1Password Families is the best option.

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1Password Teams — Best for Small Businesses

1Password Teams has all of the previously mentioned features in the Personal and Families plan. It also includes:

  • Admin controls. Assign, manage, and view employee permissions.
  • Integration with Duo. An advanced multi-factor authentication option.
  • Unlimited shared vaults and item storage. Share logins and passwords with different teams and store work-related documents.

This plan is good for small business teams that need to securely share passwords and data. There’s also a 1Password Business plan, which includes 5 GB storage per person, activity reports, custom groups, up to 20 guest accounts, VIP support, and every team member gets a free 1Password Families account.

All business plans are cost-effective. But if you’re looking to compare password managers for business use, you might want to also consider a few other alternatives.

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1Password Ease of Use and Setup

1Password was very easy for me to set up and use. The download and installation was quick and simple. When setting my master password, I was really surprised that 1Password didn’t require me to include special characters or numbers (which is required by other password managers like Sticky Password). I would like to see 1Password add these requirements in the future so users who typically create weak passwords are forced to come up with a stronger master password.

Once I logged into my account with my master password for the first time, I was assigned a unique Secret Key. The 34-digit Secret Key is stored in the Emergency Kit — a PDF file provided to every user when they open a 1Password account.

The Emergency Kit contains:

  • 1Password web version login URL.
  • Email address.
  • Secret Key.
  • Master password.
  • 1Password support email address.
  • QR code for a quick account setup in all of the 1Password apps.

Once I had my 1Password account set up, I enabled two-factor authentication (2FA). I used Google Authenticator to generate one-time codes for every time I log into my 1Password account. I’m happy that 1Password has a two-factor authentication option, but it would be great if 1Password included more advanced options like Keeper’s biometric and smartwatch 2FA options.

Importing data to 1Password was pretty simple. 1Password allows you to import passwords and logins directly from other 1Password accounts and other password managers like Dashlane, RoboForm, LastPass, Encryptr, and Google Chrome.

To import your data from any other password manager apps, you must use a CSV file — which is much less secure because your passwords can be viewed in plain text in the CSV file. I’d much prefer it if 1Password offered more secure import options for other password managers. LastPass and Dashlane both have a much wider range of import options for other password managers.

I also really like 1Password’s Linux app — it’s easy to install and it uses the command-line tool to make the app very intuitive. The command-line tool allows you to easily access your vaults, manage all of your accounts, and generate and save passwords. 1Password’s Linux app also lets you access your 1Password account without your master password — you are able to sign in with your Linux user password, your fingerprint, or a security key.

Overall, 1Password’s setup was easy and straightforward, and I really like 1Password’s user-friendly interface. While it would be great to see 1Password include more data importing options, the software is simple to set up and use, even for non-tech-savvy users.

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1Password Mobile App

1Password Mobile App

1Password’s mobile app is available for both iOS and Android.

The installation and setup of the app was very easy, especially since I already had a 1Password account — I only needed to scan the QR code in my Emergency Kit PDF file or in the My Profile section on the 1Password website.

I really like the sleek design for each app and the interface is intuitive with all of the main features listed clearly. The Android and iOS apps have a similar design — they both have tabs at the bottom of the screen for Favorites, Categories, Tags, and Settings. While the Favorites, Categories, and Tags tabs are identical on each app, there are a handful of differences under the Settings tab.

And I have to say, the Android app has better options and customization under the Settings tab than iOS. For example, the Android app has a separate tab for Watchtower and allows you to enable/disable options like check for “compromised websites”, “vulnerable passwords”, and for “two-factor authentication”. On iOS, Watchtower is listed under the Securities tab and the only option you have is to enable the entire feature. I like how the Android app lets me disable two-factor authentication from appearing if it’s something I’m not interested in using.

Also, Android gives you 5 different time intervals to automatically clear your clipboard, as opposed to just the 90 seconds option on iOS. And Android lets you enable auto-fill within the app — you need to enable auto-fill in the iOS settings (1Password does provide easy-to-follow steps to set up).

1Password Mobile App

But I really like that iOS has an integrated browser (like Sticky Password’s mobile app). The 1Password browser makes it easy to input logins and passwords, but you’ll need to manually enable it in the settings for other smartphone browsers like Chrome or Safari.

In addition to the 1Password browser, I really like the Enable Standalone Vaults feature on iOS. This lets you have vaults on your mobile device that are not accessible from your main 1Password account. This feature allowed me to log into my mobile-only vault using a shorter password, so I didn’t have to use my master password every time I needed to access logins for apps on my iPhone.

1Password Mobile App

The mobile app has more flexibility than the desktop version when it comes to other features. For example, the Android app allows you to clear your clipboard after 3 minutes — as opposed to the 2-minute range of clipboard clearing times in the desktop version. But both the mobile and desktop apps are feature-rich and user-friendly.

Overall, I like the 1Password mobile app. Both the iOS and Android versions worked well. The interface is intuitive and easy enough for beginner users to navigate and use.

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1Password Customer Support

1Password’s support options include:

  • Email support.
  • 1Password support forum.
  • 1Password’s Twitter account.

There is no phone support available. However, this is pretty common when it comes to password managers, as Dashlane and LastPass also do not offer any support over the phone.

I tested 1Password’s email support by submitting a question using the contact form on the company’s website, and I received a detailed reply within 3 hours. I was able to reply directly to the support rep with any follow up questions, and each time I received a very helpful response in about 2 hours. When my issue was resolved, the support rep ended our communications with a friendly email.

1Password Customer SupportI also asked the same question on the 1Password support forum. The forum appears to be quite active and claims to answer 100+ questions a day. My question was answered in just over 2 hours. When I used the company’s Twitter account to ask the same question, it was answered in 4 hours.

So, the support forum is probably the best option when contacting 1Password, but all customer support contact options are responsive and answer questions thoroughly.

1Password Customer Support

I also like the collection of resources offered on the 1Password website. These include a quick guide on getting started with the program and a collection of articles and videos on using 1Password. There’s also a comprehensive white paper explaining the features of the software in depth.

Overall, as 1Password is a premium-only password manager, I expected faster response times — maybe even a live chat function. That said, 1Password does offer a huge range of support resources, and I found all of the responses to my questions helpful.

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Is 1Password the Password Manager You Need in 2021?

1Password is very safe, very easy to use, and includes a wide range of extra features.  

You get one of the best encryption methods out there (256-bit AES), a zero-knowledge policy, and two-factor authentication. 1Password also allows you to create unlimited vaults (private and shared vaults), has great extra features like Watchtower (checks for password strength, data breaches, and credit cards that expired), and provides a unique Travel Mode that hides your vaults for when you travel.

1Password is simple to set up and has an intuitive display. I was able to install it on all of my devices in just a couple of minutes and there were no bugs or issues. I had no problems navigating or using the app — I easily created 10+ vaults, checked my password vault for weak passwords, and enabled two-factor authentication. 1Password’s browser extension also worked great during my tests, auto-saving new logins and auto-filling my existing passwords whenever I navigated to a login field.

I do think 1Password could offer more data importing options like LastPass. I would also like to see 1Password include an automatic password changer that both Dashlane and LastPass offer — to speed up password changing on popular websites.

However, 1Password is great for both single users and families. Its Families plan is a great value — with both private and shared vaults, encrypted file storage, and coverage for 5 or more users. While Dashlane includes more advanced features, 1Password’s premium plans are cheaper. But if you’re looking for a 1Password alternative, you could try the similarly priced LastPass, which also includes an automatic password changer.

Overall, 1Password is a great password manager — easily one of the best in 2021. 1Password doesn’t have a free plan or money-back guarantee, but there’s a risk-free 14-day trial.

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Does 1Password have a free version?

1Password doesn’t have a free version — but the company offers no-risk 14-day free trials of all of its plans (except the Enterprise business plan).

The free trial does require your credit card details. So you need to pay attention to when the trial period ends to ensure you’re not automatically charged for a subscription. The free trial lets you create a fully functional 1Password account. You’ll be able to access all features, including Watchtower, Travel Mode, and the password storage vaults.

What is 1Password’s Travel Mode?

Travel Mode allows you to temporarily hide information from all your devices. Only the vaults that you’ve marked as “Safe for Travel” will be visible.

Simply log into your 1Password web account, turn on Travel Mode, and all the vaults that aren’t marked as “Safe for Travel” will temporarily disappear from all of your 1Password apps — with no way for anyone to trace them. To restore your vaults, simply turn Travel Mode off in your 1Password web account.

This unique feature allows you to secure any information that you would not be comfortable sharing if asked to turn over your unlocked devices at a country’s border.

What is the best 1Password plan for me?

It depends on the number of user accounts you need.

If you only need to manage your own passwords, the basic 1Password plan is probably the best choice. However, if you have a family, 1Password Families is a great option. It covers 5 users and gives the option to add more users for a small fee. Also, if a family member forgets their 1Password master password, you can restore their access.

However, if you are considering using 1Password for your business, the business plans give you additional controls to ensure your employees are working safely — including the ability to control password and login permissions. There’s also a remote Travel Mode function for employees that travel with sensitive data.

Can I recover my account if I forget my 1Password master password?

The company does not store your master password or your Secret Key — so they cannot be recovered by 1Password. These credentials are known only to you and should be stored safely. All of your sensitive login details, such as your master password and Secret Key are stored in your downloadable PDF Emergency Kit.

However, if you have a Families, Teams, or Enterprise plan and one of the members gets locked out from their account, the admin rights holder can restore their access for them.

1Password Products & Pricing

Bottom Line

1Password is a well-organized and security-focused password manager that reliably protects personal data with advanced security. All of 1Passwords basic and additional features work exactly as promised, and I especially like 1Password’s Watchtower that lets you easily see if any of your data is at risk. I’m also a fan of 1Password’s Travel Mode that hides specific vaults on your devices — a must-have for frequent travelers. It was a bit disappointing to see that 1Password does not have a free version or a money-back guarantee — however, the company offers free 14-day trials of all plans.

About the Author

Eric Goldstein
Eric Goldstein
Senior Editor

About the Author

Eric Goldstein is an internet security researcher and IT journalist. He provides updates on the latest trends in cybersecurity so readers can have a safe and secure online experience. In his spare time, he enjoys working out, relaxing on a beach with his family, and playing with his dog.

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1Password User Reviews

2 2
Based on 4 reviews in 2 languages 6.0
Language
You can trust the Community! Companies can't ask us to delete or change user reviews.
Don
Don
Canada
2.0
Horrible and frustrating piece of software.
Android User
Very annoying piece of software. It may be secure but it's taken me over a month and still my devices aren't synced. Im changing passwords continually. It also rarely offers to save passwords. I honestly am afraid of using it because I can't afford to lose access to my financial sites. Very disappointed but I already paid. I may go back to managing my own passwords. Horrible piece of software. Never again.! I'd score it zero but it won't let me.
Ralph Wiest
Ralph Wiest
United States
10.0
Love It
Mac User
I've been using it for over a year on my Mac's, iPhone's, and iPad. It is so easy to use including integrating with my iPad Touch ID and my iPhone's Face ID. I've removed all browser saved passwords (was a security risk anyway) and also stopped using Apple keychain and now only use 1Password. I also use it for storing sensitive information and data that I used to store in password protected files in the cloud (for cross device access and backup).
Barbara Bowen
Barbara Bowen
United States
2.0
Works Sometimes
Windows User
1Password works great about 70% of the time. The rest of the time it either can't find the login information or fills in the wrong information. It sometimes asks if you want to save an updated password, some times it doesn't. It logs me out after ten minutes even though I have repeatedly changed the logout time to 300 minutes and saved the setting.

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