After our web-host was hacked and shell user names and passwords were exposed, I began to realize the days of using single passwords were over. I know, as an admin, it should never have been that way in the first place. But frankly the practical aspects of keeping the now 200 plus passwords that I’m responsible for was simply too overwhelming. So, I set out on a mission to find a utility that would help.
I decided for me, it was critical that the app support iOS for both my iPhone and iPad and Windows 7. Support for MacOS was a plus, but not requirement. What I landed on was 1Password by AgileBits. 1Password not only supports every single platform I use, WINDOWS, iOS5, Snow Leopard, it has the ability sync via DropBox (which if you arn’t using…you need to be). And one final advantage, was the ability to work with any browser, platform independent (see below).
Both the Windows and Mac versions offer a free 30-day trial. The iOS must be purchased though. Let me also say, 1Password is not the cheapest solution, but it is the most robust for those of us with serious volumes to store. They do offer a combination platform license for $60 that allows a single user to install on any number of Mac and Windows systems. If you need only one, the license is less. The iOS app is around $14.
The Mac and iOS are simply beautiful GUIs. The interfaces are spectacularly clean and useful. Right now, the Windows version is less pretty…and less feature latent. But according to AgileBits the Windows development is not only playing catchup, but suffers from Microsoft’s inattention to visual appeal.
1Password has plugins for IE, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. They all vary in the abilities slightly. But one feature I think is stunning, is the ability to open the Password Keychain using any browser from the database. There is an HTML file inside the directory structure. Double-clicking it runs a light weight version in any browser without installing the software. The advantage for me is running this on client computers allows me to copy 28 character complex passwords to the clipboard.
It’s a free trial…give it a shot.
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