Initial review and suggestions after 30 mins of using 1Password

Long-time RoboForm user's first thoughts about 1Password
GEEZ! This post got long! Sorry about that.blink.gif
Take note of the title and description: As of finishing this post, I've only used 1Password for about 30 minutes, so I know that I haven't really gotten into the "guts" of the program. Keep that in mind as you read this (I've kept it in mind as I've written it!biggrin.gif). I've been using RoboForm for about three or four years now: I'm a RoboForm junkie, so 1Password will have to look and perform pretty well to impress me! :) (So far they're doing ok...)

Installation
After installation I wasn't immediately sure how to get 1Password available in Chrome, my current default browser, so I had to visit the web site's Getting Started section.

Suggestion: Perhaps upon installation, a check of installed browsers should be done and then ask the user if they wish to install 1Password in any of the detected, compatible browsers.

Organization
It's great that 1Password allows organizing passwords into folders in the program interface. I keep my work passwords in a folder, logins for financial-related sites in a folder, etc. But you have to save the login and then open the program interface to move the new login into a specific folder. Also, with my current 234 logins in RoboForm, it takes a while to scroll through all of them in the 1Password logins selection within the browser. I thought it odd that folder organization is provided in the main program interface, but nowhere else.

Suggestion: In the form that pops up to save a new login, add an option to save the new login to a specific folder.

Features and Ease of Use
One of the great features I use all of the time in RoboForm is the ability to save plain old bookmarks in addition to my logins. They are separated from the logins, but use the same folder structure as the logins, so the two don't get mixed up to cause confusion. I.e. clicking the "Bookmarks" button displays the folders and the bookmarks that are saved in them; likewise when the "Logins" button is clicked on, the same folders are displayed, but only the logins are shown. I now have all of my bookmarks available in any browser from which I have access to RoboForm.

Maybe it's just me and I'm missing some setting somewhere, but it would be my expectation that, when I'm on a login page, and 1Password detects the login page and displays the saved name of the site login, clicking on the saved name in the 1Password popout window (in Chrome) would fill in the login form (which it does) and then submit the form (which it does not).

Suggestion1: Add the ability to save bookmarks in 1Password.
Suggestion2: (If I'm not missing something) Add "one-click" capability in which, when the user clicks on the login name in the browser's 1Password popout, the form is filled out and the form is submitted (the equivalent of clicking the Submit or Login button).

Mobility
It's great that 1Password works on so many smart phones and browsers - in fact 1Password's integration with Chrome is much better than RoboForm has been able to accomplish so far! However, what if you're on a computer that you don't normally use? You're stuck! No passwords. RoboForm has a "mobile" version that installs on USB sticks. Any time I'm on a computer that doesn't have RoboForm installed, I just plug in my USB stick, RoboForm installs, I get access to my passwords, and when I remove the USB stick RoboForm uninstalls itself from the computer. VERY NICE! To be fair, at this point I have to allow for the possibility that 1Password has some similar capability (remember, I've only been using it for about 30 minutes!), but I haven't seen anything indicating that it does have such a feature.

Suggestion: Implement some feature to enable users to access their 1Password logins "on the fly", on any computer - without compromising the security of the encrypted data, of course. I think the USB solution is a very convenient one, personally.

Licensing/Pricing
With it's latest version 7, RoboForm introduced a new licensing scheme: RoboForm Everywhere. For $10 the first year and $20/year after that you can install RoboForm on any number of devices/computers and sync with an online account that saves and synchronizes all of your data. I use Roboform on two computers at work, a laptop, and two home computers. Believe me: that new licensing has been great on the checkbook! Single desktop licenses are $30 each, minus any discounts they often have ($10 for the 2nd license as of this writing).

At $40 per user, per platform, 1Password is kind of pricey compared to RoboForm. Frankly, I'm a bit confused about the licensing of 1Password beyond purchasing just one license (and I have seen a couple of other posts in the forums here asking for clarification on their licensing - perhaps the marketing boys need to clarify that on the websitewink.gif). At any rate, from what I can decipher on the the licensing page, to install 1Password on all computers to match how I use RoboForm, I believe would need to buy at least a family license at $70. I popped off a question to AgileBits for clarification on licensing requirements for my specific needs, but I have a feeling they likely won't get near the price that I'm enjoying with RoboForm...


Given the above information, my choice would be RoboForm, based on licensing/pricing alone. Others may disagree, but they can be wrong if they want to be! ;) Just kidding. When it comes to spending money, that definitely involves personal decisions that greatly differ from person to person.


Quirky login forms
Let's face it: For security reasons, or just plain better user experience, some web sites are implementing some very different and unique ways to have the user login to their account. Occasionally I run across a site login that RoboForm just can't detect or sometimes can't even fill out. One that immediately comes to mind is Xcel Energy's (my electric company) customer login page: https://oam.xcelener...com/index.jsp#. With RoboForm I had to manually enter the new login, but after that RoboForm automatically detects the URL and logs me in just fine. At the same login page, 1Password was not able to detect a login, nor, after creating a login manually in 1Password, was it able to log me in at all.

Another site, Bank of America, is problematic for 1Password. The site's login scheme has on the main page a username entry and a dropdown to select the state the account is in. Then the user is brought to a new page, on which a passcode is entered, then finally the password page. 1Password did not detect the username and state entry, nor the passcode entry. Again, even after manually entering in the username and finding out the state dropdown's html name and id (something a VERY small minority of users will likely know how to do), 1Password still could not even get past the username/state page. RoboForm detected and saved the entire process without a hitch...

I know it will be impossible for any password software to detect and login at all sites, but I hope AgileBits does its best to be as flexible as possible to be able to detect as many different types of login schemes as possible.

Final thoughts
I like 1Password's interface - very nice. One caveat to that, though: The Chrome plugin popout window is a little big. As I said earlier, with over 200 logins, that large font and area used for each login entry makes it cumbersome to scroll through the list of logins. However, 1Password includes many great features that any password manager should be expected to have (based on the couple of articles and blog posts about 1Password I've seen, they've gone to great lengths to secure the user's data! But there are a few things I would like to see added before I would think about making the switch from a program that I've been using for years and am quite comfortable with. Having said that, I have installed 1Password on my work computer and will continue to use it at work - for the trial period to give it a good run through.

As a Web developer, I fully understand the daunting (and sometimes impossible) hurdles that products like RoboForm and 1Password try to overcome due to the millions of sites they are trying to get their software to work on, so I know there will always be sites that the program just won't work for. I also understand that the Mac version has been around for a while and is a very mature product, as compared to the Windows version of 1Password, which I believe was launched just this last October. I know that because of that fact alone, many of the suggestions/shortfalls I'm pointing out here are either being added or are in the pipeline to be added in the future. From both a user and programmer's perspective, Mac and Windows are completely different animals, so AgileBits has their work cut out for them!

Finally, if I've suggested anything here that 1Password already has/does, or am in any way wrong about the information I provided, 1) I apologize, and 2) PLEASE tell me! I want to give 1Password a fair shake and see if perhaps it may be worth it to make the switch at some point! Any constructive criticism, suggestions, and/or discussion about any of the above is highly welcome!

PS: If there is a way to import from RoboForm 7 to 1Password for Windows, I'd appreciate it if someone could point me to (or write out) the instructions to do so!
[EDIT]: I was able to figure out how to import my passcards into 1Password, but for the locations, only the domain itself was transferred. The "http://www" and anything after the domain was omitted. That'll take some serious manual editing! Ah well, I suppose pretty much half the battle is done regardless...

Comments

  • pnjonespnjones Junior Member
    edited May 2011
    Hi Mark, excellent and timely post! I have been using 1Password for Mac for a few years now and just decided to replace RoboForm on my Windows PC with 1Password for Windows. I had some of the same concerns that you express, but plan to stick with 1Password. Here are a few thoughts:

    • Organization - Suggestion: 1Password for Windows and the Mac both allow you to "save the new login to a specific folder". There is an "in folder" drop-down on the save dialog.
    • Features and Ease of Use: Suggestions 1 and 2 are very good. The Mac version of 1Password does support the one-click "go & fill login", and Agile has stated that they will move closer to feature parity with 1Password for Mac.
    • Mobility: You can store your 1Password data on Dropbox (or similar cloud storage) or even on your USB stick. I prefer Dropbox because I can then access it from my Android phone. Also, the 1Password data folder contains the "1Password anywhere" HTML file that allows you to access your logins using a browser, but it does not quite have the functionality of the RoboForm mobile version like you describe. I suspect this will only get better. Agile seems to be very customer focused and their developers are very innovative.
    • Licensing/Pricing: I actually prefer a one-time licensing fee rather than a subscription. Subscription costs add up over time and are sometimes difficult to cancel.


    Sorry, I have never tried to import from RoboForm 7 to 1Password for Windows since I already had all of my logins in my 1Password data file on Dropbox. When I installed 1Password for Windows the installation program immediately recognized the Dropbox folder and set my data path preference accordingly.
  • pnjones wrote:

    Hi Mark, excellent and timely post! I have been using 1Password for Mac for a few years now and just decided to replace RoboForm on my Windows PC with 1Password for Windows. I had some of the same concerns that you express, but plan to stick with 1Password. Here are a few thoughts:

    • Organization - Suggestion: 1Password for Windows and the Mac both allow you to "save the new login to a specific folder". There is an "in folder" drop-down on the save dialog.
    • Features and Ease of Use: Suggestions 1 and 2 are very good. The Mac version of 1Password does support the one-click "go & fill login", and Agile has stated that they will move closer to feature parity with 1Password for Mac.
    • Mobility: You can store your 1Password data on Dropbox (or similar cloud storage) or even on your USB stick. I prefer Dropbox because I can then access it from my Android phone. Also, the 1Password data folder contains the "1Password anywhere" HTML file that allows you to access your logins using a browser, but it does not quite have the functionality of the RoboForm mobile version like you describe. I suspect this will only get better. Agile seems to be very customer focused and their developers are very innovative.
    • Licensing/Pricing: I actually prefer a one-time licensing fee rather than a subscription. Subscription costs add up over time and are sometimes difficult to cancel.

    Sorry, I have never tried to import from RoboForm 7 to 1Password for Windows since I already had all of my logins in my 1Password data file on Dropbox. When I installed 1Password for Windows the installation program immediately recognized the Dropbox folder and set my data path preference accordingly.


    Thanks for you comments, pnjones. While writing the post I knew that I was finding things that will likely change/be improved upon. Thanks for the pointer on the "in folder" dropdown.
  • DBrownDBrown 1Password Alumni
    edited May 2011
    MarkYork wrote:

    Installation
    After installation I wasn't immediately sure how to get 1Password available in Chrome, my current default browser, so I had to visit the web site's Getting Started section.

    Suggestion: Perhaps upon installation, a check of installed browsers should be done and then ask the user if they wish to install 1Password in any of the detected, compatible browsers.

    I've often wondered about that, myself. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Of course, it never hurts to read the documentation, anyway. :) In fact, we recommend that you take a few minutes to read the Introduction, Getting Started, and Tutorials sections of the user's guide. They're short, and they'll give you the information you need to get up to speed quickly. As you use 1Password for Windows, we believe you'll find the FAQ section to be a useful resource, too.


    Organization
    It's great that 1Password allows organizing passwords into folders in the program interface. I keep my work passwords in a folder, logins for financial-related sites in a folder, etc. But you have to save the login and then open the program interface to move the new login into a specific folder. Also, with my current 234 logins in RoboForm, it takes a while to scroll through all of them in the 1Password logins selection within the browser. I thought it odd that folder organization is provided in the main program interface, but nowhere else.

    Suggestion: In the form that pops up to save a new login, add an option to save the new login to a specific folder.

    You must be using 1Password with Chrome, where you can click the All Logins button and type any portion of the Login's title or location.

    In the extensions for Internet Explorer and Firefox, the folder hierarchy is displayed when you click the Go and Fill Login button.

    See this recent forum post for illustrations.


    Features and Ease of Use
    One of the great features I use all of the time in RoboForm is the ability to save plain old bookmarks in addition to my logins. They are separated from the logins, but use the same folder structure as the logins, so the two don't get mixed up to cause confusion. I.e. clicking the "Bookmarks" button displays the folders and the bookmarks that are saved in them; likewise when the "Logins" button is clicked on, the same folders are displayed, but only the logins are shown. I now have all of my bookmarks available in any browser from which I have access to RoboForm.

    Maybe it's just me and I'm missing some setting somewhere, but it would be my expectation that, when I'm on a login page, and 1Password detects the login page and displays the saved name of the site login, clicking on the saved name in the 1Password popout window (in Chrome) would fill in the login form (which it does) and then submit the form (which it does not).

    Suggestion1: Add the ability to save bookmarks in 1Password.
    Suggestion2: (If I'm not missing something) Add "one-click" capability in which, when the user clicks on the login name in the browser's 1Password popout, the form is filled out and the form is submitted (the equivalent of clicking the Submit or Login button).

    I haven't heard any plans to add a separate "bookmark" feature or vault to 1Password; that's part of what Login items are: bookmarks.

    For the functionality you describe in the second suggestion, just enable the Submit Logins automatically (Auto-Submit) option on the Logins tab of 1Password preferences.


    Mobility
    It's great that 1Password works on so many smart phones and browsers - in fact 1Password's integration with Chrome is much better than RoboForm has been able to accomplish so far! However, what if you're on a computer that you don't normally use? You're stuck! No passwords. RoboForm has a "mobile" version that installs on USB sticks. Any time I'm on a computer that doesn't have RoboForm installed, I just plug in my USB stick, RoboForm installs, I get access to my passwords, and when I remove the USB stick RoboForm uninstalls itself from the computer. VERY NICE! To be fair, at this point I have to allow for the possibility that 1Password has some similar capability (remember, I've only been using it for about 30 minutes!), but I haven't seen anything indicating that it does have such a feature.

    Suggestion: Implement some feature to enable users to access their 1Password logins "on the fly", on any computer - without compromising the security of the encrypted data, of course. I think the USB solution is a very convenient one, personally.

    I don't know of any plans to implement a "portable executable" version of 1Password, but you might like our 1PasswordAnywhere feature, described in How do I use my 1Password data when away from my computer?in the FAQ section of the user's guide.


    Licensing/Pricing
    With it's latest version 7, RoboForm introduced a new licensing scheme: RoboForm Everywhere. For $10 the first year and $20/year after that you can install RoboForm on any number of devices/computers and sync with an online account that saves and synchronizes all of your data. I use Roboform on two computers at work, a laptop, and two home computers. Believe me: that new licensing has been great on the checkbook! Single desktop licenses are $30 each, minus any discounts they often have ($10 for the 2nd license as of this writing).

    At $40 per user, per platform, 1Password is kind of pricey compared to RoboForm. Frankly, I'm a bit confused about the licensing of 1Password beyond purchasing just one license (and I have seen a couple of other posts in the forums here asking for clarification on their licensing - perhaps the marketing boys need to clarify that on the websitewink.gif). At any rate, from what I can decipher on the the licensing page, to install 1Password on all computers to match how I use RoboForm, I believe would need to buy at least a family license at $70. I popped off a question to AgileBits for clarification on licensing requirements for my specific needs, but I have a feeling they likely won't get near the price that I'm enjoying with RoboForm...

    I don't know much about Roboform's licensing, but we don't charge an ongoing fee. (To me, that feels like punishment for loyalty: "Hey, the longer you use our software, the more it costs you!")

    Instead, we use what we call our Sane Licensing Model™. You can read about it in How many licenses do I need? in the FAQ section of the user's guide.

    The upshot is that one single-user license entitles you to install 1Password on as many PCs as you like, as long as you're the only person using 1Password on those PCs. That seems much better than annual fees.


    Given the above information, my choice would be RoboForm, based on licensing/pricing alone. Others may disagree, but they can be wrong if they want to be! ;) Just kidding. When it comes to spending money, that definitely involves personal decisions that greatly differ from person to person.

    It's your decision, of course, and largely a matter of personal preference.


    Quirky login forms
    Let's face it: For security reasons, or just plain better user experience, some web sites are implementing some very different and unique ways to have the user login to their account. Occasionally I run across a site login that RoboForm just can't detect or sometimes can't even fill out. One that immediately comes to mind is Xcel Energy's (my electric company) customer login page: https://oam.xcelener...com/index.jsp#. With RoboForm I had to manually enter the new login, but after that RoboForm automatically detects the URL and logs me in just fine. At the same login page, 1Password was not able to detect a login, nor, after creating a login manually in 1Password, was it able to log me in at all.

    Another site, Bank of America, is problematic for 1Password. The site's login scheme has on the main page a username entry and a dropdown to select the state the account is in. Then the user is brought to a new page, on which a passcode is entered, then finally the password page. 1Password did not detect the username and state entry, nor the passcode entry. Again, even after manually entering in the username and finding out the state dropdown's html name and id (something a VERY small minority of users will likely know how to do), 1Password still could not even get past the username/state page. RoboForm detected and saved the entire process without a hitch...

    I know it will be impossible for any password software to detect and login at all sites, but I hope AgileBits does its best to be as flexible as possible to be able to detect as many different types of login schemes as possible.

    Any time 1Password fails to save a Login item, you can easily save one manually, as described in Saving a Login item in the Tutorials section of the user's guide.

    In your multi-page login scenario, you'd save a Login item for each page in the login sequence, naming them something like this:
    • BofA 1 - username and state
    • BofA 2 - pass code
    • BofA 3 - password

    On each page, 1Password will present either the correct Login item for that page or (at worst) all three Logins for that site, from which you can easily choose the correct Login item.


    Final thoughts
    I like 1Password's interface - very nice. One caveat to that, though: The Chrome plugin popout window is a little big. As I said earlier, with over 200 logins, that large font and area used for each login entry makes it cumbersome to scroll through the list of logins. However, 1Password includes many great features that any password manager should be expected to have (based on the couple of articles and blog posts about 1Password I've seen, they've gone to great lengths to secure the user's data! But there are a few things I would like to see added before I would think about making the switch from a program that I've been using for years and am quite comfortable with. Having said that, I have installed 1Password on my work computer and will continue to use it at work - for the trial period to give it a good run through.

    I'm a former Roboform user, myself, having made the switch to 1Password when I finally moved the bulk of my computer work to the Mac. (This was before we even offered a product for Windows.)

    Both programs have their strengths and weaknesses. For me, the ability to share and sync my Logins and other encrypted data among my Mac, PC, iPhone, and iPad automatically and seamlessly was an overwhelming motivation finally to let Roboform go.


    ...

    [EDIT]: I was able to figure out how to import my passcards into 1Password, but for the locations, only the domain itself was transferred. The "http://www" and anything after the domain was omitted. That'll take some serious manual editing! Ah well, I suppose pretty much half the battle is done regardless...

    Please see How do I import data into 1Password for Windows? in the FAQ section of the user's guide, in which it mentions the version and option required to get satisfactory results.
  • Thanks for your point-by-point remarks, David. Your (and other AgileBits personnel's) attention to your customers' remarks here in the forums makes it obvious you value and take seriously our concerns.

    RoboForm has features that I depend on (such as the integrated bookmarks feature), that 1P for Windows currently lacks, so I will stick with that for now. However, I will definitely keep an eye on the Windows version progress. (Believe me, I won't be able to ignore it: my brother is the one who let me know about 1P and he and I have quite the ongoing discussions/debates about all things regarding Mac vs. Windows).

    All the best to 1P 4 Win's progress! biggrin.gif

    Mark
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