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1Password (1P) is an app that enables you to store all your passwords securely in one place, and a great deal more too.

Alternative to Keychain

As a database to generate or store passwords, it is an alternative to Apple's standard app Keychain. Both allow the user to create their own passwords if they wish. Various CATUG members do this, and suggest using foreign languages to generate passwords.

Both likewise can, if the user desires, automatically enter passwords in Safari and other browsers.

Even on the core business of passwords, 1PW still has some tricks up its sleeve: instructions you can provide for it to use when creating passwords, keeping up with password aging, and auditing your sites to alert you if any of them have suffered breaches or otherwise been compromised.

Jeff S reported in 2016: "I’ve had them both. If you don’t use the the other features of 1PW then you are probably correct [about not needing it]. However, 1PW did save my bacon a couple months back. Something went wrong with KC and I couldn’t log into it. I’d not changed any of that information or a user login in. All the passwords were locked out to me. If it were not for 1PW I would have been in deep waters."

For Jon Glass, "1P comes into its own when you start to use multiple browsers, computers and platforms. I use 1P and all my stuff is in Chrome, Safari, Firefox, both on my Mac, and on the iPhone, and Android, and now Windows tablet, should I need it. The new family service creates a shared space for your entire family with shared logins and passwords, etc. Admin capabilities, etc. If you use one computer, and one browser (and iOS) then Keychain is most likely enough, but start adding things and 1P begins to own."

Additional features

Allan C explains that the value of 1P really begins to show up when you go beyond just keeping passwords in it. It has templates set up specifically to keep up with specialized information: Social Security Numbers, Drivers License, Identities, Credit Cards, Passports, Software Licenses, WiFi Router info, and more.

Then there is the very handy “Secure Note,” for freeform information. This could be used to collate:

  • personal information about a relative
  • evidence relating to a legal case (PDFs of emails, photos)
  • information for a trip, complete with photos of passports, licenses, official numbers

Chris Howard gives a few details of what can be stored:

  • organizing software info, including when and where you bought it (sometimes helps with paid vs. free upgrades),
  • complete credit card info including the toll-free number on the back in case it gets stolen/lost
  • bank account info including website, hours
  • medication

He explains: "It's really just like keychain, but imagine it like a programmable database. With what I do I access something on it every day. What I really like is for paying bills online, I can jump right to the page, enter username / password, credit card or bank account info, and NOT keep the info stored on anybody else's server."

External links


Compiled by Neville Reid from a conversation on Mac-Min in August 2016