Long-time RoboForm user's first thoughts about 1Password
GEEZ! This post got long! Sorry about that.
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!
). 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...)
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.
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.
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.
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).
Add the ability to save bookmarks in 1Password.
(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).
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.
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.
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 website
). 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.
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...