1Password Vs. KeePass— Which Password Manager Is The Pick?

KeePass is a less conventional password manager that operates very differently than a password manager like 1Password. It’s open source, meaning that its code is available for anyone to test and modify. So how do 1Password and KeePass stack up? Check out our comparison to find out.

Key Similarities

  • Both have password generators that allow you to create strong, unique, customizable passwords
  • Both use a master password to protect your data
  • Both use one-sided encryption
  • Neither offer two-factor authentication

Key Differences

  • KeePass is free, while 1Password requires a monthly subscription after the free trial
  • KeePass is an open source application, meaning that its source code is available to be modified and tested by the user
  • 1Password offers versions of the application designed specifically for families and businesses
  • KeePass allows you to create a key file, an added file that will be needed to unlock your database in addition to the master password
  • 1Password has a travel mode feature that hides your data while traveling
  • 1Password gives you a secret key when you create your master password, which is needed to access 1Password on another device

See Our Best Password Manager Picks Here

Categories

Interface

Winner: 1Password

Originally developed for Windows, KeePass has an old-school interface, while the 1Password interface is much sleeker and more modern looking. The icons in KeePass look a little outdated, and they don’t offer any sort of tutorial when you first download the application, so navigating can be a little difficult in the beginning. Once you figure it out it’s pretty basic, but 1Password is undoubtedly more intuitive. Adding entries is very straightforward, and it allows you to create different vaults to compartmentalize all of your passwords.

Security

Winner: 1Password

1Password and KeePass both lack some common security features. Neither offers a security test features that identifies any weak, old, reused, or compromised passwords, and neither offers two-factor authentication. KeePass advocates would argue that KeePass is more secure than other password managers because it’s an open-source application. This means that anyone can test and modify the source code, so it’s constantly being improved.

1Password, on the other hand, claims that using a secret key is more secure than two-factor authentication because it is encrypted locally and also has 128 bits of entropy, making it nearly impossible to guess. So essentially, the master password protects the data on your device, and the secret key protects data off your devices because it cannot be decrypted. Ultimately, this method of security is probably more reliable, making 1Password the winner of this category.

For Families

Winner: 1Password

KeePass does not offer a family-specific version of its software. 1Password offers 1Password Families, which allows family members to have their own individual accounts with their own personal vaults while maintaining access to one family vault. The “family organizer” has control over which members have access to what information.

For Businesses

Winner: 1Password

KeePass does not have a business-specific version of their software. 1Password offers 1Password Teams, which allows multiple employees to have shared access to the company’s password vault. Only designated administrators are able to manage who can view, edit, and create information.

Pricing

Winner: KeePass

KeePass is free to use, while 1Password costs $3/month billed annually after a 30 day free trial.

Mobile App

Winner: 1Password

The KeePass mobile app is actually much more modern-looking than its desktop counterpart, and definitely more intuitive. But you have to manually enter all of your passwords, as they won’t sync across devices unless you use an outside service (like Dropbox or Google Drive). 1Password is victorious in this category because your information is automatically synced when you download the app.

Who 1Password Might Be Better For:

  • Users who want a password manager specifically for businesses or family use
  • Users who want a manager with an intuitive interface
  • Users who may benefit from the travel mode feature

Read Our Full 1Password Review Here

Who KeePass Might Be Better For:

  • Users who are interested in using an open-source application
  • Users who want a no-frills password manager at no cost

Read Our Full KeePass Review Here

Conclusion

If you want a standard password manager, 1Password is going to be a better option than KeePass, mainly because the interface is less intimidating.

KeePass is a great alternative to keep in mind. Its open source software definitely makes it unique. This also means its security systems are updated frequently, so even though there’s no security test feature, you know that its security is still highly sophisticated. And it goes without saying that KeePass would be a great choice for users who love coding.

At the end of the day, KeePass is free and 1Password is not. They’re pretty equal in the way of security, and there isn’t really anything 1Password offers that KeePass doesn’t. It all comes down to how users feel about paying for a password manager with an more intuitive interface.

To learn more, read our review of the best password managers of 2019.

Gwynn Ballard

Gwynn Ballard

Gwynn Ballard is a writer based in New York City. In addition to writing for Security Baron, she writes and performs comedy all around New York and on the internet. She's also a playwright, and has had her work presented at places such as Classic Stage, Manhattan Repertory Theater, and Playwrights Horizons Theater School.

4 thoughts on “1Password Vs. KeePass— Which Password Manager Is The Pick?”

  1. You remembered to mention that KeePass offers a key file (which you can encrypt manually and/or put on a usb stick) in the beginning, but forgot to mention it when talking about security. If used correctly it can be almost as secure or just as secure as the secret key.Yes you have to enable this option yourself and it’s not as easy, but when talking about security you need to mention every method the application offers for making things as secure as possible: a paranoid enough person will take any inconvieniece. The availability of a key file to replace a secret key makes them tied: this plus keepass being open source and well tested means it wins security in my opinion. If it was truly your intention to only talk about the default security, then yes, 1Password wins.

    I agree with everything else. I like 1Password, but I’m used to Keepass and I can deal with some minor difficulty to save a buck. But even though not free, 1Pw’s pricing is extremely reasonable, and I’d switch over if it somehow truly proved to have more security. Ease of use I can live without. I’ll switch over if I ever really feel the need for family or business editions. (Side note: I use HaveIBeenPwned in place of watchtower, and while travel mode is neat, momentarily backing up Keepass to google drive isn’t the end of the world. If you want a private way to sync your database, try syncthing or resilio sync)

  2. Thanks for the nice article.
    I am using keepass but I am not sure if I should switch to 1password.

    Could you answer the following question:

    – What is with the fact, that keepass is on your computer and 1password in the cloud. Someone has to steel my computer and then he/she has to try to hack keepass. But before they have to hack my encryption for the whole computer/ssd. 1Password is in the cloud, so someone could hack it … Maybe staff from 1Password?!

    Thank you

    • Hi Steven,
      Sorry for the delayed response- I just finished redoing our individual password manager reviews. All of the information in your 1Password account is encrypted in your vault, so the 1Password staff can’t access or decrypt it. They’ll only keep your basic account and pyemtn info, server dogs, email address, and diagnostic data. I personally think 1Password is easier to use than KeePass and it’s only $35.88 a year which comes down to $2.99 a month. Here’s the updated review: https://securitybaron.com/password-manager-reviews/1password/

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