1Password and Windows 10: On the Edge of greatness

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.

The Lowdown

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.

The Downlow

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.

Windows 10 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.

14 replies
    • brenty
      brenty says:

      You’re most welcome! I think “bizarre” is exactly the right word. I wish I’d used that myself! XD

      Glad to get the word out, so that everyone can choose for themselves rather than being at the mercy of the defaults. :D

  1. John Graybosch
    John Graybosch says:

    “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.”

    “You choose which Wi-Fi network connections you want to share”

    So which is it? Can you choose which connections to share or does it automatically share all of your wifi passwords ever with random people you’ve friended and don’t really know / trust on Facebook?

    • brenty
      brenty says:

      Sorry for the confusion! Indeed, both of these statements are true, but I apologize for not being clearer.

      Individual Wi-Fi networks can be opted out of Wi-Fi Sense when you set them up (much like how you can choose not to save a network when you connect to it).

      So you can have Wi-Fi Sense itself enabled, and it will share all saved connections, excepting those that you have disabled it for individually. Whew. I wish it was a bit more straightforward. ;)

    • John Graybosch
      John Graybosch says:

      Yeah, it is confusing, it looks like MS through us a bit of a curve ball with this one.

      So basically, let’s say you upgrade your laptop from Windows 7 to Windows 10. All of your saved WiFi networks get auto-shared with all of your contacts. So let’s say you have a saved WiFi network for the company you work for that you’re not supposed to share with outsiders. One of your Outlook contacts is your company’s competitor. You upgrade to Windows 10, and now your competitor can join your private WiFi network and siphon off company secrets…

      What could possibly go wrong?

    • brenty
      brenty says:

      Certainly a concern. Fortunately it isn’t ~quite~ that bad. From the Wi-Fi Sense FAQ:

      “You share with your contacts, but not their contacts. The networks you share aren’t shared with your contacts’ contacts. If your contacts want to share one of your networks with their contacts, they’d need to know your actual password and type it in to share the network.”

      Also significant, the passwords themselves are not shared with your contacts; rather, they are encrypted both stored by Microsoft and also on your contacts’ computers. Granted, there may be a way to get the actual password out of that once it’s stored on the computer, but that remains to be seen.

      Since your contacts never get your actual Wi-Fi password (and the shared information is not re-shared), they can’t pass it on to someone else. Crowdsourced ‘open’ networks are another story, though.

      Microsoft has actually made a lot of good decisions with Wi-Fi Sense; but easily their biggest mistake is making this hard to understand and opaque when it comes to the actual implementation (encryption? hashing? who knows?) So until they’re more forthcoming with details on the security, it’s not something I’d be comfortable using. Good security does not depend on obscurity, and can benefit greatly from opens and scrutiny.

    • brenty
      brenty says:

      Excellent! That’s been our experience too.

      I think the biggest hurdle for 1Password users on Windows 10 is that Edge is a compelling browser, and there just isn’t a way for us to use the 1Password workflow we’ve grown accustomed to there yet.

      I think it’s safe to say that we’re all anxious for developments from Microsoft in this area. :)

  2. whoever
    whoever says:

    It would be nice to have high-definiton graphics for 1password on Windows, it really hurts eyes on modern screen (retina-like). Is it planned?

    • Andrew Costen
      Andrew Costen says:

      It is planned, but I can’t give you any information as to when it might happen. In the meantime, you can try the following to tell Windows to stop blurring our window:

      1. Open Windows Explorer
      2. Navigate to: C:\Program Files\1Password 4
      3. Right-click on: Agile1pAgent.exe
      4. Click on: Properties
      5. Click on the tab labelled “Compatibility”
      6. Uncheck this setting: “Disable display scaling on high DPI settings”
      7. Restart your PC
  3. Gloria
    Gloria says:

    I can no longer use control back slash to access 1password and the usernames, passwords, etc. Is this a glitch with windows 10?


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