As a long time paying customer of 1Password, I still don't understand what an "Account" is or why I have an account but no account, although it seems like to use 1Password X I need one?
1Password Version: As
Extension Version: Not Provided
OS Version: Not Provided
Sync Type: Not Provided
The reasoning behind needing an "Account" is quite simple. The 1Password eXtension doesn't communicate with any existing apps you have installed on your PC or Mac. What this means is you need an online 1Password subscription account which is hosted and secured by AgileBits.
Building the extension this way allows end-users to install Chrome on any PC or Mac in the world and have nearly instant access to their vaults without needing to download an app and sync their data which can be time-consuming.
Hope that helps.
I know that some security concerns exist with the old/previous method for connecting the installed application to the browser extension, at least during certain points in setup/use. So having the new extension connect directly to a secure web service instead has some real advantages.
That said, also as a long-time 1Password user, it is quite an adjustment for those with a paid license now being asked to pay a subscription fee to "rent" use of the software. On that matter, I generally feel very strongly that I prefer to own licenses than to rent. And it's taking some time for me to adjust to the idea that functionality cannot be accessed without renting.
I do also believe strongly that authors of great and useful software should be properly compensated and supported. And clearly the free-upgade model offered with the original licenses doesn't really accomplish that. So I guess there is some balance to be had there, but these are the issues that people struggle with in order to transiton to the new world order...
Well said, @btaroli! There are indeed a lot of things to balance. You covered things quite well already so I don't have much to add, but I do want to clarify a few points.
First, we never had a free-upgrade model. Sure we gave updates for free, but the intention for major new version upgrades has always been that they would be paid. Now the thing is, paid-upgrades are a huge pain in the butt for many reasons, so for the last few years we haven't bothered charging an upgrade fee. But this was a choice we make for each major new release, and indeed we've already announced that both 1Password 7 for Mac and 1Password 7 for Windows will be paid upgrades.
Second, you're absolutely right that connecting directly to our secure web service has some real security advantages. But it goes well beyond security. With 1Password X connecting to our servers, we have full control over both sides and are therefore able to provide a much better experience as well. For example, we've tuned our sync protocol so that it's very efficient for 1Password clients, and since we are able to put additional protections in place to prevent users from accidentally deleting all their data, we are able to code our clients with the knowledge that the server contains the single source of truth. This is incredibly important as it allows us to greatly improve the reliability of syncing, and saves each client from needing to download a whole copy of everything during initial device setup.
Anyway, you hit the nail on the head when you said that there is a balance to be had, and that's exactly what we've attempted to achieve with our hosted service and self-managed standalone vaults. I've been here since the beginning and I love every version of 1Password that we've ever published so I absolutely do see why many people continue to love the old model, and that's why we continue to sell licenses today as we don't want to leave these users out in the cold. At the same time, I know that our new hosted service is capable of many new amazing things that weren't possible before, so we continue to push forward there unapologetically. When it's possible to bring new features to both, we do exactly that. We've done that already and will continue to do so. 1Password X is simply one of the features that is not possible with the standalone vaults model so we have no plans to do so.
I hope that helps clear things up somewhat. Oh, and to answer your original question @crystaln, you can see What are the benefits of a 1Password membership? for details on what 1Password memberships are, the additional features they have, and why we are so excited about them.