1Password Review 2023
- Reliable and simple to use
- 14-day free trial
- Travel mode feature
- Formidable business plan
- Limited support
- Dated design
1Password was initially released in 2006, making it one of the earliest password managers and a true pioneer when it comes to the autofill function. The product was devised by two business partners who were running a web development consultancy and had been struggling with managing their multiple accounts. Once the two noticed there was a demand for their product, they founded AgileBits Inc. and started offering it for commercial use.
Though lauded as a great password manager from the get-go, 1Password has only been serving Mac users for about a decade. That is, until very recently. Luckily, in the last few years, it has expanded into other platforms, including Windows and Android.
1password made headlines when it announced its first-ever outside funding, a partnership with Accel worth $200 million. We’ve decided to take the opportunity and review its offering to figure out whether it really is all that it’s said to be.
We’ll start with the most crucial criterion of all: security. Security is the core of every password manager and is, therefore, worth a close inspection. 1Password uses 256-bit AES encryption and boasts a zero-knowledge storage approach (end-to-end encryption). However important both measures are for securing information, they are still considered a standard (albeit high) for password managers.
There is, however, one major distinction between 1Password and the competition: 1Password generates a secret key upon creating an account and stores it locally on your device. This key, in conjunction with your master password, is used to create a superior level of protection that is virtually uncrackable.
On top of these measures, 1Password offers a variety of smart features designed to protect users from virtual attacks, malware, phishing, etc. These include code signature validation, secure input fields, and auto-lock. Lastly, users can activate two-factor authentication to add yet another level of protection to their accounts.
1Password doesn’t walk users through the setup process as some of its competitors do. However, it’s pretty straightforward overall. The process includes the generation of a secret key, which is composed of 34 characters and needs to be used in conjunction with a user’s master password to enable certain functions, such as access from a new device.
For example, users who install the 1Password app are required to enter their security key or scan the QR code for authentication before entering their master password. Once the setup process is over, you can import your passwords from LastPass, RoboForm, Dashlane, Chrome, or any other app, as long as the data is exported as .CSV file. Though the process isn’t automatic, it’s relatively straightforward and only takes a minute or two to configure, even for non-techie users.
When it comes to the app’s look and feel, 1Password’s interface seems to be a bit dated and uninviting compared with other, younger password managers, at least at first glance. On the plus side, and once you get used to it being minimal, it’s incredibly simple and allows users to focus on what really counts: its features.
As in other password managers, the vault is 1Password’s core. It’s divided into three groups: general, categories, and fixed tags: Email, Productivity Tools, Shopping, Social, and Starter Kit—which includes your master password, secret key, the data you’ve provided upon registration. You can easily sort items by jumping between “all items,” “favorites,” and any of the tags mentioned.
You can also add additional passwords or data by clicking on the plus sign at the bottom of the screen, choosing the appropriate category, and entering your information.
The “Watchtower” feature is an exception: it doesn’t help you manage and find data but is meant to protect it. It informs you of data breaches, compromised passwords, and when it’s time to change a password that’s about to expire. It also reviews your passwords’ strength and breaks them down into “reused,” “weak,” and “vulnerable”— passwords that appear to be in a database of exposed passwords (, in other words, compromised passwords).
Though 1Password doesn’t have a free plan option, it does offer a 14-day trial period. Users can choose between a personal plan at $2.99/month and a family plan (up to five users) at $4.99 per month. It’s worth mentioning that the family plan includes some features that aren’t available for personal users, such as password and data sharing, permissions, and account recovery. Therefore, and even if only two users will be using the service, we recommend opting for the family plan rather than the personal one. The best value for small businesses is defiantly the Team Starter Pack at $19.95 per month for 10 users.
By now, 1Password is compatible with various operating systems: Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, and Chrome OS. It also offers browser extensions for Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera, as well as a standalone extension for Chrome and Firefox, called 1Password X. Mobile users can download a mobile app from Google Play or Apple Store. Both apps reflect the look and feel of the desktop version but are slightly richer and a bit more intuitive, especially for iPhone users. The iPhone app is scored slightly higher than the Android app (4.4 and 4.1, respectively).
1Password doesn’t offer a support chat option, nor does it offer a hotline. Users can contact the support team via email, Twitter, or forum. According to 1Password, the forum is the quickest way to get help, as it operates 24/7, seven days a week. We tried emailing the support team and were answered within ten hours. In comparison, when we posted a question in the forum, we received an almost-immediate response by a 1Password staff member. You can also try and browse through 1Password’s comprehensive knowledge center, which supports users with instructions and video tutorials to a host of scenarios, such as upgrading a service and browser extension malfunction. We found the email support reps to be super responsive and knowledgeable.
1Password offers numerous features as part of the personal plan, whereas family plan members benefit from a few additional features. Personal plan features include:
- Sync across devices—allows users to access 1Password from any of their devices as long as they use their security key in conjunction with their master password.
- Offline account access—allows users to access their information whenever, regardless of their internet connection.
- 1GB of document storage—allows users to securely store their sensitive data (pictures and documents).
- 365-day item history—allows users to restore any password they’ve deleted within the last year.
- Two-factor authentication—allows users to add another layer of security to their account via 2FA.
- Travel mode—a unique feature that allows users to switch to a “travel” mode, thus removing vaults that they consider unsafe from their devices while traveling. The passwords are stored in the cloud but are not shown on the device itself, so long as the travel mode is set on “on.”
The family plan includes, on top of the above features, the following:
- Data sharing—allows the plan members to share passwords, credit cards, and any other data with one another.
- Permissions—allows plan members to manage permissions for other members (what they can and can’t see or do).
- Account recovery—allows plan members to recover accounts for locked-out family members.
1Password’s business plan is excellent, encompassing everything business could hope for, from roles and groups management to activity log with an audit trail, to provisioning with Active Directory and Okta tools, premium VIP support, multi-factor authentication, and custom analytics, to name but a few of the endless list of features. At $7.99 per user a month with a 14-day trial, 1Password’s business plan is perhaps the best of its kind and truly seems to be worth the investment.
An enterprise plan is also available, yet requires users to contact 1Password for a custom quote as the price isn’t specified on the website. On top of 1Password’s standard business features, this plan offers a dedicated account manager, tailor-made setup training, and onboard engineer.
This password manager may not appear to be overflowing with sophisticated features, but we love the way it’s designed. Nevertheless and overall, its offering is incredible and price is reasonable, making it perhaps the best password manager we’ve reviewed to date.