The Future of Local Vaults, Local Folder Sync, Wi-Fi Sync and Local Backups With Subscriptions

mikeyhmikeyh Junior Member

Firstly 1Password for macOS and iOS are great products by a group of people that have earned the respect of many.

Sadly I cannot say the same about the 1Password for Windows disaster where feature parity with macOS never materialised followed by confusion around local vaults, edibility and syncing in 1Password 6 for Windows that moved from "not currently supported" to "will never be implemented'.

2) This is NOT a discussion about moving from standalone to subscription.

3) This is NOT a discussion about the benefits of 1Password.com for the majority of users.

4) This is NOT a discussion about the security threat model of local vaults vs cloud synced vs 1Password.com alternatives.

-

From my perspective this is a discussion about a core group of power users, administrators and security professionals who do NOT want to use the 1Password.com service for our primary vaults and prefer the functionality of self managed local vaults, local folder sync, Wi-Fi sync and local backups.

This group typically has multiple vaults with thousands and thousands of passwords across multiple organisations.

We have been your early adopters and most vocal supporters... recommending 1Password to everyone.

What you are now seeing is our DISAPPOINTMENT in what we see as your lack of commitment to the core features we rely on and prefer in your move to 1Password.com for the majority of users.

Reading through the following threads my BS meter is on high for both sides of the discussion:

Responses from multiple AgileBits team members are not helping with each using different language in what was starting to look like fire fighting and deflection.

Ben has been the strongest so far with "we have no plans to remove local vaults as an option."

This group is looking for long term first class support for local vaults, local folder sync, Wi-Fi sync and local backups including a full implementation in a supported version of 1Password for Windows.

Hopefully this can still work within the 1Password.com and subscription business model.


1Password Version: Not Provided
Extension Version: Not Provided
OS Version: Not Provided
Sync Type: Not Provided

Comments

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member
    edited July 2017

    Thanks for the well thought out post with a clearly defined topic, @mikeyh, as well as for the kind words in your opening paragraph.

    What you are now seeing is our DISAPPOINTMENT in what we see as your lack of commitment to the core features we rely on and prefer in your move to 1Password.com for the majority of users.

    I'm sorry we've caused that disappointment, and for any additional confusion we've caused in our messaging.

    I'm not going to put words in your mouth, but it seems what many folks that express similar concerns are looking for is for us to come out and say something like:

    "We're going to be releasing a 1Password v7 and that version will include local vaults with the ability to purchase as a standalone license for those who request it"
    or
    "Local vaults will be included in versions of 1Password for at least the next X years"

    We're simply not in a position to make those kinds of statements, for a lot of reasons. The difficulty with the first statement is more obvious and less problematic to explain: we're still working on 1Password 6. We haven't announced, and aren't ready to announce, a 1Password 7. And so announcing what features such a thing would have, if it were to exist, is putting the cart before the horse. It simply doesn't make sense at this point to make such proclamations. We don't release a road map. We've never done that. We've always been a company that attempts to under promise and over deliver.

    1Password 6[1] is what is here now, it is what we're working on now, and it has everything you've asked for (standalone licensing for those that ask and local vaults) with no plans for that to change.

    [1] Now, to step back for a minute, I talk a lot about 1Password 6 -- and I'm referring to 1Password 6 for Mac and 1Password 6 for iOS. I talk mostly about those because they are the platforms I work on, primarily. I'm not as involved with Android and Windows and so I can't speak as intelligently about those. I do know that 1Password 6 for Windows does not currently fully support local vaults (import capabilities only), but that 1Password 4 for Windows does and is still available to those who have purchased it. It is not available to new customers as it is not being actively developed and we're not willing to sell a product we're no longer developing.

    Continuing on... The latter statement is problematic because it causes just as much confusion and frustration as what we have now. It really doesn't improve the situation any. If we were to make a statement like that (which again: we are not)... the next set of questions we will get are:

    "Okay, so what happens after X years?" (we're back in the same spot we're in now: no plans, don't discuss future road map, etc.)
    and
    "Why are you discontinuing local vaults in X years?" (that isn't what I said..., etc)

    As you can see the problem snowballs from there. It is just as well, if not better, to simply state that we don't have any plans to remove local vaults from the offering. Are they being emphasized, and recommended to new customers? No. As we've said a number of times: we're not marketing that, and we feel that for the vast majority there is a better option, so mentioning it only muddies the message further.

    Now I will say that even with local vaults being de-emphasized and a large number of customers moving to 1Password.com membership (and membership based vaults) a large amount of the support volume we receive is still for local vaults, and fixing syncing with 3rd party services (which we have limited control over and insight into). That isn't great. It further reinforces our philosophy that most customers should be using a membership, and membership based vaults, and most of the time that fact is going to come up in such a conversation: there is a better way. But for the technically savvy who can manage syncing on their own... more power to you. :)

    Ben

    ref: RLZ-65734-326

  • mikeyhmikeyh Junior Member
    edited July 2017

    Personally I'm not looking for any statements or lengthy explanations about forward looking statements.

    I just wanted to cut through all the noise.

    It's those lengthy explanations using X years examples that get you in trouble with the BS meter. Please try to avoid those :)

    We understand release management and the reasons for and against public product road maps. It's a choice we all make on a case by case basis.

    I also wanted to make it crystal clear there is a core group of mostly professionals who have adopted, recommended, endorsed and advocated for 1Password who rely on and prefer to use self managed local vaults, local folder sync, Wi-Fi sync and local backups.

    Note that 3rd party cloud services and standalone purchases were NOT in that list. Including those in your response just muddies the waters again.

    We also have to deal with the same support issues when we move people to 1Password. (Windows has been an awful experience and show stopper in many cases)

    For general usage I think we will all be recommending 1Password.com as the preferred solution as it will also reduce our support burden. :)

    However I will not recommend any form of automated cloud syncing or 1Password.com for system administrators and security professionals.

    This is the core group I'm hoping you will not disappoint now or in the future with your de-emphasing of local vaults, local folder sync, Wi-Fi sync and local backup and zero support in a supported version of 1Password for Windows.

  • we're still working on 1Password 6. We haven't announced, and aren't ready to announce, a 1Password 7. And so announcing what features such a thing would have, if it were to exist, is putting the cart before the horse. It simply doesn't make sense at this point to make such proclamations. We don't release a road map. We've never done that. We've always been a company that attempts to under promise and over deliver.

    If I asked you if 1Password.com will be supported, would you be able to say this?:

    "We're going to be releasing a 1Password v7 and that version will include 1Password.com synchronization for those who request it"

    I think you would, and I think that's the problem: your cloud is essential to you, but local vaults are a mere minor feature.

    The rest of your comment is just some sort of "slippery slope" fallacy. If you say that local vaults are essential for you and you show actual commitment to support them, this problem will disappear.

    It's your product and you have the right to do whatever you want with it, but please be honest. We just want clarity to start looking for alternatives if needed.

    P.S. Like I said in other comment, please stop talking about 1Password v4 for Windows. To recommend an old version that you don't even sell anymore is just wrong.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    Hi @ublopera

    We appreciate your comments, but please try to avoid posting the same message in multiple threads. It causes a duplication of efforts, and slows down the support process for everyone. Thanks!

    Ben

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    Thank you for the feedback @mikeyh! I'll be happy to continue to advocate for the option for local vaults to be available to those who need them.

    Ben

  • Great thread; thank you.

    I know this forum might not have been intended to address iCloud or Dropbox sync, but other than WiFi locally, I'm not sure how the forum title would not relate to cloud sync since "local folder sync" is otherwise pretty cumbersome (except via local WiFi). I could easily see Dropbox or iCloud syncing breaking with a future release of 1PW. It's happened in the past, and the great team at agilebits certainly got on it and addressed it, which was appreciated. But not having any realistic multi-device sync other than via 1PW.com would make local sync much less useful. Yes, I've used WiFi sync, but mainly when a beta of 1PW wasn't working with iCloud or Dropbox. For those of us who travel a lot, especially when leaving our main computers at home, having a cloud sync option is pretty essential. Also, I just can't expect others in my family to deal with local WiFi sync; I get it, they're the core targets of a 1PW.com strategy, but that's not in the cards for me for all the reasons I and others have mentioned.

    I get it: one has to avoid something that could be construed as a guarantee for the future. Totally understand. But the more various agilebits staff comment noncommittally about this and seem to obfuscate, it just sows additional doubt. The point by ublopera about it being hard to imagine agilebits not committing to 1PW.com support in the next major version of 1PW is a good one.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member
    edited July 2017

    Let me rephrase then. :) We are going to continue to support standalone/local vaults.

    Ben

  • :) Perfect. Thanks. I can sleep again.

  • stevefalstevefal
    edited July 2017

    Please always support non-cloud solutions or I will stop using the product and stop recommending it. Using the cloud in for this function is a non-starter for anyone who is realistic about the state of global cyber security today.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    Hey @stevefal,

    We respectfully disagree with your position, and would encourage you to read our 1Password Security Design White Paper. That said, as I said above, we are going to continue to support standalone/local vaults.

    Thanks.

    Ben

  • mikeyhmikeyh Junior Member

    @dtoub

    Cloud syncing was specifically excluded in this discussion as the core group I'm referring to will avoid the use of any public cloud service like Dropbox or iCloud for their primary vaults in favour of self management of vault syncing. For that we only need folder syncing.

    You would also expect this group to be using public/private key cryptography, SSH, rsync, encrypted filesystems, encrypted backups, etc.

    This group uses 1Password because of local vaults, local folder sync, Wi-Fi sync and local backups to significantly reduce our surface area.

    We take full responsibility for self managing access to our primary vaults with thousands and thousands of passwords across multiple organisations.

    For the majority of users already using 1Password with delegated responsibility of syncing to Dropbox / iCloud (or no password manager solution) then 1Password.com may be the best possible solution from a functional and ease of use perspective.

    ie fit for purpose.

  • How are you syncing vaults across devices if not via WiFi or a cloud solution? Just curious. And I mentioned pretty clearly why I was discussing support for iCloud and Dropbox. The point was that it’s easy to see how support for those cloud solutions could break due to changes on either end. Good to hear that local vaults clearly will be supported. I’m done commenting.

  • rudyrudy

    Team Member

    @dtoub,

    It sounds like he's using Folder Sync on the Mac version, which spits out an agilekeychain/opvault to a location on disk and then using some other mechanism to transfer that folder of files onto another machine.

    Rudy

  • Got it. Thanks.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    Additional information on this subject is available here:

    AgileBits Blog | Why We Love 1Password Memberships

    Ben

  • Hi @Ben and everybody else,

    First I like to apologize if my previous message in this thread feels like a duplicate of the one in the other threat. That was absolutely not my intention.

    Following @Ben suggestion, I respond here to this message.

    There is a lot of confusion with all this, so I will try to keep my points short and concise:

    • I don't want the discussion to deviate, but I think that supporting other cloud providers its something tightly linked to support local vaults, at least on iOS.
    • I think there is a different between asking for features (a roadmap) and asking for commitment in a basic feature. For example, asking if 1Password 7 is going to support WebDAV is something perfectly reasonable to dismiss as "we don't want to make promises", but asking if 1Password 7 is going to support local vaults is to me like asking if 1Password 7 is going to support 1Password Families: it's a perfectly valid question, because it's something essential to the app. It's not a random feature, and I think part of the problem is that you seem to treat it like one.
    • "We haven't announced any plans to remove local vaults, so anyone claiming that we have is incorrect" is quite different to saying "we will support local vaults in the next major version". The former implies that you can stop supporting local vaults at any moment (for example before releasing 1Password 7, so you won't technically be removing features from existing software).
    • Please keep in mind that we have been patient: 1Password 6 for Windows was released years ago and we didn't complaint. Is now, after years of waiting and very ambiguous messages that we are complaining.
    • Even if it doesn't look like that by our messages, we are on your side and want to keep using 1Password for many years. We all wish the best to AgileBits.

    Finally, to me your previous comment is almost there:

    We are going to continue to support standalone/local vaults

    It's not exactly what I would like to hear (this could still mean "we will support local vaults for now, until the next major version"), but that message clearly implies that you will be supporting local vaults in next versions. So to me, this is closed. I hope that we will have support for local vaults in 1Password 6 for Windows soon so we can forget about this.

    Thank you @Ben for your time and patient.

  • mikeyhmikeyh Junior Member

    @dtoub @rudy @Ben

    It sounds like he's using Folder Sync on the Mac version, which spits out an agilekeychain/opvault to a location on disk and then using some other mechanism to transfer that folder of files onto another machine.

    Correct. Which is why 1Password 6 for Windows was such a disappointment and we are stuck on 1Password 4 for Windows as the only Windows version that can edit local vaults where Windows is the primary platform.

    Primary access is desktop based with synchronisation and replication to specific locations.

    1Password for iOS is mostly personal, web logins and emergency usage. 1Password 6 for Windows is only useful in replicated read only locations.

    I expect most system administrators will have a much higher usage of non web logins. eg server / device passwords, keys, tokens, etc.

    Another important feature lost in all this noise for many professionals may be portability. It's not something I've needed often.

    ie in a remote / emergency / troubleshooting environment the ability to easily setup a standalone version of 1Password with a local vault with restricted or no internet access.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    Thank you both for your comments. I wish we had more encouraging news to share on the Windows front. The fact of the matter is that the user base for local vaults on Windows is much smaller than what is on Mac, and the Windows development team is also much smaller. As we've talked about in other threads we're focused right now on bringing 1Password for Windows up to parity with 1Password for Mac in terms of 1Password memberships. Once we've achieved that goal, or if circumstances otherwise change, we can certainly evaluate which priorities we'd tackle next.

    Ben

  • mikeyhmikeyh Junior Member
    edited July 2017

    @pickerin please not in this thread.
    @Ben can we please move that post into a separate thread.

    This thread is not about licensing models or 3rd party cloud support.

    I wanted to keep this as a focused, clean and drama free thread hopefully representing some of the views of power users, system administrators and security professionals who rely on and prefer to use self managed local vaults, local folder sync, Wi-Fi sync and local backups ideally across all platforms.

    There are also users within authoritarian regimes with restricted internet access. eg this is an issue for foreign companies operating in the Chinese Special Economic Zones where AWS, Dropbox and Google are often blocked and we have to rely on private VPNs and proxies for collaboration.

    I've had many arguments about the original 1Password vs LastPass models. Local vs centralised, native vs web based, ease of setup, ease of use, ease of sharing, recovery options, end to end encryption, server ignorance, etc. The last two are critical features of the 1Password.com implementation.

    I do believe 1Password can be the best password manager for both the majority of users and professionals. It is already the best on macOS and iOS just not on Windows.

    Moving the majority of users to 1Password.com is the smart move for both the users and AgileBits. Simplicity and ease of use will drive the wider adoption of 1Password.

    Supporting the professional users who recommend and advocate for 1Password is about mind share and is probably not something you want to lose as a security focused product.

    You may see similar parallels in what is hopefully Apple's return to a pro focus with the new iMac Pro this year and the new Mac Pro next year.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    @pickerin,

    I haven't closed the other thread you posted in, so I'm not sure what you mean when you say I'm "shutting down the other thread."

    Please don't post the same message in multiple threads, even if a thread is closed.

    Ben

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    Thanks @mikeyh. Your points are well taken.

  • pickerinpickerin Junior Member

    Feel free to delete it.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    Thanks. :+1: :)

    Have a great weekend.

    Ben

This discussion has been closed.