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1password. How Did I Ever Manage Without It

April 20, 2010

I, like many people have over the years got into a routine of using the same or small selection of easy to remember password for all sites and services I sign up to on the Internet. Now the passwords I used aren’t as easily guessable as some, I don’t use ‘password’ or ‘12345’, but they aren’t ultra secure either. I’ve been meaning to change them for quite some time now but being lazy I never got round to it. Then last month I saw a list of the top 100 passwords that people often use and one of mine was on there, it wasn’t identical, mine had a couple of numbers in it but it was close enough to get me a little worried. So my task was to change all my passwords to something more secure and find a way to store them so I wouldn’t forget what they were… the solution I found was 1password.

I have had their iPhone app for some time now but never really used it other than for storing credit/debit card details. I downloaded their Mac app any was blown away by it’s features and ease of use. Firstly it has a very nice user interface that’s quick and easy to get used to, you can be up and running within minutes without reading any instructions or tutorials (but they are recommended to get the most out of it). Two of the features I like most about it are it’s integration with Safari and several other apps and it’s random password generator. Whenever you log into a site a 1password bar will drop down at the top of the browser window in Safari and ask you if you want to save the username and password for this site, similar to how save username/password works in FireFox. Your details are then stored in 1passwords encrypted database, next time you visit that particular site all you need to do is click the 1password icon on the task bar, enter your 1password password and it fills in your details and logs you in. This is much more secure than the “save username and password” feature of most web browsers. If your computer is lost or stolen no one can gain access to any of your online accounts. Combine this with it’s random password generator and you can use unique, unguessable, randomly generated up to 50 character passwords for each site. But what if you want to log on to a site using a different computer, well they have a perfect solution to that too. If you keep a copy of your keychain bundle stored on a flashdrive it can be opened from any computer mac, windows, Linux within a web browser with a very similar interface to their desktop app and this can only be opened with that same password. Now there isn’t the same integration as you get with the desktop installation, you need to copy the password and paste it into the field on the site that you want to log into, but that’s a small price to pay for the security it offers.

There are many more nice features like it’s ability to sync with multiple macs by keeping your keychain stored in a dropbox account, and it’s wireless sync with their iPhone app. While I’m on the subject of syncing with multiple Macs, the developers are very open about the licence agreement, a single user licence means just that, a single user not a single computer. I have 1password registered on my MacBook and Mac Mini with a single licence and the developers are totally fine with that.

Ive only scratched the surface of what it can do in this short review, there is much more.  If you haven’t already tried it I would highly recommend doing so. It’s one of those apps that you think you don’t need until you start to use it, then you wonder how you ever managed without it… well I do remember how I managed without it, by using the same simple password EVERYWHERE.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 10, 2010 11:23 am

    Блог отличный, побольше бы подобных!

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