Popular password manager 1Password for Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS now comes as a family subscription plan that lets family members share passwords with each other. For $5 a month ($60 per year), a family of five can sign-up for the new deal, which entitles each person to use 1Password on all their devices.
Family members don’t have to live in the same house. That means you can help the less technical people in your family manage their passwords from afar. If your family has more than five people you can add extra users for an additional $1 per month, per person.
The new 1Password family plan also offers a number of features that the straight-up single license purchase doesn’t have. Under the new family plan, users can sync passwords between devices using a built-in service from 1Password creator AgileBits. Plain licensed users have to use a semi-DIY solution that integrates with third-party file storage providers such as Dropbox or iCloud.
The family plan also gives administrators (read: parents) the ability to reset accounts if someone forgets the password to their vault. You can also share passwords among family members in read-only fashion, meaning the 12-year-old can’t delete a shared password by accident.
While you generally wouldn’t want to share your passwords with each other, there are situations where it makes sense, such as a family Netflix account.
AgileBits is also throwing in 1GB of shared encrypted document storage with the subscription.
Why this matters: AgileBits is getting serious about the software subscription trend. In November 2015, the company introduced 1Password for Teams, a $5 per person, per month subscription service for enterprises that is currently free during its beta period; the company’s new family plan is based on the teams infrastructure. AgileBits follows major tech firms such as Adobe (Creative Cloud) and Microsoft (Office 365) that have offered software packages in subscription form since 2013.
I have to buy what now?
The 1Password family plan is an easy alternative to regular licenses, which are a little confusing. AgileBits sells one-time licenses for its password manager for $50. That price allows up to six people to use 1Password on the same PC platform.
A family of four using all Macs would buy just one license to cover all their 1Password needs. Add a Windows machine to the mix, however, and now that same family needs two $50 licenses.
On top of that, AgileBits offers Android and iOS apps for free, but keeps some features behind a one-time $10 in-app purchase. If a family of four wanted to unlock those features on all their mobile devices, and run 1Password on a mix of Windows and Mac machines, the price would run $140.
The advantage of licensing is that it’s a one-time payment. By comparison, standard family plan subscribers would blow through $140 worth of service in 28 months, or just over two years.
The family plan definitely isn’t cheaper in the long run. But for 1Password fans who want a security solution that’s as hassle-free as possible, paying that extra money may be worth it.
Update: This article inaccurately reported the pricing of SpiderOak's encrypted storage service. We regret the error, which has since been removed.