Apple Keychain is the built-in password management system on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Not only does it let you save and autofill passwords for websites, apps, and wireless networks, it also lets you sync logins between Apple devices via iCloud.
However, you may also have heard of alternative password managers like 1Password and LastPass. Are they better or should you stick with Apple Keychain? Let’s find out together.
Apple Keychain is fully integrated with your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. There is nothing to set. You can save and autofill passwords instantly. Years of innovation and improvement also make for a particularly polished experience throughout Apple’s ecosystem.
On the other hand, third-party password managers like 1Password and LastPass require you to download related apps, install browser extensions, generate a master password, etc.
If you don’t go outside of the Apple ecosystem, then you probably shouldn’t consider using anything other than Apple Keychain. Enable iCloud Keychain and you can sync passwords across as many Apple devices as you like.
Outside of the Apple ecosystem, Keychain only offers limited password support on PCs through 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 every major operating system, which means you can save, sync, and autofill passwords on any device you own.
If you enable iCloud Keychain, Apple protects your passwords using industry-grade AES encryption and two-factor authentication. It also recommends strong passwords and warns you about weak and compromised logins by cross-checking them against known data breaches.
1Password and LastPass also offer similar security, but you can build on that with optional features like hardware security keys (YubiKey and Titan) and one-time passwords.
Locally, Keychain protects your passwords with a device passcode (iPhone and iPad) or a user account password (Mac), which can be an issue in shared device scenarios. For example, anyone who knows the passcode for your iPhone can see your password.
1Password and LastPass instead use separate “master” passwords to prevent unauthorized access, with the option to use biometrics — Face ID or Touch ID — to avoid having to manually enter passwords.
Apple Keychain is completely free, allowing you to save and sync your passwords across as many Apple devices as you like. However, both 1Password and LastPass require you to pay an annual recurring subscription that costs $35.88 and $35.99, respectively.
LastPass comes with a no-charge tier that limits you to a single device type (computer or mobile), and 1Password offers a 14-day trial where you can try out all the features. But from a price point of view, Apple products can’t be beat.
Apple Keychain is not the best when it comes to password management. While Safari on Mac offers a well-organized website password manager and viewer, the comprehensive Keychain Access app (which stores items like Wi-Fi passwords and security notes) can be confusing except when you learn how it works.
Additionally, Keychain on iPhone and iPad only offers basic password management, requiring you to use your Mac to remotely do anything complex like view Wi-Fi passwords or delete entries. “Never save”.
In contrast, 1Password and LastPass have completely streamlined password management, making it incredibly easy to deal with logins and other confidential content (such as credit card and account details). banking) on any device. You can even use a web browser if you want, which is something the Apple Keychain is sorely lacking.
Both password managers also come with a lot of extra features. For example, LastPass’s Emergency Access lets you share your passwords with trusted family and friends, while 1Password’s Travel Mode lets you define what kind of data is required on your device yourself while traveling.
It depends on what you want
Unless you spend a lot of time dealing with non-Apple devices, sticking with Apple Keychain is the wiser choice due to its seamless integration with the Apple ecosystem. It’s also free. But if you prefer wider availability, greater security, and superior password management in 1Password and LastPass, check out our comparison of both password managers to find the right one. best for you.