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Apple Keychain security overview in 2024


iCloud Keychain is a password manager employed in all Apple devices, such as MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads. You can use it to create a random password, store your password and username, and save your credit card number. When using a website you’ve already visited, you will be able to simply autofill this data.

iCloud Keychain is safe to use to manage your passwords. However, dedicated password managers are a better option because they offer more advanced security features and are compatible with different devices, not just Apple products.

In this article, we review iCloud Keychain security to help you decide if it’s a good choice for you or if you’d be better off picking an alternative password manager (some of which are free).

Keep your personal data safe with NordPass
NordPass is the best alternative to iCloud Keychain. It works on various devices, not just Apple products, combining advanced security features and a user-friendly design.
cybernews® score
4.9 /5

Is iCloud Keychain secure?

Yes, iCloud Keychain is secure. It ensures the safety of your personal data by using the following key features:

  • Industry-leading AES-256 encryption. Without your authorization, even Apple won’t be able to access the encrypted data that is stored in your iCloud Keychain.
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA). It adds an extra layer of protection by requiring a verification code on top of your password.
  • Security code. It’s used to authorize additional devices or to verify your identity for other iCloud Keychain functions.
  • Advanced Data Protection. This feature encrypts more data categories, such as notes, photos, and voice memos, and they can only be decrypted on your trusted devices.
  • Passkeys. A passkey is more secure than a password because half of the passkey is stored in your password manager and the other half on the website, making it more resistant to phishing and brute-force attacks.

However, while these features provide a good level of security, iCloud Keychain is not the most secure password manager on the market, as it lacks flexibility and more advanced features. Let’s take a look at how exactly iCloud Keychain differs from dedicated password managers.

iCloud Keychain vs password managers

The choice between iCloud Keychain and alternative password managers, such as NordPass, depends on your specific needs and preferences – both options have their advantages:

  • Compatibility. Third-party password managers work across various platforms and devices, including Windows and Android, whereas iCloud Keychain works on Apple products only.
  • Advanced security features. Unlike the Keychain, many third-party password managers offer advanced features such as breach monitoring, secure password sharing, password strength analysis, etc.
  • Integration with Apple products. For exclusively Apple users, iCloud Keychain is seamlessly integrated into the Apple ecosystem and provides a convenient experience for iOS, MacOS, and other Apple devices.
  • Availability. iCloud Keychain is an already built-in software program, while a third-party password manager will need to be installed separately.

Best iCloud Keychain alternatives – detailed list

We tested some of the best password managers and put up a list with the top iCloud keychain alternatives. The main aspect we considered was their range of security features, but we also looked at their user-friendliness.

Check out our quick comparison of these iCloud keychain alternatives.

1. NordPass – best password manager alternative to iCloud Keychain

NordPass banner
Rating:
4.9
Free plan:
Yes
Paid plans:From $1.43/month
Current deal:🔥 Get NordPass, now 52% OFF and 1 month FREE! 🔥

Due to its incredible security features and intuitive design, NordPass takes first place on our list as an iCloud keychain alternative.

It comes with features such as intuitive password storage and the recovery of forgotten master passwords, ensuring an issue-free experience. You will be able to switch from old-school passwords to modern and secure passkeys or use biometrics and cryptographic keys for a more straightforward way to log in. During our NordPass analysis, we especially loved that we could attach different files, not just passwords.

While iCloud Keychain works only on Apple devices and the Safari browser, NordPass is optimized for use on various platforms (macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and ChromeOS). Its user-friendly design contributes to an easy setup and migration from other password managers.

NordPass has also successfully passed the independent SOC 2 Type 1 security audit, so you can be certain that the security of users’ personal data is their number one priority. Since iCloud Keychain is part of Apple's closed ecosystem, it hasn't been audited by an independent party.

NordPass offers a free version that includes all necessary features, including unlimited password storage and seamless cross-device sync, which is absent on iCloud Keychain (as it only works on Apple devices). Although there are no advanced features like emergency access, the free version will still give you a great start if you’re a beginner.

If you decide to go for the premium version, you can get NordPass for only $1.43/month. This subscription is for individuals, but the Family and Business plans will allow you to share this tool with other users. You’ll get a 30-day money-back guarantee as well.

2. RoboForm – iCloud Keychain alternative that works on various devices

RoboForm banner
Rating:
4.7
Free plan:
Yes
Paid plans:
From $0.99/month
Current deal:🔥 Get RoboForm, save up to 60%🔥

RoboForm is one of the best password managers that, unlike iCloud Keychain, can be used on more devices than just Apple products.

As our review revealed, RoboForm’s strengths include two-factor authentication, which provides high-end security that prevents unauthorized access. It also comes with AES-256 encryption that adds an extra security layer and keeps your data safe. Plus, you can create a password of up to 512 characters, ensuring even stronger protection.

One useful RoboForm feature that iCloud Keychain doesn't have is dark web monitoring, which detects potential data leaks. RoboForm also provides thorough reports on your current password health and offers passkey support, so you’ll have the option of not using passwords at all.

Unlike iCloud Keychain, you can use RoboForm on different devices, such as Android and iOS. It has a desktop app that undergoes regular updates, as well as browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge, and Safari. The one-click login is an efficient autofill substitute, streamlining the login process.

You can go for RoboForm’s free version, which has all basic security features, such as a standard password generator, secure password sharing, and one-click login. Or you can choose the premium version to access all that RoboForm has to offer. The premium version starts at $0.99/month, which is billed every five years. If you have any issues, RoboForm offers priority customer support.

3. 1Password – best alternative to iCloud Keychain for more users

1Password banner
Rating:
4.8
Free plan:
Yes, 14-day free trial
Paid plans: From $2.99/month
Current deal:🔥 Get 50% OFF 1Password!🔥

1Password might be the best option for you if you want a password manager for your family or employees.

As noted in our 1Password review, its key features include a master password and biometric options (fingerprint or face ID) that enhance your online safety. It also offers robust 2FA verification and a Watchtower feature that’s used for dark web scanning, which iCloud Keychain lacks.

Two unique features that iCloud Keychain doesn't have are 1Password's travel mode, which keeps your sensitive information safe while you’re on the go, and item sharing, which allows you to share data without compromising your safety. 1Password is frequently updated, and the latest addition is the passkey option.

1Password has a simple interface and easy navigation for the location of all settings. It works with Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android devices and has a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, and Safari, while iCloud Keychain is only compatible with Apple devices and the Safari browser.

1Password doesn’t have a free version, but it does have a few subscription options. Its most affordable option costs $2.99/month, while the Family plan is available at $4.99/month. 1Password also includes a 14-day free trial.

Apple Keychain alternatives compared

NordPassRoboForm1Password
Brand1password
Rating
4.9
4.7
4.8
Free versionYesYesYes, 14-day free trial
Pricefrom $1.43/monthfrom $0.99/monthfrom $2.99/month
Encrypted storage3 GB (with NordLocker app)No1 GB
Biometric login
Mobile app PIN unlock
Max devicesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Passkeys
Password auditing
Notable features
  • Independently audited
  • Data breach scanner
  • OCR scanning for documents and cards
  • One-click login
  • Credential sharing
  • Shared folders
  • Dark web monitoring
  • Local storage option
  • Deleted password recovery
Cons
  • Free version for only one device
  • No cloud storage
  • No free version
Best dealGet NordPass, now 52% OFF and 1 month FREE!Get RoboForm, save up to 60%Get 50% OFF 1Password!

How we picked iCloud Keychain alternatives

In order to pick the best iCloud Keychain alternatives, we followed a few crucial criteria.

First, we checked for a free version that would let us test the platform. Then, we delved into crucial security features, such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, secure password sharing, and additional features like dark web monitoring and passkeys.

Some other factors we considered included cross-platform functionality, simple migration of data, browser extensions, and app range. We also looked into customer support and the availability of a money-back guarantee so that you could test the services even if there is no free version.

Lastly, we checked the password managers’ value for money by comparing their plans and prices to other reliable and secure services.

Wrapping up

iCloud Keychain is a built-in password manager in all Apple devices, like iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks. This password manager is very safe, as it comes with AES-256 encryption, two-factor authentication, biometric verification, and a user-friendly platform.

However, if you need more security features or want to use a password manager on a non-Apple device, you can go for NordPass or RoboForm. They both come with incredible security features, secure password sharing, dark web monitoring, and passkey options. Regardless of which password manager you choose, your data will always be safe.

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