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Password Managers vs Safari Password Management

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(Not sure I'm in the right section, but if I'm not, please move and let me know. :))

I just got a new MacBook Pro and (as I am won't to do) orphaned my 1Password software and now have to decide whether to subscribe or just use Safari's native password management features. Most, but not all, of what I have in 1Password is web logins, but I also have some software keys and other things that I need a secure place for.

I am worn down with everyone wanting you to subscribe (I just want to buy - the "upgrades" are almost always just clutter for me), but alas there are few options, and those that exist are hard to analyze since the reviewers want everything to have all the bells and whistles.

If I subscribe to something, I'm leaning towards Keeper. But I have a couple of questions.

  1. Are Keeper/1Password/DashLane/etc any more secure for web logins than Safari's password management? Are there reasons other than "everything in one place" for using a 3rd party app?
    • I really need my solution to be cross platform between MacOS and iOS/iPadOS. If using Safari for web stuff and an app for non-web stuff is a thing, what are some good and trustworthy apps?

    Thanks in advance for the help.


    Chris
 
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I use both 1Password and the native macOS password system that Safari uses. I can't speak to security for either of them, but both use some form of encryption and a password to protect access. For cross platform access, the third party works better for me. I sync 1Password from my Mac through iCloud to my iPhone and iPad so that I have the same data on all three. Safari also syncs through iCloud so that the same passwords are supposed to be available on my iDevices, but I have noted that it isn't as smooth as 1Password. And for some reason when I log into this board on my iDevices, I get rejected the first time, then get in on the second, mostly. I also get a report that the passwords in Keychain and Safari are different, although they are the same on my Mac. Don't know what is going on with that, but 1Password keeps the same. I also use 1Password for some software registration information and keys, like you, and it syncs across all my devices for me so I have it when and where I need it.

You will probably hear from folks who use Dashlane/whatever/whatever all of whom are convinced that their choice is "best." I don't know what is best, and pretty much I don't care. 1Password works for me just fine and I've had it for a long time, so I'm not going to change unless driven to it.
 
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You don't HAVE to subscribe to 1Password. You can still buy a standalone license. They don't promote it much since having a hand in your pocket for an eternity is what all the cool kids do, but you can still avoid that and pay once.

You say you orphaned 1Password. What version were you on?
 

IWT


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If I may - there is one advantage of a PW Manager over Safari's Keychain. It is this:

Should Keychain ever become corrupted - or - should you ever have to reset your Mac's Admin PW at which time a new Keychain is created and the old one lost for good; that's your entire PW list gone.

On the other hand, almost all PW Managers store an encrypted version in the Cloud and this can be recovered either by using the password for it or via a Recovery Key which only you have.

Like Jake, I use both 1Password and Safari Keychain synced across all devices. I also agree that 1PW is slicker than Keychain on iOS devices, but both work okay.

Others including the OP have made mention of the additional facilities a PW manager offer in terms of Licence Numbers, Credit Card details and more or less any other personal information you care to add.

Ian
 
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If I may - there is one advantage of a PW Manager over Safari's Keychain. It is this:

Should Keychain ever become corrupted - or - should you ever have to reset your Mac's Admin PW at which time a new Keychain is created and the old one lost for good; that's your entire PW list gone.

On the other hand, almost all PW Managers store an encrypted version in the Cloud and this can be recovered either by using the password for it or via a Recovery Key which only you have.

Like Jake, I use both 1Password and Safari Keychain synced across all devices. I also agree that 1PW is slicker than Keychain on iOS devices, but both work okay.

Others including the OP have made mention of the additional facilities a PW manager offer in terms of Licence Numbers, Credit Card details and more or less any other personal information you care to add.

Ian
I use 1P and Keychain also. I'm of the opinion that you shouldn't put all your eggs into one basket. Like you said, if Keychain gets corrupted, your passwords are gone. Likewise, if your 1Password database gets corrupted, or if you are a subscriber and decide "eh, I'm tired of paying for this every month" and choose to end your sub, well it's all gone.

Now, 1Password is easily recovered from backups so I'm more confident in that. I'm not sure how restoring Keychain works from backups when using iCloud syncing, but that should be an option also.

Feature-wise, 1Password can generate crazy strong passwords to your liking, tailored to what a site requires. I like to go as strong as I can, but many sites won't allow that so I have to dial it back, sometimes to as little as 12 characters. Also, what apparently is not well known, is that you can use 1Password to plug in those 6-digit one time passcodes that Google Authenticator, Authy, and others are used for. Yep, 1P can do it all.
 
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First off, sorry I went dark for a couple of days - I had some connection / login issues.

I think the last version I had of 1Password was v5 - only v6 is available on their site now (that I saw). I'll look harder for the purchase option.

Good advice on the belt and suspenders approach. I hadn't thought about Keychain corruption - that's a good point.

I'm not opposed to subscriptions, just overwhelmed by everyone and their brother angling for one. If that's what I need to do here, I will. Thanks again for the input - very helpful! :)
 
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First off, sorry I went dark for a couple of days - I had some connection / login issues.

I think the last version I had of 1Password was v5 - only v6 is available on their site now (that I saw). I'll look harder for the purchase option.

Good advice on the belt and suspenders approach. I hadn't thought about Keychain corruption - that's a good point.

I'm not opposed to subscriptions, just overwhelmed by everyone and their brother angling for one. If that's what I need to do here, I will. Thanks again for the input - very helpful! :)
It’s definitely version 7 now, going on 2 years. They downplay the option to do a standalone license but it’s there. Here are the instructions:
Upgrade to 1Password 7 for Mac

[h=2]Upgrade to 1Password 7[/h]To get started, download 1Password 7 and install it. When you open the app for the first time, click Subscribe Today to sign up for a 1Password membership. Or, to purchase a standalone license, click “Need a license? We have those too.” Then:

  • Your accounts and vaults will be imported from the earlier version of 1Password.
  • Your folders will be converted to tags.
  • If you sync with Dropbox, iCloud, or the WLAN server, your sync settings will be imported.
If you chose to start your 1Password membership, add your account to your other devices.
 
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Be aware that there’s a chance 1Password 8 is around the corner. I don’t know that it is, but it seems like it should be due soon. If so, and if they continue to offer a stand-alone license and offer an upgrade price, there may only be a short period to get the upgrade pricing. I think 1P6 users had a month from the release of 7 to take advantage of it.

On the other hand, since they pivoted to pursue corporate sales, there may NOT be a 1Password 8 coming anytime soon. I have no honest idea.
 
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Hi-

Can I ask how do you use 2 password managers simultaneously? I used Dashlane years ago before I had my MacBook and I never did get it to fill in passwords automatically the way Keychain does. I love love that feature of Keychain. Does 1Password have this feature and if so, do they work together or do you have to choose only one via the options? I need a secure place to save passwords, I need passwords to be created for new sites, I need them to be used automatically when I am on the site. I really am happy with Keychain but someone here mentioned it could be corrupted and then I would wish I had another service.

Allison
 
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With the Cloud convenience, there's the risk that online services are not available, the provider and/or the local system hacked:

LastPass, 1Password and other password managers can be hacked: What to do now

I prefer local PWD DB, no cloud, with number of offline backups.

There were times, over a decade ego, when you could make a deal for software license, like my AV for Windows:

vipre.jpg

And that's for VIPRE Antivirus Unlimited Home Site License, PC Lifetime License...;D

Nowadays, or pretty soon, companies will start charging you a small amount just to turn on your device.No wonder why I hold on to 7 - 10 years old systems...
 
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Can I ask how do you use 2 password managers simultaneously? I used Dashlane years ago before I had my MacBook and I never did get it to fill in passwords automatically the way Keychain does. I love love that feature of Keychain. Does 1Password have this feature and if so, do they work together or do you have to choose only one via the options? I need a secure place to save passwords, I need passwords to be created for new sites, I need them to be used automatically when I am on the site. I really am happy with Keychain but someone here mentioned it could be corrupted and then I would wish I had another service.
On your Mac, 1Password has a helper that can load on startup and runs in the background. It will have a menubar item and has extensions for most browsers. Both 1Password and Keychain can be used together. Keychain, if it has a stored password, will typically offer to fill in the suggested username and password it has stored while with 1Password you fill in using the extension’s icon in the toolbar of the web browser. The developers of 1Password recommend disabling using Keychain to avoid conflicts but once you understand how it works and get used to it, it’s fine.
 
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Wait, what? Cr00zng, that made no sense. Your account get hacked by a spammer?
My account hasn't been hacked, to my knowledge at least; why you ask?
 
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@Cr00zng, With 1Password, the files are encrypted as they transit through the sync process, so even if the server got hacked, the files (and your passwords) are still protected. Plus, you can pick which service to use for syncing, with options for iCloud, Dropbox or a file folder. The passwords themselves are stored in an encrypted file on the device, so you don't need access to the internet to use the passwords. Keep your secrets & passwords safe and secure | 1Password
 
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My account hasn't been hacked, to my knowledge at least; why you ask?
Uh, the big, blaring ad for a PC antivirus? Well that's what it looked like at first glance, although I see you were trying to make a point that you have a license that doesn't expire until 2031. But anyway, Jake already pointed out the error in how you thought 1Password works. I can't speak for the others though. I think there should be a distinction made with the variations of 1Password. There is standalone extension called 1Password X for Chrome, Opera, and Firefox that is cloud-based and requires a subscription. No companion app is installed so presumably use of THAT requires being online. But if you are using the 1Password.com subscription service with the app, I would assume that syncs your database to your devices. If you have a perpetual, standalone license (again, yes, you CAN pay once and be done!!!!!), your data is stored locally and synced across iCloud, DropBox, or via local Wi-Fi sync. You absolutely do not have to be online to use 1Password if you have the standalone license.
 
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On your Mac, 1Password has a helper that can load on startup and runs in the background. It will have a menubar item and has extensions for most browsers. Both 1Password and Keychain can be used together. Keychain, if it has a stored password, will typically offer to fill in the suggested username and password it has stored while with 1Password you fill in using the extension’s icon in the toolbar of the web browser. The developers of 1Password recommend disabling using Keychain to avoid conflicts but once you understand how it works and get used to it, it’s fine.
Thank you for this explanation, this helps a lot. I will look at 1Password, it seems like it may work well for me.
 
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