With the release of Microsoft’s latest operating system, you might be asking yourself, “Self, am I ready for Windows 10?” And while we at AgileBits wouldn’t presume to answer that question for you, we’re pleased to announce that 1Password is ready when you are!
Using Windows 10
A number of us have already been using Windows 10 regularly—and loving it. And it turns out that 1Password loves Windows 10 too! But while you’ll be able to hit the ground running and use 1Password as you always have, just be sure that your other hardware and software are ready to make the leap. And back up, back up, and back up some more.
Livin’ on the Edge
One significant change in Windows 10 that will be of interest to 1Password users is the addition of Microsoft’s latest and greatest web browser, Edge. Previously known as “Spartan,” we’ve found it to be fast, stable, and rather pleasant to use.
However, there’s a catch: Edge does not yet support extensions, so at this time there is no way to use the 1Password extension in Edge as you do in Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer.
The good news is that Internet Explorer is still around, and 1Password works great in IE 11, along with our other favourite browsers. Word on the street is that Microsoft Edge will support extensions in the near future; we’re looking forward to seeing if that will enable us to provide 1Password extension support in the new browser.
Wi-Fi Sense, and the cost of convenience
One thing that you should know about is a new feature called Wi-Fi Sense. This feature has been present on Windows Phone for a while now, but it’s a new addition to the desktop OS. Wi-Fi Sense shares Wi-Fi network access between you and your Outlook, Skype, and Facebook contacts. While this may be convenient (even magical) for some, it also presents some security fodder for your consideration. With Windows 10 now unleashed, it’s especially important to understand how Wi-Fi Sense works, and then make an informed decision.
Wi-Fi Sense can share most of your saved Wi-Fi connections. Windows keeps your saved Wi-Fi connections when you upgrade, so if you’ve been using Windows for a while, this might be a lengthy list. All the networks to which you’ve previously connected have the potential to be shared using Wi-Fi Sense.
It’s also important to note that Wi-Fi Sense doesn’t let you individually choose with whom you share your Wi-Fi connections; rather, they’re available to all of your contacts on a service (Outlook, Skype, Facebook) if that service is enabled.
One aspect of Wi-Fi Sense that is easy to overlook is that sharing is a two-way street: not only are you sharing your saved Wi-Fi connection information with your contacts, they’re also sharing theirs with you. Additionally, open hotspots are crowdsourced; unless you opt out, your Windows 10 devices will automatically connect to many unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Since these can be compromised or spoofed, we definitely recommend using protection (such as VPNs and encryption) any time you connect to Wi-Fi networks you don’t control.
The more you know…
If you’ve only ever used a wired connection, Windows won’t have a Wi-Fi connection saved, and therefore won’t be able to give it away to Facebook Guy and the rest. You can disable Wi-Fi Sense in Windows 10 by going to Wi-Fi > Network settings > Manage Wi-Fi settings and flipping the switch to turn it off. If you add “_optout” to end of your SSID (network name), your Wi-Fi network will be opted out of Wi-Fi Sense.
Microsoft’s Wi-Fi Sense FAQ contains a lot of information to help you decide whether to keep this feature enabled. Here are some highlights:
- When using Express setup, many of the Wi-Fi Sense options are enabled by default
- Your contacts don’t see your Wi-Fi network password
- You choose which Wi-Fi network connections you want to share
- Network connections are shared only with contacts who also have Wi-Fi Sense enabled
- Network connections are shared with your contacts, but not their contacts
If you’re a Windows Insider or early adopter, we hope you’re enjoying Windows 10. If you have any questions or feedback about 1Password, please share your thoughts in our discussion forums. We love hearing from you.