Detailed Expert Review
I often hear about 1Password being one of the safest and most intuitive password managers out there, so I wanted to see if there was any truth to that. While 1Password does have a wide range of features, I want to know if it’s better than competing brands. I tested 1Password on PC, Mac, Android, and iOS for a variety of things, including functionality, ease-of-use, and security.
Overall, I’m very impressed by 1Password’s multiple layers of high-quality security and intuitive password management features — some of which are unique to 1Password, like the security-focused Travel Mode.
It’s also got military-grade encryption, some of the best family tools of any other password manager, an option for local data storage, dark web monitoring, and an easy-to-use application which functions well across all major operating systems. Non-tech-savvy people will have no problem navigating the user interface and all of 1Password’s features.
That said, it’s a bit disappointing that there’s no free version, but there is a no-risk 30-day free trial to help you decide if 1Password is the best password manager for you.
I wanted to know if 1Password was secure enough, easy to set up and use, and came at a good price.
Here’s what I found out.
1Password Security Features
1Password includes a pretty wide range of features, including unlimited password storage, secure notes, data breach alerts, and more. It also includes unique security features like the Travel Mode, which temporarily hides data from your 1Password vault.
1Password uses AES 256-bit encryption to secure all data — which is the same level of encryption used by banks and governments. All data is end-to-end encrypted on your device. For extra security, 1Password also provides a Secret Key, which is an additional code required when logging into your 1Password account.
The company has a zero-knowledge policy, meaning they do not store, track, or sell your data. And to prevent hackers intercepting data sent to 1Password’s server, they use an SRP (Secure Remote Password) protocol, which keeps Master Passwords, Secret Keys, and all other data safe.
Overall, 1Password is very secure. While most other password managers use advanced encryption methods, 1Password’s level of data security is even more advanced than that.
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 and put them into easy-to-access vaults. I like this because I can keep my 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.
I set up separate vaults for business logins, travel documents, and family account logins. 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 made it easy to specify who could view, manage, or edit data. For example, my kids could access the Netflix login and debit cards for App Store purchases, but they couldn’t edit the 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 are only sharing passwords and logins with the right people.
Having separate vaults for all of my data really works for me. Even well-known password managers like RememBear and Sticky Password don’t include a separate vaults feature. So I love how 1Password makes organizing and sharing data simple for both single users and families.
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.
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.
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 renewing my payment information before completing an online purchase.
Note that in 1Password’s PC version, many of Watchtower’s options are OFF by default, so you need to enable them manually.
Overall, I found Watchtower to be very convenient and easy to use — at a glance, I was able to see if any of my data was at risk or needed to be updated. Many of the best password managers, including Dashlane and Keeper, include dark web monitoring and password security tools, similar to 1Password’s Watchtower. But I really like how 1Password makes it super easy to spot any security issues.
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. As border control officers can request to look through your phone to get proof of identity, 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. So, vaults containing top-secret info 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. So, there is really no way for the authorities to find your 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.
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 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.
Competitors like LastPass do include a similar function, but it’s 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.
1Password X is a complete version of 1Password that runs entirely in a web browser. It has a browser extension which works in conjunction with 1Password’s web version. It’s available for:
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.
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 (for example, 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.
But after doing some research, I found that 1Password used to have an auto-login feature, but they 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 X is decent. I like how you have to initiate logins, which does indeed remove security risks. While I like the design, the 1Password X extension is missing some features, like bookmark storage. I’d also like it if 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.
1Password Plans and Pricing
1Password is a great value for the money. All plans include 1 GB of encrypted file storage, login sharing, password security tools, and Travel Mode protection.
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 30-day free trials for all of their plans, (except the most advanced business plan, Enterprise).
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.
- 1 GB storage per person. Securely store up to 1 GB of files and images.
- 24/7 support. Support by email only.
- History of deleted passwords. Restore deleted passwords for 365 days.
- Travel Mode. Hide sensitive data stored in 1Password when traveling.
- Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). Keep 1Password account data extra secure.
This plan is great for single users who are looking for a really secure, cost-effective, and easy-to-use password manager.
The Personal plan doesn’t include an emergency access option, unlike Dashlane Premium. But 1Password Personal is a much better value than basic password managers that include less features, like Sticky Password.
1Password Families — Best for Secure Sharing Logins with Family
This plan includes all features of the above 1Password plan, plus:
- Coverage for up to 5 users. Plus the option to add more users.
- 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 it a cost-effect choice for large families. 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.
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 is also a 1Password Business plan, which includes 5 GB storage per person, activity reports, custom groups, up to 20 guest accounts, and every team member gets a free 1Password Families account. VIP Support is also offered.
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.
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, it didn’t require me to include special characters or numbers — which is required by other password managers like Sticky Password.
Once I logged into my account with my Master Password, I was assigned a unique Secret Key. The 34-digit Secret Key was stored in the Emergency Kit — a PDF file which contains all of my information, including my Secret Key and a QR verification code to quickly set up my 1Password account on other devices.
The Emergency Kit contained:
- 1Password web version login URL.
- My email address.
- Secret Key.
- Master password.
- 1Password support email address.
- QR code for a quick account setup in all of my 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 logged into my 1Password account. I’m happy that 1Password has a two-factor authentication option, but it would be great if they included more advanced options, like Keeper’s biometric and smartwatch 2FA options.
Importing data to 1Password was pretty simple. It 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, as your passwords can be viewed in plain text in the CSV file. I’d much prefer it if 1Password offered more import options for other password managers. LastPass and Dashlane both have a much wider range of import options for other password managers.
Overall, 1Password’s setup was easy and straightforward. I really like 1Password’s user-friendly display. The easy-to-follow instructions made the whole setup process very fast. While it would be great to see 1Password include more data importing options, the software is very easy to set up and use, even for non-tech-savvy users.
1Password Mobile App
1Password’s mobile app is available for both iOS and Android.
I really like this app’s sleek design. The installation and setup of the app was very easy, especially as I already had a 1Password account — in which case I only needed to scan the QR code in my Emergency Kit PDF file.
The interface is intuitive, with all of the main features listed clearly. Similar to Sticky Password’s mobile app, 1Password’s app includes an integrated browser. 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.
When comparing the 1Password mobile app with the desktop version, I noticed that the app has different default settings — for example, Watchtower is enabled. (This feature is disabled by default in the desktop version.)
But the mobile app has less flexibility than the desktop version when it comes to other features. For example, you only have the option to clear your clipboard after 90 seconds — as opposed to the range of clipboard clearing times in the desktop version.
I really like the Enable Standalone Vaults feature. 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 36-character long Master Password every time I needed to access logins for apps on my iPhone or Android.
The Android app is very similar in features and functionality to the iOS version, but the Android version offers an additional option to switch between the dark and light mode.
Overall, I like the 1Password mobile app. Both the iOS and Android version worked well. The interface is intuitive and easy enough for beginner users to function. And I loved how I could create a mobile-only vault for all of my iPhone and Android app logins.
1Password Customer Support
1Password’s support options include:
- Email support.
- 1Password support forum.
- 1Password’s Twitter account.
I tested 1Password’s email support by submitting a question using the contact form on the company’s website. In just over an hour, I received an auto-reply with some information that did not answer my question — but it assured me that a human will get back to me shortly. In about 3 hours, I received a detailed reply that fully answered my question.
I 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 and 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.
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.
Is 1Password the Password Manager You Need in 2020?
1Password is a very safe, very secure, and very easy-to-use password manager. The attention to detail when it comes to 1Password’s security is incredible — it’s by far one of the most security-focused password managers available.
Its intuitive display and simple setup process makes it a decent choice for non-tech-savvy users. And with intricate settings like clipboard clearing and unique features like Travel Mode, it’s also a good option for advanced users looking to upgrade to a more sophisticated password manager.
I do think 1Password could offer more data importing options, like LastPass does. 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, like Facebook.
However, 1Password is great for both single users and families. Its Families plan is a great value for the money — 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 2020. 1Password is backed by high security, excellent features, and a company which cares about providing a good user experience.
1Password — Frequently Asked Questions
Does 1Password have a free version?
1Password does not have a free version — but the company offers no-risk 30-day free trials of all of their plans (except the Enterprise business plan).
The free trial does not require your credit card details, and it still 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. Turning off the Travel Mode restores your access to all of your data.
Simply log into your 1Password web account, turn Travel Mode on, and all the vaults marked as “Remove 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. 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.