Review 1Password

1Password, despite being a great app for Android and Windows users, still falls behind LastPass.

1Password Specifications

Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS, Darwin, FreeBSD, OpenBSD Free version: Not available


Browser plugins: Brave, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari

Form submission:Yes

Mobile PIN unlock: Yes

Biometric loginFaceID Touch ID iOS & macOS Windows Hello. Pixel Face Unlock and most Android fingerprint readers are supported Linux distros.

Killer feature: Travel Mode

EDITOR’S COMMENT It has been revealed that the 2021 Tom’s Guide Awards are now open. 1Password has been named Highly Recommended password manager. You can see all the winners as well as the top runner-up on the Tom’s Guide Awards webpage.

Although Apple enthusiasts love 1Password, its password manager is not widely known. 1Password originally started as a desktop application that you paid once. But, 1Password has moved to a $36 per-year subscription plan over the years.

1Password was fortunate in that two of the best password managers, Dashlaneand LastPass raised their subscription rates to compete with or beat 1Password. This once high-priced subscription no longer seems so.

The 1Password reviews show that although the service shows signs of improvement it still trails similar priced services. LastPass delivers a better user experience especially for non-Apple platforms.

1Password Costs and Coverage

1Password offers a 30-day free trial for new users. You can then choose from a personal plan, which is $35.88 per user per annum; or a family package that includes up to 5 users at $59.88 each year. A family plan covers up to 5 users for $12/year. Additional users will be charged $12 per annum. 1Password no longer offers mobile apps.

All users receive unlimited password syncing between all their devices. This includes access to account online and offline. Security audits are available, including a password generator and security alerts. Email support is also provided. There’s 1GB of secure storage, an item history, and the ability to retrieve deleted or forgotten passwords. The Family Plan includes password sharing, document and permission control as well account-recovery tools.

Longtime Mac users are disappointed that 1Password ceased sales of licenses for its desktop Mac application on August 20, 21st as 1Password prepared to launch 1Password8.

These standalone licenses would have cost $64.99. Each version upgrade would have required users to pay another. The standalone license does not have many 1Password’s more advanced features. This includes sharing, saving items, Travel Mode and Two-Secret Key Derivation.

In order to sync data from the standalone desktop application with 1Password mobile apps, you must make a $9.99 one-time purchase in the iOS/Android app. This will unlock Pro features.

1Password can be used with Microsoft.NET 4.6.2 (or later) and Windows 10. To use macOS you’ll need to have 10.13 High Sierra. After months of beta testing, the 1Password Linux Desktop App became officially available in May 2021. It is compatible with almost all major Linux distributions.

1Password in Browser, formerly 1Password X was a fully-featured extension for browsers. The browser supports Linux or Chrome OS as long you use Brave, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Brave Chrome Edge Firefox Safari Chrome Chrome Chrome Edge Firefox Safari Safari. Opera and Vivaldi can use either one of the Chrome extension. There are command-line 1Password Interfaces for Windows/Linux, Linux and macOS/Darwin.

1Password must be installed on mobile devices using iOS 12 or newer and Android 5.0 Lollipop.

1Password was used for the review on 2017 MacBook Pro 15 which ran Windows 10 and macOS 11.14 Mojave. A iPhone 7 Plus with Android 9 Pie, a Google Pixel 3 and an iPhone 7 Plus were also used. Google Chrome was my preferred browser across all platforms. Safari however, was also used for testing macOS/iOS.

1Password – Setup

The first thing you need to do to get 1Password started is to make an account online at 1Password. Once you have created an account, enter your name as well as your email address. Next, confirm the 6-digit confirmation codes sent to your email. It is necessary to also enter your credit-card information. However, you will not be billed for the trial period of 30 days.

(1Password image credit)

This will enable you to receive your “Secret Key” (a unique set of 34 letters and number) which acts as your master password.

1Password will provide you with an “Emergency Kit”, a PDF that contains your email address, your secret key and a space where you can enter your master pass. If you are unable to access your account, this document can be printed out or stored digitally.

(1Password image credit)

1Password has no access to your passwords, just like all other password managers. Only one exception applies to family accounts. A “recovery” member can be designated who will retrieve the account of another family member.

Logging in on 1Password will bring up a small welcome section that walks you through installing 1Password applications across all of your devices. The same guide can be found in your Vault for those who have already installed apps.

The software-installation process has improved since I last reviewed 1Password, with 1Password Mini automatically installing itself into the Mac menu bar. While I needed to install Chrome’s browser extension, 1Password Mini automatically prompts me to do that when I open it.

If you are using a password manager other than the one built into your browser or a password manager that you already have, 1Password can import those data. 1Password falls behind other password managers in this area, offering direct-import options to SplashID, LastPass, or any previous 1Password data as well as the CSV import (a comma­separated value data sheet).

Many password managers provide an easy CSV export option, so this should not be a problem. Dashlane is an exceptional exception. Dashlane was the service that I was using to import before 1Password offered Dashlane direct exports. Editing the CSV file was necessary to get rid of non-login data, and to conform with the 1Password CSV specifications.

(1Password image credit)

For the 1Password app to be installed on mobile devices you’ll need the Emergency Kit. The Emergency Kit will allow you to enter your secret key or scan the QR Code. You can then use 1Password as any other password manager. Just enter your master passcode and all your data will sync automatically.


1Password Desktop App is still quite basic. RoboForm’s desktop is similar, but it feels more like an app than a program.

However, for those who use mobile first or are fans of new design principles and a more intuitive user interface, it will be difficult to understand. AgileBits promises that other platforms will soon get more of the Linux desktop apps that AgileBits introduced in May 2021.

(1Password image credit)

You won’t be overwhelmed by the options and design. You will see four sections in the left column: Vault. Watchtower. Categories. Tags. These sections are easily collapsed and expanded if necessary.

Vaults help you arrange passwords in logical categories, such as at work and home. You can choose to have your vaults private or shared.

(1Password image credit)

Watchtower dissects security problems into seven separate sections. Compromised websites and VulnerablePasswords allow you to identify passwords or accounts which have been affected by known breaches. This data is sourced from the website Passwords that are reused and weak are passwords that are common across several services or aren’t complicated enough.

Unsecured Web Pages flags login pages that are using an unsecure “https”, rather than the more secure “https”, protocol. A cool new feature, the Two-Factor Authentication Section flags 2FA support sites. You can use it to enable 2FA. Final, the Expiring area identifies all accounts, cards, or services that were saved in 1Password and are about to expire.

(1Password image credit)

1Password will default display all your items. They can be sorted by categories. This will change depending on how you input them into 1Password. You have 18 categories to choose from, so this could become quite extensive if all are used.

Last but not least, Tags allows you to mark any password entry with one of several labels of your choosing. Then, simply click on the name tag to see all items that have been labeled. It can be used to create your own Categories.

1Password clearly shows an appreciation for organization. In fact, three of the sections to the left are focused on managing your items and sorting them.

The need to input keyboard commands for forms-filling or other fairly simple tasks is something I do not find necessary. Some minor issues in the desktop application include making me click before I am able to scan and login with my fingerprint.

These inconveniences will probably become second nature after you use the app for some time. You won’t notice them if your are a good hotkey master. Keeper or LastPass will make life easier for you.

1Password for Travel Mode

1Password’s unique Travel Mode feature is certainly not for everyone, but it can be very valuable to those who use or require it. No other password manager offers anything like it. Travel Mode allows you to protect passwords from being inspected by border officials and also your social media accounts.

(1Password image credit)

Flag your vaults to “Safe for Travel” or “Remove For Travel.” You can toggle on travel mode in if your international trip is planned. The vaults you have flagged “Removed from Travel” will be removed.

This provides the highest protection for your data from any third party, even if your device was seized. Travel Mode can be turned off when you arrive home. Once that happens, the vaults are restored.

1Password: Browser extensions

The standalone app is not the only option. It’s easy to get lost. First, 1Password has two sets browser extensions . The 1Password desktop software is required to use one of the sets. The older set, originally called 1Password X but now simply called “1Password” in the browser, is unaffected. (LastPass performs something similar to its “binary component extension” for 1Password X.

1PasswordMini is another option. This menu bar dropdown requires macOS to be installed. 1Password Mini, Brave, Chrome Edge Firefox, Safari, Edge, Firefox and Safari are both first-generation extension. They’re not intended to replace the primary desktop application.

1Password in Browser refers to the collection of browser extensions available for Brave Chrome Edge Firefox Safari Safari. Chrome OS users are able to access 1Password through this browser. Linux users were able initially to have a graphical 1Password experience, but now they can also use the fully fledged Linux desktop app.

1Password in Browser may not be as comprehensive as the main app, but it provides all of the functionality you need for the standard extensions as well 1Password Mini.

Popup windows allow you to store new passwords, or enter your usernames and passwords. 1Password allows you to either create your own passwords or it can generate them automatically. The browser will just defaultly create a 30-character password when given a new password field.

1Password for Browser is still being developed and some of its features will continue to be integrated with the standalone app. It should make your experience much better.

1Password’s Browser extensions were upgraded to Dark Mode, which provides biometric login support on macOS and Windows Hello. There is also further integration between browser extensions, desktop clients, and Linux distributions.

1Password mobile apps

While iOS users still prefer 1Password, Android users using Android 8.0 Oreo have seen significant improvements. Both mobile apps on both platforms support password entry and form-filling via biometric login.

Android 7.1.2 and above users can still use the 1Password keypad by adding it via the accessibility settings. The keyboard logs in more quickly than using just one fingerprint swipe, although it does take two additional taps to change the keyboard, which isn’t a huge inconvenience.

(1Password image credit)

1Password is a password manager that allows you to unlock mobile apps without having to enter your master password. Face ID or Touch ID can be used on iOS and Pixel 4 devices. You also have the option to use Face Unlock for Android.

While the app’s overall appearance is unchanged from my last review, it still looks better than the desktop. Some of the same design cues as the mobile apps are shared by 1Password Browser, giving reason to expect that desktop users soon will have a more modern interface.

(1Password image credit)

The mobile app’s functionality remains limited in comparison to the desktop application. Access to your existing items can be accessed and you can create vaults. Watchtower can be modified, although this is a strange feature.

1Password should bring its mobile experience closer to that of the desktop. The apps are good at handling passwords and most users will be satisfied with their performance. LastPass and Dashlane provide richer mobile experiences.

1Password: Security

1Password has the same AES encryption used by most password managers as well as a master pass that is unknown to the user.

Touch ID is a way to sign into 1Password on macOS. It can also be used with your Apple Watch or Touch ID. To 1Password X/1Password In the Browser, Touch ID was introduced in May 2021.

Your 34-character Secret Key is what continues to be their secret sauce. It was created when you set up your account. You can use it in combination with your master passphrase to create an encrypted password repository with 128 bits entropy. This makes password cracking virtually impossible. Blur’s backup password is the only password management program I found that did anything comparable.

1Password is now Service Organization Controls (2SOC2) compliant. This certification means 1Password is American Institute of Certified Professional Accountants certified. The company must go through audits, and be meticulously documented about its security policies.

(1Password image credit)

1Password supports two-factor authentication ( (2FA)). AgileBits originally claimed that 2FA was not necessary because each 1Password account had a secret key. But the company gave in to their customers and now offers this welcomed layer of security.

OnePassword customers can choose an authenticator app using a time-based, one-time password (TOTP), such Authy and Google Authenticator. They also have the option of a physical U2F encryption key like Yubico’s YubiKey, Google’s Titan Key, to use as their 2FA method. SMS-based messages aren’t supported due to security concerns.

1Password review: Final line

1Password made some positive steps, and the browser version of 1Password gives me hope for 1Password’s future design. It is still a great app from a functional point of view, so 1Password remains a viable option for anyone who enjoys the look and feel the desktop version.

1Password doesn’t have to be at the top of any price charts because some of its strongest rivals raised their subscription fees. I’d recommend LastPass but Keeper are superior in design and features.

NEW: Updated with official Linux desktop app release, and further functionality for 1Password browser. This review first appeared June 2020.