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October 10, 2017

1Password comes to Microsoft Edge as an extension, but you still need software

by John_A

Why it matters to you

Developer AgileBits is now providing better password management for web surfers using Microsoft Edge with its new 1Password extension.

If you’re looking for a good way to manage your multiple passwords, the popular 1Password extension is now available for Microsoft Edge. It joins 70 other extensions offered through the Windows Store, including competing password management solutions such as LastPass, Advance Password Manager, and OneLogin. Support for extensions in the Microsoft Edge browser arrived with Anniversary Update in 2016.

To install 1Password, click on the three dots located in the top-right corner of the browser to activate the Settings panel. Click on “Extensions,” and then “Get extensions from the Store” to pull up all extensions officially sanctioned by Microsoft. Locate 1Password, click the “Get” button, and it’s installed. After that, you should be good to go: the button now parks next to the three-dot Settings button.

Unfortunately, the extension isn’t a stand-alone product. For it to work, you need version 6.7 or newer of the desktop client for Windows installed. You also need a subscription to the service, which costs $36 per year for a single user, or $60 per year for five users (family plan). Both plans cover all devices ranging from Windows 10 to iOS to Android. There’s a 30-day free trial too so you can give the service a test run.

The goal of 1Password is just that: To remember one password. You’re assigned a unique master key, but you can choose the associated “master” password that’s assigned to that key. Once you’re up and running, you can then use 1Password to generate passwords for all new accounts you create online. You could even use the password generator tool to create new passwords for your current accounts.

But 1Password isn’t just about passwords. With the subscription service, you can store all kinds of sensitive information including credit card numbers, bank account numbers, social security numbers, your physical address, your telephone, and more. The subscription even provides 1GB of online storage to play host to your sensitive files.

Of course, the burning question is this: Doesn’t having one password to protect your information defeat the purpose? The idea behind 1Password is to not use the same easily determined password for every online and offline account you use. You’re required to create a single, “strong” password with 10 characters specifically for this service. After that, 1Password will do everything it can to keep that master password out of the hands of hackers.

According to developer AgileBits, 1Password uses end-to-end encryption so that all sensitive data remains locked, even when sitting on your device. The service also relies on 256-bit AES encryption, a method of scrambling your password called PBKDF2, and a system that uses random numbers to generate encryption keys. Plus, your master password remains on your device, and is never transferred over the internet.

If you have a fingerprint scanner on your device, 1Password supports that too. That means you can store your master password on the device and touch the fingerprint scanner when prompted. But that also means you’re not forced to remember the master password, which could be bad news in the long run.




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