Accessing websites, web applications and more requires users to deploy increasingly complex passwords to thwart those for whom a weak password is an unlocked door. Sorry, gone are the days when easy-to-memorize passwords like “Ilovemycat36” sufficed. Nowadays a long, heterogeneous mashup of characters, cases, numbers and symbols is pretty much mandatory.
But whether you are an individual or a corporation, deploying alphabet soup passwords is just one step toward maximum security. One reason: the greater the number of passwords you have, the larger the threat surface you dangle before hackers. Password managers shrink that surface down from many to one by letting you put all of your passwords in a vault served by a single, secure key, one that is often unknown even to the app developer (a framework called zero-knowledge encryption).
Hence, password manager tools like Bitwarden and 1Password are becoming more popular among individuals and businesses, as they help users to keep track of their multiple passwords, and reduce vulnerability to threats. These two competitors also mash two potatoes with one fork: not only do they feature strongboxes for passwords, they also offer strong, secure password generators.
What is Bitwarden?
An open-source tool with end-to-end AES-256 encryption, Bitwarden integrates seamlessly with virtually any browser on desktop or mobile device. With Bitwarden, enterprise users can easily share passwords securely due to its encryption capability.
Advanced options include two-factor authentications (2FA), encrypted file management, emergency Access for individuals, and a Master Password reset in their Enterprise plan. It also offers vault health reports and optional automated password autofill capabilities to make your logins faster.
What is 1Password?
1Password is a well-known password manager for businesses that encrypt data at rest and in transit. With this password manager tool, admins can create custom groups, roles and temporary guest accounts, and business users have access to shared vaults. In addition, any accounts that may have been affected by a data breach are displayed in custom reports.
The platform works with multiple operating systems such as Windows, Linux and Mac on desktop and mobile. This tool also offers AES-256 encryption and 2FA across all their plans. In addition, this tool comes with keylogging protection, security breach alerts and file storage options for users.
SEE: Password breach: Why pop culture and passwords don’t mix (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Bitwarden vs. 1Password: Feature comparison
Both Bitwarden and 1Password offer a variety of features common to top password management tools. But, where Bitwarden’s open-source nature allows it to keep up with current password security trends more easily, 1Password offers greater usability and password sharing and recovery features.
|Security and encryption||Yes||Yes|
|Usability||Not as easy||Easy to use|
|Master password recovery||No||Yes|
Security and encryption
Bitwarden offers users hard-to-crack encryption with the longest key-length size. It also uses salted hashing, or making an output unique by adding random data, to generate passwords, which makes them more difficult for brute force attacks to crack. In addition, to keep its clients’ data safe, Bitwarden undertakes frequent third-party security assessments and open-source community reviews to contribute to its security.
Comparatively, 1Password also encrypts all user data (also with AES-256 encryption), which only the user can decrypt. So, backdoor hackers and nefarious insiders will be unable to access your data due to this. Additionally, 1Password protects data from keyloggers and contains phishing defenses. It also notifies you about security breaches that may include your information. So, if your organization needs a password security tool that is also GDPR and SOC2 compliant, 1Password is a good fit.
While you should keep your passwords to personal accounts to yourself, if you have a business account, password sharing allows employees to have access to shared corporate services, such as accounting software or mobile apps for submitting reports.
To share passwords on Bitwarden, you must first create an organization account, invite users and then share credentials with each person using your vault.
Because it’s easier to use the shared vault to share your credentials with other users, 1Password has a little advantage over Bitwarden. To share a password, all you have to do is move it from your private vault to your shared vault. It’s just as simple to discontinue sharing a password with a user, which you might want to do if an employee leaves or no longer requires access to a shared account.
With Bitwarden, some customers have issues with the autofill feature, and the interface isn’t very user-friendly. Furthermore, premium users are limited to 1GB of storage by default, which may be insufficient for commercial users. It does, however, include all of the key functions users should look for in a password manager.
Generally, 1Password is simple to use, though the browser extension lacks some of the features included in the web version. Sharing passwords, for example, is not feasible using the browser extension, although it is available via the web version. Logging into accounts on mobile devices may require numerous steps, which appears to be the most common customer issue in terms of usability.
Unless you’re registered in Organization Master Password Reset or set up another user as an emergency contact in the premium plan, there’s no way to restore your account or the data saved in your Bitwarden personal vault if you lose your master password. Because Bitwarden has zero-knowledge encryption, your only option would be to export your vault from any app that’s still logged in and import it into a new account.
Ditto with 1Password, except, unlike Bitwarden, its Organization Master Password Reset is extended to the family plan, so family members (who can be added for one dollar per month each) can reset your password if needed.
Choosing between Bitwarden and 1Password
Bitwarden and 1Password are two of the best password managers in the market, and with so many features, choosing between them often depends more on your budget and other specific needs.
Bitwarden is more suitable for individuals and businesses who are just starting out with password management. Furthermore, since Bitwarden is an open-source password manager software, business organizations looking for a scalable password security solution can adopt it. However, some users may be put off by its limited usability.
On the other hand, while 1Password has a wider variety of features compared to Bitwarden, it’s easy to use and get started. In addition, 1Password has an option for master password recovery, which is a critical feature when you lose or forget your master password or secret key.
Besides a free option for individuals, Bitwarden also offers:
- An enterprise package for $5 per month per user
- A $10 per annum premium subscription for individuals that includes advanced 2FA, emergency access, security reports
1Password has multiple pricing tiers as well, including:
- A $7.99 per month per user business tier
- A custom-quote Enterprise tier that includes a dedicated account manager and onboarding engineer
Leading Password Managers
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NordPass uses a zero-knowledge setup that encrypts all password data on a device before it ever reaches NordVPN’s servers. This means not even the company can access your data. It also offers a personal information storage feature that secures and encrypts a variety of personal information, such as addresses, phone numbers, credit card information and more, which can be easily accessed when filling out forms.