Friday, January 09, 2009


I've been using Agile Web Solution's 1Password for over a month now and really, really like it. 1Password is a Mac application that manages all of your passwords, automatically fills in web forms, and generates ridiculously strong passwords on demand. Like, well, everyone, I had been using a few tiers of password. My ludicrously long pass phrase for rsa private keys, strong password for work machines, weaker passwords for silly websites, etc. 1Password lets you choose passwords like


for every site.

Even better, 1Password synchronizes between your Macs, so you have all your passwords everywhere. It uses browser plugins to detect when you enter a password and stores the form so you can easily get back into sites later. Great stuff.

A few minor quirks. First, many people -- including me -- find that Mac keychain syncing is flakey for 1Password and corrupts the saved passwords -- bad with such random sequences -- so I use their Dropbox option. Second, there is a failure mode where you update a password in 1Password but somehow the website doesn't accept it -- say your drop your web connection mid update. Suddenly 1Password has your new, random password but the site still knows your old one. Fortunately, 1Password keeps a log that you can recover the old password from. Finally, entering random 20 character passwords on iPhone for Gmail is a pain. (There is an iPhone app that allows you visit websites, but no way to easily move the password to, say, the Facebook app.)

For me those problems are offset by the convenience and additional security. Cool product, superbly executed.

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