Is Apple Keychain The best password manager?.
Apple Keychain is the built-in password management system for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It not only lets you save and auto-fill passwords for websites, apps, and wireless networks, but also lets you sync login credentials between Apple devices via iCloud.
However, you may also have heard of alternative password managers such as 1Password and LastPass. Are they better or should you stick with Apple Keychain? Let’s find out.
Apple Keychain is fully integrated with your iPhone, iPad and Mac. Nothing to set up. You can save and autofill passwords right out of the box. Years of improvements and refinements also keep the entire Apple ecosystem running extremely smoothly.
On the other hand, third-party password managers like 1Password and LastPass require you to download the appropriate apps, install browser extensions, create master passwords, etc. This can be overwhelming, which is why Apple Keychain wins in terms of convenience.
Unless you’re outside of the Apple ecosystem, then you probably shouldn’t even consider using anything other than the Apple Keychain. Activate iCloud Keychain and you can sync passwords across as many Apple devices.
Outside of the Apple Keychain ecosystem, there is limited support for passwords on PC via iCloud for Windows. So if you also spend time on alternative platforms like Android and Windows, it makes sense to invest in a third party password manager.
1Password and Lastpass are fully available on all major operating systems, which means you can save, sync, and autofill passwords on any of your devices.
If you turn on iCloud Keychain, Apple will protect your passwords with standard AES encryption and two-factor authentication. It also suggests strong passwords and alerts you to weak and compromised credentials by cross checking them for known data breaches.
1Password and LastPass also provide the same security, but you can use additional features such as hardware security keys (YubiKey and Titan) and one-time passwords.
Locally, Keychain secures your passwords with a device passcode (iPhone and iPad) or user account password (Mac), which can be a problem in shared device scenarios. For example, anyone who knows your iPhone’s passcode can also see your passwords.
Instead, 1Password and LastPass use a separate “master password” to prevent unauthorized access, with the ability to use biometrics – Face ID or Touch ID – so as not to enter it yourself.
Apple Keychain is completely free and allows you to save and sync your passwords across as many Apple devices. However, both 1Password and LastPass require you to pay for a recurring annual subscription, which costs $35.88 and $35.99, respectively.
LastPass comes with a free tier that limits you to one type of device (computer or mobile), while 1Password provides a 14-day trial during which you can try out all the features. But in terms of price, it’s simply impossible to beat Apple’s offering.
Apple Keychain is not the best option for password management. While Safari on Mac offers a well-organized website viewer and password manager, the all-encompassing Keychain Access app (which stores items like Wi-Fi passwords and secure notes) can be confusing if you don’t know how it works.
In addition, Keychain Access on iPhone and iPad provides only basic password management, requiring you to use your Mac to do anything remotely complex like viewing Wi-Fi passwords or deleting “Never Saved” entries.
In contrast, 1Password and LastPass have completely simplified password management, making it easy to manage your login information and other sensitive data (such as credit card and bank account information) on any device. You can even use a web browser if you want, something Apple Keychain is sorely lacking.
Both password managers also have many additional features. For example, LastPass’ emergency access feature lets you share passwords with trusted family members and friends, while 1Password’s travel mode lets you control what forms of data you want to have on your device when you travel.
It Depends on What You Want
If you don’t spend a lot of time working with non-Apple devices, it’s best to stick with Apple Keychain due to its full integration with the Apple ecosystem. It’s also free. But if you like the greater accessibility, added security, and superior password management capabilities of 1Password and LastPass, check out our comparison of both password managers to find out which works best for you.
Is Apple Keychain The best password manager?
Is Apple Keychain The best password manager?