Best Security Key 2021: Hardware Keys For Top Online Protection
Security keys offer a whole new level of security for your personal devices and business devices, bringing physical two-factor authentication (or 2FA) protection that can lock down your device.
You’ve probably seen standard software-based 2FA systems that send you a text message or that emails you to verify your identity. While these are fine (and better than no 2FA system), physical hardware-based security keys, just like the ones that are featured here, are a lot better.
The security key that is inserted into a computer or mobile device grants the user instant access to services using a button or keypad – and this can grant a higher grade of security without it waiting for a generated code to be beamed to a device.
Security keys are supported to the FIDO U2F Open authentication standard. They’re not expensive and are available during a sort of connection types and standards including USB-A and USB-C, additionally to Bluetooth and NFC. Developed by Google and security company Yubico, U2F today protects different types of recognisable internet companies – including Dropbox, Github, Facebook, Gmail, and Salesforce.com, additionally to the united kingdom government.
While they’re undoubtedly dependable, not all security keys are made equal.
Continue reading for our pick of the simplest security key to use.
1. Yubico YubiKey 5 NFC
The all-round best security key
+ Small and light
+ No USB-C connection
+ Bigger than the Nano version
Manufactured by Yubico, codeveloper of the FIDO U2F open authentication standard employed by many security keys, if you have the YubiKey 5 you are in a safe hands when it involves securing your devices. As its name suggests, it works using USB-A (or USB-C using an adapter) or NFC and it offers out-of-the-box compatibility with so many services – including Google Chrome, LastPass, 1Password, Facebook, Dropbox and more.
The YubiKey 5 is compact, durable, and lightweight – and it’s also waterproof. Sporting a black-and-gold design, it’s one among the simplest security keys to look out off attached to a keyring.
2. The Thetis Fido U2F Security Key
A 360-degree swiveler
+ Durable folding design
+ No Bluetooth
+ Only U2F compatibility
If you’re in search for best bang-for-buck security key, this model from Thetis should be on your radar list. There’s no Bluetooth onboard (it’s available on an expensive model), and it only has supports for the FIDO U2F standard – so there’s no OTP or UAF compatibility. However, it’ll provide secure access to websites as you’re using Chrome or Opera as a browser on Windows, macOS or Linux. Handily, this affordable security key sports a compact folding design with a rotating aluminum casing that forestalls the connector from being exposed to potential damage while being transported.
3. The Yubico Yubikey 5C NFC
Tiny security key has a USB-C port
+ Compact USB-C design
+ Compatible with range of standards
+ No NFC
+ Costlier than alternatives
The 5C is compatible with a range of standards – including FIDO U2F, Smart Card, OTP and OpenPGP. At that, it lacks NFC, and it isn’t compatible with iPhone devices – you’ll need the Yubico 5Ci for that. This model, which is formed within the USA, is durable-, water-, tamper- and crush-resistant, so it should be able to survive any journey.
4. The CryptoTrust OnlyKey
A password manager and key in one.
+ PIN protection
+ Password manager
+ Not as compact as rivals
+ Poor UI
As its name suggests, Crypto Trust OnlyKey has some nifty features its rivals lack. Thanks to an onboard keypad that can bypass keyloggers that find their way onto computers, it can also keep online accounts safe if it happens that a computer or website is compromised.
It has supports for multiple methods of 2FA including FIDO 2 U2F, TOTP and Yubico OTP. Cryto Trust OnlyKey is also a password manager, and it offers features such as encrypted backup, self-destruct (which interupts and wipes the device after a certain number of incorrect attempts), and the ability to update the firmware in order to access new features. On the downside, its interface is way from the prettiest we’ve ever seen.