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?

29 Comments

  1. Love, love, love 1Password! Have been using it on iOS and Mac for just under 2 years and have recommended it to many Apple users. Awesome browser extension for Mac Safari auto-populates and logs-in for most sites, quick access via OS X menubar, encrypted synching between OS X and iOS via iCloud, extremely customizable, and more. I use it for website logins, FTP info, email settings, bank and credit card info. There’s also an Apple watch app for quick access to frequently used data.

    OS X + iOS a bit pricey these days, but 40% off sales happen every so often.

  2. Keychain can’t keep things right. I’m constantly having issues with keychain not keeping up with password changes. I’ve completely deleted keychain more than once and started over again only to have the same issue over and over again. This is just one example where Apple is not doing itself justice with poorly designed software. 1Password is the only way to go.

  3. I’ve used 1Password since it went public. But it’s not perfect. I’m consistently glad that I also do one other thing:

    I also store all my myriad of passwords in a text file that I keep on my encrypted sparse bundle disk image that I have open when I boot my Macs. It is in simple alphabetic order according to the site, service or hardware requiring the password. I keep three things:
    – The ID I use.
    – The associated email address (of my several). This is often the ID as well.
    – The password.

    When I know I’m going to need to pull a particular password out of my head on a regular basis (such as for Apple’s iCloud), I create something ridiculous but memorable that uses whatever variety of characters the site allows, the more variety the better. I also make these passwords as long as I can stand.

    I never write down hard core critical passwords, such as the password for my encrypted sparse bundle disk image, or the password to get into 1Password. It can’t be stolen or hacked unless someone drills into my skull. (^_^)

    I’ve had 1Password demonstrate bugs, quirks and bungling that have had me rush to my text file for salvation. A couple examples:
    (A) 1Password creates an initial login record, except registration page login page URL is not the same as the regular login URL. That may thoroughly stump 1Password and force you to edit its settings for that web service.
    (B) You end up with duplicate entries for the same web service and have to decide which to keep.
    (C) [Some other that I forgot thanks to my cat going mental].

    Conclusion: Don’t rely on one solution to cover all the bases. Having a redundant record of passwords has proven to be critical.

  4. I use an algorithm for sites that are not so important and strong unique passwords for sites that are important, just incase somebody figures out my algorithm. Which you won’t… so don’t even try ;-).

    Works for me.

  5. Keychain. Before I began using it, I looked at the other options. Buying multiple versions for different platforms was a turnoff. Keychain has worked well for me and helped me maintain an implementation of unique passwords for each site. One annoyance is that Keychain doesn’t give you the option of choosing the type of password you want when you’re signing up for a new account–you get what it gives. Whereas, if you go through the “manual” process of choosing a Keychain password, it offers great flexibility. I definitely appreciate its smooth integration with all my Apple devices.

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