Technology

The best multi-factor authentication keys in 2020

It is important to be contentious over passwords, a crucial step to secure your online life. However, some of your online accounts – for example, your Google or Dropbox account – may be so large and contain such an amount of information that additional measures may be desirable to protect it.

And there is no better way to secure your accounts online than using two-factor hardware authentication (2FA). Security keys are easy to use, block phishing attacks, are inexpensive and less complicated, and much more secure than text-based two-factor authentication. Good news: it is possible to obtain security keys in several formats: USB-A and USB-C, Lightning (for iPhone), or even with a Bluetooth connection.

So let’s take a look at the best security keys currently available.

Yubico YubiKey 5 NFC, probably the best versatile security key, 55 €

The YubiKey 5 NFC combines the ubiquity of USB-A with the versatility of wireless NFC, and is therefore compatible with a wide range of devices. It is FIDO certified and works with Google Chrome and any FIDO compatible application on Windows, Mac OS or Linux. Secure your credentials and protect Gmail, Facebook, Dropbox, Outlook, LastPass, Dashlane, 1Password, your accounts, etc.

The YubiKey USB authenticator includes NFC and supports several protocols, including FIDO2, FIDO U2F, Yubico OTP, OATH-TOTP, OATH-HOTP, Smart card (PIV), OpenPGP and Challenge-Response to provide you with solid hardware authentication .

Go to Amazon

Yubico Yubikey 5C NFC, the right choice for Mac, € 60

It is a 2FA security key built around a USB-C socket. If you mainly use Macs or modern laptops and desktops, this is a great choice. Also a good choice for those who use Android devices.

The YubiKey 5C is FIDO certified and works with Google Chrome and any FIDO compatible application on Windows, Mac OS or Linux. Secure your credentials and protect Gmail, Facebook, Dropbox, Outlook, LastPass, Dashlane, 1Password, your accounts, etc.

The YubiKey USB authenticator supports several protocols, including FIDO2, FIDO U2F, Yubico OTP, OATH-TOTP, OATH-HOTP, Smart card (PIV), OpenPGP and Challenge-Response to provide you with solid hardware authentication.

Go to Amazon

Yubico YubiKey 5 Nano, the lower case, 60 €

The smallest YubiKey available. No bigger than a fingernail, and it discreetly fits into a USB-A port.

The YubiKey 5 Nano is FIDO certified and works with Google Chrome and any FIDO compatible application on Windows, Mac OS or Linux. Secure your credentials and protect Gmail, Facebook, Dropbox, Outlook, LastPass, Dashlane, 1Password, your accounts, etc.

The YubiKey USB authenticator supports several protocols, including FIDO2, FIDO U2F, Yubico OTP, OATH-TOTP, OATH-HOTP, Smart card (PIV), OpenPGP and Challenge-Response to provide you with solid hardware authentication.

Go to Amazon

CryptoTrust OnlyKey, the security key with integrated PIN code keyboard, € 49

OnlyKey is the world’s first plug-and-play encryption device that securely stores all of your accounts offline. Unlike smart cards which are vulnerable to a keylogger, the PIN code is entered securely on the device itself.

OnlyKey uses multicolored LEDs which turn green if you have entered the correct PIN code, red if you have entered the wrong one and blue for FIDO2 / U2F authentication. The extremely durable, waterproof and tamper-proof design allows you to take your OnlyKey everywhere with you.

A PIN code protects OnlyKey. Thus, if the device is stolen, the data remains secure and it is erased after 10 unsuccessful attempts to unlock. It works with all websites, including Twitter, Facebook, GitHub and Google. Onlykey supports several two-factor authentication methods, including FIDO2 / U2F, Yubico OTP, TOTP and Challenge-response.

Go to Amazon

Google Titan security keys, a range of keys at a decent price, 45 €

Titan security keys include special firmware designed by Google to verify its integrity. They are built on FIDO open standards, so you can use them with many services and applications.

Google offers a whole range:

  • USB-C;
  • USB-A;
  • Bluetooth / USB / NFC.

They are good quality, but the plastic is not as durable as on other models.

Go to Google

Kensington Verimark fingerprint key, the most convenient, 45 €

The fingerprint reader combines superior biometric performance and 360-degree readability, as well as anti-spoofing protection. Log on to your Windows computer using Microsoft’s Windows Hello login with only your fingerprint. No need to remember usernames and passwords.

It can be used with up to 10 different fingerprints, so that multiple users can log on to the same computer. The Kensington Verimark key is FIDO U2F certified, and can therefore protect your cloud-based accounts such as Google, Dropbox, GitHub and Facebook with FIDO second factor authentication.

Go to Amazon

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