The benefits of using 1Password over iCloud Keychain

“To me, it is pretty obvious that 1Password is much more powerful than iCloud Keychain and is well worth the price,” Sébastien Page writes for iDownload Blog. “If you’re an Apple-only kind of user, then iCloud Keychain is great, but if you are working on other platforms such as Windows, then your iCloud Keychain data won’t be able to sync over. Even if you are a Mac user but use a browser other than Safari (ie. Chrome), then you won’t be able to take advantage of the basic iCloud Keychain features.”

MacDailyNews Take: Don’t pollute your Mac with Google’s Chrome.

“While iCloud Keychain is capable of generating passwords for you, there is absolutely no customization options available to the user as each password generated by Apple’s service is 15-characters long, composed of 4 groups of 3 alphanumerical characters separated by dashes (ie. 6h9-K1n-0oF-j2n),” Page writes. “In contrast, 1Password lets you create custom password recipes where you can choose the length of the password, as well as how many digits and symbols you want in there. Additionally, the password generator displays a strength indicator that tells you how strong your password is.”

MacDailyNews Take: Incorrect. On your Mac, launch Keychain Access, choose File > New Password Item, and click the “key” icon next to the Password input field. That launches macOS’s Password Assistant. You’ll have full customization options and a password strength indicator, too.

Yes, Password Assistant is awfully hidden by Apple, but the tools are indeed available.

“While iCloud Keychain can only store passwords and credit card information, 1Password offers much more than that as it lets you save information for your driver license, passport, bank account numbers, membership cards, software license information, Social Security number, and more. It also allows you to upload specific file types such as images, text files, PDFs, and more,” Page writes. “For example, I have pictures of all passports as well as detailed passport information for all of my family members. When I travel and need to find out my wife’s or my kids’ passport expiration date, I don’t have to get up and go dig in the drawer. It’s all here in 1Password.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: By all means, give 1Password a try if Apple’s Keychain Access and iCloud Keychain aren’t working for you. Of course, 1Password costs $3 per month, but Apple’s tools are free.


  1. One of the main features of 1Password that made me use it, is syncing Macs and iPhones over wifi ONLY. There is no vault or backup in the cloud. It all stays inside my house.

    – Hackers have to break into my Mac or iPhone to get to my password vault.

    1Password current version is pushing for cloud syncing, but it is optional. Not sure how long that will last.

  2. Long-time user — they’ll allow you to purchase on a one-time basis and use a syncing service. Much prefer that to subscriptions. They say that’s an option that will remain in the long term.

  3. Please don’t laugh at my question.

    Has 1Password ever been hacked? Has it been independently audited? I could say the same for Keychain.

    Secret entry into 1Password could mean a person would loose control over all sorts, maybe hundreds of accounts.

    Am I not the only one who worries?

  4. “Incorrect. On your Mac…”

    That’s a problem right there. Any Mac-only (never mind desktop-only) solution to an iOS shortcoming puts the lie to the claim that iOS is a fully capable computer replacement.

    Other more basic examples include not being able to create contact groups or add/edit photo descriptions using the default iOS apps.

  5. Long time user. I’ve also set up my friends and family with 1PW and its invaluable. Syncs flawlessly with all devices. As far as security is concerned- the encryption is 256, if hackers can break that, they can just go directly to your bank anyway. Vast majority of data breach are from using a weak, easily guessed password for multiple log-ins. 1PW makes it easy to (and can remind you to) generate and change PWs for all your log ins. One very cool feature: secure sharing of all or part of a vault. My wife can change PWs for shared log ins (bank, amazon prime etc) and they show up correctly in my “team vault” so I never miss a beat. Also very cool, 1PW works with FaceID flawlessly. Also, support is very responsive and updates are quick.

    1. It’s easy; 1Password remembers the password for you. I have dozens and dozens of passwords in my 1Password and the only password I have to remember is the one to get into 1Password.

  6. I began using 1PW a number of years ago, at least 10, maybe more when I lived overseas. But over the years, upgrades and even minor costs of upgrades plus the more robust versions of Keychain, I asked other forums the advantages of 1PW for me. There were none for me and how I use my Mac, or for my wife and how she does. About 2 years ago, we stopped using 1PW and stayed with KeyChain.

    1PW DOES offer some things that KC does not, but those are things that we don’t use or need.

    “Choice” sure is great!

  7. Another advantage 1PW has over iKC (on iOS) is that you can store any secure info you want, not just basic internet passwords.

    Like with the password assistant, with a Mac you can also add custom secured info, but you have no way to access that on iOS.

    1. What 1pW issues are you having on iOS? Been flawless with my iPhones / iPads / Apple Watch / MacBook Air in addition to my Windows desktops / Windows laptops / Windows tablets. Everything syncs across platforms w/o issues – the main reason I use it!

  8. NOTE: Here’s a big secret!

    No one has to buy into 1Password’s cloud network. For marketing-moron reasons, AgileBits doesn’t want you to know. That’s why they HIDE this fact on their website. I’ve personally interacted with AgileBits on more than one occasion about their deceptive marketing, asking them to stop.

    I highly recommend 1Password. I’ve been using it since version 1. It works great.

    But AgileBits’ marketing is shite and his happy to deceive you into paying their recurring fees for their cloud service, a service you do NOT need. I’ll happily enjoin anyone on this topic if you’d like to know more.

    IOW: Just pay for the 1Password application & iOS app. Don’t bother paying for their cloud service.

    1. You’re trading convenience/time for money. Regardless of the fact that they have an option favoring either side, it’s still not convenient in both of those areas simultaneously as Apple’s solution is.

      1. The problem with AgileBits is that they insist upon going out of their way on their website to HIDE the fact that their cloud solution is entirely option as well as an extra recurring fee on top of the cost of 1Password. I’ve been back and forth with them directly about exactly this point.

        Otherwise, I’m in agreement. There have been a couple hacks into Apple’s Keychain over the years, which worries some. Meanwhile, 1Password has had security flaws of their own, which they thankfully patch in haste.

        I personally use BOTH. Keychain, as implemented in Safari, is super easy and convenient. I store a lot of passwords in it, but only for stuff which, if hacked, would be inconsequential. I use 1Password for seriously important things like PayPal, Amazon, my bank…

  9. I trust Apple with all of my passwords. I do not trust some other company with all of my passwords, especially when they’ve confirmed a breach recently. Apple’s works across all of my devices as well as within iOS and Mac apps.

  10. I have been using it for about a year. Seems smoother, more intuitive, less easily “confused” than Keychain. The iOS version of !P does not work as well as the Mac version, but that seems to be true across the board for all apps anyway I don’t use iOS as a form of “computer” but as a more capable phone, so it isn’t really a problem. I don’t use iOS for any “heavy lifting, so…….

    1. replying to my own post; thinking back to what irritated me about Keychain from the day it came out.

      Why was it confusing? About half the time, Keychain could not remember passwords from the last time they were used. So what would happen is that entities that I used a password for would come back with the “password not found” and ask me if I wanted to reset. Of course I had to agree if I wanted to login;, and so Keychain would dutifully create a new log in password combination without giving me the update option so that over a period of time I might have list of 5 password log ins for the same site. So finally, you delete the 4 oldest but always have that “what the hell is going on” question in your mind. !Password, like so many 3rd party apps, just works better than the Apple app.

      Mac OS is clearly the best operating system, but the apps that Apple writes are just not worth messing with in general. My business is to create HTML5 specialized content for web site producers. I use at least 12 different apps for content creation, timeline animation, image processing, etc. Without those specialized 3rd party apps, running on OSX, I would be out of business.

      Why is is that Apple, who writes the best OS by far, just doesnt do well on apps? I use Mail and Safari with no big issues, but everything else………very rarely.

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