Dashlane vs. 1Password
Disclaimer: I’ve been a premium user of Dashlane for a couple of years now, so I may be slightly biased towards it. However, my dislikes with Dashlane prompted me to spend time with 1Password in the first place, so maybe not.
There really isn’t a lot to separate these two password managers, and I’m hard pressed to find any single reason why everyone should use one and not the other. The bottom line is that they’re both fantastic, both simple to use and well designed, and both help to keep you secure. You’re not going to be disappointed with either, but here are some things that I both love and disliked about each.
What I love about Dashlane
- Beautiful OS X and iOS applications. Easy to use, straight to the point, lots of extra features.
- Security Dashboard. Again, very simple to get started with and explains things clearly. Gives a quick overview of how things are looking.
- Password Changer. The ability to have Dashlane automatically change a password without any effort on my part is worth the cost of premium in itself. It doesn’t work everywhere just yet, but it seems only a matter of time.
What I dislike about Dashlane
- Tries to do everything. Don’t get me wrong, it’s so useful when Dashlane automatically stores a receipt, or offers to save a new password without me needing to do anything. But sometimes, it would automatically log me in so fast that I wouldn’t even have time to tick the remember me box. Admittedly, I now know these settings are configurable and I’ve disabled them, but for the past year (and as they’re enabled by default), they were difficult to work with.
- Making changes isn’t obvious. In the standard view of your passwords, clicking on a single site doesn’t do anything. Pressing it twice might, or you can hit the “more” button, and then “edit”, but it would be nicer if the details were more readily available to quickly confirm the username for a site, or which sub-domain it applied to.
- Fingerprint isn’t treated as a first class citizen. From my experience, it’s as though Dashlane doesn’t quite trust the fingerprint sensor on my iPhone as every few weeks I’m forced to re-enter my master password. When I’m using Dashlane on the go, it’s rarely convenient to type out that password, but there seems no way around it.
What I love about 1Password
- Fantastic OS X and iOS applications. Difficult to separate the two here. 1Password have the applications nailed down, and they work great.
- Vaults. Being able to split up my personal and work credentials was a big advantage. Taking it a step further, the ability to remove a vault from a device while travelling gave the impression that 1Password really understand their market.
- Chrome plugin. Simple, straight forward and customisable keyboard shortcut put me back in control — it only filled the passwords I asked it to, and stayed out the way otherwise.
What I dislike about 1Password
- Switching between vaults. During the day, I end up using several passwords from both of my vaults, but 1Password rarely detected that a password may be in the other one without me manually changing it. It meant that it would often be unable to find a password without pointing it in the right direction, which felt like an unnecessary step considering I otherwise have full access to both faults.
- Secret key. There’s an extra layer of security for 1Password that isn’t on Dashlane, although neither feels less secure than the other. This extra layer of security can make it a little harder to connect additional devices, unless you remembered to store a copy of the PDF with the QR code on it — which then needs to be stored somewhere, likely behind a password which is then stored within 1Password.
- No free option. With both of these services, I’d 100% recommend using their paid/premium platforms, not least for the additional features but also because £2 per month isn’t a high price to pay for increased security. A 30-day trial is available, but a password manager isn’t something you can use a lot for a few days to test it out — you just have to integrate it into your normal workflows and see how it works for you. In this case, 30 days can be on the short side, and users may be less inclined to spend time setting it up if there’s a chance they’ll have to export the lot again in a few weeks.
Why I’m sticking with Dashlane
As I mentioned up top, I’ve used Dashlane for a couple of years, so that may have helped their case. However, I’ve been using 1Password exclusively for the past 30 days and while it’s been great and has fitted in nicely, there are a few things in Dashlane that are keeping me loyal for now.
After finally discovering the ability to stop Dashlane from auto-populating passwords, instead just giving me the prompt to fill in the necessary fields, my overall happiness with it has increased, as that was always my biggest concern.
Alongside that, some of the extra’s that Dashlane provides are really nice additions that make me feel more secure. The automatic *password changer for example, when used alongside the Security Dashboard is fantastic and will only improve as it is able to support more and more websites. The built-in security alerts also help to ensure things are as secure as possible, while giving me less to think about.
That’s the main advantage for Dashlane for me. It is able to take care of more than just storing the passwords. It can alert me when a password is too old, re-used or has been compromised somewhere and can often try to replace that password without me needing to do any more than press a button. 1Password can do parts of this, but it isn’t quite there yet on those extras. No doubt if they did venture into additional areas, they’d want to ensure the highest quality and security before making them public, so who knows how this blog will look when my renewal is due once again!