Best Hardware Security Keys for Two-Factor Authentication

Best hardware security keys for two-factor authentication. Get physical for enhanced protection with the best security key choices today. While robust passwords go a long way to securing your valuable online accounts, hardware-based two-factor authentication takes that security to the next level. Also read, Top 5 best music streaming apps and their subscription cost & Top 5 Free CAD Software To Use Now.

Two-factor authentication is a must these days, but the most popular method for account security — SMS, is not quite fool-proof. With just a call to your phone carrier and a little social engineering, your two-factor codes are vulnerable to interception, so if you truly want to lock down your accounts, you need the best security keys. Similar postBest apps to keep your sensitive data secure online

Best security key to protect your online accounts in 2022. While robust passwords go a long way to securing your valuable online accounts, hardware-based two-factor authentication takes that security to the next level. Similar postHow to Protect Healthcare Organization Networks From Hackers and Cyberattacks

One sure way to safeguard your master key(s) is to store them on a hardware device with two-factor authentication. This is an extra security defense against potential intruders. Like hardware crypto wallets, hardware security keys are the size of USB memory sticks, providing protection against phishing, keystroke logging, and hacking.

What is the most secure security key? The best security key for most people is the Yubico Security Key, which comes in two forms: the Yubico Security Key NFC (USB-A) and the Yubico Security Key C NFC (USB-C). These security keys work with most devices, including phones and laptops.

Are hardware security keys worth it in 2022? We highly recommend security keys to those who regularly use public Wi-Fi, as traffic over Wi-Fi can be easily intercepted, and using public Wi-Fi makes you more susceptible to hacks. Using a security key makes it so that even if someone intercepts your data, they won’t be able to log in to your accounts.

Can hardware keys be hacked? Hardware security keys, such as the Google Titan, have become a cornerstone of enterprise security, adding a much-needed layer of protection on top of the password. But researchers have now shown that it is possible to clone keys — given the key, a few hours, and thousands of dollars.

When it comes to protecting your data, SMS-based or app-based two-factor authentication using your smartphone is more secure than depending only on passwords.

Here are some of the best hardware security keys for two-factor authentication in 2021.

Yubico YubiKey 5 NFC

Manufactured by Yubico, codeveloper of the FIDO U2F open authentication standard used by many security keys, the YubiKey 5 NFC is in a safe pair of hands when it comes to securing your devices. As its name suggests, it works using USB-A (or USB-C using an adapter) or NFC and offers out-of-the-box compatibility with many services – including Google Chrome, Facebook, Dropbox, LastPass, 1Password and more.

The YubiKey 5 is compact, durable, and light – and it’s even waterproof. Sporting a black-and-gold design, it’s one of the best security keys to show off attached to a keyring.

YubiKey 5C NFC

Now that USB-C is becoming the standard on laptops, desktops, and Android smartphones, it made sense for Yubico to bring USB-C and NFC together into a single key. 

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

Thetis Fido U2F Security Key

If you’re looking for the best bang-for-buck in a security key, this model from Thetis should be high on your list. There’s no Bluetooth onboard (it’s available on a more expensive model), and it only supports the FIDO U2F standard – so there’s no UAF or OTP compatibility. However, it will provide secure access to websites so long as you’re using Chrome or Opera as a browser on Windows, macOS or Linux

Despite the low price, the Thetis FIDO U2F Security Key features a durable aluminum frame that keeps your two-factor pass protected from everyday events like drops and bumps. The USB-A port is also kept safe with a unique rotating design that tucks it away when not in use, and the key can live on your keychain with the integrated loop.

Kensington VeriMark Fingerprint Key

Flagship smartphones are not the only mobile devices to employ the convenience and security of fingerprint technology. Vastly cheaper, at around $40, the Kensington VeriMark Fingerprint Key holds FIDO U2F certification, suitable for integration into larger corporate environments. Up to 10 different users can store their fingerprints so that many users can access the same terminal. Its usage is simple. The biometric sensors detect a user as they place a finger on the plugged-in mini device, as the Windows Hello login reads the biometric authentication.

Along with FIDO U2F and FIDO2 compatibility, the Kensington VeriMark Desktop security key features Windows Hello certification so you (and your co-workers) can log into your PC without having to type in your long password. The only downside? Kensington’s security key only works with Windows 7 and later PCs — no macOS or Chrome OS support here.

Yubico YubiKey 5 Nano

If you need the tiniest 2FA hardware security key possible, without the danger of accidentally losing it, Yubico YubiKey 5 Nano is the one product to get. Not much larger than a fingernail, it can still be inserted into a USB port. It works seamlessly on all major operating systems: Windows, macOS, and Linux, as well as Google Chrome.

The tiny key holds all major security protocols and certifications: FIDO2, FIDO U2F, OATH-HOTP, OATH-TOTP, Yubico OTP, OpenPGP, and Smart card (PIV).

Google Titan Security Keys

Titan Security Keys include special firmware engineered by Google to verify the key’s integrity and are built on FIDO open standards, so you can use them with many apps and services.

Google offers a range of keys:

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

The Titan Bluetooth Security Key works with computers, tablets, and phones over Bluetooth, NFC, or a classic micro-USB connection. Although it comes from Google, the Titan Security Key isn’t limited to just Google services as it supports the open FIDO U2F standard, so you can use it to authenticate with a host of services and apps.

For authenticating on the go, the Titan Security Key has an integrated rechargeable battery, and it attaches to keychains with the onboard loop. Google’s key is also surprisingly affordable, but it may not be the most durable with its plastic frame, and it is a little bulkier than the competition.

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