Wi-Fi Sync Troubleshooting Guide
Welcome! If you're here, it means that you've had some trouble syncing your 1Password data on your Mac with your mobile device using a Wi-Fi connection. We're very sorry for the frustration and hope that this guide helps you get up and running again.
This guide was created with the help of our customers, 1Password users just like you. Typically problems with Wi-Fi sync are easy to fix once the problem is properly identified. However, it can take a fair amount of trial and error to discover what the problem is in any particular case.
An alternative to Wi-Fi Syncing is to use Cloud Syncing with Dropbox. Dropbox syncing is less finicky about local network configuration and can sync among multiple iOS devices as well as 1Password for Windows and 1Password for Android. It also can take place in the background without having to have 1Password opened simultaneously on both your Mac and iOS device. So if you are having difficulty with Wi-Fi syncing, this may be a good time to switch to syncing your 1Password data using Dropbox.
If you wish to continue with Wi-Fi syncing, please continue reading this guide.
There are many variables involved in network configuration and communication that can interact with WiFi syncing between 1Password on iOS and 1Password on your Mac.This guide contains everything we've learned so far. It can get a little overwhelming, so we've tried to break things down into logical bits.
- A Wi-Fi connection is required, and your Mac and touch device must be on the same network.
- Make sure that everything is up-to-date.
- Restart everything.
- Set up sync again.
- Reinstall and start over.
If you're still having trouble, it's time to roll up our sleeves and get our elbows a little greasy:
- Firewalls prevent unauthorized communication. If you're using one, please make sure that it's configured to allow 1Password.
- Set up an ad hoc network. This will help pinpoint the problem: if it works, it's your network, and we've got some more advanced troubleshooting tips for you.
- If an ad hoc network doesn't work, maybe the devices can't find each other. This is Bonjour's job. See if you can sync using your device's IP address. If this works, Bonjour needs some help.
Oh, dear. Still here? Nothing helped? That's truly unfortunate, because we're out of ideas. =( It probably doesn't seem like it to you, but really, Wi-Fi sync works flawlessly for many thousands of our customers. At this point, we have to conclude that there is something unique to your configuration that is preventing success. We're sorry that we couldn't get things going for you. If you succeed, please do let us know what worked for you so that we can improve our troubleshooting guide!
Wi-Fi Only, Same Network
1Password on iOS syncs with 1Password for Mac via a Wi-Fi connection. This means that the iPhone/iPod Touch needs to connect to a Wi-Fi network that is connected to the same Local Area Network (LAN) as the Mac on which the desktop application is running. 1Password touch does not sync via the Edge network, 3G network, or across the internet. It also does not sync your 1Password data via the UBS/Firewire cable when you sync with iTunes on your Mac. The desktop Mac needs to have the 1Password application open and running at the time of the sync. The desktop application Mac can be connected via ethernet or any other means so long as it is on the same LAN as the the iPhone/iPod Touch. 1Password for Mac OS X is sold separately and not included as part of 1Password touch.
If you're not sure whether your computer and iPhone/iPod touch are on the same network, you can use Network Utility and iOS's network settings screen to find out.
Make Sure You're Up-to-Date
Several users have reported that upgrading to the latest iOS firmware solved all their syncing issues. Be sure to use iTunes to upgrade your iPhone or iPod touch to Apple's latest firmware. Also make sure that you're using the latest version of 1Password on your Mac and on your touch device.
Give It a Little Kick
Sometimes all that is required to get the sync going is to restart the iPhone and Mac applications. Some users have reported that syncing failed consistently until they rebooted their Mac, iPhone, and router. This obviously should not be required, but it is possible one of the systems gets into a bad state and prevents syncing. Some other users have reported that 1Password for Mac was not able to detect the availability of the iPhone on the network until they quit and restarted 1Password on their Mac, or turned Wi-Fi sync off and then on again.
Re-Authorize the Device
If your device appears in 1Password's sidebar but you can't sync, try re-authorizing it.
- Select the device in the Sync section of 1Password's sidebar.
- Control-click the device and select Delete.
- Follow the instructions for iPhone or iPad to set up sync again.
Reinstall 1Password on Your Device
Normally, we'd save this as an absolute last resort. But honestly, reinstalling an application is so much simpler and faster than trying to troubleshoot network communication glitches that it may be worthwhile to give it a go.
Be absolutely sure to backup your data from the device first, since deleting the app on the iPhone also deletes the data. This will effectively reset the sync process.
Check Security Software Configuration
1Password's sync uses a robust approach that should not have issues with firewall or other security software, but some users have reported that some security applications cause problems. We are investigating these reports and how best to address them.
Some users have reported that their firewall had to be disabled in order to allow the automatic sync mechanism to function properly. Common firewall software includes:
- The Mac OS X firewall, which can be configured in System Preferences > Security
- Intego ContentBarrier This is a parental control application that can restrict network traffic based on the configuration of an administrator.
- Little Snitch This is a dedicated outbound traffic firewall the allows you to decide on the fly whether to allow or deny traffic by a particular application on a particular port.
- Intego VirusBarrier As of VirusBarrier X6, this includes a two-way firewall that can restrict inbound and outbound traffic. It's also possible for your device to end up blacklisted and this can also cause the sync to be blocked.
If you're using any of these applications, please consult their documentation for how to whitelist 1Password for all outbound traffic and inbound traffic on UDP port 5353, which is the port that the Bonjour process uses for connecting available services on the network.
Use an Ad Hoc Network
Using a computer-to-computer (ad hoc) network can help quickly determine if the Wi-Fi sync problem is related to the network. Here's how to set up ad-hoc syncing. If the sync works this way, it is a strong sign that the root problem with regular Wi-Fi syncing lies in your network.
Sync Using IP Address
You can manually add your device by its IP address. This method is not recommended for your regular sync routine, but it can work in a pinch or for troubleshooting.
To sync 1Password with your device by its IP address, scroll down on the Wi-Fi Sync screen of your touch device and tap Advanced. There you will find an IP address and port number to enter into 1Password on your Mac:
In 1Password 3 on your Mac, go to Help > Troubleshooting > Sync using IP address. Enter the IP address and port number you got from your device, then click the Add button. Your device will now be listed in the Wi-Fi Sync window by its IP address. You should now be able to sync just as if you used the more automatic method described above.
There is a catch, however: Depending on your network configuration, your device may obtain a different IP address every time it connects. If that happens, you will need to go through this setup process again. This is why we do not recommend manually syncing by IP address as a long-term syncing option.
Bonjour: Mac-iPhone/iPod touch Communication
1Password's sync process relies on Apple's Bonjour technology. Make sure that Bonjour is enabled on your Mac:
The Applications folder contains a folder named Utilities. Inside of that folder is an Apple application named Activity Monitor.
- Start Activity Monitor.
- Select All Processes from the drop-down menu so that you are viewing everything.
- Look for the presence of mDNSResponder.
- If mDNSResponder is not running, use the Terminal application (also in the Utilities folder) and copy and paste the following command:
sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.mDNSResponder.plist
Verify that mDNSResponder is now a running process in Activity Monitor and try to authorize the 1Password touch sync again. You may need to restart 1Password on your Mac once more to kickstart the process.
Bonjour uses TCP port 5354 and UDP port 5353. Any firewall needs to have these ports open.
Next, see if Bonjour can see the iPhone:
- Download the Bonjour Browser utility
- Start Bonjour Browser.
You should see one item in the window labeled "local" and a number to the right (the display of the number is controlled by a Bonjour Browser Preference setting). Depending on which OS X network services you have enabled on your computer the number might be 0 but if there is one or more then there will be a "reveal triangle" to the left of "local".
Click the triangle (to make it point downward) to expand the listing for "local". The services that are talking on the network will be listed. For example: pastebot, pthpb, textexpander, etc.
When 1Password is running and unlocked on your touch device, Bonjour Browser will show another item: 1password2._tcp. If you reveal the details it shows the device's name in bold and has its own reveal triangle that if revealed will show the IP address and port number.
The Bonjour Browser application cannot change anything—it just views the current state of Bonjour broadcasts from each service. You can expand any or all the details, but nothing you do will affect the services themselves. You shouldn't ever actually need to press the Reload Services button either: they should come and go in the listing automatically.
We suggest using this application just for the purpose of diagnosing that the 1Password mobile device can get its network messages across to your Mac. If 1Password for Mac doesn't see these messages, it won't offer to sync your data with that mobile device. This application is not used for day-to-day proper operation of anything and it won't "fix" networking issues that you might have; it just reports what it sees.
Checking Network Connectivity
Find the current IP address of your iPhone/iPod touch.
- Tap Settings on your device.
- Tap the name of the Wi-Fi network to view its details. Make sure that the selected network is the same one to which your Mac is connected.
- Note the device's IP address.
- On your Mac, run the Network Utility application and perform a ping test.
If you see timeouts instead of successful responses, your Mac is not able to see the iPhone.
- Check your Mac's IP address by selecting the Info tab.
Your Mac's IP address should look just like your touch device's IP address, except for the last digit, which will be different. If it doesn't, you're likely not on the same LAN.
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