Password issues with remote server

I think this is related to my previous post, Lost My Ability to Remote Connect

I verified there were no changes in the network protocols, and then I tried disabling both password and SSL, finding that everything worked. Eventually, I found that if I commented out the c.NotebookApp.password line in the .py config file and moved that information to the .json file, it worked fine. Did something change that made it so that password info had to be in the .json or is this a bug? I definitely recall updating (via conda) not long before everything stopped working.