Why We Love 1Password Memberships

TL;DR: We love 1Password. We love you. We believe 1Password memberships are the best and will shout it from the mountaintops, but standalone vaults aren’t being removed.

Recently a customer wrote in to praise us for handling a sticky situation with a quick and decisive response. They signed off their post with “from a happy customer”.

Jeff, our resident Chief Defender Against the Dark Arts, replied and signed his message with “from a happy 1Password maker”.

This was really cute and I loved the play on words. It also got me thinking though: we really are happy 1Password makers.

From a happy 1Password maker

Jeff’s phrase is similar to a statement that I tell our team often and expound upon during interviews: we all need to be working at our dream jobs. So I really shouldn’t be surprised by Jeff’s signature. But it stuck with me as I adored its simplicity.

Quick and to the point. And at the same time, a revelation. I absolutely loved it.

1Password is what it is today because we all love working here and have fun helping our customers. We are completely self-funded, independent, have turned down all offers from venture capitalists, and our board of directors consists entirely of people who work on 1Password and help customers directly each and every day.

As a result we’re able to provide true security and never compromise on protecting the privacy of our customers. We don’t have to and never will sell your information or spam you with ads.

The bottom line is we have a complete focus on 1Password and since we’re working on stuff we love, we’re excited and have the desire to constantly improve and make 1Password the best it can be. We’re happy to be able to do this.

Happy 1Password memberships

How is happiness related to 1Password memberships? Simple. We created 1Password memberships to make 1Password the best it can be. And a direct result of 1Password memberships is happier 1Password makers and customers alike.

I am so much happier now that 1Password has the power of memberships to help me help our customers. With memberships, there are several things that I no longer need to do, and as a direct result I have more time to improve 1Password and help more customers.

With 1Password memberships we have a wonderful set of things we no longer need to do. I call it my No More list and here are just the highlights:


No More telling people who had syncing misconfigured (or didn’t realize that syncing needed to be manually configured) that I’m sorry they lost their data when they reset their phone. With 1Password memberships, all your data is synced automatically when you sign in, so there’s nothing to set up or worry about configuring wrong.

No More telling people that I’m sorry that when they deleted some files from their hard drive they didn’t recognize they inadvertently deleted all their 1Password data. With 1Password memberships, everyone enjoys data loss protection that ensures this can never happen.

No More explaining that we don’t have any control or visibility into third-party sync solutions and are therefore limited when troubleshooting problems. With 1Password memberships, we are in complete control of both sides of the connection so we’re able to optimize things, quickly troubleshoot, and improve immediately when a problem is found. All this results in a rock solid solution that results in an entire category of issues no longer affecting our customers.

No More explaining why purchasing 1Password on one platform doesn’t automatically unlock it on all other platforms. Not only is it really hard for customers to understand that 1Password is “licensed per person, per platform, with paid upgrades”, but it’s an incredible mouthful for us to even say. With 1Password memberships, you simply subscribe once and you get access to 1Password everywhere.

No More needing to hold back on features for creating a “big splash” for major upgrades. These require purchasing a license upgrade and so it’s important that we save up features (often for a year or more) so we can woo customers to open up their wallets. With 1Password memberships, we can give people new features as soon as they are available so they can enjoy them right away. See Travel Mode and 1Password for Slackers for examples of this.

I wish I could also say No More for explaining to people who have forgotten their Master Password that 1Password uses true security and they therefore need to start over. But with 1Password memberships I can at least share the good news that families and teams can use Account Recovery to restore their own access.

And with the time we save from not needing to do these things, we’ll be able to improve 1Password itself to make it easier for customers to remember their Master Passwords. So perhaps someday soon this will indeed end up on my No More list.

Nudging people towards 1Password memberships


Now of course not everyone is on 1Password memberships yet, so we do indeed still work through these issues every day. So it’s not truly a No More list. At least not yet. Still, the number of people on memberships continues to grow every day, so we’re quickly seeing more and more of these bright spots as we move throughout our day.

All these bright spots add up to an even happier set of 1Password makers. And that’s as important for you as it is for us, because the happier a 1Password maker is, the better they’ll be able to widen the smiles of 1Password customers everywhere. Nothing great was ever created without passion, and this is just as true for designing and developing software as it is for customer support. I’m really excited about this and hope that someday 100% of our customers will embrace 1Password memberships.

Now the thing is, I know it’s not realistic to expect everyone to be able to be able to join one of our memberships at this time. As great as 1Password memberships are, I know that our excitement for them can cause some people to become worried. After all, many have corporate policies or regional restrictions that prevent them from using a hosted solution like ours, and so they’re understandably concerned and want to know that there’s a future for them with 1Password.

These worries are compounded by the fact that 1Password 6 for Windows was designed from the ground up to support 1Password Teams customers only (and then later expanded to include family and individual plans), and we are unsure how this adventure will play out on the Windows side of the world, so we haven’t made any public announcements about when support for standalone vaults will be added, if ever. Many Mac users worry that the same fate awaits 1Password 6 for Mac, and that we will remove support for local vaults and force them to pay again.

This isn’t going to happen. First, it would be evil to take away something you’ve already paid for. And evil doesn’t make for a Happy 1Password Customer, which is the cornerstone for a Happy 1Password Maker. It’s simply not who we are.

For those who purchased 1Password 6 for Mac already, you’re perfectly fine the way you are and can continue rocking 1Password the way you have been. There’s no requirement to change anything as we will not be removing features or forcing you to subscribe. In fact we’re still selling licenses of 1Password 6 for Mac for those that really need them (you can find them today on the setup screen under More Options).

And you need not worry about 1Password 7 for Mac, either, as it will continue to support standalone vaults just like version 6 does today.

We know that not everyone is ready to make the jump yet, and as such, we will continue to support customers who are managing their own standalone vaults. 1Password 6 and even 1Password 7 will continue to support standalone vaults. But 1Password memberships are indeed awesome and are the best way to use 1Password, and as such, I am going to continue to nudge you over when ever I can 🙂

Love Dave,
A Happy 1Password Maker ❤️ 🇨🇦

P. S. Please don’t think our excitement for memberships has anything to do with money. We’re completely self-funded so we don’t have any investors forcing us to make changes by looking solely at our bottom line. We were doing just fine selling individual licenses and AgileBits was already steadily growing before 1Password Teams was even introduced. We created 1Password Memberships because we had a vision for how 1Password could be even better and we followed our dreams. The result has been stupendously awesome and better than our wildest dreams! Today, over 95% of our revenues are coming from subscribers, which is truly mind blowing. Many investment strategists would say it makes sense to simply drop support for everything else and focus on the money. That’s not how we do things around here. We focus on people, love, and happiness. It’s the way we do things and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

P. P. S. You can create a 1Password membership and move all your existing data over today in just a few minutes. Learn more here. Like I said, I’m going to continue to non-apologetically nudge you over whenever I can 😉

273 replies
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  1. Dan V Peterson
    Dan V Peterson says:

    When we first launched our 1Password memberships I knew it was better for the majority of people already but honestly thought I’d stick with local vaults for my personal stuff. I liked having that control and already knew how to do it and had been doing so for years so no big deal, right? of course I had to set up a membership for testing and kept both methods around for a while. Over a bit of time I realized how much easier the membership was to deal with. I got new devices and didn’t have to worry about another account for syncing so setup was a breeze, I knew it was more secure than any other cloud service, and I was wowed by how much faster and more reliable syncing was over time. Now I’ve got my parents on it as a part of a family membership and it has been a lifesaver. My mom has dementia and being able to manage her stuff easily and to know that I can recover her account when there are issues has put my mind at ease. Over the 10 years I’ve been with this company I’ve heard so many stories and had to help so many people with syncing and device setup (and licensing confusion) and this has helped those folks a ton. Honestly most people I would talk to always thought they had some type of account with us before it even existed. I’ve (somewhat surprisingly) now become a pretty hardcore fan of the new memberships.

    Reply
  2. Matt Davey
    Matt Davey says:

    When we first started talking about the 1Password for Teams product internally I had grand designs instantly of all the features this could help with that we’ve had troubles with in the past due.

    The no more list is a great view of where our time was going and Travel mode is a great initial view of where our time can now be spent.

    As everyone else started chiming in I thought I’d give my 2 pence on this one. It’s okay if today you want to sync with local vaults. Hopefully soon you’ll see there is a lot more we can do with memberships that you’ll love.

    Reply
  3. Martin
    Martin says:

    Sigh The eternal debate of security vs. usability…

    Hi, another really happy 1Password [standalone vault version] user here 👋

    I’ve been using KeePassX for years and still do nowadays to access my stuff from my GNU+Linux and FreeBSD systems.
    However it was never thought to be `cloud-ready’ so keeping it in sync not only with 1Password – which is my main password manager – but also between my other systems is a little bit cumbersome, to say the least.

    As you may know KeePassX can provide industrial-grade data encryption when using a secure-enough master password (and even better, a key file) so it’s generally safe to move databases over the interwebs with a certain confidence that the information will rest away from prying eyes. That’s why for a good time I synced my KeePassX databases using Gdrive until the good fellas at Keybase publicly opened the glorious Keybase FileSystem which I use since then because an extra layer of security (well implemented in this case) doesn’t hurts.
    But still managing KeePassX databases this way is a pain.
    There some interesting projects trying to bring native cloud filesystems to life that may eventually ease these pains but such developments are far from being stable enough to use in production – or for the matter, for important stuff – so currently there’s no real solution to this problem.

    Enter 1Password
    1Password is one of such wonderful applications that work so great you can easily forget you are even using a piece of software as it – mostly – works in such a natural way that it becomes part of your workflow, whatever it is, in no time. That, I believe, is a hallmark of every well thought, well designed, well crafted — well made application.

    But the only way that being in possession of all my mental faculties I can succumb to such gorgeous charms is knowing that I am the only one that have control over my information.

    Judging by Dave’s nice post and some of the answers of the rest of the guys one could think that it won’t be until 1Password 8 that AgileBits will drop standalone vaults, which makes sense from an usability standpoint as everything is moving the cloud (cloud = computers of other people not controlled by you) and also happens to make me happy as I’m one of those who paid the full price for ‘lifetime’ upgrades :)

    To be fair nowadays the average person in an average developed country owns at least two if not more devices, and with the increasing adoption of more cloud-based solutions I truly believe that by 2020 it would feel archaic to not have everything syncing automagically in a snap being accessible from anywhere we want. And that will be good because the kind of life we will have (that a lot of us is already having) screams for that kind of smooth connectivity continuum.

    Sigh The eternal debate of security vs. usability… 😑

    If by 2020 I can’t count on 1Password having standalone vaults then it will be time for me to farewell you guys, not because the money or the business model but because I trust no one other than me with my sensible information. I only hope that by the time there exists at least one stable-enough cloud-native filesystem that let me open the same KeePassX database across devices without having to juggle with different versions of the file.

    Until then I will keep supporting you guys and spreading the voice on the great product you have. It’s evident you put a lot of ❤️ on the product, we all see that.

    Connect safe!

    Reply
    • Dave Teare
      Dave Teare says:

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Martin! I really enjoyed them. 🙂

      You’re right, this does feel like an eternal debate between security and usability. When I was at IBM it seemed everything I was required to do in the name of security got in the way of me actually getting my job done. I’d need to escalate to my manager and then he’d need to fight with the security team and figure out a compromise. It’s how security got a bad name I think.

      When Roustem and I created 1Password we wanted it to be a different kind of security product, one that actually made you more productive and more secure. It was a tall order but I believe we succeeded as it’s much easier to navigate the web in a secure manner using 1Password than it is to use the insecure methods we used before hand.

      Anyway, I agree that 2020 looks to be a very interesting year! I’ve been dreaming of the same cloud-native filesystem that you have been and can’t wait to get my hands on it. The future is a very interesting place and I’m excited to be part of it!

      Take care,

      ++dave;

    • Martin C.
      Martin C. says:

      This is kind of weird but I’m replying to myself since I can’t do it to Dave.

      This is the cloud-native filesystem development I was talking about:
      https://www.cryfs.org
      (While still in its early stages its shaping nicely)

      Another interesting solution is Cryptomator.org which enables you to create an encrypted vault with it’s own filesystem ready to be shared among multiple clients.

      Thank you for sharing your experience on your past job Dave!

    • Dave Teare
      Dave Teare says:

      Hello again, Martin! 👋🏼

      I agree the WordPress comments UX is a bit weird, but you did it perfectly! I found nested comments to be very hard to reason about and they didn’t render well (esp on mobile) so we set the maximum comment depth to 1. The plugins we’re using interpret that to mean only allow a Reply button on the original top level comment. It works ok for most purposes so I haven’t rolled up my sleeves to tinker with it. At least not yet 🙂

      Thanks for the links to those cloud-native filesystems. They look pretty good. I can’t help but to scratch my head a little bit though as in their main marketing message they say “works well together with cloud services like Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive and others”, which are all cloud-based services, which I thought is what you were trying to avoid. Perhaps I’m just misunderstanding your use case? Or perhaps I’m misunderstanding what you mean by “control” when you said “I am the only one that have control over my information”. Can you please elaborate?

      Also, while I have your ear, I wanted to talk about something I missed the first time I read your message. While reading your original question again to see if I could resolve the above question of mine, I noticed you said:

      I’m one of those who paid the full price for ‘lifetime’ upgrades :)

      I’m not sure if the smily face means you’re being ironic or if the smily face is meant to show your level of happiness for purchasing what you believe is actually a “lifetime” upgrade. We’ve never sold a license that was entitled to all upgrades for life. There’s simply never been any such thing as it’s something I don’t believe in. I strongly believe “free upgrades for life” licenses are a very bad idea for the long term success of a company. And since I want AgileBits to be around for a very long time, I’ve never allowed these to be sold.

      We haven’t had a paid upgrade for a very long time now – something like 4 or 5 years now – so I can see how you and others may believe you’ll get 1Password 7, and 1Password 8, and 1Password 9, and 1Password X (sorry, I had to as I did start my Mac life as a Mac OS X user🙂) for free, but that’s not the case. For each major upgrade we make a decision whether or not it should be a paid one and for 1Password 5 and 1Password 6 we decided to make them free. We’re due for a paid upgrade and I suspect that’s what we’ll see when 1Password 7 comes along. Those on memberships will get it for free of course as part of their subscription but license holders will need to purchase an upgrade.

      Now of course your license for that version of 1Password is indeed a lifetime license and you can use it for as long as you want.

      Anyway, I’m not sure if you knew that already or not but I wanted to take the time to spell it out just incase you were unaware or if someone else reading this thread thought the same thing.

      Take care and I look forward to hearing how you’re planning on using CryFS.

      ++dave;

  4. LarryMcJ
    LarryMcJ says:

    I fell in love with 1Password back when it had just started and was called 1P, and while I do sill miss that short name, I don’t miss the single license version at all. When I moved to the Family Membership version, it was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done, and even though this isn’t a work team version, it’s basically the same thing. More importantly, everything Dave just explained about memberships in this blog entry couldn’t be more true from a customer perspective.

    1Password is hands-down the most important app on my Mac and iOS devices, and it’s the first app I install after installing a new macOS version. But doing this with 1Password membership for me and my wife is so much easier, and for me the only way to use 1Password.

    You’re right, Dave…it’s not about the money, on your end nor for your users. It’s about ultimate security, no chance of lost 1Password data, and an overall comfortable feeling that makes me feel…well, happy!

    Reply
    • Dave Teare
      Dave Teare says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Larry! I greatly appreciate it and I’m head over heels that you love 1Password Families as much as I do. 🕺🏻

      Love, a happy 1Password maker. ❤️

      ++dave;

  5. Nima
    Nima says:

    One thing that soured this whole thing for me is how you handled 1Password 6 for Windows. The way I understood it was that local vault support was something that was being worked on and released in the future. That was how it was communicated in the forums. But in the last weeks or months that message changed and it wasn’t something that was being worked on anymore. There was no explanation given I feel like that was rather misleading and made it looked like local vault support was being removed across the board.

    Reply
    • Kate Sebald
      Kate Sebald says:

      Hey Nima! We hear you and I do understand where that sentiment comes from. It’s easy for us to say, “Well, things change …” but it’s much harder for our standalone customers to continue trusting a shifting narrative. As I mentioned in my reply to Chuck, we were overly optimistic with our expectations for 1Password 6 for Windows. 1Password 6 for Windows was built with the primary purpose of serving our 1Password members, but we did (and still do) want it to serve as an upgrade for our standalone customers as well.

      Ultimately, it has taken much longer than we had once thought to get 1Password 6 where we’d like it to be and we still have a lot of work we want to do. Behind the scenes, this played out more as a slow realization that we may not be able to make 1Password 6 for Windows everything for everyone rather than a genuine shift in our ultimate goal. We’re humans, like all of you, and being reluctant to admit defeat is a definitively human trait. That reluctance to admit we had over-reached a bit led to that shift from “It’s coming soon!” to “We’re working on it,” to “We need to focus on 1Password accounts.” Our efforts to keep folks in loop were read at times as subtle implications of a sea change when they were honestly just a result of our natural human tendency to reach a bit higher than our grasp. I don’t want us to stop reaching higher, but we should pay better mind to Dave’s caution about trying to predict the direction of an often-shifting roadmap. We could have done a better job of clearly acknowledging the difference between what we want to do and what we absolutely will do.

      I hope we’re doing a better job now. We want standalone vaults in 1Password 6 for Windows. We want every feature in 1Password 4 for Windows to be brought over to 1Password 6. We want the perfect setup flow in each app so that everyone gets exactly what they want and no one is confused about anything. Some of these things are more realistic than others, but the ultimate truth is that we cannot add everything we want when we want it and the simple fact that we want something doesn’t mean we’ll be able to build it.

      The warm fuzzy feelings we get from making y’all happy can come back to bite us too if we let our excitement get the best of us and I do think we let it tempt us into deviating a bit from reality when talking about standalone vaults in 1Password 6 for Windows in the early days. We certainly thought we were talking about reality, but we’ve since realized that thinking we can and will do something isn’t quite enough. Sometimes, we’re wrong, and I’m sorry it left you with a sour taste in your mouth. We’re always learning and we will do better. For now, know that although we’re not focusing on them, we do still want standalone vaults in 1Password 6 for Windows. Other things will be taking priority right now, and they may not make the cut, but if they do get added, we’ll be even happier 1Password Makers. 🙂

  6. Jon Alper
    Jon Alper says:

    As a customer who very loudly prefers the stand-alone and perpetually licensed model, I want to thank you for the clarity in this simple statement: “And you need not worry about 1Password 7 for Mac, either, as it will continue to support standalone vaults just like version 6 does today.” Next version is really all anyone can expect a company to commit to with a continued support window for a feature and I thank you for doing it. A lot!

    Some thoughts on the rest…

    Agile development, just-in-time updates, being able to push the result of a sprint to your customers and see them immediately benefit from a fix or a feature can provide constant and meaningful rewards for developers. It can also reduce anxiety about risk. Incremental change is easier to manage, or revert from when things go wrong for the developer if not always the customer.

    In some circumstances this approach also provides immediate benefit to users who need that one new feature and just can’t wait for the next major revision.

    The downside is (one of several actually but getting too deep into a dissection of the merits of the agile methodology isn’t a good use of any of our time here), some users, for legitimate reasons, want, or have an actual business need to decide when they’re ready to have their cheese moved.

    Those customers, the “professionals”, the “I build a workflow, I stick with it. I change it on a schedule of my own” segment give back some beneficial ‘no mores’ too. And, since many of those users support others, those ‘no mores’ scale across several seats.

    A stand alone app, a perpetual license and, frankly, a ‘higher than average’ price in the app stores you sell in also means your perpetually licensed product targets a demographic, albeit perhaps a niche demographic, who can pay, will pay, does pay, (in my case, because I value LAN sync and local data store VERY much, pay happily across platforms!) and mostly remains invisible to the support staff.

    The purchase, made, the documentation good, the bugs mostly held at bay. They pay for a license and, the whole customer, and all the seats/platforms they paid for and/or support? They’re all ‘no more’ until the time comes to pay again for the next major release.

    Much as feeling love, having a sense of mission matters. Sales, reduced support cost, money in the door, less hosting infrastructure to maintain. These things keep the lights on. And, maybe there’s a quieter, more reserved love. Once a year or so, when the next major rev ships and we buy the upgrades. Some of us, we don’t want a relationship. Some of us will be truly happiest paying once a year or so for an upgrade after we’ve read the docs on the new features, waited a dot release or two and then planned to roll out the latest version hoping it’s bug free, never updates, remains mostly invisible until the next year rolls around.

    Every company seems to think their customers all want dogs. Always there, wagging their tales, trying to learn a new trick every day. Constantly trained, chasing balls, out on walks to meet their friends. Nothing wrong with a good dog! It’s just that some of us want old, lazy, lie-around-in-the-sun-spot happy cats you can feed once in the morning and scoop some litter when the bugs, err, box, gets too stinky.

    Reply
    • Dave Teare
      Dave Teare says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me, Jon. I appreciate it and I’m happy to hear you enjoyed my statement about 1Password 7.

      As for dogs vs. cats, I myself have always been a dog lover and a cat lover. 😉 I’ve shared my life with both amazing dogs and fantastic cats and wouldn’t have it any other way. ❤️

      ++dave;

  7. Arcsech
    Arcsech says:

    “Today, over 95% of our revenues are coming from subscribers, which is truly mind blowing. Many investment strategists would say it makes sense to simply drop support for everything else and focus on the money”

    “we haven’t made any public announcements about when support for standalone vaults will be added, if ever.”

    Sure sounds like that first thing is what you’re doing to me though?

    Also, sorry for my group of customers being so annoying. No more me, I guess, and good riddance, eh?

    Reply
    • Dave Teare
      Dave Teare says:

      I’m so sorry my comment made you feel that way, Arcsech! I really really am. That certainly wasn’t my intention!

      I wrestled with adding that P.S. statement in the post as I feared that it would worry some people or be used as ammunition to say “ah ha! clearly you’ll drop support for local vaults”. As much as I worried about things being taken that way, I couldn’t resist typing this as I wanted to put to make clear once and for all that AgileBits is on a very firm financial setting. My accountant, fellow board member, and lovely wife Sara makes sure of that!

      I also hoped that by sharing some percentages with you that it would make it abundantly clear that we could indeed completely remove support for standalone vaults and survive just fine. But as I tried to express throughout this post, we know many people are loving 1Password just the way they are today and don’t want to change. And as fortunate as we are to be on firm financial ground, I am not going to rip the carpet out from underneath the people who got us to where we are today. That’s just not who we are as a company.

      With that said, I agree that our story on the Windows side is not as nice as it is on the Mac side of the world. Our Windows team is not only smaller but they had a LOT more work to accomplish to create 1Password 6 for Windows than we did on the Mac side. For Windows the team started completely from scratch so they could use the latest and greatest technologies from Microsoft. We knew it was going to be a difficult journey but we wanted to do so anyway as we wanted to be able to create the best possible 1Password experience on Windows and needed these new tools to make sure we wouldn’t be held back.

      The reality is that things are indeed taking a long time on the Windows side of the world and indeed I’m the first person to say that I wish we were further along on this path. We’re not there yet and that is why I’ve asked the Windows team to focus exclusively on 1Password memberships until we have all the features there that we know we need. Then at that time we will evaluate what our next steps should be.

      This is far enough in the future that I forced myself to add the , if ever amendment to that paragraph in this post. As much as I’d love 1Password to be everything to everyone, there is enough unknowns on the Windows side of the world that I had to make it clear that it’s far from a guarantee. It certainly would be nice though as it would greatly simplify things for everyone if every platform was consistent.

      Anyway, I’m sorry that I made you feel like you were annoying and that we were trying to get rid of you. That wasn’t my intent and I apologize profusely.

      In the future when we have more visibility I want to have a Windows-focused post that walks through all the details and future plans. At the moment it would create more questions than answers so I’ve held off on doing so. I hope that changes soon.

      Take care,

      ++dave;

  8. Aaron
    Aaron says:

    I’m a 1Password user; I’ve purchased multi-operating system 1Password twice, once circa 2012 and once circa 2014. I like the software a lot. I would guess that over the years I’ve sold somewhere between 10 and 20 copies of 1Password when recommending it to friends, family, or clients.

    When the move to SaaS began, I switched my recommendation from 1password to “Any password manager”. I’ll personally be switching to a competitor whenever you cut off support for the local vaults and/or Dropbox deprecates their API and/or you stop updating the standalone version of Dropbox. The way I want to use your software is syncing via Dropbox and buying the software every few years for major upgrades. That’s not what you want to focus on, which is fine.

    I don’t begrudge you guys switching to SaaS, and I agree with many of the points in the blog post about ease of support associated to moving to control of the entire process. But the rollout on this has been embarrassing. I’m not sure who in the company suggested this blog post, but it’s a terrible idea. You can’t simultaneously say you aren’t trying to cut people off while also admitting to burying the ability to buy offline copies of the software under More Options menus, talking about how people aren’t ready to migrate yet but they will be. I’ve always liked AgileBits commitment to seeing its employees as a family, but this is the first blog post where positive team morale and spirit comes off more as a creepy sales pitch in response to customer criticism than it does to genuine enthusiasm.

    The criticism is coming from a very real place. Replying to it with “You just think that because you haven’t used our new product” might as well be saying “If you think that, our new product isn’t for you”. It’s cool. You guys decide to make the product you want to make for the people you want as customers, and use the business model you want.

    It’s a bummer we’re going in different directions. Best of luck in the future.

    Reply
    • Kate Sebald
      Kate Sebald says:

      Hey Aaron! We really do appreciate you expressing your concerns, even if we haven’t done the best job of showing it.

      “You just think that because you haven’t used our new product”…

      I’m really sorry that our replies came off this way! We never want you to feel like your concerns are falling on deaf ears. 😢 One of the struggles we’ve had recently is that everyone concerned about local vaults has their own personal concerns about the future. We’ve had some wonderful opportunities for one-on-one conversations with folks about their individual concerns and I hope we have the opportunity for many more, but there was also a larger conversation going on that we felt we needed to address. This blog post was our best effort to do that. Sometimes our best effort isn’t quite good enough, but we are absolutely still listening. We wanted this post to invite conversation, not stifle it and I’m really sorry it made you feel your feedback is unwelcome. It’s not only welcome, we wholeheartedly encourage it. Listening to criticism is how we do better and we know there is always room for improvement. Please never hesitate to reach out with concerns, questions, criticism – anything at all! We really do want to hear from you. ❤️

      You can’t simultaneously say you aren’t trying to cut people off while also admitting to burying the ability to buy offline copies of the software under More Options menus…

      This has been a long-existing struggle and one we may still need to work on. As I and others have mentioned in prior replies, equally emphasizing both options created a lot of confusion. Folks who wanted standalone vaults ended up with memberships and folks who wanted memberships ended up with standalone vaults. Both camps were understandably pretty grumpy about the situation. The decision to emphasize 1Password memberships was made because this was what we felt was best for most new customers, but we do know it didn’t solve the problem for everyone and “best for most” does not mean “best for all”. We still spend a lot of time talking about the setup flow and, although we’ve yet to come with something better, I’m sure we’ll keep working on it and changing it in the future. It’s not at all meant to cut you off from making the choice to use standalone vaults, and we’re always happy to help you get your vault set up the way you want until we get it just right. 🙂

      talking about how people aren’t ready to migrate yet but they will be

      We hope this is the case for many of our customers, but this is absolutely not meant to imply that your view is invalid if you haven’t tried a 1Password membership or that we’re going to turn into those door-to-door salesmen who are just dead convinced you’ll flip with just … one .. more .. pitch. We would obviously love for you to give a 1Password membership a try, but our job is to make sure you have all the information to make the right decision for yourself, not to make that decision for you. If standalone vaults are what works for you, we respect that 100%.

      Finally, I do want to reiterate that the decision to move to membership-only, either for payment or syncing, is not a decision that’s been made yet. Some view this as a foregone conclusion and I can certainly understand where taht comes from, but we have no plans to do this in the foreseeable future. I hope that means you’ll be part of our 1Password family for a long time to come and that our reassurances here help you feel a little better about recommending 1Password in the future. And again, if there’s ever anything you think we could be doing better, please never hesitate to reach out. We want to ensure your voice is always being heard. ❤️ 🙂

  9. Oliver Georgi
    Oliver Georgi says:

    I still love 1Password but when I tried to bring a friend over to 1Password not long ago I was shocked about to see forcing new users into the cloud. I want to have the choice and it was hard to find out how to switch back from cloud to local storage. A cloud solution might be Ok for some people but for my daily use it isn’t. I – and only I – want to decide where my passwords are stored. We all saw hundreds of cloud based solutions getting broken or losing data for whatever reason. There is no real trust on my side that you are better. Something never leave my systems is far more safe and less interesting to be hacked.

    Agile! Please – find a way to respect your long-term users by classic app upgrades which made you big enough to come to such (bad in my opinion) decisions and do not force me to search for another solution. Because there are.

    Reply
    • Kate Sebald
      Kate Sebald says:

      Hello Oliver! Thanks for letting us know about your concerns and I’m sorry it felt like the setup flow forces folks to choose a 1Password membership. Standalone vaults are still here for existing customers everywhere and for new customers on Mac, iOS and Android. We did have to make the tough decision to have those setup screens more strongly emphasize a 1Password membership. Trying to equally emphasize both memberships and standalone vaults in that setup flow was causing immense confusion. Folks who wanted a 1Password membership were ending up with a standalone vault and those who wanted standalone vaults were ending up with unwanted memberships. As a result, quite a few folks were understandably angry and we decided to change this flow to emphasize what we believe is the best choice for most, namely 1Password memberships. Of course, we do know a 1Password membership is not the best choice for everyone which is why we have continued to support standalone vaults all the same.

      You can absolutely keep your standalone vault(s) as long as you’d like. If you’re ever having trouble setting up a new device to sync with your standalone vault(s), or your friend is still interested in giving 1Password a try, just let us know and we’d be happy to lend a hand. We want you to be able to choose where your vault is stored as well, after all. 🙂

  10. Alex Arena
    Alex Arena says:

    As a happy 1Password user, I think you should be proud of the company you’ve built, the families it supports, and the product you sell. I understand the intent behind mentioning that the membership push isn’t necessarily about money, but as someone who relies on your product everyday, I (and hopefully many others) are happy to support a sustainable future for an awesome product and company. Keep up the awesome work :)

    Reply
    • Dave Teare
      Dave Teare says:

      Thank you so much, Alex! I greatly appreciate you taking the time to tell us this. ❤️

      We will indeed keep up the awesome work! As long as we have awesome customers like you supporting us, we’d be honoured to. 😘

      ++dave;

  11. Grady Ward
    Grady Ward says:

    Long time user (and recent subscription purchaser) here. It strikes me as disingenuous to talk about how much is saved on maintainance and support with licences in the same breath as talking about the astronimical revenue growth driven by them. I have lost faith in Agile bits over this fiasco, and I am actively looking for alternatives. If this was actually in your users best interest you would not need to explain that to us.

    Reply
    • Dave Teare
      Dave Teare says:

      I’m very sorry to hear this, Grady. 😢

      I agree that it’s certainly not our finest moment in terms of communication. I’ve found it incredibly difficult (at least for me) to discuss the differences between standalone vaults and managed 1Password accounts without muddying the waters further and confusing more people than I help, so I’ve held off on doing direct comparison posts and things like that. Perhaps I should reevaluate that decision as a steady stream of communication could help a lot with respect to the feeling of disingenuousness.

      As for the revenue growth, I went back and forth on whether or not I should include that in this post or not. On the one hand I didn’t want to make standalone vaults users feel small (they’re not!) but on the other hand I wanted to lay to rest the idea that AgileBits was in any sort of financial rough waters and required the memberships to survive. Or that we had outside investors forcing our hand. These are false and I wanted to demonstrate that with some actual numbers and clear statements about how we’re a different kind of company.

      In any event, I hope we can win you back but if not, please please please continue to use strong, unique passwords on all your websites and pick a secure and robust solution for storing your passwords. Our security design is second to none so you won’t find anyone better, but at the very least please find a solution where the company doesn’t know which websites you visit, doesn’t sell your information to retailers, and protects your privacy and security with true encryption that cannot be bypassed. It is astounding how many companies don’t do all of these fundamental things that are simply non-negotiable as far as I’m concerned.

      Take care and best of luck in whatever path you choose! 🙏

      ++dave;

    • Nick
      Nick says:

      I understand that Agilebits would like (out of nothing but pure love, of course) its users to become “members” of their family and contribute to the family on a monthly basis. However, I would like to know whether it will be possible to use at least 1Password 6 outside of the family and with iCloud syncronization.

      If Agilebit decides (out of pure love, of course) to answer this question – please make it short, please do not write another novel about this.

      Thanks.

  12. Nigel
    Nigel says:

    I’m a long time 1Password user. I haven’t yet switched to a subscription membership, but I can see how it will continue to enable improvements that aren’t possible with the standalone product. And having said that, there are already a few things I’m looking forward to when I do make the switch:

    No more belatedly finding out that my devices haven’t been syncing for weeks because of dropbox wonkiness.
    No more helping family / friends / coworkers go through what is to them, a baffling sync setup process. Or fix their syncing problems.
    The return of access to my passwords through the browser, and in a much more usable form than the old school hosted-1Password-file-based method.
    No more difficulties in figuring out how to let my family access my passwords in the event of an emergency. (My previous solution was to print the 1Password emergency kit and store it in a safety deposit box. Pretty secure in theory, but problematic over time because it prevented me from changing my master password if I needed to. Especially once I was no longer living in the same location as the safety deposit box. Quite a specific situation, but an example of how theoretical good security can end up less secure in practice when running up against real world constraints.)

    A side note: I’m not sure if AgileBits can persuade those who don’t trust its cloud sync service, but I always figured that since the core encrypted data format used to store passwords is documented and well-respected, it doesn’t matter which cloud the data is stored in. But maybe more elaboration on the nature of the cloud sync service & browser access method is needed?

    Anyway, all the above is to say, keep up the great work. I understand the resistance to yet another subscription—with so much software shifting to this model, the costs for end users are adding up quickly and are hard to keep track of. But I support the direction that 1Password is heading in.

    Reply
    • Dave Teare
      Dave Teare says:

      Hi Nigel! 👋🏻

      Thanks so much for chiming in and sharing your thoughts with us. I agree with you that technical folks like yourself are less persuaded by some of the features of memberships than others, but if you’ve ever ran a rm -Rf on the wrong folder, you know as well as I do that you can never have enough backups. 🙂 As an old friend of mine used to say, “you never hear of anyone telling a horror story about having too many backups!” 😉

      With that said, I’d like to discuss two things that came to mind when reading your post.

      The first revolves around simplicity and convenience. Daniel said it quite well in his comment where he discusses that as a sysadmin he has more than enough skills to manage his own standalone vaults, but at the same time, he has so much on his mind that he’s happy to allow 1Password to do all the work for him. That way he can clear his mind and focus on his real work. And if you’ve ever tried to configure multiple vaults with Dropbox, you’ll know first hand that it’s a tedious task, especially if they are shared with other. This isn’t a fault of Dropbox as they do a wonderful job of syncing shared folders, but rather it’s a real pain coordinating the multiple Master Passwords that need to be synced between the various parties. You can see my post about staying organized to see how much easier it is to manage multiple vaults with 1Password Families and 1Password Teams:

      https://blog.agilebits.com/2016/01/18/staying-organized-with-1password-for-teams/

      That post was written in 2016, and since then I have even more vaults than I had then! Now that it’s super simple to add additional vaults (you just create one and assign access and 1Password does the rest), the barrier to entry is basically non-existent so it happens much more frequently.

      The second thought that came to mind was about our cloud service and how we’ve done an incredible job to make sure that we’re not a juicy target for attackers. Not only is all your data encrypted by your Master Password, but it is further strengthen by a completely random, 128-bits of data that is unique to each account that we call the Secret Key. It is used in a process we call Two-Secret Key Derivation to create an encryption key that protects your data. This Secret Key and your Master Password is never sent to our servers, so even if someone were able to grab a copy of our database, they wouldn’t even be able to launch a brute force attack against your Master Password. If someone were to break into your Dropbox or iCloud account, the only thing protecting you is the strength of your Master Password.

      Anyway, I agree that more education is needed as the security design of our 1Password accounts is second to none and there are many choices we made to ensure your data remains secure and private. We have a very nice Security page that talks a lot about what we do, as well as an open and transparent White Paper that goes into incredible detail. Still, we have some awesome stuff here so we should shout it from the mountain tops more often 🙂

      Take care and thanks again for sharing,

      ++dave

  13. Greg Bardakhanov
    Greg Bardakhanov says:

    I started using 1Password long before I joined the company. I always felt that there are good people behind AgileBits name, that is what made me choose 1Password in the first place. That and the fact that 1Password is a fantastic product.

    I used 1Password with a local vault synced via Dropbox. Luckily for me I have the skills needed to set up and maintain a sync option and backups. But what about my parents? Their security practices online left much to be desired, so I always wanted something that would help me (us!) in this situation. Then 1Password Families came along.

    Yes, this membership means that our data is stored in the cloud. But my previous “local vault” was synced via Dropbox. Dropbox is a cloud too, right? I believe that everything will end up in the cloud eventually, so I choose to trust 1Password membership and its security design.

    Having my close ones as part of the family membership and the ability to restore the access for them if they get locked out sealed the deal. Also, I don’t trust myself, so they will be able to restore access for me. That is even better! :)

    There is something for everyone in 1Password memberships.

    Love,
    Greg Bardakhanov
    Customer Support Padawan @ AgileBits

    Reply
  14. Rob Aldred
    Rob Aldred says:

    I’ve been a 1password standalone customer since v1. I store all my personal information in 1password not just website passwords which actually in itself probably isnt the ideal, however I have my own backups and 1password has always been simple to use and sync across devices. Being a developer myself I’m very aware of the need to ensure my personal information is safe and secure particularly given the noise being made from our leaders with regards encryption and data collection. I will for as long as it’s supported remain off the grid as a standalone customer.

    Hopeful of the future, still a happy customer, Rob

    Reply
    • brenty
      brenty says:

      Heya, Rob! Thanks for taking the time to comment. :)

      This is basically how I use 1Password too! I generally don’t put something in my 1Password vault only if I have to have good reason not to. It’s simply too convenient, and frankly I prefer to not spend the time trying to decide what really needs to be secure and what doesn’t. And since with 1Password security and privacy are our priority, you and I “defaulting” to storing stuff in 1Password means that our data is safe by default. So, done deal. ;)

      I’m thrilled to hear that you love and depend on 1Password as much as I do, and all of us here are just as thrilled to have you keep using 1Password. We built it for you and everyone else who wants to be secure without having to give up convenience — or great design. And while I believe whole-heartedly that 1Password.com memberships are the best option for most folks, whether you try that in the future or stick with the standalone version, you’re part of the family and we’re here for you. Cheers! :)

  15. Alex
    Alex says:

    I am just sad that 1Password 6 for Windows is just intended for membership users. I was hoping that you will release it also for standalone users. But this will not happen due to your monthly-fee policy. We still need to use this old-fashioned 1Password 4 for Windows and feel like second class customers.

    A happy 1Password 6 for macOS (standalone) user
    A sad 1Password 4 for Windows (standalone) user

    Reply
    • Kate Sebald
      Kate Sebald says:

      Hey Alex! We don’t want anyone to feel left behind, but I do understand why you feel that way. The reason 1Password 6 was developed for our new (at the time) 1Password for Teams customers was because before 1Password 6, 1Password memberships simply weren’t available on Windows. We were really excited to get it out there and give Windows users (like myself) the opportunity to experience how awesome 1Password memberships were. After all, Windows users experienced a lot of those issues on Dave’s No More list too and we wanted to offer them a different choice as well.

      Despite the focus on 1Password memberships only for 1Password 6 for Windows, we haven’t forgotten about our standalone customers. As Dave mentioned, we don’t know what the future holds for 1Password for Windows, but having standalone vaults in 1Password 6 certainly would make us happier 1Password Makers and it’s not out of the question. It’s just not something we can guarantee, either, as we are still focusing on 1Password memberships. Everything in 1Password 6 for Windows was built from scratch and standalone vaults would be no different. It’s one thing to leave support in the Mac app, but quite another to build it into 1Password 6 for Windows and we just don’t want to make promises we may not be able to keep.

      For now, I’m glad you’re loving 1Password for Mac and hope you’ll continue loving it for a long time to come. As for 1Password 4, our ultimate goal is always to build the best 1Password we can that will make the most people happy, without sacrificing their security. We’ll keep working towards that goal of creating more Happy 1Password users (both those who choose a 1Password membership and those who chose standalone vaults). After all, no one does more to make us Happy 1Password Makers than each and every one of you, whether you choose a 1Password membership or not. 🙂

  16. Peter
    Peter says:

    Why the change in language when mentioning version 7? With 1Password 6, you say you will keep offering standalone licences. With version 7, all you mention are standalone vaults.

    Am I correct in assuming that it won’t be possible to outright purchase version 7 ?

    Reply
    • Dave Teare
      Dave Teare says:

      Hi Peter,

      This is a great question! You are indeed correct that I purposely typed “standalone vaults” there instead of “standalone licenses”. The reason I did that was to preserve as much flexibility as I could. The reality is we’re talking about an unreleased product here and it’s very difficult to predict the future, so the more leeway I could leave the team and I while creating 1Password 7 for Mac, the better.

      For an interesting story about predicting the future and why I try my best never to discuss future plans, please see my reply to Sad in an earlier comment about a planned WebDAV feature that we were working on (circa 2010). That experience had a profound effect on me and I’ve never forgotten that lesson. The thing is, when you don’t talk about the future at all, you leave open the door for other people to invent the story for you, which creates an equal amount of pain on the other side of things.

      That’s why I decided to talk about 1Password 7 for Mac in this post. Even though it goes against my instincts of only talking about the here and now, I needed to lay to rest some of the fear and uncertainty and doubt that I was seeing posted throughout the internet. As much as I wanted to completely open the curtains and show all our plans, I felt it important to keep our options as open as possible.

      I hope that helps explain where I’m coming from. For some answers you will just need to wait until 1Password 7 ships to find out. 🙂

      Take care and thanks again for reaching out!

      ++dave;

  17. Will Moore
    Will Moore says:

    I have used 1Password for over 9 years, in all its different forms and guises. Now I get to work at the company that makes it, and I continue to trust the decisions that are made. I made the switch to 1Password Families last year, and really haven’t looked back.

    Ultimately I trust AgileBits to protect my passwords and other information as I always have done, and 1Password membership now means that things are the easiest to use and most secure they have ever been.

    Reply
  18. Daniel
    Daniel says:

    Like many other vocal people I have heard from in the last few days, I have also used local vaults for years (almost 10, if memory doesn’t fail me, but in any case, a huge amount of time). I am also technical, so I didn’t have any problem troubleshooting sync issues or dealing with backups myself. For a long time, I even used WLAN sync rather than Dropbox or iCloud, so I was definitely not scared to try a more manual approach of dealing with my passwords.

    However, I am a sysadmin, which means that I manage a ridiculous number of machines and tools. All of them require patching, troubleshooting, upgrades and some level of supervision. It’s easy for me to think that I can just add one more tool to the mix and deal with it like I deal with all of the others. The truth is, I don’t want to do that, I have enough stuff that eats into my time that I don’t want to think about how to keep my passwords secure and in sync. I trust AgileBits with their security expertise and infrastructure more than I trust myself to keep my data secure. It’s way easier for an attacker to steal my laptop or to hack into my own mini-infrastructure than it is to hack a cloud infrastructure with continuous monitoring and folks behind it working on it all the time, even if the attack surface is larger.

    So this covers me, but the most important thing in my opinion is that a 1Password Membership allows anyone to use 1Password without having to think about how to make things work. In the past, when I recommended using 1Password as a password manager to my friends, most of them simply gave up because they couldn’t get sync to work, or they gave up after their phones were stolen because they didn’t have a backup. Well, I think that this is not fair. 1Password should not be just a tool for techies. We are a minority after all, and our focus should be on all those customers who want to be safe online, even without being comfortable with the technicalities. Everyone deserves to have a simple way to remain secure in the digital world, and a 1Password Membership allows them to do that in the most simple way.

    We do this because we truly believe in what we do, and we think that 1Password Memberships are the best choice for most folks. We do this because we love our customers and think that they deserve to be able to use 1Password no matter their technical skills. Local vaults are not going away, for the techies among us, but now it’s time to care about everyone else too.

    Reply
  19. Benji Debnam
    Benji Debnam says:

    Tl;dr: You don’t need to be technically savvy at all, and you shouldn’t have to be. You just want to be able to get to your stuff, easily and feel assured and trust the clever minds at AgileBits take care of the security, design and the rest of the mind boggling stuff.

    It is easy for us to sing and shout about 1Password memberships, telling you how much time we save by not having to setup 3rd party services to sync/backup and the headaches we go through when things do not go right. Having to setup a dropbox account for family member who doesn’t need dropbox at all apart from wanting to make sure they don’t lose their online bank details.

    It’s easy for me to sing and shout about having a quick way to now see previous history of items when theres been a change, having a single place to goto when paranoid if one of the sites you’ve got an account with is compromised or not and all the rest of the reasons we love having a membership.

    Its easy for us to say that, because its true. But sure, we’re lucky enough and super proud to make 1Password so it’s easy for you to assume that we’re just saying it to keep up appearances and protect our hard work. Yet, I’m not gushing on about 1Password because I have to, I do it because it has drastically improved how my Family and I work with keeping track of everything, and I am extremely proud to do so. It’s way more than just a password manager, it is a companion to our daily lives interacting online with the services and sites we rely upon heavily nowadays.

    On a personal note, the biggest and the most rewarding feeling for me was watching my Wife, my parents (who can barely use the TV remote!), my Sister and her family, my father in law, my Wife’s Aunt and my young nephew all setup their devices with their 1Password Families memberships. The ease of scanning the account code, typing in the Master Password and seeing everything appear instantly, was truly amazing! My Wife never “got” 1Password before we started using a membership, for her it was too much ‘faff’ and effort to setup. I tried for years to get her using it, but ended up having to just doing it for her because the process kinda sucked. But now, she tells all of her colleagues, friends and random folks about how easy 1Password is, and I’m not having to do it all for her. Bless her, she even started telling the checkout assistant when we were doing our shopping. I think she should be in our sales team for how much she keeps banging on about 1Password to people!

    My point is, this is the effect making something easy and straight forward has. It’s the user experience we’ve always hoped 1Password could have, you don’t need anything else, just your Emergency Kit in a safe place for when you need it. My wife even finds generating random passwords enjoyable, what the heck is that about?

    Reply
  20. Louise
    Louise says:

    I first discovered 1Password at my previous job by a customer who needed their device restored and was concerned if their data would still be there. I truthfully had no idea, not knowing what 1Password even was. Upon opening the app, the customer entered their account credentials and simply signed in – and boom – everything was there! We sat together and she took me through everything she knew about 1Password. I loved how user friendly the interface was and how the product did so much more than just storing passwords. Looking through the AgileBits website and social media pages showed their personality and passion – the team was human, open, and totally relatable. It’s not something I had seen with many other companies. I was genuinely mind-blown and began telling my co-workers, friends, and partner about the app. Turns out my partner had been using 1Password for his business for about a year!

    For me, I love 1Password memberships because it takes away the worry of losing data no matter what I do with my devices. Thanks to the truly awesome security behind a 1Password.com account, I know my data is safe. I’m an health advocate and spend a lot of my time managing social media posts across different platforms and the use of 1Password makes this a seamless experience. It’s also stopped my partner from continuously asking for passwords for accounts he should already know – I have more peace and quiet thanks to our 1Password Families account and sharing features, but shh, don’t tell him I said that! 😉

    I’m proud to be a part of the AgileBits family. I can share my love for 1Password with the team and our users. I love educating and empowering our users every single day. It’s truly incredible.

    ❤️

    Reply
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