Apple’s built-in Keychain vs. 1Password or LastPass

“I recommend regularly that people use some sort of password-management system that lets them set hard-to-crack passwords (whether short and complicated or long and easy to remember) uniquely for every site and service, and also lets them fill in those passwords everywhere they need to,” Glenn Fleishman writes for Macworld.

“Lowell Nelson emailed me a few weeks ago wondering why I’m so hot on third-party options, like 1Password, Dashlane, and LastPass, when Apple has a robust, multiplatform solution of its own that includes synchronization: Keychain,” Fleishman writes. “(Keychain more specifically describes the OS X part, while iCloud Keychain allows synchronization across devices and use with iOS.)”

Fleishman writes, “It’s a terrific question, and I prefer not telling people to buy into a paid service (whether a one-time fee or a subscription) unless the utility of that utility is so high that it outweighs the cost.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Which password-management system do you use, if any?


  1. I think keychain doesn’t have the management features you get from 1Password or LastPass.

    Plus third parties also keep track of licenses, and multiple independent vaults.

  2. I’ve been using mSecure for a couple years on my iPhone and have been very pleased. It backs up to my Mac every couple weeks, semi-automatically.

    I’m not too keen on having my passwords in the cloud, no matter how secure the cloud-based system is. But then again, I’m the paranoid sort who keeps a sticky over the camera on my Mac.

    1. I have used mSecure for a couple of years and feel the same way. It has a Mac client that is nice (and not too expensive) which was one of my requirements. I do have it backup to dropbox, but a while back it gained the ability to backup to iCloud.

  3. I use Stashword. It is only $0.99 per year for sync across all devices. It is the easiest password manager I have used.

    Keychain doesn’t let me share my Hulu password with my wife. Besides I need to look up my passwords from the terminal etc.

  4. I’ve been using 1Password on my MacBook and iOS devices for years, and have been quite happy. It is the only third-party solution I’ve tried, so I cannot speak to competitive products.

    I will say, I like the password generator in KeyChain so well that I have it in my dock. Even though 1Password has robust password generator, I like what KeyChain does for me even more.

    So I use KeyChain to generate new passwords – usually “Memorable” ones – and 1Password to keep track of it all. I’m very happy.

  5. I am suspicious of free or low-cost third-party solutions with something so valuable as my passwords. I need those passwords to be around a long time and to be safe as best as possible. It seems to me that a developer that has a track record of supporting their app well improves my odds tremendously. That’s my theory, anyway…

  6. For my use, I really see no benefit for buying some third-party solution when Keychain works perfectly. With an all-Apple ecosystem, I am blissfully ignorant of my various passwords across the diverse services and systems. Keychain diligently takes care of them, and the only trouble is when I step out of that ecosystem and have to remember the password for some service that I hadn’t had to type in for years.

  7. 1Password is used because it syncs across all my devices – Windows PCs (I know – no darts please), iPhones, MBA, iPads. Plus it has features Keychain is missing – 1 big one is CVV security codes.

  8. 1Password is used because it syncs across all my devices – Windows PCs (I know – no darts please), iPhones, MBA, iPads. Plus it has features Keychain is missing – 1 big one is CVV security codes.

  9. 1Password for me….love it! I have tried a couple of others in the past; 1Password is reasonably easy and intuitive…and the team is responsive and keeps on top of the product.

  10. Count me as another satisfied 1Password customer. While I use Keychain to automate everything, 1Password is my database of all personal secure information.

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