1Password takes it on the chin over subscriptions and cloud vaults

There was a lot of buzz over the weekend about the future of 1Password when it emerged that the service’s new subscription-based model will push users to adopt a cloud-based password storage system over locally stored password vaults.

Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai writing at Motherboard:

In the last few years, 1Password has become a favorite for hackers and security researchers who often recommend it above all other alternatives… Last weekend, though, several security researchers tweeted that 1Password was moving away from allowing people to pay for a one-time license and have local password vaults, in favor of its cloud-based alternative that requires a monthly subscription.

I moved from LastPass to 1Password in Oct 2015. Why? The main reason was local vault versus having my vault on the web.

I have to say. I wouldn’t be happy if I were being forced to move to a 1Password cloud subscription plan. If I were, I’d be pissed off enough to move back to LastPass. At this point, I’m not. From reading the forums and comments by Dave Teare we tech savvy users, who want control over our vault, will be able to continue using our local vault version of 1Password for the foreseeable future.

For new users, it’s going to be difficult to buy a license for the local vault version. I searched the 1Password website and saw no option to buy the standalone version. From reading the forums It sounds like the only way to do this is to write to 1Password and request it.

Cyberscoop:

Yet even with the statements provided to the public, the messaging has been mixed at best. On the product’s support forums, customers are regularly complaining that it’s become a huge challenge to buy and use the local vault version of 1Password while employees say such a request is now “complicated” and that they “want all new customers to use 1Password.com subscriptions as it is simpler to use by default.”

Dave Teare says, March 1, 2017 at 9:01 pm:

You asked “why not?” have both 1Password memberships and standalone licenses at the same time. Certainly you’re right that I don’t want to do anything to piss off our long time customers. And that’s exactly why we’re rolling out 1Password memberships exactly the way we are. You can purchase a standalone license today just like you could last week.

In defense of 1Password, I would agree that the cloud subscription model is far easier for the average non-techie user to setup and use.

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