1Password vs. DataVault for iPhone: Fight!

Passwords are an important part of having an online presence. I always tell friends and family that you should never ever have the same password for all of your accounts. (Do they listen? Probably not.) Either way, having the same password means if someone gets hold of one of your accounts, they could potentially have access to all of them. Having separate passwords is the best idea but then comes keeping track of all of them. Apps like 1Password and DataVault set out to solve that problem.

I took a look at both of these popular password management apps and pitted them against each other. Follow along to see which one came out on top!

Management & Syncing

When it comes to password management, I want to have easy access to my passwords regardless where I'm at. Both of these apps seem to provide that. Both 1Password and DataVault have iOS apps, desktop apps, and syncing services. So if you need to reinstall your desktop client or iOS client, you won't have to re-enter all your passwords.

I'll have to give the edge to DataVault on this one simply for the fact that they offer many more ways to sync your data than 1Password does. 1Password currently offers wifi syncing and syncing with Dropbox. DataVault offers the same but also offers syncing with MobileMe, iTunes file sharing, ad-hoc, and sync servers such as Box.net. So if you don't feel comfortable syncing with Dropbox or over wifi, DataVault may be a good option.

Features and control

Both apps have tons of features. You can create any kind of entry imaginable from logins, credit card accounts, bank accounts, and more. The desktop clients also offer a ton of profile options to auto-fill forms. Even though we are talking about the iOS version of these apps, I think it's still important to talk about their desktop counterparts since they do work together for one single solution.

In my testing, both seemed efficient and did their job well. Feature-wise they're about even.

Interface and ease of use

I'm the type of person that doesn't want to spend an hour learning to use an app before actually being able to utilize it. (I'm a Mac user for a reason!) I somewhat felt this way while using DataVault. The interface felt uncoordinated and clunky. I had to figure out what exactly I was supposed to put in each field and a lot of times, I was entering things in the wrong fields. DataVault is definitely a powerful application but I just felt as though entering information was a task in itself.

1Password seems a lot simpler. Entering a login or password is easy and doesn't require much work. I also like that I can set two passwords. One being a 4 digit number and the other being a master. I can easily require a master on sensitive passwords and only a 4 digit code for passwords that aren't so sensitive. I use the 4 digit code option on things like forum passwords or membership passwords that don't have any financial data attached. It allows me to access those passwords much quicker.

From a user experience standpoint, I much prefer using 1Password.


DataVault and 1Password for the iPhone are both $9.99 at regular price. The desktop clients will vary. As of now, DataVault for Mac and Windows is on sale for $9.95 (regular price is $19.95). 1Password for Mac and Windows is a bit steeper as it starts at $39.99 and goes up from there if you'd like to purchase bulk or family licenses. The setup was a bit easier on the desktop version of 1Password opposed to DataVault.


When it comes down to it, DataVault may be a cheaper all-in-one solution if you want a complete password management solution but 1Password is definitely just as appealing. For me, I prefer the ease of use of 1Password over DataVault. Some users may want to save the $20 difference on the desktop client and spring for DataVault. The features and syncing capabilities are present in both apps. I do wish 1Password would add MobileMe syncing but for now, Dropbox syncing has always worked just fine. Since Dropbox is free, I somewhat consider it a non-issue for most.

If you decide to try one of these apps out (or already use one or the other), let us know which you prefer. If you prefer a different password management app, let us know why in the comments! Also check out the gallery below for more screenshots of both applications!

DataVault for iPhone - iTunes Link

1Password for iPhone - iTunes Link

[gallery link="file"]

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

More Posts



← Previously

Amazing guitar solo performed with only the GarageBand app and an iPad [video]

Next up →

Apple tapping Samsung for AMOLED iPad 3 display?

Reader comments

1Password vs. DataVault for iPhone: Fight!


Another feature that 1Password offers which, in my opinion, might sway people is 1Password Anywhere. When you sync to Dropbox, you get a link to the html version of 1Password which gives you access to all your data without the need for the desktop or mobile client (provided your connected to the internet). Very cool.

Marc from Ascendo here. We have released version 4.6.39 of DataVault for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch with several improvements including;
- iCloud synchronization with Sync Now in case network not responsive and conflict resolution
- Automatic backup to iCloud
- Backup and Sync to Dropbox
- Usability improvements
See complete list on What's New section on iTunes. Comments and questions welcome info AT ascendo-inc DOT com
Marc Bolh, CEO Ascendo

mSecure is my choice. It's cheap, reliable, and easy to use. I do also have 1Password on my iPhone for quick web logins, but it's not as good for other types of sensitive information and far too expensive for the desktop version.

Agree with last comment, mSecure should be included in this comparison. I have all 3 apps and prefer the interface and ease of use of mSecure

I've used 1Password for iPhone, iPad and Windows Desktop App.
Generate New Password, Syncing feature's awesome.
Now I don't need to remember my password for website, and It's really really covenient.

i have data vault and love the app. the reason i went with it was because of price. both desktop and iphone app were cheap work great. it does take some getting use to. i really liked one password when i went to their website but the updates are not free and that was the deciding factor for me.

I have both and I prefer DataVault. The ease in syncing does it for me as well as the easy to use templates. Plus how well you can customize it. DataVault for me!

i take that back i was thinking of a different app that doesnt have a free update. the price was the only thing that made me pick data vault and i do like the app a lot. i forgot the name of the other app but it charged you per year or something

fyi it was keeper for your desktop that was the subscription. so you had to get the app then pay yearly for the desktop. the more i look at 1password i like it

Good comparison, Allyson. I use Lastpass because most of the passwords I have to remember are logins. Laspass Premium is $12 a year and that gets me the iPhone app and all the features offered in browser plugins. Plus, it has a built-in browser so that I can log into a site from the iPhone app.

I use 1Password but I think it's worth mentioning that the Dropbox syncing still requires that you have the Desktop client. When they added Dropbox support, I had expected that I would be able to sync between iOS devices, but no go.

This is partially true. You only need the desktop client to establish the sycn with Dropbox. Once that's done, you don't need to keep the desktop client.

Another vote for LastPass. Premium is cheap and you get it on all browsers and on the iPhone. Love it.

Don't forget that with DataVault, you can sync your iPhone and your iPad without having the desktop client.

1Password. I havent tried the others, but I got 1Password Pro free back when it first came out. The desktop client comes as a part of some of those bundles, so depending on what else you're getting it could be "free." with the browser extensions now, it makes life a little bit easier. All in all one of the best apps for iPhone and Mac that I've ever purchased/acquired.

1Password for me! I didn't try many out (this gets really expensive really quickly :S) and most reviews seemed to point to 1Password, so I got that. I don't really sync much, so I didn't get the desktop version. Now that people mention other alternatives than these two, however, I might try them out...

So I tried to use the mac desktop 1Password client... and it won't stop crashing. Hmmm. Maybe I need an alternative that works...

Great info -- thanks everyone! Password management's become a total PITA.
In addition to storing the list of passwords, does the client feeds them to the browser when needed? I can see that working on my laptop but does that work in Safari on the iPhone? Can someone explain in more detail before I spend $50 for 1Password?

The Mac 1Password client does but the iOS versions don't due to the sandboxing. They used to have a work around so that passwords could be passed to safari but it was far from ideal. So instead they now have a browser built into the 1password iOS apps. You open the app, scroll through your data to the site you want to access and hit the link. A browser will open the site within the app and from there you can choose to have it fill in your username and password.

When using the 1Password app, you can hit the link that takes you to the website and logs you in using the browser built into the app. I use it all the time and it works just fine.

1Password vs Datavault. The only choices? ANY such comparison isn't valid if it doesn't include Last Pass. Super easy syncing. Free or very inexpensive. Works with any OS that has a browser. Check out lastpass.com to see the other big choice.

I've been using SplashID for years, orignally on Palm, then on my iPhone. Very similar to both of these apps. I suggest you consider it if you're shopping for this type of app.

Msecure is the BEST of them all. It is on IOS, Android as well as desktop version. Its easy to use, easy to organise your passwords in groups and even fun to sync across all devices.
when you go Msecure, there is no going back.

I'm a big fan of RoboForm, and have used it for years. RobForm (RF) works with ease on your desktop browser (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari) and will sync with iOS app. RF has all the features as other and user friendly. I've used mSecure & LastPass.... but I keep going back to RF for it's functionality and ease of use. RF is not the prettiest to look at compared to some others, but it's definitely above average. For a little extra, you can get RF on a thumb drive to use on public computers, or someone else's computer, and it leaves NO information (websites explored, keystrokes, log-in names/ or passwords) behind on that computer. As you can see I'm a big fan of RF...... and I don't even work for them. Give it a try and tell me if you like it!

DataVault does not currently sync with DropBox. DataVault's webdav sync is a passthrough, rather than sync to method, so that your valuable data is not left on the server.

i have qustion if some one can plz help me.. how do u guys get the mail icon on the status br on top nest to the battery like is shown in the first pic. thanks ..

In the end, with apps like these, you essentially just have one (or two) password(s).
It seems that these types of apps (whether on your phone or computer) provide a false sense of added security. All of one's passwords and sensitive information in one hackable place, accessible by a single (or additional master) password, possibly located on multiple devices, able to sync wirelessly, and sometimes stored in the flimsy cloud.
Is that really that safe? It may be convenient for you, but it is also convenient for other people.
(1) Find a way to remember your passwords. It took me a while to come up with a method, but I am able to have a different and complex password quickly recalled from memory for every site that requires from me a user ID and password. Would it not be convenient for someone who steals your phone, hacks the phone to then find this kind of app sitting there with all of your most precious information?
(2) Do not have copies of your password-list everywhere; i.e. phone, computer, cloud. Better yet don't make a list with ALL of your passwords.
(3) Do not store sensitive information, especially passwords and important numbers, in cloud storage sites. Sites get hacked. And Dropbox, relative to others, is a small cloud service. Chances are if Dropbox is hacked, and it's users' documentations are retrieved that you may be one of the unlucky ones who informations get abused.

Banjoe I could not have put it better myself. I downloaded 1password but have not set it up yet for this very same concern.

SPB Wallet for me.
Switched from eWallet after they did a free upgrade to the iOS version that initially required purchase of an upgrade to the desktop version.
Supports multiple platforms (Mac and PC on the desktop, iOS, Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile (not Windows Phone 7 yet))
Syncing to desktop wirelessly.
Syncing to GMail.
Inexpensive - $9.95 for iOS, $9.95 for Windows, $14.95 for OS X

SplashID for me also. Been a long time customer. Never really had issues with a desktop sync. Only gripe, not all updates on desktop are free. Going from 5.x to 6.x cost 9.95. All 6.x updates will be free until 7.x. For new users the desktop is more, but still a good program with the same encryption as the others.

SplashID for me. Started on the Palm and moved easily over to the iPhone. If work forces me to use a BB, I can sync to it as well. Feature filled and multi-platform support...what else do you need!

1 Use 1Password on iOS, Mac and PC and I'm satisfied from the UI, sync and Browser integration on Mac and PC. WHat I do worry a lot is how robust all these kind of SWs are (msecure, roboform, vault, 1Password) to attacks and hacking. This is the most important thing for me.

Another vote for RoboForm(2Go)... I use it on my iPhone and have it on a U3 enabled USB key that starts the program automatically when I plug in the drive.

I've been too paranoid to use any solutions yet. I haven't found the best combo of secure local syncing (wifi or itunes), ease of use, and cost yet ($40 for a pc app, and another $10 for a iphone app? Yikes.)
LastPass and any cloud password solution, mega target for hackers (like the "possible" recent hack of LastPass) as well as acquisitions (LastPass is great now, but when they get bought out by XYZ tomorrow, who decides to sell all your info?).
Dropbox, etc. you do know they have to turn everything over unencrypted to the govt with a subpeona. Probably not too much of an issue since all the companies like that have to follow legal requests. But there's a lot of stuff boiling up with RIAA and the MPAA on getting data from companies upon accusation of copyright infringement (without subpeona). Do you really want your data files getting out there from some RIAA fishing expedition? Hopefully the data files are secure, but you never know with security holes.

Been using DataVault for years. Started out on BlackBerry & PC, then to iPhone, and finally to Mac. Agree that it was cumbersome at first. Once I got used to it however, I have been satisfied. I have probably close to a hundred records divided into four different folders. Not against looking at the others though.

April 20, 2011Well well, it is not working.There is no optoin to define a featured picture in the wordpress app.And also no possibility to browse the Media Libary of wordpress itself.Maybe there is a way to define a default featured image if none gets selected.

"I’m the type of person that doesn’t want to spend an hour learning to use an app before actually being able to utilize it. (I’m a Mac user for a reason!)"
Now, users that prefer Windows OS, for example, spend an hour learning to use an app before actually being able to utilize it. What a lame and fanboy comment.

I use 1Password and it works great for me. My wife has it on her computer and phone, as do I, and the syncing through DropBox works very well. The interface is easy to use on both the iOS and desktop versions, in my case Mac (Please don't lump me in with Victorjrr, though). I have 2 passwords to get through on my phone to look at any information, a 4 digit code to open the app (optional) and the master password to view any information (3 if you count my phones' password). I like the option of double redundancy security on my portable device. Price can be an issue, but, I look at it as "How much is all my personal information worth", if I am able to spend a few thousand dollars on computers and smart phones, why is 50 bucks for an app to securely store all my sensitive information out of the question?

I've been using 1Password since 2007. I don't think I paid anything for the desktop app, and I got the Pro iOS app for free. I love it. I've never lost any data and the backup to DropBox is seamless. When I had a Palm I used SplashID for years and it was fine, but it's nowhere near as sophisticated as 1P, and their Mac support has never been stellar.
1Password's integration with the browser, and the ability to use keyboard shortcuts to enter user ids and passwords is a killer feature. That should have been mentioned in the review.

Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you can be a great author.I will always bookmark your blog and will come back in the foreseeable future. I want to encourage one to continue your great job, have a nice afternoon!

After having read the posts, I am convinced that the most important issue is that we establish very strong passwords even if we must stoop so low as to use software to help with that task. I too am concerned that having all this wonderful software is leading to a false sense of security. If the security is defeated for any of these apps then all data is available.

SplashID is a wonderful password management tool that i have ever come across. I like the draw a pattern feature for unlocking or locking your asset. It is much easier for me to keep track of my passwords and credentials (all at one place) now

I have used SplashID from Splash data. It is a wonderful products and integrates well with your browser. I have tried it on android and windows and have seen its behaviour in IOS..hands down the best password management tool, i have come across..

Another RoboForm user here... Due to the encryption, even if your info is hacked from a cloud site, it would be gobbledy-gook without the master password to decrypt it.