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Yubico Security Key Review (The complete edition)


Yubico Safety Key’s right here to problem everybody else. Does it succeed?


  • Sturdy
  • Has help for FIDO2 and U2F protocols which might be used  by Fb, Twitter, Google and others
  • Easy to make use of
  • reasonably priced


  • Has no help for different 2-factor authentication methods
  • Zero wi-fi help



Yubico, with its Safety Key, provides customers an reasonably priced, sturdy and easy approach to benefit from two-factor authentication.

Our analysis exhibits that this Safety Key from Yubico isn’t the one with probably the most options in comparison with the competitors.

Nevertheless, so far as the typical shopper is worried, there’s hardly one other 2FA key on the market that may beat Yubico.


Full assessment

So how does two-factor authentication on the web work?

In case you are studying this evaluate then there’s a good probability that you simply already a bit about phrases comparable to 2FA or two-factor authentication.


In any case, the preferred safety implementation, when the consumer tries to log in to a given account, is the consumer has to enter a username and a password after which additionally enter a six-digit code that the service (the consumer is making an attempt to signal into) sends to the consumer’s cell phone by way of SMS.

Typically the consumer can have that generated with the assistance of an app.

After the consumer has carried out that, the service authenticates the consumer as standard.

Now, loads of readers would conveniently assume right here that the time period two-factor authentication comes from the truth that a given service requires a second step to authenticate the consumer.

Virtually talking, that’s true.

Nevertheless, in concept, it isn’t.

The time period two-factor authentication comes from a special idea.

An idea which mixes two several types of consumer authentication from a complete attainable variety of three.

The three authentication varieties are as follows,

  • One thing that the consumer is
  • One thing that the consumer has
  • One thing that the consumer is aware of

Usually talking, the password half is one thing that’s within the consumer’s head.

In fact, the higher factor right here can be to have the password in a password supervisor, however that’s okay.

The purpose that we try to make right here is that, the password represents one thing that you already know.

Then there are all these biometric elements akin to fingerprint scans.

These are issues that you’re.

Aside from that, an app or a bit of hardware that has the power to authenticate the consumer is one thing that the consumer has.

On this evaluation, we’ll solely speak concerning the hardware safety keys.

However readers ought to know that there are various different strategies out there for them so as to add a second authentication issue as properly.

In case you mix simply two issues from the listing of three that we have now talked about above, then you definitely primarily make it a  lot more durable for any hacker to interrupt into any and/or your whole on-line accounts.

It’s inside the realm of risk that somebody may handle to steal your password.

Ever heard of mass knowledge breaches?

That’s the place all of the ‘stealing’ occurs.

Other people skip the info breach half and buy private info straight off the notoriously darkish Dard Net.

In fact, it’s one other incontrovertible fact that in case you are making use of two-factor authentication then any hackers who will get maintain of your password would have his/her efforts foiled when the account they’ve the knowledge for would ask them to enter the consumer’s second issue of account authentication.


It seems, numerous reviews have gathered up a number of knowledge to again up the declare that two-factor authentication actually does enhance safety.

Again in 2017, Google (the know-how big behind providers akin to Google search engine, YouTube, Gmail, Google Docs, Notes, and Waymo) issued USB safety keys to a complete of 85000 of its staff.

As soon as the corporate went by way of with the acquisition and put all of the methods in place, stories that talked about phishing assaults taking up consumer accounts dropped to virtually zero.

A serious key for main safety

The Yubico Safety Key shouldn’t be the one two-factor authentication hardware that the corporate gives.

Our analysis exhibits that there are no less than half a dozen extra hardware-based two-factor authentication merchandise that the corporate behind Yubico Safety Key (Yubico) provides to customers.

Nevertheless, the corporate’s flagship product which is YubiKey 5 collection manages to embody all 4 of the corporate’s merchandise.

Our analysis exhibits that the official Yubikey 5 NFC makes use of USB-A.

Not solely that, it additionally has the power to speak by way of wi-fi strategies with the consumer’s Android gadget by using the NFC know-how.

There’s additionally Yubikey 5C.

This product makes use of USB-C.

Nevertheless, it lacks any sort of wi-fi capabilities.

There are additionally the 5C Nano and Yubikey 5 Nano that should not have help for NFC.

Nevertheless, they’re sufficiently small to semi-permanently stay in place within the consumer’s USB slot.

So far as costs go, at present the YubiKey 5 Collection can value the consumer anyplace from $45 to $60.

Extra particularly although, the Yubikey 5 Collection presents the 5 NFC system for $45 whereas the 5C Nano gadget for $60.

These keys have some options which require the consumer to obtain the corporate’s shopper software program.

Yubico offers all clients with that software program with none fees.

However, customers who need to can arrange the gadget by way of guide system configuration.

Each one of many 4 safety units that YubiKey 5 collection gives to customers has the identical set of options and capabilities when one seems beneath the hood.

All the units help FIDO2 and FIDO U2F that are thought-about the presumptive and present common 2FA protocols.

Nevertheless, the official YubiKey 5 collection additionally gives units that may serve the consumer as Sensible Playing cards by making use of Private Id Verification.

These can generate these one-time passwords and may help each the OATH-HOTP and OATH-TOTP.

Customers also can use these for challenge-response account authentication.

Maybe that is additionally a very good time to say the truth that all the 4 units have full help for the three well-liked cryptographic algorithms specifically,

  • ECC p384
  • ECC p256
  • RSA 4096


That’s just about an alphabet soup.

Nevertheless, if you have already got an concept that all the phrases talked about above imply then there’s a excessive risk that YubiKey 5 will kind of excite you.

Nevertheless, even for those who don’t know what every of these phrases means then it’s sufficient so that you can know that these are the present Swiss Military units.

In different phrases, they will do something and the whole lot that the consumer asks of them.

In fact, we’re assuming right here that you simply truly know that must be requested and, most of all, know what you’re doing.

We might additionally like to say that the Safety Key from Yubico is a safety system that’s radically totally different from all others.

Why do we are saying that?

For starters, the gadget has a plastic shell that’s sturdy and is brilliant blue in colour.

Each different gadget from YubiKey is black.

Furthermore, when the consumer inserts the gadget to a given USB-A slot, the small key emblem on the gadget begins to glow blue-white.

There’s additionally the numeral 2 which is etched proper into the gadget’s plastic physique.

This numeral seems proper above the gold disk which is itself touch-sensitive.

Additionally, this numeral 2, differentiates the Yubico gadget from the corporate’s earlier mannequin.

Holding apart the appearances, the Yubico Safety Key comes at a dramatically low cost worth than the remainder of the Yubikey choices.

It prices customers simply $20.


Maybe probably the most outstanding and important distinction between Safety Key from Yubico and others is what Safety Key can’t do.

Specifically, Yubico Safety Key solely helps protocols akin to FIDO2 and FIDO U2F.

Furthermore, it doesn’t have the potential to generate any sort of OTPs, one-time passwords.

Aside from that, it doesn’t even have help for Yubico’s official shopper software program.

Now, our analysis exhibits that for almost all of on-line shoppers, these ‘points’ wouldn’t trigger them any sort of hurt.

In different phrases, they are going to be principally high quality.

In addition to, most main on-line providers and web sites that help numerous totally different safety keys all have full compatibility with U2F.

The record of internet sites that help all U2F protocols embrace,

Our analysis additionally exhibits that the Safety Key by Yubico accomplishes lower than different Yubikey units however that ‘much less’ is sufficient for the fashionable common on-line shopper.

Readers additionally have to remember that Yubico comes at a worth that the majority safety acutely aware on-line shoppers can afford.

In fact, in case you are a type of customers who’ve set their eyes on the laundry listing of options and capabilities of YubiKey which aren’t out there in Safety Key from Yubico and are additionally drooling over them and/or reaching over to get your bank card, our recommendation is to easily skip the Yubico Safety Key and easily shell out no matter additional money is required for Yubikey.

Furthermore, in case you are truly the top of the IT division and are in search of one single and distinctive answer to your whole two-factor authentication wants, then it’s a good suggestion to easily skip the Yubico Safety Key.

Yubico Safety Key look and utilization

As talked about earlier as nicely, the official Safety Key from Yubico has textured blue plastic.

It’s grippy on the consumer’s fingers and is, usually, good.

Extra particularly, the entire safety key system feels fairly strong even though it weighs simply over three grams.

The fabric on its physique hides the consumer’s fingerprints together with put on and tear.

And your Yubico Safety Key will get loads of that since, as it’s designed, customers would in all probability have it hanging on certainly one of their key rings.

Our analysis exhibits that the flat design of the Yubico Safety Key additionally signifies that it’s straightforward to hold with different issues/keys on a given ring.

That function is in distinction to YubiKey 5C which is bulkier.

Nevertheless, identical to its different YubiKey cousins, the Yubico Safety Key’s waterproof and crush proof.

It doesn’t have any shifting elements.

Therefore, theoretically talking, it can by no means run out of electrical energy.

That’s as a result of it doesn’t actually have any batteries.

Yubico Safety Key doesn’t require the consumer to have Wi-Fi and/or LTE.

Readers ought to take these final two options that we now have talked about critically as a result of they’re huge benefits.

Particularly over different authenticator apps.


As for utilizing the Yubico Safety Key, the entire course of is just about a snap.

All that customers should do is to go in the direction of a given web site which has help for safety keys to make use of with two-factor authentication.

Then customers ought to search for that choice which allows them to enroll a totally new safety key.

After that, the location ought to immediate the consumer to insert his/her key right into a given USB port.

When that’s completed, the consumer might should faucet the Yubico Safety Key’s gold disk factor.

And that’s all.

Now, the important thing ought to have enrolled.

The subsequent time when the consumer makes an try and log in to that particular website, the location would request the consumer for his/her password and would then immediate the consumer to insert after which faucet his/her safety key.

As soon as the consumer has accomplished that, he/she is virtually in.

Our analysis exhibits that Yubico Safety Key shouldn’t give any issues to customers on websites akin to,

In truth, with such providers, we consider Yubico Safety Key ought to work flawlessly.

One different factor that readers ought to notice right here is that some on-line providers might, the truth is, require them to create some backup codes.

That shouldn’t be an issue for anybody as a result of even when an internet site doesn’t ask you to, it’s a good suggestion to have them someplace protected.

Some on-line providers might require a legitimate telephone quantity to be able to use with backup authentication via SMS.

Some customers wish to have numerous choices out there.

And good luck to them as a result of it by no means hurts to have numerous alternative ways to authenticate and/or affirm a given account.

Readers also needs to observe that almost all of the fashionable net browsers now absolutely help U2F.

Nevertheless, for causes of its personal Firefox truly disables U2F help due to its default settings.

Click on right here to go to the official Yubico web site and skim a information on how one can deal with activating U2F help for wonderful net browsers such a the one from Mozilla.

However, regardless that we’ve talked about the U2F protocol plenty of occasions (and there’s no doubt about the truth that increasingly providers and purposes are supporting it), it isn’t actually ubiquitous.

Lots of providers nonetheless don’t help it.

A chief instance is LastPass.

LastPass, in all probability the perfect password supervisor on the town, makes use of the official One-Time Password function from Yubico with a view to safe accounts.

Nevertheless, LastPass solely does that for units that the YubiKey 5 line helps.

It doesn’t do this by way of Yubico Safety Key.

We don’t imply to say Yubico doesn’t have anyplace to go.

Actually, Yubico has a fairly lengthy record of internet sites and on-line providers which have help for several types of YubiKeys.

That is the place readers should go searching for a bit to see which YubiKey mannequin would go well with them greatest by figuring out the websites they may in all probability apply it to.

One different fast notice that we want to point out right here on FIDO2 is that, this protocol is new.

And it’s true that some circles on the web might contemplate it as an enormous deal.

In reality, Yubico has formally stated prior to now the way it feels that FIDO2 protocol would in the future have every little thing it wants to exchange present passwords and put them out of enterprise.

And we expect that’s certainly a incredible concept.

Nevertheless, it’s an concept that most individuals with sufficient expertise on the web have heard many occasions prior to now.

Don’t get us fallacious.


It’s nice that all the Yubico merchandise have the power to help FIDO2.

We’re conscious of the truth that the corporate in all probability needs to future-proof its merchandise.

Nevertheless, the factor is that the jury continues to be just about out on the precise utility of FIDO2.

The group gained’t have to attend lengthy although.

Microsoft now permits on-line customers to truly log in to any and all of their accounts with out ever having to enter a password and solely utilizing the corporate’s Edge net browser together with a FIDO2 key.

This, in line with us, can be a reasonably vital and main check of how this new FIDO2 know-how would fare sooner or later.

Safety Key from Google Titan vs Safety Key from Yubico

As talked about earlier than as properly, Safety Key, when in comparison with the all the opposite units within the Yubico household, is an reasonably priced and easy answer for any common on-line shopper.

Nevertheless, making an attempt to match it with Google Titan Safety Key isn’t actually an easy activity.

It’s truly a bit difficult.

Google Titan and Yubico Safety Key are pretty comparable to one another underneath the hood.

Each of them help the brand new protocol FIDO U2F.

Nevertheless, Google Titan has zero help for FIDO2.

Google Titan additionally doesn’t help another login scheme or protocols.

Our analysis exhibits that the official Google Titan bundle key truly comes as two units.

One is a recharge dongle that works by way of the Bluetooth know-how and customers can connect it to a micro USB slot and the opposite system is a USB-A NFC-enabled key.

On the entire, the package deal is more likely to set you again round $50.

That may be a lot once we examine it to the $20 that you must pay to buy the Yubico Safety Key.

Now, readers ought to needless to say the Yubico Safety Key doesn’t actually help NFC or Bluetooth.

Furthermore, Yubico Safety Key’s a single system.

With Google Titan, customers get to have entry to 2 units.

Our analysis exhibits that having a strong pack of two keys supplies one with an honest quantity of peace of thoughts.

Customers can carry one with them figuring out that they’ve a spare someplace else.

The official Superior Safety Program from Google additionally requires the second key.

So there’s that.

With that stated, it’s also true that even when customers purchase a spare/second Yubico Safety Key, it might value them barely lower than what the official Titan bundle would value.

Yubico supplies reductions to customers who purchase two Safety Keys which might be had for simply $36.


Our analysis tells us that Yubico Safety Key might be the most effective that YubiKey line has to supply if we issue within the cash individuals should pay to get it.

It’s reasonably priced.

And regardless that it doesn’t have the identical capabilities as YubiKey 5 line, it does supply extra accessibility because the majority of the web customers wouldn’t actually ever make use of all of the bells and whistles of the costlier providing.




Zohair is at present a content material crafter at Safety Gladiators and has been concerned within the know-how business for greater than a decade. He’s an engineer by coaching and, naturally, likes to assist individuals remedy their tech associated issues. When he isn’t writing, he can often be discovered training his free-kicks within the floor beside his home.


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