Unless you are World Memory Record Holder Ben Pridmore, the ability to recall long and unique passwords can be tedious. I don’t think I'm going off on a limb by saying there’s more than a handful of people in the world that use the same password for nearly everything, despite what the security experts advise.
How many times have you registered for a site which had extraordinary password format requirements? Did that site make you stray away from your "this is all I can remember" password? Now, how many times have you had to reset that password because you could not remember it? Those days are history!
In the last few weeks, I explored 1Password by AgileBits. I tested the PC and iOS versions. 1Password combines innovative solutions with streamlined user interface, and most importantly, industry standard security for my most private information.
Pricing and Installation
AgileBits offers several versions of 1Password including PC, Mac, Android and iOS. Prices range from around $18 US for the iOS app, to around $50 US for the PC or Mac software. The PC/Mac versions are also available for a 30 day free trial, so one has nothing to lose by trying it out.
What the author loved about the PC version is how light the software is just under 6mb, and how effortless it is to install and get started. He found with the amount of data entry for all his sites and credentials; it was logical to set up with the PC and sync to the iPhone. Make no mistake, the iOS version was also easy to enter information in, however, when present the author prefers a physical keyboard.
The principle behind 1Password is: you create one very strong master password, one you can remember, in order to open a virtual vault and access your secure information stored within. You can populate the program by either saving logins as you poke around in your favorite browser (a tool bar will display asking you if you want to save your login) or you can do it yourself in the program by navigating through the easy to follow prompts.
Overview of the PC Version
I compared the program to a vault. The core role is to collect and secure passwords, however it is so much more than that. It is a password generator, connects to various browser extensions, and holds a ton of useful information.
You can generate a password of your desired complexity, which automatically places it on your clipboard. The password can then be saved for future logins. If you forget to save the password, no worries, it's automatically held in a "recently generated passwords" cache within the program. This cache can be emptied at your discretion.
AgileBits also crafted extensions for most modern browsers (IE, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari) that call on your “key chain” (the filing cabinet of sensitive data) for quick password saving and recalling. These are also very helpful for online checkout where you can have all your personal information and credit cards saved for quick entry.
You may also opt to save other useful information such as: social security numbers; membership card details; software registration keys (listen up all you payware buying simmers); checking/savings information; you may also drag and drop files into the program to be saved along with the relevant vault entry.
I find 1Password helpful when shopping online by not needing to hunt around for my wallet. 1Password is also helpful when you need your checking/routing information for check payments online. With a few clicks, I was able to populate an entire order page with fully accurate information. Beware: This may make your trigger finger for your impulse shopping even more dangerous.
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Overview of the iPhone Version
The iOS version of 1Password has a similar user interface. It also comes with an integrated web browser that auto-fills your logins on the sites you visit. It’s essentially the same browser as Safari, but more convenient with auto-fill.
Entering and reviewing information is a breeze. Everything can be sorted into folders and favorites. Otherwise you can scroll through your entries alphabetically. You can easily place your password onto the clipboard, or click the URL the program saved that automatically brings you to the webpage with your login information pre-filled.
I’m especially pleased with this app in my official duties at work. Having 1Password on iOS has allowed me to pull up information quickly in the field where speed and efficiency can make all the difference.
What good would all this be if there was no easy way to sync all of the information? AgileBits has the option to sync through Dropbox making your information accessible anywhere on any device. On a work computer for instance, you can navigate to your Dropbox, double click on your key chain and it opens as a secure webpage with a prompt for your master password. After logging in, you have a professional user interface to browse and select your desired information.
Your virtual vault is encrypted with AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) which is a state-of-the-art encryption algorithm used as the national standard in the United States. What does that mean? Well, it uses 128-bit keys, which equates to millions of years for prying eyes to decrypt your key chain using a “brute force” attack.
| Publisher: AgileBits |
Platform: PC, iOS
Reviewed By: Chase Kreznor
What I Like About 1Password
- It’s easy to learn (guy approved, no manual needed but one is available)
- It’s super convenient to know all my passwords and information is in one safe spot
- I LOVE the customer support and people over at AgileBits, full of nerd humor and a very strong passion to serve.
- I like being able to easily generate strong passwords and save them in one click
What I Dislike About 1Password
- Seriously, I can’t find anything I don’t like about this program. Very big thanks to the development team and for making improvements based on customer suggestions!