Goodbye 1Password, hello mSecure
After going back to 1Password about seven months ago, the development of the app has gone in a way that does not meet my needs today. So once again it is time to leave 1Password, and this time it is for good.
In an earlier article ‘Why I left 1Password and then came back’ I wrote about the reasons why I went back to 1Password after trying mSecure for a while. My main reasons were mainly the what I then saw as sub par support at mSecure, and also interrest in some of the new features in 1Password 8.
Recently Agilebits released v 8 on iOS and iPadOS, and that was from my point of view not an upgrade to something better for iOS-users, on the contrary. The support for Apple Watch that 1Password had in v 7 was gone, and when asked, their answers didn’t really point towards any interest from them to include it in the future. ‘The old Apple Watch app could not be included in 1Password for compatibility reasons.’ In an email they write ‘As you have already gathered, we currently have nothing to announce with regards to a Watch app in 1Password 8…’ Instead they gave this advice to those who wants a password manager on their watch:’In the meantime, you can leave 1Password 7 installed on your phone to retain the Watch app on your wrist.’ So the advice is: in order to use a new version of the app you are advised to keep the old version aswell. Then what is the point in upgrading at all?
Other things in v8 is that they now only give their subscribers the option to use 1Passwords own cloud for backups, the support for using Dropbox or iCloud is not available anymore. They now demand that you move your external vaults (that is: any vault from v7 that you backup outside of the 1Password cloud, for instance iCoud or Dropbox) to their own cloud solution. And finally they have taken down the MacOS version from App Store and you now need to download out from their website instead. They also have dropped most of the localisations they support in v 7, so if you aren’t from one of their few official languages there is no longer any support for your language. To be honest,mSecure doesn’t support many languages either, but they never did, so at least they haven’t taken anything away from what they offered earlier.
This in combination with the choise of building the MacOS app with Electron gives me the feeling that AgileBits not only tries to find new subscribers in the Windows and Android universes, which is understandable, but they are turning their back against the Apple users that still is the bigger part of their subscriber base.
To many people I guess 1Password is a good enough app to stay with. To me however I can’t justify the high subscription cost with what I get for the money. So I now have gone back to mSecure. The reasons are the same as I wrote in the first article, but also I find that these last seven months the app has improved. V 6 is out of beta and is actually really good. It looks and feels like a Mac app, and they have a Watch app. They have a Security Center, which is their version of the Watchtower in 1Password. But without the bells, whistles and pointless happycoloured meters. They also have a Sharing Center, a way to share your passwords or other info in mSecure with others. It just feels like an app made with the customer in center.
Alas, the support at mSecure is not much better now than before. You do get answers, but you can’t really rely on getting them within a reasonable timespan. But in contrast to the support at 1Password, you at least get answers without smug remarks and impertinent comments. And they claim that they have been better now and their goal is to reply withing 24 hours.
The subscription cost is also reasonable. They have one plan called “essentials” that includes most of the things an average user needs. If you have an earlier paid license of version 5 that is moved to the Essentials plan, which means that you get the new version 6 and the essentials plan for “free”, since you already paid for the license of v 5. To me that is a solution that shows that the people behind mSecure takes their customers seriously. They also have a Premium plan, which includes a lot more on top. If you are a new subscriber you pay 1.66 USD per month for a Essentials plan and 2.49 for a Premium. If you however already had a license for v 5 you pay NOTHING for the Essentials plan, and 1.29 USD per month for the Premium plan. To compare with 1Password that costs 2.99 USD/month.
However mSecure does not have a family plan, which 1Password has. They claim to work one though. But since that is not something I need it is not a dealbreaker. When it comes to import and export, mSecure can only export to cvs format, but can import from different types of files, including 1Password PIF. 1Password can import different types of CSV files, and KeePass XML. It is important note though that you need to do the import through your account at 1password.com
So: mSecure gives me an app for Apple Watch, it allows me to sync with iCloud, Dropbox, wifi or their own cloud. Or you can choose not to sync at all. It is a native app for all OS-es it supports, which I find important.
As I see it, moving from 1Password to mSecure is a no brainer.
- Apple Watch support
- MacOS app on Apple Store
- Possibility to sync outside their own cloud
- Possibility choose if I want just the ‘basic’ features or if I want to subscribe to the Premium with even more features.
- Possibility to import from other apps.
There are quite a few good password managers out there. Bitwarden, Dashlane, Secrets. That’s just a few. All of them have their own pros and cons.To me they all however lacked something that is important to me.
But my advice to anyone who is curious about changing to a new app, try them out and see which one fits your needs. To me it is mSecure, to you maybe some other one. There is no “best choise” for everyone.