1Password Business review: First choice for business travel and guest accounts

1Password provides a great user experience, but its entry level tier in particular lacks some surprising features

A screenshot of 1Password's password management vault

IT Pro Verdict


  • +

    Travel mode makes it easy to protect data on the move

  • +

    Managed guest accounts

  • +

    Cross-platform app support


  • -

    Teams lacks custom groups and roles

  • -

    Teams plan limited to ten seats

1Password has a good reputation among password managers, but is perhaps best known for its Travel Mode, which temporarily removes any vaults that haven’t been marked safe for travel from your accounts. This is particularly useful for organisations whose staff regularly do business in countries with strict border policies that allow officials to access travellers' devices, such as the United States.

1Password’s business subscriptions allow travel mode to be enabled for staff by administrators, who can also define travel-safe password vaults.

1Password Business review: Client features

1Password conveniently positions a link to an app download page at the bottom left of its web-based vault interface, and you’ll be offered clients for macOS, Windows, iOS, Android and whatever browser you happen to be using at the time.

Although it’s not offered on the download page, there is also a Linux desktop client, currently in beta but nonetheless functional. There’s also a command-line tool for ease of scripting and automation on all three major desktop operating systems.

You’ll find more predefined categories for stored items than many other password managers, and while this doesn’t make for any real functional difference, it’s helpful to be reminded that you can, in fact, use your business password manager to make sure your team has all their software license keys stored somewhere safe, for example.

As you’d expect, you can save notes, personal details, credit cards and important documents, as well as passwords. Everyone in your Team gets 1GB of storage, increasing to 5GB for Business users.

Whether you access it via mobile, desktop, web or browser plug-in, 1Password gives each user easy access to both Private and Shared vaults, as well as alerting them to any issues with the security of their passwords via the 1Password Watchtower.

Companies that subscribe to 1Password Business get a free Family account for each user, too. These can be accessed via the same master password and help to encourage your users to store their personal passwords in their personal space. However, unlike some other providers, such as Keeper Security, the account is free only for so long as their business account exists.

1Password Business review: Management features

All of 1Password’s business subscriptions come with a number of guest accounts: five for Teams, 20 for Business. These are designed so you can grant access to specific password vaults to clients, accountants, and short-term or limited role contractors and freelancers, without having to pay for a full user seat.

Users can be added manually by email address or invited to sign up with a link sent to an address on an approved domain, but you can also invite people via Slack connector, and Business users can connect their Active Directory users using a dedicated bridge.

Business subscribers can also create user Groups with different access and admin permissions. Both Business and Teams users can create Vaults and assign different read/write permissions to their contents on a person-by-person basis.

However, more sophisticated access permissions are once again only available to Business subscribers: Access to 1Password can be allowed or blocked by continent, IP address, and app version. You can similarly force security rules regarding master password strength and require two-factor authentication. Sadly, this is a rather limited selection compared to the likes of LastPass and Dashlane.

1Password Business review: Verdict

1Password’s business offerings start with entry-level Teams tier, priced at $19.95 per month for up to ten seats, with the usual array of managed storage vaults, two-factor authentication, a tidy admin interface and basic permissions management.

However, if you need more than ten users - along with more granular permissions and user role management, activity logs and support for a range of single sign-on solutions - then you’ll want a Business subscription, at $95.88 (£69) per user, per year - but that’s rather expensive compared to Bitwarden and even LastPass’s equivalents.

Despite the cost and odd feature tiers, though, 1Password is pleasant to use, and the travel mode could be a killer app for an extremely international company.

K.G. Orphanides

K.G. is a journalist, technical writer, developer and software preservationist. Alongside the accumulated experience of over 20 years spent working with Linux and other free/libre/open source software, their areas of special interest include IT security, anti-malware and antivirus, VPNs, identity and password management, SaaS infrastructure and its alternatives.

You can get in touch with K.G. via email at reviews@kgorphanides.com.