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.
- 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
- 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
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 The icons in KeePass look a little outdated, and they don’t offer any sort of tutorial when you first download the application, so navigating can be a little difficult in the beginning.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.
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.
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.
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.
KeePass is free to use, while 1Password costs $3/month billed annually after a 30 day free trial.
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
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
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.