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    1Password Keychain Sync Solutions and Considerations

    There are several fantastic tools available to keep your files in sync, including SugarSync, FolderShare, ChronoSync, iDisk, rsync, Unison, and our personal favorite, Dropbox.

    It is also possible to sync your 1Password data using MobileMe, but only when using the OS X Keychain.

    Types of Sync Solutions

    Each of the available Sync Solutions has its own way of doing things, but broadly speaking they can be broken down into two groups. One group operates on individual files and folders, while the other operates at a higher level and requires detailed knowledge of the keychain data.

    File-Based Sync Solutions

    Sync solutions that are file-based include Dropbox, SugarSync, FolderShare, ChronoSync, Rsync, and Unison. While not an exhaustive list, you can see there are many excellent solutions from which you can choose. File-based sync solutions are very simple in nature, and simple is good! By being simple, these tools are fast, robust, and many even provide revision history so you can “go back in time” and restore accidently deleted information. As well, they are usually able to sync a changed file to all your machines in just a few seconds. By doing things so fast, the chance of modifying the same file on multiple machines simultaneously is greatly reduced.

    To use one of these file-based sync solutions, you will need to enable the Agile Keychain format in 1Password. The Agile Keychain uses a separate file for each entry in the keychain, making it very fast to sync changes. Please refer to Switching to the Agile Keychain for detailed setup instructions.

    For your convenience, we’ve published a guide to get you started:

    SugarSync, ChronoSync, and other sync tools can be setup using similar steps to the above DropBox instructions.

    Important note for iDisk users: Note that we do not recommend using iDisk. Please see Apple’s Recommendation to NOT use iDisk for syncing active databases for an explanation of why 1Password should not be synced using iDisk.

    Setting up other sync solutions will be similar.

    MobileMe Keychain Syncing

    When using the OS X Keychain it is not practical to use a file-based tool to sync your 1Password data. This is because the OS X Keychain stores everything in a single file, making file-level syncing too slow and conflicts much more likely.

    It is, however, possible to sync the 1Password OS X Keychain using MobileMe:

    NOTE: In theory MobileMe/.Mac syncing should work perfectly and for many people it does, but sadly many others have experienced issues. 1Password does not contain any code for interacting with MobileMe; instead, MobileMe syncing was inherited “for free” from OS X’s Keychain Services.

    It is critical that synchronization of password information is handled in a robust and reliable fashion. We therefore recommend avoiding MobileMe syncing and instead relying on one of the file-based syncing solutions.